Sunday, February 6, 2011

Vegetable Marengo

Last term I went through a tofu kick... I basically put it in almost everything from vegetarian chili to indian dishes as a substitute for paneer (which works really well btw). During this time I came across this recipe in one of our many vegetarian cookbooks (1,000 Low-Fat Vegetarian Recipes). This is a Mediterranean inspired dish that you can have with rice, couscous or on its own. Its hearty enough to be its own (student) meal...

Vegetable Cooking Spray (I usually just use canola oil)
1 Package (10 1/2 oz) tofu, cut into scant 1-inch cubes (I use firm tofu, sometimes with herbs)
2 Medium onions, cut into wedges (or coarsely diced)
2 medium zucchini, cubed
1 cup halved small mushrooms
2 cloves minced garlic (I tend to put more as I love garlic... same with the mushrooms)
1 tbs flour
1 can (14 1/2 oz) whole tomatoes, undrained coarsely chopped (In the summer I prefer to use fresh tomatoes)
3/4 cup Mediterranean Stock or Basic Vegetable Stock (I use 1 veggie bouillon cube)
1 strip orange rind (3x1 inches)
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 large bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups cooked couscous or rice, warm
parsley, finely chopped, as garnish

Zoe's variation: turmeric, cumin and chilli powder for sauteing the tofu

1) Spray large saucepan with cooking spray; heat over medium heat until hot. Add tofu and cook over medium heat until browned on all sides 8-10 min. Remove from skillet and reserve. (Zoe's variation: heat a little oil and add the cumin, turmeric and chilli powder. Then add the tofu and coat on all sides while cooking... this ads a bit more flavour to the tofu).

2) Add onions, zucchini, mushrooms and garlic to saucepan; saute 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer. Add tomatoes, stock, orange rind, herbs and reserved tofu; heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered until vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Discard bay leave (I never do this); season to taste with salt and pepper. (I also usually add a bit of lemon or lime juice to taste at this point).

3) Serve mixture over couscous in shallow bowls; sprinkle with parsley

As with most of what I cook... I never make this quite the same way. I sometimes vary the vegetables I put in as well. Last time I added carrots and red and orange bell pepper.. this expanded the recipe and added a nice dimension.



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