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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Miso Sesame Squash & Tofu

The past few weeks have been really busy with travelling for leisure, work and many other things that came up. I have also been taking up some painting for leisure which is something that I have always wanted to do but never thought I would be able to do. However, I took up that personal challenge and so glad I did it. I really found so much serenity in doing this :)

Finally I found sometime to make this. I have been missing quite a few weeks with I Heart Cooking Clubs who have already begun to cook with Heidi Swanson. This week's special is squash. I've always love butternut squash so it is a delight to cook this with Heidi. See my modifications in blue.

Ingredients:

2 pounds delicata butternut squash (~3), halved, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch inch thick piece
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons molasses (I omitted this)
1 teaspoon tamari or shoyu (I used light soy instead)
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (I used organic brown rice syrup)
1 heaping tablespoon white or yellow miso 
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
5 tablespoons water
8 ounces organic extra-firm tofu, pressed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Various toppings: toasted sesame seeds, chopped arugula, basil, basil flowers, lemon wedges

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 425F / 220C 180 degrees celsius, with a rack in the middle.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the squash with 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil. 
  3. Spread the squash on a parchment-lined or well-greased baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 40 minutes, turning over with a fork after 20 minutes. Or, until golden on both sides.
  4. In the meantime, in a medium-size bowl, whisk together the molasses, tamari, maple syrup, miso, orange juice, lemon juice, lemon zest, water, and the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil. Add the tofu, toss to coat, and set aside.
  5. When the squash is deeply golden on both sides, remove from the oven.
  6. Transfer the squash to a 2-quart baking dish. Pour the tofu mixture over the squash, and gently toss. 
  7. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until a good amount of the marinade boils off. Toss a couple times along the way. Finish under the boiler if you like, or if you like a bit of extra color on top. Remove from the oven, and season with salt, if needed. 
  8. Finish with some toasted sesame seeds, chopped arugula, and/or herbs, and serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side (to squeeze on top).


I love how caramelized the butternut squash is. It really blends quite well with the tofu. I decided not to add too much additional toppings for 2 reasons - sometimes to buy some ingredients and then not use the rest of it is like wastage to me since I don't cook everyday and also, I like to eat it as it is without too much frills. And yes, this dish is as good as it looks even without the frills.

I also made some mushroom garlic quinoa to go with it.


I never expected a vegan dish like this to taste pretty good. I think this made me look at other Heidi's recipes. But of course, the truth is, we ate all of these with a roast chicken leg each. It completes our meal for us. Very yummy and filling for sure.

I'm submitting this post to I Heart Cooking Clubs.

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