Indian Red Coco-Cabbage and Sweet Baked Tofu

For some time now, I have had my hands on an Indian cookbook from the library called The Food of India.  It's in the same series as this book; and, as far as I know, the recipes are very authentic.  That's partly because I don't know atleast a few of the ingredients in almost every recipe... but most of the dishes sound very tasty, and Google is a great place to find substitutes for all those weird ingredients.  I decided to make a recipe out of there called Cabbage with Coconut.  Only, almost half of the ingredients I sustituted something for.  But the stir fry turned out really, really fanstastic.  The flavour was sweet and spicy, and got spicier as I ate more.  The coconut flavour was unique, and adds a boost of flavour that I have never tasted before.  M said to definently make this one again, and I will.  It's so easy too, and healthy.

The second dish I made for lunch yesterday was called Chinese 5-Spice Baked Tofu from Chow Vegan.  I thought it was absolutely amazing, and could eat this every week.  M disagreed because she's "not into the big block of tofu thing", but did add that the sauce was really good.  I think if the tofu had been sliced a bit thinner, then she would have loved it.  The sauce is quite sweet, and I love the texture of baked tofu.  Plus it looks really pretty, and is another quick thing to throw together, go off and do something else, and come back when the oven timer calls you back.  I highly recommend the five spice powder.  That stuff is so goooood... that, and hoisin sauce, which I have only dicovered a few weeks ago.  So depressing that I didn't know what I was missing out on.

Five Spice Baked Tofu

Serves 4

Adapted Slightly from Chow Vegan

19 oz firm tofu, cut into thin slices, about ½, and pressed
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to convection 325.

Combine all ingredients except the tofu in a bowl. Brush one side of the tofu with the marinade, and place the tofu in a casserole dish coated with nonstick spray, coated side down. Repeat with remaining pieces of tofu and half the marinade, making sure the tofu is in one layer. Brush the remaining marinade over the other side of the tofu. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping once.

Indian Coco-Cabbage Stir Fry
Adapted from The Food of India
Serves 4

¼ cup dried shredded coconut, soaked in ½ cup water
1 pinch dried chili flakes
1 tsp ground mustard
1 sprig basil, chopped largely
1 small to medium head purple cabbage, shredded
1 ½ large green chilies (forgot what they’re called…), chopped
1 pinch red pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp fat free mayo
Cilantro, for garnish

Heat a couple tablespoons of the coconut water in a large wok over high heat. Add all the ingredients except for the coconut, mayo, and cilantro. Stir well, and cover for about 5 minutes, until tender. Stir in the coconut and mayo, and heat through. Serve, topped with cilantro.

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