“Why is plant-based food so expensive? Why is it so flavor-less? I’m not giving up fried chicken!”
Yes. Yes. And, girllllll, I remember!
For all my folks who say this and more to me, I give you last night’s dinner:
Fried “Rice” with Dry-Fried Curry Tofu.
It’s cauliflower and not rice. And yes, I may have talked ishhh about people using cauliflower for rice on this very blog. Yes, yes I did. And?!?!? That’s when I was on plant-based savage and eating all the french fries.
Don’t judge me:)
Now that that’s clear, this meal was also less than $20, and it fed my whole family of five with leftovers. Leftovers(!)…more on that later.
What makes this meal faster…using family to chop the veggies. Look, they live in the house, and this is one way they pay rent. A family that cooks together…eats at a reasonable hour.
For this dish, a food processor comes in handy. Get a small one if you don’t have a huge kitchen appliance budget. You can find a petite model for $25 in most big-box retail stores.
Every member of the family helped…and ate this meal! All clean plates. But when I asked my Sonshine if he wanted to take some to school for lunch the next day, he was all…
“Um, well, not really.”
“Why?” I don’t even know why I asked. I don’t.
“Well, cause…” Silence. Thirty seconds of silence, which I guess I should be grateful for because he was being thoughtful as to not hurt my feelings.
“Because you want to enjoy your lunch at school tomorrow?” I said.
Ain’t he something?!?! He has no idea the brilliance and hard work I put into feeding his little, hungry self.
We both laughed. It was funny. My feeling weren’t hurt.
And I may roll the leftovers into spring roll wrappers and bake until crisp at a later date.
I bet he will eat those too.
‘Til next time, Reine.
Fried “Rice” with Dry-Fried Curry Tofu:
- 1 head cauliflower (you will ONLY USE 3 cups(!) Freeze leftovers, or store in fridge for salad the next day or …boil and mash for mashed cauliflower…ooh, with some roasted garlic, olive oil and rosemary…what?!?!??!?!), pulsed in a food processor until small and resembling rice. See the cute photo below for size reference.
- 1 cup yellow onions, small diced
- 5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
- carrots, julienned (about 1.5 cups), I bought these like this for cheap. Check your produce aisle.
- broccoli, chopped (about 1.5 cups)
- 1 red bell peppers, diced
- oyster mushrooms (or your mushroom of choice), chopped 1.5 cups
- to top or stir in: pumpkin seeds, walnuts, cilantro, sweet basil, green onions (please start going to your local Asian market..the herbs are always super reasonable compared to a chain grocery store.)
- 2 TBSP reduced-sodium tamari (or use a less sodium soy sauce if you want)
- 1 TBSP +1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- juice of 1/2 a lime
- 2 tsp agave nectar (or sweetener of choice)
- 1 tsp garam masala
- pepper, if you like
Other: 1TBSP almond oil or oil of choice for “frying”
- Heat 1 TBSP almond oil (or oil of choice) in a large cast iron skillet over high heat. We are going to have the heat high and cook quickly. This dish takes 10 minutes or less to pull together.
- Once oil is hot, add your onions, garlic, and red bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add your chopped mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add your remaining vegetables, stir and cook for 2 mintues.
- Add your sauce and stir and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in cilantro, sweet basil, chopped scallions (green onions), and seeds or nuts, if you like…if you have some on hand…if your budget permits!
- Top with curry tofu. What curry tofu, you say? The one from the recipe below…
Dry-Fried Curry Tofu
- one block extra firm tofu, 12oz, drained and cubed into 1-inch squares
- 2 TBSP curry powder, or less if you don’t like curry like that…and if you don’t…shame.
- skillet and sea salt.
Directions for Tofu:
- In a regular ol’ skillet (that isn’t non-stick), take 1/2-1 tsp of sea salt and place over flaming high heat. Let the skillet get very, very hot.
- Cube your tofu and rub the curry powder all over it with your hands…your magic tools:)
- Drop the tofu in the hot, salted skillet and let sizzle–without moving the tofu–for 1-2 minutes, then stir and sizzle for 1-2 more minutes, then stir and sizzle for 1-2 more minutes. That’s it. Done. Top your fried rice with these bad boys.