Sunday, July 06, 2014

Green Tomato and Tofu with Jade Pearl Rice and Watermelon Gazpacho (No Added Fat)

I had a friend, my daughter's teacher, over for dinner tonight. I wonder if things will change when my daughter goes to Kindergarten and no longer to a home-based school soon, but Anu's teacher has always enjoyed leftovers that I frequently send. I hope that Anu's next teacher will enjoy and be allowed to take leftovers. Anyway, it was great having Anu's teacher over and preparing food freshly for her. In fact, she kindly took on a job of noting the ingredients down so that I could type it all up afterwards.

I wanted to experiment with cooking tofu under pressure. I rarely buy green tomatoes (fried green tomatoes are a Southern specialty), but picked one up today (a green tomato is just an unripe tomato), and wanted to see how it would cook. Here is what I did.

  • 8 ounces firm water-packed tofu, drained and squeezed, then cut into 1/2" cubes (I used a tofu with herbs)
  • 1/2 medium red onion cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 1/2 medium sweet (or yellow; or just a full onion, and no red onion) onion cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 4 leaves kale, stems removed, then leaves roughly hand torn into approximately 3/4" squares
  • 1 large Yukon Gold potato cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 1 medium carrot cut into a 3/8" dice
  • 1 medium green (unripe) tomato, cut into 3/4" cubes
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1t ginger, finely chopped
  • Jalapeno in quantity desired (I used about a fifth of a large one), finely diced
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 1/3 cup water (I usually forget, but adding it boiling would reduce the time to get to pressure)
  • 1/8 t salt
  1. I put all the ingredients into my Instant Pot electronic pressure cooker, covered, and set to cook under high pressure (the default) for 3 minutes.
  2. We were ready to eat, so I quick released the pressure and served.
I also made Jade pearl rice (I first sauteed a bit of scallion and bell pepper, then added the rice and water in a 1 : 1 1/2 ratio, as well as a vegan bouillon cube, a dash of salt, and a small handful of spinach leaves - spinach goes great with rice!). Leftover watermelon gazpacho completed the meal.


The meal came out great! I really liked the pressure cooked tofu. It became a little more firm and seemed to imbibe more flavor than usual. The unripe tomato was a welcome addition; it had a very light tomato flavor and nicely complemented the dish, something a fully ripe tomato wouldn't do (the flavor would significantly change with a more pronounced tomato, and I think it wouldn't improve the dish). The kale pieces complemented the dish nicely.

Ideas for the future

I wonder if tofu would be good to marinate in the Instant Pot and then be sauteed for a short while before being pressure cooked. I loved the main course as-is; if green tomatoes aren't available, I wouldn't add ripe tomatoes or tomato sauce (the tomato flavor I don't think would go well - the green tomato was sufficiently subtle), but just omit tomato. I don't think this would do well with tempeh as a substitute, but I do want to explore pressure cooking tempeh, too.

Though I liked the moisture of the dish, I could experiment with adding a little bit less water, maybe 1/4 cup. Some fresh lemon sage and black sesame seed mixed in to the tofu dish when served would be good. Some may enjoy some hot sauce with it, too. I typically add less salt than many like, and a little bit more salt in the main course would be fine.

I am so delighted that I discovered Jade pearl rice. The rice was great as-is, but a little jalapeno would be good with it. I should experiment with something like sundried tomato in this rice.

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