Cooking for One

19 Feb

When I’m online, I spend a lot of time cruising food blogs looking for vegetarian recipes. I need ideas; new ways to cook tofu, tempeh and veggies. Easy recipes that I can throw together after a long day at work. The thing is, I don’t always feel like cooking, and the only person who suffers if I choose not to cook is me. Cooking for one sucks!

It’s much easier to order take-out (chinese or mexican) or drive thru (meatless burger and fries); expensive and not real healthy alternatives. So, I’ve been trying to cook more.

I have a confession, I really don’t love tofu or tempeh, or any of the fake meat products. Over the years I’ve learned a few different ways to cook tofu so that it’s palatable, and both of the versions involve frying. When you dip tofu into  batter, or cover it in panko crumbs before frying…yummo. I’m still learning how to cook with tempeh, and I’ve found a few promising tempeh recipes that I’ll be trying soon.

Fake bacon can’t compare to the real thing in all it’s greasy, smokey glory…but I’ve chosen my choice, and I haven’t strayed since. So, occasionally I’ll buy facon, but like I said…I don’t love it.

Tonight I had a japanese eggplant and some tofu in my fridge and found a recipe online that sounded good, so I actually cooked. I had been looking for a recipe similar to Panda Express’ Spicy Eggplant and Tofu.

My version of Braised Eggplant & Tofu  (Original recipe from Fat Free Vegan)

  • 1/2 lb tofu, extra firm (cut in 1″ cubes)
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1″ minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (cut in 1/2″ pieces)
  • 2 small Chinese eggplants (cut into 1″ cubes)
  • 3/4 c. vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp. hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1tbsp ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp hot chili sauce

Eggplant ingredientsMarinate the tofu in the soy sauce and sesame oil for about 15 minutes, remove to paper towel. Heat half of the canola oil in frying pan or wok; cook until browned, remove to paper towel-lined plate.


Heat remaining oil in same pan on low, add garlic and ginger, cook slow for about 5 minutes, increase to medium heat, add red bell pepper and eggplant, cook stirring, for 5 minutes.


Add remaining ingredients (besides tofu) and cover, cook for about 5 minutes. Remove lid, add tofu, stir and continue simmering for about 10 minutes until eggplant is soft and sauce begins to thicken.

Eggplant and tofuServe over rice.


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