Happy New Year everyone! I want to take a moment to thank all of you for tuning into HomeChefsMarket.com. I just started this site a few months ago and it's really starting to pick up steam. (Yeah, pun intended. ;) )
Some of you have caught onto the fact that I'm a vegetarian. So, yes, I'm one of those people that's attracted to recipes that have great (some might say...weird) stuff like tofu, seitan, tempeh, TVP, etc. But I say, try them before you reject them. And If you don't like them, I'll bet you'll find a substitute that meets (Nope, no pun here. Too easy.) your needs.
So, who's in the mood for a little Chinese food today? I know I am! But, let's start the year off in a healthier, cleaner way. How about a vegan Chinese dish? This week's Recipe of the Week is Veggie Lo Mein with Pan-fried Tofu from OhMyVeggies.com (one of my favorite go-to veggie recipe blogs).
This is one of those recipes that comes together pretty quickly. Give it about 30-45 minutes total (not including the draining/pressing of the tofu - see below). After you prep all your veggies, quickly make your sauce, and cook/drain the noodles (remember that mise en place we talked about recently???); you stir-fry the veggies, toss in the sauce and noodles and your good to go.
I love that they use extra-firm tofu. For the uninitiated, it's the most meat-like form of tofu. When it's browned it will take on a nice firm consistency and taste. But remember to drain it first. (If you want a quick and easy primer on how to do that, you can check out this brief video from Nasoya brand tofu: "How to Open, Drain & Press Your Tofu".) Also, I sometimes buy pre-pressed tofu at an Asian market near my house. It is so firm that it has a very "meaty" consistency to it. I may try that in this recipe also (to save the time it takes to press the water out of the tofu and still provide that very solid, meat-like bite). Check out your local Asian market, and you'll find more choices of tofu than you ever thought existed! Shiitake mushrooms are also a great choice here. They have a nice, "meaty" consistency.
In addition, truth be told, I can think of a ton of times I could use the lo mien sauce from this recipe in other dishes...
This recipe also introduced me to one of my favorite blogs: Connoisseurus Veg. It's a blog by Alissa Saenz who crafted this wonderful recipe.
So I say try this dish! And as the recipe says: "You might never bother with takeout again".