Flavor // A tasty tofu treat

I went home to Aitkin a few weeks ago and my mom made these tarragon veggies with chicken, her mom and dad’s recipe.  I ran to the store to get tofu for me, and the rest is history. This dish pairs perfectly with Brian’s Spring Pasta Salad. Try it with a glass of Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc for a pleasant spring dinner.

Roasted Tarragon Veggies with Fried Tofu
Serves 4. Vegetarian

Ingredients
8 stalks celery
6–8 medium carrots
1 medium onion
1 can stewed tomatoes
2 Tbsp tarragon
1 tsp sea salt
2 blocks firm tofu
Soy sauce
Black pepper
Olive oil
Sriracha (optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Peel and chop carrots. Chop celery and onion. Place carrots, celery, and onion in a pan and add stewed tomatoes, tarragon, and salt. Mix well.

Roast in oven for 75-90 minutes, until carrots are cooked through.

Press tofu on cutting board using a dishcloth or paper towels. Chop into 1-inch pieces.

Fry tofu in saucepan with olive oil, adding black pepper to taste and a splash or two of soy sauce.

Stir frequently and cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until all sides are golden brown.

If you’d like your tofu a little spicy, add some Sriracha!

——

I just love cooking with friends. It is such a lovely way to spend an afternoon or evening.  I’ll be doing more of it, soon.

This recipe is the brainchild of my friend, Brian Frisk — a fellow veggie lover and one of those friends you can pick up with right where you left off.

(Note: This salad is perfect with the delicate white balsamic vinegar. Brian said you can definitely find it at Cub and Trader Joe’s.)

Turn this into a main dish by adding some garbanzo or cannellini beans!

Spring Pasta Salad
Serves 4-6. Vegetarian


Ingredients

1 lb tomatoes
3 spring onions
1 cucumber
1 small package pea shoots
(about 2 cups. Arugula or baby spinach would also work well)
3/4 cup EVOO
3/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp honey
3 cloves garlic
Sea salt
Pepper
1 box fork-friendly whole wheat pasta of your choice (rotini, penne, farfalle)

Directions
Cook pasta according to package directions. Cool in fridge while preparing veggies.

Dice garlic. Whisk together in a small bowl with EVOO, white balsamic, sea salt, pepper and honey. Set aside.  

Peel cucumber and chop. Chop tomatoes and spring onions. Add veggies and dressing to cooked noodles and mix well.

Chill in fridge for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Nicole Navratil is a local blogger devoted to creative meatless recipes. Find her blog, “Pepperoni Is Not a Vegetable,” at pepperoniisnotavegetable.com. Do you have good seasonal recipes you want to share with Journal readers? Email them to [email protected] Got other family-friendly veggie recipes to share? Join her Sundays on Twitter for #veggielovechat at 9 p.m.