There’s always been two different sides to “Diana Takes a Bite.”
There’s the girl who hearts exercise, quinoa, vegetables, and church on Sunday.
And then there’s the girl whose eyes glow devilishly bright when in the presence of chocolate, wine, cheese, and nutritionally-vacant white bread and butter.
As a rule, the food I eat when I go out looks nothing like the food I eat and prepare for myself at home. As soon as I step outside my apartment, I turn into a person who doesn’t stop after 6-ounces of wine, a person who finds nothing wrong with finishing every bite of a multi-course dinner, and a person who orders the pasta that contains more sausage than it does vegetables.
The dichotomy in my behavior is startling – so much so that my dining companions often stare at my empty plate and protruding stomach that’s been stuffed to maximum capacity, and ask, “How do you eat like that and stay skinny?”
Clearly, they don’t read my blog or my excessive Tweets about Bar Method.
Last Tuesday night, I had a rare opportunity to attend an event where I didn’t have to check my usual virtuous dining behavior at the door. Despite the rain that had unexpectedly descended upon Los Angeles, I eagerly made my way over to the Palihouse in West Hollywood for the Nasoya Tofu U Pledge Party hosted by Skinny Bitch author Kim Barnouin. During the course of the two-hour cocktail party, I and other like-minded press and food bloggers were given a brief tutorial on how to use the Nasoya Tofu U website while we noshed on passed tofu hors d’ouevres.
The website not only teaches novice cooks the basics of preparing tofu, but also allows consumers to search their recipe database for recipes that call for specific ingredients like spinach and corn. My healthy self was practically squealing with delight, and I couldn’t wait to get home to begin playing with the various applications. I also couldn’t wait to look up the recipe for my favorite of the hors d’ouevres – a Moroccan-style tofu dish that had all of the attendees swooning.
This past Friday night I dashed home from work with the necessary ingredients and whipped up my own version of the recipe. I nixed the green olives, added roasted eggplant and cilantro, and greatly reduced the amount of honey in the sauce, since I don’t like to eat dessert for dinner (when I’m at home).
The end result was fabulous – just as sweet and savory as the original recipe I sampled at the party. It was the perfect partner to the 6-ounce glass of Elyse Petit Sirah that healthy Diana poured herself.
The Skinny Bitch (who incidentally isn’t a bitch at all) would have been so proud.
Adapted from Nasoya
3 ounces extra-firm tofu, cubed
1/3 cup yellow onion, chopped
1/3 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup cubed eggplant
2 tablespoons golden raisins
2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon cilantro, minced
1/3 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons orange blossom honey
¼ teaspoon cumin
1/8th teaspoon cinnamon
Salt, pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350. Toss eggplant cubes with salt and pepper and then roast until tender – approximately 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. In a large skillet over medium high heat, sauté the onion in a splash of olive oil for 3 minutes. Add the tofu and carrots, and sauté for another few minutes until the tofu is browned on all sides and the veggies are tender. Stir in the eggplant, raisins and sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook together for 1-2 minutes or until sauce has reduced and coated the ingredients. Stir in the orange peel and cilantro and serve immediately over red quinoa, couscous or rice. Top with the toasted almonds.