Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Moroccan-Style Tofu: Satisfying my healthy side

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.

Moroccan-style Tofu
Adapted from Nasoya
Serves 1

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
Olive oil

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.


stuffycheaks said...

this looks great! where do u get orange blossom honey? hahah we are sooo similar, i obsessively run 5 miles/day then gorge on cheetos, 3 glasses of wine, foie, bone marrow and the like. Ya only live once, right?

Esi said...

Still sounds as great as you described. Saving to make...soon!

the actor's diet said...

how funny - i made virtually an identical meal after a major brunch feasting on sunday!!!

roxan said...

Diana, awesome entry :) I still need to do a writeup on that event! I'm planning on making that moroccan tofu also, it was SO GOOD. What yummy places are you eating at next?

Gastronomer said...

D - I've "starred" this recipe in my google reader. I'm always looking for great tasting tofu recipes that aren't Asian in spirit. I will definitely pair it with quinoa ;-)

Anna A. said...

Loving this recipe TALF! I will have to try this one out. I'm becoming obsessed with Moroccan flava flavs.

Diana said...

Stephanie - It's just regular old Sue Bee orange blossom honey -- I got mine at Gelson's. Feel free to use regular honey too!

Esi - Definitely get on it! And be sure to eat it with a spicy red!

Lynn - Hah, too funny! Will you be posting about it also?

Roxan - Can't wait to see what you do with the dish too! So good! :) I'm going for Chilean food tomorrow night - a first for me! Will definitely report back!

Cathy - I think this dish will definitely get both the Gastronomer and Astronomer's seal of approval.

Anna - Did you see I put eggplant in it??? I'm growing! Like an eggplant...

the nomster said...

I totally, totally can relate to your double-sidedness!! I am exactly like you, haha, based on your other posts too. It's like I'm literally nodding in agreement to everything you say about your eating habits. Anyway, that tofu website looks awesome.. I have two boxes of tofu sitting in my fridge right now that I need to use up. I was going to cook it Asian style but now Moroccan looks pretty darn interesting! What other ways do you prepare tofu?

Healthy Coconut said...

Hi Diana :)

I still haven't had a chance to cook the Moroccan tofu. Your modification looks great, quinoa is such a powerhouse grain.

I hope to see you around, at Foodbuzz?

~ Lea