Sunday, July 3, 2016

Orange Tofu Noodles

It has been ages since I've had good old-fashioned Chinese (Canadian) food. Since becoming the Italian-centric blended family we are, the household's general eating out attention has been on Canadian "bar and grill", pizza or burger joints. In fact, aside from my 2-3 sushi restaurant trips a year, Americanized European fare is as "exotic" as we get. That said, Mom and I, in particular, adore Asian-style cuisine, and when it has the balanced flavours of the culture with a ton of veggies as well, we're in like dirty shirts! While she's retired now, I still make Mom her lunches (and bread) for the week so she can grab-and-go something slightly more nutritious than a can of soup or a deli-meat sandwich. 

This time around, I had a mission in mind - an (almost) vegan, gluten free noodle bowl packed with all sorts of goodies from the garden and local farms. I started with a hearty mixture of carrots, broccoli and onions that I had prepped and frozen last year, fleshing it out with greenhouse zucchini and Ontario sweet potato that I spiralized for extra bulk. The noodles themselves were spaghetti from the new Barilla Gluten Free line of pastas, that I cooked in vegetable broth for extra "oomph" - and that I'm excited to say not only hold their shape better than most "normal" noodles but taste identical (I just wish they were whole grain, but small miracles!). 

Cooking up #glutenfree yummies with #sanj and #barilla #cooking #healthyfood #foodie #vegan #vegetarian #instafood #yum

Protein wise, I turned to my ever-present stockpile of various tofu, opting for Vitasoy Organic Black Soybean TofuPlus, one of my all time favourites, marinated in a bottle of San-J Orange Sauce amped up with ginger, garlic and extra sweet, sour and salty flavours. The sauce contains honey (the reason this is "almost vegan") but generally is more fruity than syrupy, adding a decadent flavour to the tofu and blanketing the noodles and veggies perfectly. The finished dish was delicious hot (right out of the pot... shhh!), but equally delicious cold the next day - just like stereotypical Chinese take out, with none of the "mystery" ingredients, excess fat or crazy sodium levels!

Orange Tofu Noodles

 Shared with Gluten Free Fridays

Orange Tofu Noodles
Makes 8 generous servings
800g (2 blocks) Vitasoy Organic Black Soybean TofuPlus (or your favourite firm tofu), frozen, thawed, drained and pressed
200 ml (just over ¾ cup) San-J Orange Sauce
2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp low sodium tamari
1 tbsp brown rice syrup
1 large sweet potato
1 large zucchini
4 cups gluten free vegetable broth
1 box (12 oz) Barilla Gluten Free Spaghetti
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 large onion, halved and sliced into half moons
3 medium carrots, sliced
1 cup chopped broccoli
¼ cup minced cilantro
  1. Cube the tofu and place in a shallow casserole dish.
  2. In a measuring cup, whisk together the Orange Sauce, ginger, garlic, vinegar, tamari and rice syrup.
  3. Pour 3/4 of the sauce mixture over the tofu and stir gently to coat all sides. Cover and let stand while preparing the rest of the ingredients. Reserve remaining sauce.
  4. Using a spiralizer, julienne peeler or sharp knife, cut sweet potato and zucchini into "spaghetti" strands. Place into different bowls and set aside.
  5. Bring vegetable broth to a boil in a large pot and add the spaghetti. Cook for 8 minutes, then add sweet potato and cook 2 minutes.
  6. Reserve 2 cups of broth and add to the reserved sauce mixture, then drain pasta mixture and set aside.
  7. In the same pot, heat sesame oil over medium high.
  8. Add the onion and carrots and cook until softened.
  9. Add the broccoli, tofu and spiralized zucchini. Cook until broccoli begins to soften and turn bright green.
  10. Add the pasta mixture and reserved sauce mixture. Cook, stirring, until all the ingredients are combined and the vegetables are crisp-tender.
  11. Fold in cilantro and serve.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 362.7
Total Fat: 7.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 624.5 mg
Total Carbs: 60.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.4 g
Protein: 13.2 g