This recipe, based on one from Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers, is absolutely fabulous.  It uses one pan and one bowl, and very very little hands-on time. It tastes delicious, and looks like anything but a rushed weekday meal.

It completes me.

I’ve tweaked it a little bit from the original recipe – theirs serves 2, mine serves an army of construction workers my family of five with a little to spare for lunches the next day. ie YOU WILL NEED A VERY BIG BOWL. I also added toasted almonds (though forgot to add when I photographed this time! Bad blogger, BAD!) and baked sweet potato. Now, I know what you’re thinking – baking the sweet potato involves an extra step of planning, and sounds less convenient for a weekday meal, and what the hell is this because I promised you meals in about 40 minutes and Chinese take-out would have been here by now. But I’ll show you how to knock it out FAST, just wait.

Plus, I always make my coconut rice in the Instant Pot, which is absolutely foolproof and lets me ignore it until I’m ready to eat … but you can always make it on the stovetop, too.

One more thing to note! This is by far the easiest (as in non-fussy, non-time-consuming) and most reliable way I have to make quick and delicious tofu. It completely bypasses any pressing or prolonged marinating – let me say that again! No tofu press, no having to make the marinade ahead of time, and waiting for it to be ready while your kids howl in the background and you think up ways to have me killed. NO PREPWORK.

*sigh* …

It had me at “hello.”


Baked Tofu with Coconut Kale
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  1. 2 Tb grapeseed oil (or canola oil, or another neutral oil)
  2. 2 Tb sesame oil
  3. 6 Tb soy sauce
  4. 2 Tb Sriracha (or adjust to taste)
  5. 2 lbs firm tofu
  6. 4 Tb melted coconut oil (you can use grapeseed oil in a pinch, but the coconut oil goes beautifully with the whole dish)
  7. 1 lb kale, leaves roughly chopped
  8. 1 large baked sweet potato (optional, though my hubby actually prefers 2 sweet potatoes in this for the tofu-to-sweet-potato ratio. See notes below for quick “bake”)
  9. 1.5 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
  10. 1 cup sliced almonds
  1. Bake/microwave sweet potato, if using (See NOTES below).
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together grapeseed and sesame oils and Sriracha. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes, and toss them gently in the large bowl to coat.
  3. Line a large jellyroll pan with tin foil, and give it a quick brush with oil (then give yourself a hug because chucking a sheet of tin foil is way easier than scrubbing crusted dressing off your pan, you genius, you!). Spoon out the tofu on the pan with a slotted spoon or a large fork, leaving excess oil dressing behind in the bowl. Throw that pan in the oven for 20 minutes to bake (make sure your rack is no higher than halfway up in the oven, and make sure there's no rack above it for when you add your other ingredients).
  4. Start up the coconut rice (see below)
  5. Add melted coconut oil to the dressing in the large bowl, and chopped kale. Chop cooked sweet potato into 1-inch chunks, and add to the bowl, along with coconut and almonds, and toss all to coat.
  6. Once tofu is baked, remove jellyroll pan from the oven, and slide a spatula under the cubes to make sure they're not stuck (they won't be, but still). Spoon the kale and sweet potato chunks onto the jellyroll pan around the tofu cubes (eventually, you may have to mound it onto the tofu, and that's okay, too - that's a lot of kale!), and return the pan to the oven to bake for another 15 minutes, until the kale is wilted and coconut/almonds are toasted.Serve with coconut rice.
Emi Ponce de Souza


And here is the recipe for coconut rice …


Coconut Rice
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  1. 1 cup jasmine rice
  2. 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  3. 1 can (14 oz) light coconut milk
  4. 1/2 cup water
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 tsp sugar
  1. Combine all ingredients in Instant Pot, close it up, and select “Manual” for 4 minutes.
  2. When the timer is up, let it go without depressurizing it (this is what they mean when they say “natural release” instead of “manual release”) for ten minutes. Easy peasy, because you’re cooking your awesome tofu while you wait, anyway.
  3. If you don’t have an IP, put everything in your pot on the stove, and bring to a simmer. Cover, turn your heat down to low, and cook for 15 minutes. Let it stand for another 10 minutes afterward before opening the pot and fluffing the rice. Good! Now you have time to go order a freaking Instant Pot. (There you go. 2017 already looks better!)
Emi Ponce de Souza

NOTES: There are many ways to cook a sweet potato, and not all of them were created equally. If you just want to set something going and walk away from it for a while, the oven is great (400 degrees for 60 minutes should do ya, since we’re going for “cooked through” but not “soft and fluffy”). But for those of us who, more likely, just forgot we had to cook the damn thing until we reread the recipe and noticed the “baked sweet potato” listed as an ingredient, there are more efficient ways.

For just one large sweet potato, I truly don’t feel the need to fire up the Instant Pot (though this works great when you’re doing several at once) – in the time it takes to pressurize the pot, you could be done if you use your microwave. Prick a large sweet potato with a fork a bunch of times, and wrap it in a damp paper towel. Throw it in the microwave on high for four minutes, flip it, then do another three minutes (again, going for “cooked”, not “super soft and mushy”). Bam. Next ingredient?


[fancy_header type=”2″ subtitle=”Week One”]How Meal Planning Helped Me Save My Sanity[/fancy_header]