A Weeknight Dinner Feat. Strange Pink Potato and Grilled Tofu

I have so many potatoes. I have a potato problem. I’ve gotten them every week for the past 4 weeks in my CSA. Pounds upon pounds of potatoes.

I mean don’t get me wrong, I like potatoes. I think they’re delicious. But they have very little nutritional value. I really can’t justify eating more than one or two in a day.

Eventually I’m going to have to make enough mashed potatoes for an army or something and freeze them. But last night I decided to eat just one of those suckers. The way I used to growing up – good old fashioned microwaved “baked” potato.

Yes, I’m writing a food blog post in which one of the staples of my meal was a nuked potato. It’s fine. There are no rules here.

It was exciting though. Once I scrubbed the potato clean, I realized it was a red-skinned potato. Pretty normal, nothing new. But after cooking it and slicing it open, it was revealed to me that my potato had pink flesh. Has anyone ever seen that?? It was new to me. Tasted the same, but was an interesting surprise.

I had my pink potato with a delicious marinated grilled tofu and boiled kale with lemon and garlic. Recipe below. This pairs well with a sudden drop in temp, a lack of motivation and a glass of cheap red wine.

Baked Potato and Grilled Tofu

Marinated Grilled Tofu with Boiled Kale and Baked Potato

What you need for tofu:

One package extra firm tofu*
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (vegs omit; contains anchovies)
2 tbsp dry red wine
juice from 1 small lemon
1/2 clove garlic, minced/pressed
1 tsp brown sugar

*NOTE: I used Trader Joe’s Organic Sprouted Tofu – it comes in two packages. I only used one, which is about 7.25 ounces of tofu, enough to serve two people. If you use more, just adjust the marinade quantities accordingly. I find the marinade tastes the same even if you just eyeball the ingredient proportions.

What you need for kale:

1 large bunch kale
juice from 1 small lemon
1/2 clove garlic, minced/pressed

What you need for potato:

1 large potato, any variety (mine was about 11 ounces)
1 tsp margarine (Earth Balance)
2 tbsp sauerkraut
2 tbsp light sour cream, optional (vegans omit)

What you do:

Let’s start with the cardinal rule when working with tofu: Press the shit out of it. It’s obvious when it’s not pressed. It’s watery and too soft and flavorless because even if you marinate it for hours, it can’t absorb any of it since it’s packed with so much water.

So we start by taking our tofu and slicing it into four equal “steaks” (about 1/4-1/2 inch thick). Put a dish towel down on a hard surface and place a thick layer of paper towels over it. Add your tofu steaks on top of the paper towels and put another thick layer of paper towels on top of the tofu.

This is where it gets fun. Find the heaviest things you own and place them on top of the covered tofu. I used two big cookbooks PLUS my KitchenAid (like, that thing weighs as much as I do). Let it sit like this for a minimum of 30 minutes, preferably an hour or two. (Admittedly I only did 40ish since I was tired and hungry.)

While your tofu is being pressed, wash your kale. Slice the leaves away from the stalks and cut into relatively large pieces (about 2-3 inches or so in diameter). You can also wash your potato while you wait. And have a glass of wine. Maybe watch some evening TV. I don’t know, it’s your life.

When your tofu is nice and pressed, mix all of your marinade ingredients (soy sauce through brown sugar) in a small bowl and place in a freezer bag. Add your tofu, so it lays flat, and allow to marinate for about 10-15 minutes. You don’t need long, since tofu absorbs quickly.

While your tofu marinates, place a medium-large pot of water over high heat. You’ll bring this to a boil.

Now I’m about to tell you to do a whole bunch of things at once. Don’t panic. They aren’t time sensitive. This shouldn’t be scary.

First, we’ll focus on the potato. Now that it’s washed, stab it thoroughly all over with a fork. Place on a microwave safe plate, uncovered, and nuke on high for 5-6 minutes (less if it’s smaller).

While that’s happening, coat a grill pan with a bit of canola oil and place over medium heat. (You can also use a regular frying pan. We’re inclusive here. Whatever you’ve got. I just wanted grill marks.) Place tofu on the grill pan and heat on both sides, about 5-6 minutes each.

While your tofu is grilling, check if your water is boiling. It is? Awesome. Throw all that pre-chopped kale in there. Make sure it’s fully submerged, and boil for about 5 minutes, or until soft. Drain like you would pasta, and add juice of one small lemon and 1/2 clove of garlic. Toss well.

Your potato will stay hot, so it’s okay if that’s done cooking early. The kale tastes fine lukewarm. The last thing finished should be the tofu. Top the tofu with some of the remaining marinade right before you take it off the grill.

Slice open your very fancy pink microwave potato and top with some margarine and kraut. I also added light sour cream because that’s delicious, but I’m sure it would taste just fine without it and then the whole meal is vegan.


2 thoughts on “A Weeknight Dinner Feat. Strange Pink Potato and Grilled Tofu

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