Hello there! My name is Kiersten and I blog over at Oh My Veggies, a happy little vegetarian food blog with a focus on easy recipes made with fresh, seasonal ingredients. I’m so excited that Better Homes & Gardens invited me to share a recipe with you–as someone who needs all the home and garden advice she can get (really, you should see my garden right now), I’m a pretty big fan.
I’ve been a vegetarian since middle school, so veggie cooking comes pretty naturally to me because I’ve been doing it for so long. When I started blogging, it surprised me to hear from people who were in a panic because they wanted to stop eating meat, but didn’t know what to cook or how to cook it. A lot of people think that vegetarian cooking is intimidating or difficult, but I promise you it doesn’t have to be. And you can take just about any recipe and make it meatless–yes, really, you can!
Better Homes & Gardens has a lot of tasty vegetarian options on their website, but I wanted to challenge myself, so I choose their Mango-Chili Chicken Stir-Fry recipe. I don’t use processed meat substitutes in my cooking, so I decided to replace the chicken with a package of extra-firm tofu.
Wait! Don’t click away! Don’t give me the side-eye!
When you prepare tofu the right way, it’s delicious, so I’m going to show you the best way to make it.
Tofu is packaged in water, so in order for it to absorb the flavors of the dish you’re preparing, you need to press that nasty tofu water out. If you just take the tofu out of the package, dice it up, and throw it in a stir fry, you will not like tofu. It needs pressing! I have a tofu press for this purpose, but this is how you press your tofu without one:
Put 2-3 layers of paper towels on a cutting board, put your tofu on top of that, then another layer of paper towels and another cutting board. Weigh everything down with bottles and cans and let the tofu sit like this for 30 minutes. Trust me, it’s worth it.
After pressing the tofu, I cut it into 16 triangles (there’s no real reason for triangles, but they look nice, right?), heated 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cooked the tofu for about 3-5 minutes on each side, until it was browned and crispy. (Oh, and you can use any kind of cooking oil you like–no need to go out and buy grapeseed oil if you don’t have it on hand.) Remove the tofu from the skillet and set it on a few layers of paper towels to absorb some of the excess oil, then stir fry the peppers, add the tofu back in, and stir in the fiery mango sauce.
The only other slight change I made to the original Mango-Chili Chicken Stir-Fry recipe is that instead of using dried chile peppers, I tossed in a pinch or two of red pepper flakes and I added some black sesame seeds at the end. Oh, and I diced the mango instead of slicing it because I still haven’t figured out how to slice a mango without potentially losing a thumb. I served this with brown rice and it was absolutely delicious–we loved the sweet-and-spicy mango sauce with the crispy, chewy tofu. If you’re looking for an easy Meatless Monday dinner, this is it!