I love cooking dinner at home with friends. It’s a great alternative to spending a lot of money out at a noisy restaurant on the weekend. And it’s so much fun to cook together, laugh together and maybe even drink a little bit of wine.
This week our guest cook is Jen. Say hi Jen! (She wanted to take my pic too, but I got out of it since I was still wearing my PJs when she got here!)
Jen is also a food-lover and we sometimes spend way too much time email/gchatting about recipes at work…whoops! She picked the recipe for the main course, a Maple Grilled Tofu and Vegetable Salad.
I used to hate tofu growing up, but I have come around to how great of a protein it is, and how if you prepare it right, it can actually be really tasty. What is great about this recipe is that it is super tasty, healthy and hearty.
To start, chop all the veggies and turn on your grill (we just used my George Foreman) and let it heat up while you mix up the maple marinade.
Using a pastry brush, spread the marinade on the tofu and veggies. Because we were working with a smaller grill, we first grilled the tofu…
then all the veggies…
Once everything is grilled, all you do is toss some lettuce lightly with some balsamic vinaigrette and plate with the grilled veggies and tofu. I also whipped up a pseudo-bruschetta of olive oil, basil, tomatoes and salt to serve on top of some toasted french bread to go along with the meal.
This meal was super easy and great to cook with a friend. While one person is grilling, the other can dress the salad, make the bruschetta, and get everything ready to serve. All in all, I say Jen’s and my cooking date was a success!
1 package extra-firm tofu
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
3 tbsps maple syrup
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
4 Portobello mushrooms
4 small summer squash/zucchini, chopped into coins
1 small eggplant, cut into long strips
Balsamic dressing (I used Trader Joe’s Fat-free Balsamic)
Drain tofu and slice into strips, set aside on paper towel to dry out a bit
Mix up the maple marinade by whisking together the olive oil, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin and sea salt
Using a pastry brush, brush the tofu and vegetables with the maple mixture and sprinkle with sea salt
Grill the tofu and vegetables for about 10 minutes until tofu has grill marks and veggies are cooked through
Serve the tofu and veggies atop the mixed greens and drizzle lightly with dressing
Yields 4 servings