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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sweet Potatoes with Tofu and Kale for One

It’s autumn, or so the calendar says. I love the colors of this dish, and I can’t decide whether to eat it for breakfast or dinner. It does just fine in both roles.

1 small sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 small yellow onion, chopped
5 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained and crumbled (about a third of a 14-ounce package)
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1 clove garlic, diced small
1 cup baby kale
Salt and pepper to taste

1.     Place the sweet potato cubes in a large skillet and cover them with water. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Pour out all the water, leaving (or returning) the sweet potatoes to the pan.
2.     Add the olive oil and the onions to the sweet potatoes. Sauté on medium-high heat for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. The onions should be wilted and the sweet potato should be soft enough for your stirring device to cut it without much pressure.
3.     Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the crumbled tofu, cumin, salt, turmeric, and diced garlic.
4.     Add the tofu to the pan with the softened onion and sweet potato and cook for 5 or so minutes on medium heat, stirring frequently.
5.     Add the kale, cover the skillet with a lid, and allow the whole mishegas to steam for a few minutes or until the kale is tender. Probably two or three minutes.
6.     Add salt and pepper to taste, and top with Smoky Coconut (recipe follows), if desired.

This recipe is also excellent when done with butternut squash cubes instead of sweet potatoes. I love the autumn colors, don’t you?

Smoky Coconut

This recipe makes WAY more than a single serving, about a cup’s worth. You’ll find yourself putting it on a lot of things though, and it can last several weeks unrefrigerated (in a tightly sealed container) without losing its crunch.
1 TBLSP liquid smoke
½ TBLSP tamari or soy sauce
½ TBLSP maple syrup
½ TBLSP water
1 ½ cup flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. Combine liquid smoke, tamari, maple syrup, and water in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Add the flaked coconut and use a wooden spoon to gently toss the coconut in the liquid until it’s well covered.
  3. Spread the gooey coconut evenly onto a non-stick baking sheet and put it into the oven. If there’s any liquid left, just pour it over the coconut.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring and flipping the coconut over about every 5 minutes so that it cooks evenly. Don’t wander off. This will go from nearly raw to burnt SUDDENLY.
  5. If it’s crispy but not completely dry and you’re getting nervous about burning, take it out of the oven but leave it on top of the hot oven and in its pan. It will continue to cook a bit. It can cool right there, in regal splendor. It should be a delightful shade of golden brown. 

     Use for topping salads, main courses, and in sandwiches. It also eats pretty good right out of the bag. 

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