Two weeks ago I went for a bike ride outside.
I hadn’t done that in close to a year. Riding a bike on cement is much different than using a stationary bike in spin class.
I was usually way too scared to ride on a main road so I wobbled my way down the sidewalk, smiling at people who had to step aside because I was too uncoordinated to be the one to swerve on the grass and ride over the tree roots when we passed.
And then there was the giant hill. A runner passed me as I huffed and puffed my way to the top. The runner kept going. I had to stop and catch my breath.
I made it home in one piece and the next day my quads kept reminding me that I need to use them more.
The following week, I went out again. I continued to wobble down the sidewalk. I huffed and puffed up the hill. I was sore the next day. But, it was slightly easier, a little more predictable and I felt just a touch more comfortable.
Though it probably seems riding a bike and cooking tofu don’t have much in common, they both are skills that require a lot of practice for me to get remotely comfortable with. While I’ll be the first to admit that going out of my comfort zone is not my favorite experience, I also know that each time I do, I learn a little more.
When I first started cooking tofu, I wasn’t sure what type to buy, how to cook it, or when to know when it’s ready. I now know that I prefer extra-firm tofu, I like it sautéed, boiled and roasted, and leftover cooked tofu is one of my favorite salad toppings.
In the spirit of trying new things, I decided to prepare it a new way. Covered in cornstarch before placing in the pan to saute, I quickly learned adds an extra layer of depth and texture to each piece.
Just like in most situations, I’m glad I tried something new.
Blackened Sesame Tofu
Keywords: saute entree vegan vegetarian tofu
Ingredients (2 servings)
- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbs. sesame oil
- Ginger, to taste
- 8 oz. extra-firm tofu, cubed
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 3 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 1/3 cup carrots, julienned
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tbs. sesame seeds
- 3 scallions, chopped
1. Mix together soy sauce, sesame oil and ginger. Heat large skillet to medium-high meat. Toss cubed tofu in shallow bowl with cornstarch. Shake off excess pieces and set aside. Heat half soy sauce mixture in skillet. Cook tofu, stirring frequently, until blackened and crispy, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
2. Remove and sediment from the pan. Add remaining soy sauce mixture to hot pan. Add shallots, pepper and carrots and cook until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add tofu and toss together with red pepper flakes, sesame seeds and scallions. Serve with brown rice and enjoy!
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~When was the last time you went out of your comfort zone?