Meatless Monday has become a tradition around our house , even though my husband insists on calling it Tasteless Monday, due to his aversion to certain vegetables, including zucchini and summer squash, carrots and beans.
If you are finding that your vegetables are tasting a bit bland, you might want to pick up a copy of “The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook” (Ten Speed Press $16.99.) by Randy Clemens, a food writer with an affinity to the glowing red paste from Thailand made from spicy peppers, garlic, vinegar, sugar and salt.
Although this dish is the most incredible breakfast you’ve never heard of, it also makes for a delicious dinner as well. Instead of the tofu, you can also poach eggs in the garlicky, spicy tomato sauce, then dip in some crusty bread to mop it all up.
Make sure to taste your Sriracha sauce before using it, as it can, eventually, go bad.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 bell peppers, cut into thin strips
4 clvoes garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked ppaprika
3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
½ cup water
1/3 cup Sriracha
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces soft tofu, drained and cubed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Heavy rustic bread, for serving
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the bell peppers and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, paprika, thyme, and bay leaf and sauté just until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and their liquid, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits that may be stuck to the skillet. Stir in the water and Sriracha. Bring to a boil, then immediately lower the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf if you can find them easily. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Make 4 to 6 divots in the mixture, depending on the number of portions you intend to serve. Divide the tofu evenly among the divots. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper over the tofu in each divot. Cover and simmer until the tofu is heated through, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the top, garnish with the parsley and serving immediately.
If you substitute 4 to 6 free-range eggs in place of the tofu, crack one into each divot and take care not to break the yolks. Cover and cook until the whites are set but the yolks are still slightly runny, about 8 to 10 minutes.