January 19, 2010 | Side Dishes, Vegetables
Today marked the end of another 6-week Operation Frontline Eating Right class that I was teaching. During our last class together, I’m always reminded of why I love doing this volunteer work so much. A quick thank you from one woman for the lesson on how to cut up a whole chicken. Shared thanks from the group for helping them learn to make healthier meals. A shy comment from a young mom about learning to cook tofu. Or a hug of thanks from a participant on the way out the door.But perhaps nothing reminds me of why these classes are so imporant as much as meeting the babies, including this incredibly delicious dapper little fellow from this morning. I hope he’ll eat better and be healthier because his mom cared enough to attend the classes. Couldn’t you just eat him up?!?!?!?!On the final day of class we traditionally do a potluck, but my group also wanted to learn to cook with tofu. So I led the group in one last cooking class to prepare a simple tofu based Green Goddess dressing and this very easy curried tofu with peas. It’s really better with some toasted cashews on top and I included them in the recipe below.
The point of the potluck is for the participants in the program to bring a favorite dish from home that they’ve attempted to recreate as a healthier recipe based on what they’ve learned in class. Some of them did really well with the assignment, and the dishes included lentils (simmer lentils with some minced onion in chicken stock, drain, and mix with some pico de gallo and mustard), a cactus salsa (boil cleaned and trimmed cactus with some garlic, drain and discard garlic, dice cactus and mix with some pico de gallo and lime juice), a white bean and sausage soup (diced vegetables simmered in chicken broth with white beans and turkey sausage), and a sort of shrimp ceviche (cooked shrimp and thinly sliced red onion marinated in lime juice and hot sauce). They made me proud!
Curried Tofu and Peas
8 ounces tofu, extra firm, drained and squeezed dry
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup green peas
1 jalapeno, very thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
salt, to taste
1/4 cup toasted cashews, optional, for garnish
Cut tofu into cubes. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add tofu, peas and jalapeno, and cook until peas are nearly cooked through and jalapeno is softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add spices and stir together, cover, and simmer for 2 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Serve with toasted cashews sprinkled on top.