Sunday, April 22, 2012

Dijon Mustard Crusted Tofu with Garlic-Chive Mashed Potatoes and Spinach

This is my first recipe in my mini-series, $10 Meals for Two. I'll have my how-to along with a shopping list.

I based the recipe off of one I found on my epicurious app on my phone (which I highly recommend), "Mustard-Crusted Tofu with Kale and Sweet Potato". Instead of using kale and sweet potato, I used normal russet potatoes and spinach. I guess I wasn't in a kale sort of mood? The mashed potatoes come from another epicurious recipe, "Chive and Garlic Mashed Potatoes." There's no such thing as too much garlic! If you have your own method of making your mashed potatoes, go for it. I was a newbie when I first made this and fudged up about 3 times before I made great mashed potatoes. The spinach is just sauteed with olive oil, salt, pepper and maybe 4 cloves of garlic?

This is a great weekday date meal for you love birds. 

You should cook the three items in the following order, overlapping cooking times if you can: potatoes, tofu, spinach.

Bon apetit!

Shopping List: (the shopping list may not amount to $10, but a lot of items can be used for other recipes)

  • 1 garlic head
  • Butter
  • Chives
  • 2-4 russet or red-skinned potatoes
  • 1 package of tofu
  • Dijon Mustard
  • 1 bunch of spinach
I am assuming that you already have olive oil, salt and pepper. If you do not, then substitute in the oil you do have and get some salt and pepper! Students or budget persons, if you do not know this already, you can probably just walk into a McDonald's or Chipotle and grab some salt and pepper packs. AND obviously if you drag your ass to Whole Foods, you're not going to end up with a $10 meal.

Chive and Garlic Mashed Potatoes Recipe: 

2-4 unpeeled russet or red-skinned potatoes, rinsed
1/2 stick to 1 stick of butter (or butter substitute)
3 garlic cloves, minced
chopped chives (amount to your liking)
Salt and pepper to taste

Tips: I used russet potatoes because I found them cheap at Trader Joe's. I used 2 and I was pretty stuffed, but you may want to cook more. Depending on the store, a bag of potatoes may be cheaper in the long run, rather than buying them individually. 

  1.  Place potatoes in a pot of water and boil until potatoes are soft. This was about 20 minutes for me. Check on them periodically.
  2. Meanwhile, mince your garlic and chives and prepare your butter. I usually cut the butter into smaller pieces so that it melts quicker. 
  3. When potatoes are soft, drain the water and slice potatoes into 1-1 1/2 inch pieces. Use a fork or masher to slightly mash the potatoes.
  4. Place a slice of your butter on the bottom of the pot, and heat. Cook minced garlic until golden brown. 
  5. Place potatoes in pot and mix in with garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in chives. 
  6. Enjoy!

Mustard-Crusted Tofu Recipe: 

1 14-ounce package of firm tofu
Olive Oil (or whatever you have available)
1/2 cup whole grain Dijon Mustard (you may need more or less.)

Tips: I use olive oil in all of my dishes unless it asks for a specific kind for flavor-purposes, such as sesame oil. As for Dijon Mustard, the better the quality, the better it is. For this dish, I just picked up the cheapest bottle from the deli.

  1. Slice tofu block into four equal parts. The proceed to cut each fourth into smaller rectangles. Pat tofu dry if necessary to remove any extra moisture.
  2. Squirt Dijon Mustard onto a dish or in a bowl. Coat each side of the tofu slices with a generous amount of the mustard. Place aside.
  3. Heat a large skillet and coat the bottom with olive oil. Do not put too much or too little, because the tofu may burn or just not cook. 
  4. Place tofu on skillet. Cover and let each side cook until they look crisp. This will take about two minutes, but may take longer. Keep an eye on them. Some mustard may come off onto the pan, but don't worry--it's normal. 
  5. Enjoy!
Sauteed Spinach: 

1 bunch spinach leaves, stems taken off
3 or more cloves garlic, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive Oil

Tips: I would cook this while the tofu is frying. It doesn't take that long for the spinach to cook, but it takes a while to de-stem them. 

  1.  After spinach leaves are de-stemmed, rinse them under cold water. Make sure excess liquid is gone.
  2. Heat a large skillet or pot with olive oil enough to coat the bottom. You may need to add more later on. 
  3. Place in garlic slices and cook until golden. 
  4. Slowly add in spinach leaves. It looks like a lot now, but it cooks down significantly. Continue to stir until the bunch shrinks. It should take about 3 minutes, give or take.
  5. Add in salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Bam!

First place your potatoes on a dinner plate. A good amount, enough to fill ya. Keep in mind that tofu is really filling, as are the potatoes, so don't overload it. Gently place a generous serving of your greens on top of the potatoes. Place your tofu on top. I would start with four or five slices. 

To garnish and add a little bit of a punch, slice a lime and squeeze some juice on top of the tofu. It sounds gross, but it is delicious along with the mustard. 

Enjoy! I kind of want to make this tonight! Mmm.

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