Sesame Cucumber Noodles with Crispy Tofu

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Sometimes, you just have to try going vegan for week. I wasn’t just trying to see if I could last, I was trying to see how it would go for this gut game I call #GameOfCrohn’s.

I loved this noodle dish hot or cold.

It was also my first time trying to incorporate tofu into my diet without triggering a gag-reflex. I have some texture issues and just can’t handle certain things. Tofu, with it’s Playdoh-like texture was something that had always made me gag before.

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I used Connoisseurus Veg’s cripsy tofu tutorial . It was an easy, step-by-step with breakdown with photos. I made the slices a little thinner than she did, but followed her recommendation to use the extra firm tofu.

Tofu is really cheap, about $1.25-$2.50 for the brick at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Until reading her tutorial, I had no idea it could be so versatile as well. I had always thought that it was just sliced and pan-fried in Asian dishes as a meat substitute, and didn’t know that meat eaters actually LIKE tofu.

For this recipe, you can use soy sauce, but I prefer to use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, as it helps cut down the sodium and is gluten-free, GMO-free, kosher, and has no artificial coloring or preservatives.

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What You’ll Need: 

  • 1 block of extra firm tofu
  • 2 cups of peanut butter
  • 4 tbs sesame oil
  • 3/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1 minced jalapeno
  • 1 bunch of sliced scallions
  • the leaves picked from 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 2 cucumbers – 1 roughly-chopped, 1 julienned
  • 1 lb of whole wheat fettuccine.
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds

Let’s Get Cooking:

Crispy Tofu

  1. Remove the tofu brick from the package and drain the liquid.
  2. Wrap tofu brick in paper towels and place between 2 cutting boards. Stack a small, but heavy-ish amount of books on top to gently squeeze out additional moisture, but without breaking the brick of tofu.
  3. Wait about 10 minutes for the tofu moisture to leave the tofu. (During this time, you can start on the peanut sauce, below)
  4. Remove books and paper towels and slice the tofu into 1/2 inch thick slices.
  5. Sauteed tofu slices over medium heat, use cooking spray to ensure the tofu does not stick to the pan.
  6. Set aside.

Sesame Cucumber Noodles

  1. Boil the fettuccine in a pot until al dente.
  2. Drain and rinse under cool water, set aside.
  3. In a food processor, combine peanut butter, sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce/liquid aminos, and roughly-chopped cucumbers. Continue until it has made a smooth sauce. If needed, add water 2 tbs at a time for preferred consistency.
  4. Add peanut sauce to the fettuccine noodles and combine well. Mix in jalapeno, scallions, half of the cilantro and 2 tbs of sesame seeds.
  5. Serve in a bowl with crispy tofu on top. Feel free to garnish with additional cilantro and sesame seeds.

*Pro tip: For left overs, do not store the crispy tofu with the sauced noodles, it absorbs the moisture from the sauced noodles and gets chewy again. Store them in separate containers if you like delicious things.

 

 

 

 

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