BS Dinner #1: Plantain with Ginger-Garlic-Chili-Lime Marinaded Tofu

At least 92% of all of my cooking is just hungry bullshit artist meets kitchen. The other 8% is oatmeal, which is arguably half-asleep bullshit artist meets kitchen.

It would seem that cooking is art (except unlike art, which can consume a person, a person generally consumes cooking), and having accepted that I have neither the patience nor knowledge to be a Monet-type-cook, I’ve opted for the abstract throw-whatever-you-want-on-canvas-and-decide-it-is-art cooking method, over a methodical recipe-following paint-by-numbers type approach.

Unnecessary art analogy? Probably. I’ll stop now.

Turned off by the word “Tofu” in the post title? I don’t blame you. Tofu has such a horrible reputation, probably because it sounds like “toe-food”. But you can SO very easily sub a meat-protein in this “dish”– this marinade would be awesome with pork, chicken, or fish. Promise. But, it’s good with tofu, too. Tofu’s not that bad, you know.

Sometimes, I just go to the grocery store and buy flavors that I think I might want and objects that I’m curious about eating. Then, when I get home, it’s just a wonderful challenge to figure out what I’m cooking.

In the supermarket, I had big plans for this plantain, but once I got home, I figured that, since I haven’t cooked a plantain before, I should take it easy. Actually, now, this isn’t the weirdest combination of items, is it? Oh well. I’ll still share this dinner with you all. If nothing else, it’ll tell you how to cook a plantain, give a suggestion for a yummy marinade (which, yes, can be used on meat just as successfully as on tofu — this would be great with chicken, pork, or fish), and encourage your culinary bullshit artist to emerge. Healthy food is so fun and more versatile, but it’s easy to get caught up in the steamed veggies, brown rice, and 3oz of chicken breast routine.

One of my favorite things about vegan cooking, in addition to the true challenge that exists in ever burning something to the point of no repair, is that it’s really easy to mix bold flavors successfully, since many of the base protein products (beans, tofu, tempeh, etc) only offer a subtle flavor. But I’m not at all interested in trying to say other people should eat this way, so I’ll end this paragraph here, and get on with the cooking bits of this post.

The marinade I did for the tofu here was, obviously, Ginger-Garlic-Lime-Chili combo. Marinating stuff in zip lock bags is so so easy and so so mess-free. In the ziplock went the garlic, ginger, juice of 1 lime, and a spoon full of this Chili Garlic Sauce which I’m currently putting in/on just about everything I eat. Boom. Marinade. Generally, tofu is best if you press the liquid out of it. Some people have tofu presses, but I just have a hand (actually, I have 2) and paper towels. It works fine like this.

Then just cut the tofu however you would like, put it in the ziplock bag, and do that classy move where seal the bag about 95% of the way, and then suck the air out of the bag so that the marinade can get all over everything. If it doesn’t seem like you have enough liquid, just add a bit of water. 

Tofu might not always have much flavor, but I mean. When something is marinated in all of these strong awesome flavors, it will have flavor.

This could sit in the marinade (in the fridge) for hours on end. Maybe even a day. I think it would just get more flavorful, etc, and I don’t think it would ever become too overwhelmingly marinated. But. Don’t quote me.

While that marinaded a bit, I cooked the plantain. I have decided that plantains are bananapotatoes. The skin is slightly tougher than that of a banana. I read somewhere that greener plantains go better with savory-type cooking, and riper ones (so yellow/browner) are better for sweet cooking. I took a bite of it raw. Don’t. It’s really not quite that banana-like.

I basically just cut it and sauteed it in a hot pam-ed pan with a bit of salt, so there’s not much to explain. And, because I was nervous that the plantain would have no flavor, I threw an onion in there. But it was unnecessary.

This was actually pretty tasty — tastes sort of potato-like, both in texture and flavor. Ooh, next time, I think I will make plantain oven fries by cutting it in sticks and roasting it at 425 for a bit. Intriguing…

Okay, then all that’s left is to cook the tofu. I just cooked it in a pan with some olive oil. I decided it was cooked when it looked like this. But it was cooked the whole time. I also enjoy that with vegan, I don’t have to really pay attention to cook times. Since I was eating some uncommon things for dinner, I paired them with one of my all time favorite veggies: roasted broccoli. That way, if I somehow didn’t like the tofu or the plantain, every third bite was bound to be deliciousness.But every single bit was delicious. Yum yum yum.

So that’s how I cook. It usually turns out fairly well, and if nothing else, it’s fun to just play around and make stuff up in the kitchen. And I encourage you to do that! Play around with your healthy ingredients and see what you can create!



4 Comments to “BS Dinner #1: Plantain with Ginger-Garlic-Chili-Lime Marinaded Tofu”

  1. i love all those things too! though i have only had sweet plantain. the savory option has always intrigued me though. oh, & btw, thanks for reminding me i’ve been craving fried tofu. num num!

  2. This may actually prompt me to try cooking tofu! It looks delicious.

  3. So did the tofu really take Gingery-Garlicky-Chilly-Limey?? if so, I would definitely give it a try. Normally, I have to get past the mushy texture and as long as it takes those flavors I would be OK with it too. I’ve only tried it a few times and just not sure if it’s for me, but I love the flavors you put together so I may need to try again.

    Great ideas as always. Thanks for taking the time to blog!!!!!

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