Mushroom Mapo Tofu

mushroom mapo tofu

Happy holiday weekend everyone! And a big shout out to all members of the military and military families – Happy Memorial Day and thank you! I hope you are enjoying some barbeque and other yums today with loved ones.

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This month has been absolutely crazy, so we were happy to have some friends in town this weekend to take our minds off of these hectic past few weeks. Sometimes the best medicine is some quality time with good friends. We had a little adventure at the Renaissance Fair (talk about awesome people watching!) where I tried my hand at ax throwing. Turns out I wouldn’t do so well if I were plopped into the Game of Thrones.

But … fun times! I enjoyed the stress relief so much I think I’d like to set up a little area in my backyard for the throwing of sharp objects – my neighbors may object. 🙂 After our Renaissance Fair adventure we had an awesome night at Dave Matthews Band. The weekend included a lot of laughter, girl talk, morning walks, and great food. You can’t ask for much more.

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Our buds just got on the road back to Florida, so I thought I’d get out a blog post – one of my favorite vegetarian dishes.

We try to have meatless mains at least a few times per week so I am always on the lookout for new vegetarian recipes. This is something I really love to order from a local Chinese restaurant and decided to try making it at home once I found a good recipe. The tofu and vegetables give it some great texture, while the flavors are bright and spicy.  Enjoy!

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Mushroom Mapo Tofu
 
Recipe Type: Entree
Cuisine: Chinese
Author: Adapted, Fast Vegetarian by Jane Baxter & Henry Dimbleby
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp. ground Szechuan pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried chili flakes
  • 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced (or several mini peppers, sliced)
  • 2 cups mixed mushrooms, rinsed and dried
  • 2 tbsp. chili bean paste or sauce
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 (14 oz.) packages of extra firm tofu, cubed
  • S/P
  • Spring onions and cilantro to garnish, optional
  • Cooked rice to serve, optional
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large wok or skillet set over high heat. Add the Szechuan pepper, chili flakes, garlic, and ginger, stirring constantly. Turn the heat to medium and add the bell pepper, mushrooms, chili bean sauce, soy sauce, and vinegar. Stir constantly to mix all ingredients and then let simmer for a few minutes.
  2. Now add the tofu, mix well, and cook over a low heat for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and add S/P as needed or adjust seasoning by adding more soy sauce or chili sauce.
  3. Serve hot over rice, or alone, and top with spring onions and cilantro.
 
Notes
*Szechuan pepper is available at Asian food stores, or you can substitute regular black pepper. Szechuan pepper is very spicy and leaves a tingle on your tongue so it’s not an exact substitute, but will work if you can’t find it or if you want a mild option.[br]*For something different, you can make this recipe with eggplant instead of mushrooms (use 1 large eggplant).

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