Our vegetarian protein source of choice is tofu, both because of its ability to take on other flavors beautifully as well as its affordability, even when purchasing organic and non-GMO sources. I like to keep a container on hand for quick weeknight meals, even more so now that some of our neighbors are vegan — I love having them over for dinner and tofu is a good go-to starting point for preparing a meatless dish in a time crunch.
Since tofu is a relatively blank slate, I like to play with bold flavors when preparing it, as in this miso-glazed version. I pan-fry cubes of tofu so it has a pleasingly crispy exterior before coating it in a salty sauce with just enough maple syrup to keep the palate excited.
Alongside, I serve tender-crisp green beans, blanched then sautéed in a red pepper flake-infused oil that will make your nostril hairs tingle, spiked with soy sauce just before serving. Because both my neighbors and I have toddlers, I set aside some of the green beans to be served sans spice. My son can handle a little heat but not the punch these beans pack.
I round out the meal with rice, a neutral base to absorb and balance the salt and heat.
Blanching the beans reduces the amount of oil they absorb and helps retain their bright green hue, but if you don't have the time or would rather not dirty an extra pot, you can skip this step and tack on a few minutes to the sauté.
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