This Meatless Monday, East meets West: Pan-Seared Tofu with Vegetable Ratatouille pairs traditional French stewed vegetables with tofu, a soy-based staple of many East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines. Southside Hospital chefs Mo Saleh and Chef Tony Meloni created this low-calorie entree with Samantha Zito, RD for North Shore-LIJ’s 2014 Ultimate Chef Challenge.
Ratatouille incorporates tomatoes (high in vitamins A and C; good source of potassium) as a dominant flavor with eggplant (good source of dietary fiber), bell peppers (high in vitamin C) and mushrooms (high in riboflavin; good source of niacin, copper and pantothenate). This version also includes cauliflower, squash, sweet potato and more. Tofu (sometimes called bean curd) is a good source of protein plus nutrients like calcium, folic acid and iron.
Preparation time: 30 minutes. Cooking time: 15 minutes.
Serves 4; serving size: 3 oz. tofu and 7 oz. vegetable ratatouille.
Per Serving: 280 Calories, 12 grams of fat, 49 mg of sodium.
Ingredients: Tofu and Vegetable Ratatouille
12 oz Tofu
12 oz Eggplant, chopped
4 oz Mushrooms, chopped
2 oz Cilantro, diced
1 ½ oz Ginger, diced
1 oz Basil, diced
4 cloves Garlic, diced
1 sprig Scallion, diced (for garnish)
3 each Tomatoes, chopped
1 each Sweet potato, chopped
1 each Red pepper, chopped
1 each Green pepper, chopped
½ cup Yellow squash, chopped
½ cup Green zucchini, chopped
½ cup Cauliflower, chopped
½ cup Red onion, diced
¼ cup White wine
2 Tbsp Honey
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Canola oil
1/2 tsp Olive oil
4 seconds Cooking spray
Ingredients: Spice Mix
1 tsp of each: coriander, onion powder, garlic powder, cinnamon, paprika, turmeric, black pepper. Combine in small dish and set aside.
Optional ingredients: Balsamic Reduction and/or Yogurt Sauce
6 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
¼ cup Yogurt, plain and fat-free
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Directions: Pan-Seared Tofu
- Pat tofu with paper towel to remove the excess water.
- Cut tofu into half-inch slices.
- Heat large skillet over high heat. Add oil to the pan when hot. Carefully add tofu to pan in single layer.
- Sear each side of tofu for one to two minutes until golden brown and slightly crisp.
- Place tofu aside.
- Set a large sauté pan over medium heat and add olive oil.
- Once pan is hot, add the onions and garlic to the pan.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are lightly caramelized.
- Add eggplant and spice mix to pan and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is partially cooked.
- Add remaining vegetables (cauliflower, peppers, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, tomato, parsley, basil) and honey.
- Sauté in pan for two to four minutes.
- Add wine, stir well to blend, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Directions: Optional Balsamic Reduction and Yogurt-Mustard Sauce
- Balsamic reduction: Place vinegar in a small saucepan and cook on a medium high heat until thickened (approximately 7 minutes). Set aside and use as desired for topping.
- Mix fat-free plain yogurt and mustard together in a small bowl. Wisk together until well blended. Set aside and use as desired for topping.
Place a slice of tofu in center of plate and approximately 1 cup of ratatouille in center. Garnish with scallions. Top with balsamic reduction and/or yogurt mustard sauce as desired.