General Tso’s Tofu and A Birthday!

I was going to post yesterday about the General Tso’s Tofu that we had Sunday night, but things changed. Yesterday was my birthday. The Hubs had a spa day at Bliss Yoga Spa planned for me all afternoon. I had a full-body massage, a manicure, and a pedicure.

I have driven passed the place a few times and was always curious about it. I thought the place was going to be kind of “boxy.” You know, when you want into a place and the space is divided up into squares? This place wasn’t. As soon as the receptionist takes you back and shows your around, you’re in a maze. The locker room didn’t really feel like a locker room. It was really nice. After changing into my robe, I was in the warm lounge (I guess you can call it that). There were cozy loungy chairs with shearling blankets, there were iPads for each guest to use, a curtain to kind of shield your space from the other person, there were drinks, and a fire place. I felt cozy waiting for my massage therapist.

Then there was the massage. Lord have mercy. The massage was FABULOUS! Except for when she was working on my shoulders. Then it felt like she was trying to push marbles out of my skin. I guess I had a lot of knots to work out. After that, I was taken back into the lounge to wait for my esthetician to do my mani/pedi. She came and got me and then we walked back into the locker room. I thought that was strange, but then she opened a door and we walked into a whole other room. It was like a secret bat cave! The room was shaped like a half circle and had this mood painting on the wall. There were these projector like lights to simulate dusk and dawn (I’m assuming). I was a bit fascinated with it for a while.

The whole time, the staff there made me feel super comfortable and I felt like they paid attention to me and what I wanted. If you ever get the chance and you live in the Edmonton area, I highly recommend going to this place. It’s worth every penny you spend!

So, back to our dinner on Sunday night. I cooked a vegan General Tso’s Tofu. It’s simple and easy on the stomach and that’s exactly what I wanted because I still wanted my stomach to recover from those pumpkin seeds.

I went ahead and had some rice cooking while I was working on the tofu. I started with a block of tofu and sliced it in half, then sliced those into halves. So ultimately, I ended up with eight slices.

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You’ll take each slice and gently press the water out. I find it’s easier to do it that way than to just squeeze the whole block. I took the slices and put it on a kitchen towel to press the water out. It’s easier to use a kitchen towel instead of paper towels.

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Once you finished pressing the water out of each sliced, you’ll cut the tofu into little squares and throw them into a bowl. Soon you’ll add the marinate ingredients.

In a small bowl, you’ll add cornstarch (that’s basically what arrowroot is) soy sauce, oil, and ginger. I cut a small piece of fresh ginger and peeled it with a spoon. The recipe says grated ginger, so you’ll have to get a grater. I put mine over the bowl and grated. Just be careful not to grate too much and get all the way down to your fingers.

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When you finish grating, make sure to turn the grater over and get all of the ginger out. You can run your finger along the grater but make sure you’re not going against it or you could mess your finger up. When you’re done, whisk your marinate. Don’t freak out if you can feel the cornstarch sticking to the bottom of the bowl. That’s ok just keep whisking and it’ll mix in. Then toss it into the bowl with your tofu and coat your tofu. The recipe says to let it marinate for at least 30 minutes. I didn’t have 30 minutes. If you want to try this dish maybe give yourself some extra time to let your tofu marinate. I always tell myself that the next time I make this dish I’m going to let my tofu marinate for half an hour, but I ALWAYS forget. Sigh.

While I let my tofu sit, I worked on mixing the sauce together. I didn’t have any broccoli and since broccoli is a member of the cruciferous family, they make you fart. And I wanted this dish to be easy on my stomach so I left them out. If you’re using broccoli, this is when you’ll cook them and then work on your sauce. On a side note, here’s interesting excerpt from my Flavour Thesaurus.

All varieties have a great predilection for salty ingredients–hence their frequent pairing with anchovies and Parmesan in Italian cooking, blue cheese in Britain, or soy sauce and black beans in China.

The sauce will be like the marinate. Don’t freak out if you can feel the cornstarch sticking to the bottom of the bowl. When you’re done with it, you’ll toss your tofu into a pan and cook them until they’re done. The best way I can describe it is when you shake the pan you’ll see the tofu jiggle like scrambled eggs when they’re done. That’s when they’re done, BUT make sure you taste to double-check.

Take the tofu out of the pan (I just put them back into the bowl I had them in). Then put in your sauce. It’ll immediately start to bubble up and thicken. Stir the sauce and let it thicken to the consistency you want. Then toss if your tofu and coat everything.

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This is what the final dish will look like without green onions or broccoli. Like I said, it’s VERY simple.

IMG_4212Tonight I’m going to make a Korean dish. I have some leftover rice from this recipe so I’m going to use it up tonight. I want to end by showing you a vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free chocolate cake the Hubs made for my birthday. I didn’t care about the dinner as much, but I really really wanted a cake. I didn’t tell him because I knew it would be hard to make a gluten and dairy-free cake, but he came through. Lord did he come through. The cake was GLORIOUS!! As soon as I finish posting, I’m fixing (Southern saying) to get me a slice.

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