I’ve had a box of Israeli couscous in my pantry for-ever. When I was planning out last week’s meal plan, I decided the time had come to make good use of it. A quick internet search for recipes brought up this one from the fabulous and talented Lauren Ulm, author of popular vegan blog, Vegan Yum Yum and a cookbook of the same name.
In Lauren’s original recipe, kale played something of an integral role. I have a confession to make: I’m not a huge fan of kale. Yes, I know it’s incredibly nutritious. Yes, I know this means my vegan license will probably be revoked. Regardless, I just can’t get on board.
Anyway, this meal ended up being delightful. Surprisingly enough, this is the first time I’ve ever actually baked tofu myself and it has cemented my belief that baking is ‘da best when it comes to tofu. Time in the oven does wonders for its texture, firmness and absorption of flavor.
Speaking of flavor, the profile of this meal was a refreshing departure for us. My go-to flavor enhancers tend to skew overwhelmingly spicy or savory. Best of all, this meal is shockingly quick and simple to prepare. This is made all the more astounding by how “fancy” the end product seems. As I was eating I kept thinking “this should have taken longer.”
Anyway, if you’re in the mood for something light, yummy and a little bit different, give this one a whirl!
Marmalade Tofu with Lemon Pearl Couscous
Recipe courtesy of Vegan Yum Yum
14 oz. block of Super Firm Tofu (mine was 18 oz., I think), pressed well
1/4 cup, sliced almonds
1 cup pearl couscous
2 tsp oil
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
zest from 1 lemon
1/2 tsp salt
2 to 2 1/2 cups water
*Next time, I think I’ll increase the amount of marinade by half. Most of the excess ended up burning on the bottom of the pan, so I didn’t have much to spoon over the tofu when I served it. If there had been just a tad more in there, I don’t think it would have burned.
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Slice pressed tofu into eight rectangular slices or six triangular pieces (my block of tofu wouldn’t have sliced into eight rectangles)
- Whisk together all the marinade ingredients in a baking dish that will fit the tofu snugly
- Add tofu to dish and coat each piece
- Bake for 30 min., flipping halfway
- When tofu is halfway done, heat oil in a large skillet and add dry couscous
- Stir for a few minutes until each pearl is coated and lightly toasted
- Add lemon juice, zest, salt and 2 cups of water and let simmer, stirring frequently until the couscous absorbs the liquid
- When all liquid is absorbed, try a pearl to see if it is cooked through, add more water as necessary
- Plate tofu on a bed of couscous, and spoon a bit of leftover marinade over the top
- Sprinkle with almonds and serve
Yield: Serves 2 (with leftover tofu)