Pepper Jelly…my new secret weapon
I was heading home after a long work week and decided to stop in Trader Joe’s to grab curry paste. I was inspired by a tofu and green bean stir fry recipe via Serious Eats (I highly recommend the author’s new cook book, The Food Lab). The very friendly salesman said that they did not carry curry paste, however in mid conversation, I came across pepper jelly in the aisle where curry paste would have been. This cute jar of sweet and spicy goodness has become a new discovery for me. It claims to be delicious for an alternative PB&J, and I am sure an excellent addition for cheese and crackers. So, why not in a stir fry sauce?
I revolved my whole curry dish concoction over this jelly; I just had to use this somehow! I recently made a curry sauce using a blender to make it a thicker, creamier texture, and decided this time to incorporate light coconut milk to make it even heartier. A regular 14oz can of coconut milk can carry over 800 calories, but making a simple switch to the light version carries in only a fraction of the calories (about 300). Coconut everything (milk, oil, water, and shredded versions) is becoming very trendy. Just keep in mind that certain saturated fats in coconut products can have pros and cons. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends saturated fats to be no more than 10% of our daily calories, in other words, based on a 2,000 calorie diet limit these fats to 200 calories per day.
I topped the tofu and vegetables over brown rice. In addition to the tofu, the sauce could be a great marinade to meats, fish, and vegetables. Just make sure to have a spoon, or clean finger, to clear the sauce off your plate!
Creamy Curry Tofu over Haricots Verts (with Shiitake Mushrooms and Brown Rice)
Prep time: 10 min Cooking time: 25 minutes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons ginger, peeled, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon each cumin and curry powder
- 1/2 tablespoon coriander
- 2 tablespoons pepper jelly
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 can (14oz) light coconut milk
- 2 tablespoon plain, nonfat greek yogurt (or silken tofu)
- 1 package (15oz) extra firm tofu, 1 inch cubes
- 2 cups haricots verts, trimmed
- 4oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 2 scallions, sliced white and green parts
Heat 1T olive oil in a medium size saute pan (recommend a deeper pan if going to use a handheld emersion blender) and sautee the onions until translucent, about 3 minutes. Then add the ginger, garlic and spices. Continue cooking until the spices become aromatic and the garlic and ginger is lightly browned. Spices should be completely coating the onions, ginger, and garlic.
Stir in the tomato paste and pepper jelly and cook for only a minute. Then add in the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes.
Carefully pour in the sauce mixture (as it will be hot) to a blender. Add the greek yogurt and cover. Blend on low until the onions are pureed and the sauce thickens.
Heat the remaining oil over medium high heat and add the tofu, sautee until lightly golden. The tofu can also be cooked in the sauce for a softer texture tofu by simmering in the sauce.
Set the tofu aside and add in the remaining vegetables one at a time. Green beans should sautee for 3-5 minutes until tender, shiitake mushrooms and scallions will only take a few minutes to sautee. If extra oil is needed an olive oil spray can also be used.
Place the tofu and vegetables over rice (if desired) and spoon over the sauce.