Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tofu & Vegetables in Peanut Sauce

I have been looking forward to making this recipe all week, not only because I love peanut butter and tofu, but because I have never cooked with molasses before and wanted to give it a try.  Black strap molasses is great for you, providing lots of iron and calcium, and it also adds a really nice flavor to food.  I have made various peanut sauces that we have really liked before, but the addition of molasses to this one made it one of my favorites.

If you like spicier food, you can add a little cayenne pepper, to your taste, when you make the sauce. Just add it to the peanut butter mixture to simmer with the rest of the ingredients. Or you can always leave it out and let people add some to their own plates. We did not use any cayenne pepper, but fans of spicy food may like that addition.

As I usually do, I cooked the brown rice in the morning since it takes an hour to simmer, and just reheated it at dinner time. I also chopped up the vegetables  and got the excess water out of the tofu ahead of time so all I had to do was toss them in the pan later on. Since I did these few things ahead of time, it only took me 20 minutes to make dinner in the evening - not too bad at all, especially for a dinner that we liked so much!

Tofu & Vegetables in Peanut Sauce

Serves 4


2 Tbsp peanut oil
1 small head organic broccoli, chopped
1 organic red pepper, chopped
1 small package fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 pound organic extra firm tofu
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup hot water
4 Tbsp white vinegar
4 Tbsp organic tamari
3 Tbsp black strap molasses
Ground cayenne pepper, to taste (if desired)


1. Place tofu between a couple of layers of paper towels in a plate. Place a heavy object, such as a sauce pan or the top of a grill pan, on top and let sit for about 15 minutes to squeeze out the excess water. Cut tofu into 1-inch cubes and set aside.

2. Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add broccoli, red pepper and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Add tofu and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

3. In a mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, hot water, vinegar, tamari, and molasses. Pour over vegetable and tofu. Simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Serve over brown rice.

(Recipe adapted from

What are the nutritional benefits of this meal? Peanut oil has a high smoke point, which makes it a healthy option for cooking at higher temperature on the stove top. A high smoke point means that the oil will not begin to oxidize, creating undesirable chemical byproducts in your food, until it reaches a much higher temperature, as compared to other oils. Peanut oil contains the same amount of fat and saturated fat as olive oil, and is a good source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Peanut oil is also a great source of vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant. Broccoli is packed with vitamins C and K, and is also a good source of folate and calcium. Bell peppers are one of the best food sources of vitamins A and C. Zucchini is a good source of fiber and vitamins A, C and folate. Mushrooms  are an excellent source of minerals selenium and potassium as well vitamins riboflavin, and niacin, and are the only item you will find in the produce section that supplies some vitamin D! Being a plant-food, tofu is a cholesterol free food, and is a great source of calcium and contains some iron. It is also a great source of protein. Peanut butter is an excellent source of protein and potassium. Black strap molasses is a very good source of several minerals, including iron, calcium, copper, manganese, potassium, and magnesium.

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