Tofu Thingies with coconut lime lentils and vegetables

Tonight I had another packet of stir fry vegetables from the supermarket to use, along with coconut milk and lime left over from yesterday’s recipe. Lentils work well with coconut milk of course, but I wanted to alter the flavours so that I had something sufficiently different from yesterday’s dish. Thyme goes beautifully with lime, and cooking the lentils in the sauce, reducing it down to intensify the flavours worked even better than I could’ve hoped! They’re tangy, salty and herbal, and very moreish.

The tofu I used had been frozen, which when defrosted in the microwave, makes it incredibly easy to squeeze out the excess liquid. The freezing process toughens the tofu slightly, but if you’re too enthusiastic with the squeezing, as I was, it will crumble a bit. No matter for this recipe, as the tofu bakes, the little crumbly bits go gorgeously crunchy! If your tofu is fresh, press it under a couple of tins for half an hour or so, tipping the liquid out every few minutes.

They’re called Tofu Thingies, because erm… I couldn’t think of a better name!

Tofu Thingies with coconut lime lentils and vegetables

Tofu Thingies with coconut lime lentils and vegetables

Makes 2 servings

for the Tofu Thingies

200 g tofu, liquid removed as above, and cut into cubes.

1 heaped tbsp nutritional yeast

1/4 tsp roasted fennel powder

1/4 tsp celery salt

1/2 tbsp oil

for the coconut lime lentils

1 400g g tin lentils, drained (285 g drained weight)

1/4 tsp dried thyme

juice of 1/2 a small lime

100 ml coconut milk

pinch of salt

for the vegetables

400 g stir fry vegetables. The pack I used had carrots, green cabbage, beansprouts, red cabbage, red peppers and sweetcorn.

1 tsp oil

Preheat the oven to fan 180 c

Put the oil, nutritional yeast, celery salt and fennel powder on a baking tray. Mix it together with your fingers and then squodge the tofu around in the mixture, coating it well. Doing it this way makes sure that the oil doesn’t all soak into one bit of the tofu, and the flavouring are distributed evenly. Bake the tofu for 20 minutes, turning after 10. The Thingies should be crunchy, and smell lovely and nutty from the nutritional yeast.

Heat 1 tsp oil in a wok over a high heat and stir fry the vegetables for 4 – 5 minutes. Tip in to a bowl and set aside.

Turn the heat below the wok down a little, and add all of the ingredients for the lentils. Simmer the lentils briskly for 10 – 15 minutes, until most of the liquid has reduced. Mine took 15 minutes, but that’s because I didn’t drain my lentils well enough, so some of the liquid from the tin ended up in the wok as well as the coconut milk…

Serve the lentils and vegetables topped with the Tofu Thingies.

By E.

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