If you have never made a "zoodles" meal, this is a great recipe to try. These Peanut Zoodles with Crispy Maple Tofu are rich in veggies and protein and loads of peanut-maple flavor...
Some inspo. Before the yummy recipe goodness, I wanted to share this video clip with you of the commencement speech Lin-Manuel Miranda gave at Univ of Penn's graduation ceremony on Monday. I am a huge fan of Lin's writing and work on Broadway (In the Heights and Hamilton) and I loved hearing him speak. I also love his twitter account ramblings if you are into cool/nerdy 90's references, goodnight GIFs and theater humor.
Check it out!.. I love this part towards the end...
"There will be blind alleys and one-night wonders and soul-crushing jobs and wake-up calls and crises of confidence and moments of transcendence when you are walking down the street and someone will thank you for telling your story because it resonated with their own."
Zoodles. Fun to say. Fun to eat.
I love noodles. I love diving into a giant pile of sauce-covered noodles or pasta. (See my fun fact below though..) But sometimes I like to put a seriously healthy spin on my noodles and use veggies, spiralized veggies. And FYI I do not actually own a spiralizer (the tool that turns veggies into noodles) but I am happy that my local Whole Foods always has spiralized veggie noodles in the 'short cut chef' part of the produce section. So I have tried sweet potato, beet and of course the fan fave, zucchini.
If you are in the market for a spiralizer, you can snag of for under $30 on Amazon.
Fun Fact! "According to the standards published by the National Pasta Association, noodles must contain at least 5.5% egg solids by weight. Noodles can be added to soups and casseroles while pasta can be made a complete meal with addition of a few vegetables. Pasta is much lighter and, under Italian law, can only be made with durum wheat." - diffen
..so I guess I never actually consume "noodles" as a vegan. And I rarely eat "pasta" since I usually choose gluten free (wheat free) varieties. Interesting! But these. These are definitely zoodles.
Spiralized Zucchini. My noodles were processed a bit on the thin side, I usually like them cut a bit thicker, like spaghetti, but still these were so yummy and devourable.
Peanut sauce is a perfect pairing with zucchini noodles. Modify the texture and sweetness to suit your preferences. My peanut sauce ingredients are super simple.
Hot Meets Chilled. Alongside the noodles, I chose to add a sizzling skillet entree, my easy maple tofu. I love the combo of chilled cold peanut noodles alongside skillet hot tofu.
Crispy tofu cubes, with an accent of maple and salt..
Peanut Zoodles with Crispy Maple Tofu
This easy dish is rich in peanutty flavor, veggies and protein from the crispy-amazing maple tofu.
- 6 cups zoodles (raw zucchini noodles - or another veggie noodle - or use rice, buckwheat or wheat noodles too!)
- Simple Peanut Sauce: (double amounts if you like a lot of sauce, and some extra for tofu-dipping)
- 1/4 cup peanut butter, softened
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 11/8 tsp cayenne (optional)
- Crispy Maple Tofu:
- 1-3 tsp coconut oil, virgin (for pan)**
- 2 cups firm tofu, cubed
- 1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp salt or a splash of tamari
- optional: pepper and/or smoky paprika
- **the more oil you use, the crispier your tofu will turn out, edges will be more 'pan-fried'
- Whisk or blend the peanut sauce ingredients. You can slightly modify the amounts to tweak your sauce. For example, add a bit more water for a thinner sauce, add more peanut butter for a thicker sauce, add more maple for a sweeter sauce, etc. Then, in a large mixing bowl, toss the zoodles with the peanut sauce. Zoodle Prep Note: You can serve the noodles raw or you can lightly steam them. I like them served raw.
- For the tofu: Warm a skillet over high heat. Add the coconut oil and allow to melt and coat pan. "Dry" the tofu well by squeezing the cubes with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Add the tofu to the pan. Cook 2-3 minutes then start flipping the tofu so all sides get bronzed a bit - the color will actually be slightly yellow at this point. Add the maple syrup and shake pan to distribute. Keep flipping the tofu, which will be quite caramelized and browned now. Add salt and spices. When edges start to crisp, turn off heat and set pan aside.
- Serve the peanutty noodles with the skillet tofu.
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 10 mins.
Cook time: 00 hrs. 15 mins.
Total time: 25 mins.
My tofu making sesh on YouTube..