Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sunbutter-Tahini Noodles with Sesame-Crusted Tofu Recipe

Each year I try to pack lunches to show our appreciation for our teachers. I like to use EasyLunchboxes so the teachers have something to keep, and since we've gone to the same preschool over multiple years, some teachers now have several! I made this yummy dish for dinner one night, and it was not only delicious, but tasted great cold the next day too. Perfect for a packed Teacher Appreciation Day lunch! They could eat it cold or heat it up after eating the cold items in the lunchbox. Either way, a tasty filling meal!

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One of Z's schools had only 5 teachers total, so I made enough for everyone. Easy enough, and she'd had all but one of the teachers over her tenure at that school! May as well go out with a bang!

Since it was a nut-free school, I made sure to use Sunbutter instead of peanut butter. Which worked out well, since I prefer the taste of Sunbutter in Asian dishes instead of peanut butter anyway! I also used gluten-free noodles and soy sauce (tamari,) since one of the teachers was gluten-free like us. So all the leftovers were safe for me to eat. Bonus!

Sesame-Crusted Tofu over Sunbutter-Tahini Noodles
Prep and Cook Time: 30-40 minutes, Serves 3-4
1 package/14 ounces tofu 
3 scallions
1 lime 
1½ Tbsp Sunbutter or peanut butter
Tbsp tahini paste 
Tbsp soy sauce (or GF alternative,) divided 
Tbsp sesame oil, divided 
Tbsp rice wine vinegar, divided 
2 tsp agave or honey
8 ounces linguine (GF if needed)
Tbsp black sesame seeds, divided 
1 sheet nori (dried seaweed, optional)

Prep: Remove tofu from packaging, discard liquid, and press and drain. If you don't have a tofu press (I use EZ Tofu Press,) place on a plate sandwiched between 2 clean kitchen or paper towels. Place a heavy object on top (cast iron skillet, stack of plates, small child, etc,) and set aside to drain.
Preheat oven to 450°F 
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat 
Rinse scallions, trim and discard roots, and thinly slice. Set aside.

1. While tofu drains, halve lime. In a large bowl, whisk together juice of 1 lime, Sunbutter or peanut butter, tahini paste, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, ½ tablespoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar, and 1 tablespoon warm water. Taste and add salt as needed. Set aside. 

2. In a large baking dish or zip-close baggie, combine remaining soy sauce, remaining sesame oil, remaining rice wine vinegar, and agave. Cut tofu into 1-inch cubes. Add to marinade, turning to coat. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for about 10 minutes.

3. While tofu marinates, cook linguine per package directions, until al dente. Drain and add to peanut tahini sauce in bowl. Toss to coat. Add scallions and stir to combine. Taste and add salt as needed. Set aside.

4. Remove tofu from marinade, allowing excess to drip off. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, arrange in a single layer. Sprinkle half of black sesame seeds over the tops. Bake until browned, about 10 minutes. Flip, sprinkle with remaining black sesame seeds, and bake until browned and crust has formed, about 10 minutes more.

5. Divide linguine evenly between bowls. Top with tofu and crumble nori over the top to garnish. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in fridge for up to 4 days.

I can't remember what-all went into the salad, but it has organic lettuce, radish, and carrots (cut with a small flower veggie cutter,) and some kind of vinaigrette dressing mixed in. And since I had just gotten a fresh bag of organic cherries straight from the farm, I included some for dessert!

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