Pan-Seared Tofu with Ratatouille

This Meatless Monday, East meets West: Pan-Seared Tofu with Vegetable Ratatouille pairs traditional French stewed vegetables with tofu, a soy-based staple of many East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines. Southside Hospital chefs Mo Saleh and Chef Tony Meloni created this low-calorie entree with Samantha Zito, RD for North Shore-LIJ’s 2014 Ultimate Chef Challenge.

Ratatouille incorporates tomatoes (high in vitamins A and C; good source of potassium) as a dominant flavor with eggplant (good source of dietary fiber), bell peppers (high in vitamin C) and mushrooms (high in riboflavin; good source of niacin, copper and pantothenate). This version also includes cauliflower, squash, sweet potato and more. Tofu (sometimes called bean curd) is a good source of protein plus nutrients like calcium, folic acid and iron.

Preparation time: 30 minutes. Cooking time: 15 minutes.

Serves 4; serving size: 3 oz. tofu and 7 oz. vegetable ratatouille.

Per Serving: 280 Calories, 12 grams of fat, 49 mg of sodium.

Ingredients: Tofu and Vegetable Ratatouille

12 oz Tofu

12 oz Eggplant, chopped

4 oz Mushrooms, chopped

2 oz Cilantro, diced

1 ½ oz Ginger, diced

1 oz Basil, diced

4 cloves Garlic, diced

1 sprig Scallion, diced (for garnish)

3 each Tomatoes, chopped

1 each Sweet potato, chopped

1 each Red pepper, chopped

1 each Green pepper, chopped

½ cup Yellow squash, chopped

½ cup Green zucchini, chopped

½ cup Cauliflower, chopped

½ cup Red onion, diced

¼ cup White wine

2 Tbsp Honey

1 tsp Sugar

1 tsp Canola oil

1/2 tsp Olive oil

4 seconds Cooking spray

Ingredients: Spice Mix

1 tsp of each: coriander, onion powder, garlic powder, cinnamon, paprika, turmeric, black pepper. Combine in small dish and set aside.

Optional ingredients: Balsamic Reduction and/or Yogurt Sauce

6 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar

¼ cup Yogurt, plain and fat-free

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Directions: Pan-Seared Tofu

  1. Pat tofu with paper towel to remove the excess water.
  2. Cut tofu into half-inch slices.
  3. Heat large skillet over high heat. Add oil to the pan when hot. Carefully add tofu to pan in single layer.
  4. Sear each side of tofu for one to two minutes until golden brown and slightly crisp.
  5. Place tofu aside.

Directions: Ratatouille

  1. Set a large sauté pan over medium heat and add olive oil.
  2. Once pan is hot, add the onions and garlic to the pan.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are lightly caramelized.
  4. Add eggplant and spice mix to pan and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is partially cooked.
  5. Add remaining vegetables (cauliflower, peppers, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, tomato, parsley, basil) and honey.
  6. Sauté in pan for two to four minutes.
  7. Add wine, stir well to blend, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Directions: Optional Balsamic Reduction and Yogurt-Mustard Sauce

  1. Balsamic reduction: Place vinegar in a small saucepan and cook on a medium high heat until thickened (approximately 7 minutes). Set aside and use as desired for topping.
  2. Mix fat-free plain yogurt and mustard together in a small bowl. Wisk together until well blended. Set aside and use as desired for topping.

Serving instructions:

Place a slice of tofu in center of plate and approximately 1 cup of ratatouille in center. Garnish with scallions. Top with balsamic reduction and/or yogurt mustard sauce as desired.

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