Firstly, thanks for all your supportive comments on my dietary changes. I’m working with a wonderful naturopath and am optimistic that her suggestions are going to help me and that I’ll be able to loosen up the restrictions before too long.
More so than ever, I’m looking for my meals to be full of goodness, and I’m sure many of you are of the “New Year, New Start” mentality and also seeking out especially nutrient dense foods. It’s turned cold and wintry again here though so warm, nourishing meals are more appealing to me than salads right now.
If you’ve been reading Coconut and Berries a while you’ll know that I’m a fan of exploring international cuisines from all over the world and also keen on languages. French and Spanish are my main languages though I do speak some Italian too. “Agrodolce” is the Italian Sweet and Sour (“Agro”- Sour, “Dolce”- Sweet) but is a much subtler dish than the Chinese version, the gloopy dish which I’ve experienced in rather inauthentic Chinese restaurants anyway. Its sweetness comes from the tomatoes and red onions, enhanced only a little by a touch of sugar, and is complemented wonderfully by the briny olives and slight tang from the vinegar.
Unsurprisingly I suppose it’s traditionally a chicken or lamb dish, but I opted for tofu for a meat-free version. You could try tempeh or chickpeas for a variation too. It’s an easy weeknight dinner which comes together in less than 30 minutes, rounded out with a simple side salad and quinoa or couscous.
1 350g/12oz Block of Firm Tofu, Drained, Pressed and cut into triangles or cubes *
1T Olive Oil (Divided)
250g/8oz Cherry Tomatoes, halved
2 Medium Red Onions, cut into wedges
2 Cloves of Garlic, thinly sliced
1C Vegetable Broth
1T Dried Oregano
1 1/2t Agave Nectar OR Coconut Sugar (OR other sweetener of your choice)
2t Red Wine Vinegar
2/3C Pitted Green Olives, Drained & Sliced
Handful of Chopped Parsley
Dry-fry the Tofu over medium heat, flipping until both sides are golden brown and crisp. Set aside and toss with 1/2T olive oil and 1T tamari in a large oven-proof dish. Leave to sit until needed.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
Add the remaining 1/2T oil to the pan over medium-high heat. Add the red onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Stir in the oregano, sweetener, vinegar and stock and bring to the boil. Pour over the tofu, along with the halved cherry tomatoes.
Bake for 15-20 minute, basting halfway through cooking time, until the liquid is slightly reduced. Scatter with the olives and parsley. Serve with quinoa or couscous.
* Try chickpeas or tempeh instead of the tofu for a variation.
Hope 2014 has got off to a good start for everyone!