Crispy Baked Peanut Tofu With Cauliflower Rice



As you all learned the other day, I'm on a low-carb diet to shed some fat. My partner too wants to slim down, so his support with his diet means so much to me. However, I feel that talking about my journey will help me stay on the road to achieving my dream weight by December. My short-term goal is to shed 8 kilograms so I can reach 60kg.

Picture thirty-odd blocks of butter - that's how much fat I want to shed. It's a lot, and the best way to shed that is by going on a low-carb diet, eating only 20g to 50g carbs per day. The recommended amount of carbs the average woman should eat per day is 225g to 357g, so you can see how much of a difference there in between the low-carb diet and the regular diet. 

This diet requires me to eat lots of protein and healthy fats, while keeping the carb intake very low as this results in automatic weight loss that doesn't require as much exercise. How does it happen? Well, insulin works to convert carbs and sugar into energy, and when there's too much energy, the remaining energy gets stored as fat in the body. So, what happens when there's not enough sugar or carbohydrates to convert into energy? That's right, the body burns the stored fat for energy. 


So, while my partner and I are on our journey, I've got to find delicious recipes that even our housemate can enjoy, and this was one of them. The blokes liked it so much they've demanded that I make it again. I reckon the sauce could be a bit thinner, but aside from that, I really liked it. 


I've had to make a couple of alterations to the recipe, due to time constraints, the number of serves, and the ingredients I had on hand. I ran out of my peanut butter, so I used some of my partner's natural peanut butter (I hope he doesn't read this.)





Ingredients

Stirfry:
450g firm tofu
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 red capsicum
1 medium head of broccoli
1 large head of cauliflower
2 cloves garlic, minced

Sauce:

2 3/4 tbsp sesame oil (I substituted half the quantity with Vegetable oil)
90 mL soy sauce
6 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp tabasco sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tbsp natural peanut butter 

Method:

1. Begin by draining the tofu, wrapping it several times in paper towels. Weigh it down with a flat surface and some heavy cans. Let this drain for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven at 200 degrees.
2. Meanwhile, prepare your vegetables - slice the capsicums 1/2" lengthwise, and then cut in half crosswise. Cut the broccoli into florets, and cut into halves/quarters depending on the size. Set both aside. Cut the cauliflower into florets, and throw into a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds to shred it all up so that it resembles rice.
3. Remove the tofu from the paper towels and cube them roughly 1.5cm in size. Line a baking tray with baking paper, and scatter the tofu cubes into the tray. Place onto the middle shelf in the oven and leave to bake for 30 minutes, turning halfway through cooking so that there's overall crispiness.
4. Put all of the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and whisk to combine. If necessary, microwave for 30 seconds to soften the peanut butter. Set aside.
5. Transfer the cauliflower from the food processor bowl to a microwave safe bowl, season with a couple spoonfuls of the sauce, and add the garlic and 1 tbsp of water. Stir to combine,  and set aside.
6. Remove the tofu from the oven, add to a decent sized bowl and then combine with 3/4 of the remaining sauce to marinate for 15 minutes.
7. While the tofu is marinating, heat up a large frying pan on medium-high before adding the sesame oil. Throw in the broccoli and capsicum and toss for several minutes until lightly charred on some edges. You want to retain some crispiness with the vegetables so don't cook for any longer. Scoop them into a bowl, cover and keep warm.
8. Replace the pan on the stove and add the tofu, along with the marinade. Turn the heat down to medium. Stir occasionally
9. Cover the cauliflower with a lid, or some cling film. Put in the microwave and cook on high for 3 minutes. When done, let sit for another 3 minutes. In the meantime, keep stirring the tofu until the sauce reduces and coats the tofu thickly. Remove from heat.
10. Divide the cauliflower rice among three bowls, top with the vegetables, and then add the tofu on top. Pour the remaining sauce over the tofu and serve.



Nutrition per serve:
Protein: 26.49g
Carbs: 54.89g
Fibre: 9.58g

So, when I did the maths for this one, it turned out I went over my daily limit on the carbs thanks to the use of the brown sugar, which was a whopping 39.2g of carbohydrates. If I had used maple syrup on the other hand, it would have only been 26.8g instead. When calculating your carbohydrate intake, remember to remove the fibre content, as it shouldn't be considered carbs. We are meant to consume around 30g of fibre per day. This meal provided half of my recommended daily protein intake of 51g.

I'll make this again, but I wouldn't make it very often, considering how much carbohydrates it contained, and even if I used maple syrup instead, it's still a high quantity.

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