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Besides the weeks that we clean out the leftovers sitting in the fridge, I try to make out a weekly grocery list. Not only does this simple action save money but it also saves time and keeps us committed to a healthy eating schedule. The other night, we lost our electricity thanks to the powerful Canadian winds blowing through our town. Even though it was cold, we managed to cook our own dinner on top of our gas stove. It was interesting to say the least. Unlike Electric stoves, oven ranges can be started with a simple spark from a match. Our only light in the household was a camping quad-flash light that we had stored away for camping. It all worked together and we were able to make a hot homemade meal even without electricity.

According to our schedule, we make the Tomatoes Stew with ToFu Recipe that I found on the Taste Hong Kong website.  Thank goodness it was a simple recipe that could be done with the challenge of no electricity. Initially I picked this recipe for the tempting photo and the simple ingredients. It was easier to cook, even in the dark, than I first thought. You can make it just about any night and you will not be spending much time in the kitchen. The only con that we found with the recipe was that it was too simple. Sounds contradictory doesn’t it? But it was… It was simple ingredients but not enough taste. We generally love tons of flavor, so that’s why we didn’t really care for the recipe. But, I believe this recipe would be really great as a side dish to a spicy main dish. If you have ever had Mabo Tofu, you will recognize this recipe. Add some red pepper flakes or hot sauce and you have mabo tofu with celery.

You can see the original recipe here, along with a lot of other fantastic recipes. But I am adding it below so you can see it too with the minor changes I made to make this vegan.

320g tomatoes
1 bunch Chinese celery, discard leaves and dice the stalks (Yeah, use whatever you have on hand)
1 pkg silken tofu
5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup water

Seasonings for tofu
2 cups water
2 tsp salt
Corn starch mixture
1 tsp corn starch
2 tsp water

Cut tofu into about 1cm cubes.
Make a cross cut on the skin of the bottom side of each tomato. In a saucepan, bring water (sufficient for covering the tomatoes) to a boil, blanch tomatoes for a minute or so. Heat off, spoon out tomatoes; let cool a while and you shall find it easy to peel off their skins along the cross, which actually cracks. Cut them into chunks and seed them if any.

Heat one teaspoon of water in a pan over medium heat. Sauté garlic until fragrant, then toss in tomatoes and stir fry, 1-2 minutes. Pour in half cup of water, turn heat to medium-low and let simmer for 10 minutes or when the mixture is reduced to about two-third of its original amount and most tomato chunks are broken down. Mash any bigger pieces of tomato flesh with a spoon, if there is any.

Stir in Chinese celery, and seasonings. Lastly, gently put in tofu. When the sauce boils again, stir well the corn starch mixture, add it in bit by bit to thicken the sauce according to your liking. Move the tofu cubes to one side if you don’t want to mash them while thickening the sauce. Dish up, garnish with Chinese celery. I serve this hot with rice. Enjoy yours.