Saturday, April 23, 2011

Vodka Tomato Sauce with Tofu and Israeli Cous Cous

I must admit. I am currently enjoying a love affair with red sauce. Vodka tomato sauce to be precise. It's so spicy and delicious and different. And I love 'testing' what it will go with best.

I also have heart strings to israeli cous cous. It's just plain carbohydrated goodness. Like little tiny pasta balls all plump and chewy and belly warming.

Combine the two and add a little tofu and roasted vegetables and there you have it: an ideal meal.

What's even better... you can make the sauce ahead of time, freeze it and use it for all sorts of things... as you will see in posts to come. I don't mess around.

For the sauce:
Vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, diced fine
1 shallot, diced fine
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz can or 2 14 ish oz cans)
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons vodka... my favorite is the organic 360 brand... It also makes lurvely martinis. Just sayin.
1/2 cup So Delicious creamer

For the tofu:
1 block extra firm tofu
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3-4 Tablespoons nutritional yeast

About 1 1/2 cups Israeli cous cous

1/2 head brocolli, cut into pieces
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into pieces
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

In a pot, heat vegetable oil on med/high heat. Add garlic and shallot; cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring. Add red pepper flakes and stir to incorporate.

Reduce heat to med/low and add tomatoes. Note: don't just dump the can(s) into the pot, crush them by hand first.

Add salt and vodka, stir and reduce heat to low. Let cook for 10-15 minutes, checking/stirring occassionally.

Meanwhile, prepare your tofu. Drain all liquid and wrap tofu in a paper towel. From there wrap it in a kitchen towel and place something heavy on it. Let sit for about 10-12 minutes.

Prepare cous cous according to package instructions. When it is barely al dente, combine cous cous with tomato sauce, stir and taste. Add salt and pepper as needed then let cook on LOW.

Preheat oven to 400 and cut/prepare your veg while you are waiting. Arrange veg on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, combine oregano, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast. Remove tofu from kitchen and paper towel and cut into bite size cubes. Put into a medium bowl and sprinkle nutritional yeast mix on top. Toss to ensure even covering then commence cooking.

Cook tofu and roast veg simultaneously so your timing is correct.

For the tofu, heat a little vegetable oil on a skillet. Arrange tofu on skillet and let cook until that side is brown and crispy. Repeat for all sides of tofu. It's a little tedious but the results are great: crispy on the outside, tender on the inside.

Note: you can also just put tofu on the pan with the veg and roast in the oven but the outside won't be as tender and the cooking won't be as even. The flavor will be there though, for sure!

While tofu is cooking, roast vegetables in oven, about 5-6 minutes then rotate pan, give it a shake, rotate and roast another 5-6 minutes. The goal is to have the veg roasty and crispy. When done, turn off oven and remove.

On a plate, start with the israeli cous cous tomato sauce mixture. On top of that, arrange some of your delicious, crispy tofu. To the side, add your beautiful roasted vegetables.

Top it all off with some fresh chopped parsley for color and  a little fresh burst.

This meal is really flavorful, vegan comfort food. Perfect for a rainy day or evening meal. Best enjoyed with a lovely bottle of red and great company.


Israeli Couscous


  1. Mmmm...that sauce looks so very good.

  2. Broccoli, cauli, tofu, couscous...this is a winner! :)

  3. Love this meal - looks and sounds delicious!

  4. That looks incredible! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. Dinner at our house is going to be very delicious tonight!

  5. briarrose... Thank you! And easy too :)

    Spoon and Chopsticks... Thank you for stopping by!

    Amber... Thanks! It tasted like a winner :)

    Teri... Thank you! Simple too :)

    Gail... You're welcome! Thank you for reading... let me know how it turns out!



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