Happy February, friends! Temperatures have been mild (sometimes disconcertingly so), the sun is shining, and Punxsutawney Phil has just declared an early spring this year. We’re moving forward: a fact made apparent by that tiny increase of light each evening.
Of course winter is far from over. There are still many, many more days of freezing winds and icy sidewalks and complete dreariness to go. More internal reflection. More nights where going out is just too much and all I want to do is stay in and watch Homeland because I won’t—I can’t!—bear the cold. (We’ve also been re-watching all of Absolutely Fabulous. ‘Sup Hulu Plus.)
This stir-fry combines kale, pan-fried tofu, garlic, and ginger, along with toasted coconut for a bit of crunch and buttery richness. It’s savory and a little sweet, warming, and very nourishing.
1 bunch of lacinto kale, trimmed of rough stems and chopped
½ cup coconut flakes
1 package of firm or extra-firm tofu
heaped 1 tbsp oil (I used refined coconut), divided
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp coconut sugar
2 tbsp tamari, divided
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
pinch of red pepper flakes
rice for serving, optional
- Set a large pot of water over high heat. Once boiling, add kale to the water and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened but not mushy. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water.
- Heat coconut flakes in a dry frying pan over medium heat for about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring fairly frequently, until just starting to brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Pat tofu with a couple paper towels. Cut into 1” cubes, then pat again to soak up extra moisture.
- Heat ½ the oil in a large frying pan/wok/skillet over medium high heat. Add tofu cubes, sprinkle with garlic powder and coconut sugar, and stir gently to distribute seasonings. Then let cook– without touching, so it can crisp up– for about 5 minutes. Turn down the heat (just for your own safety), carefully flip over the tofu, and splash with 1½ tsp of tamari. Turn heat back up, and cook (without touching) for a few minutes more. Turn off burner and transfer tofu to another dish. Let the pan cool a little bit, then give it a gentle wipe with a paper towel to remove any blackened bits.
- Heat the rest of the oil in the pan over medium heat, and add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant.
- Stir in cooked kale, then add 1½ tbsp tamari. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring now and then. Add tofu and cook for another minute or two. Taste for seasonings. Serve over rice (if using), topped with toasted coconut flakes.
Yield: About 3-4 servings