Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sweet and Spicy Tofu Bowl PLUS Dinner: The Playbook give-away!


Chopsticks whittled by Birdy.
Jenny Rosenstrach’s Dinner: A Love Story blog is that rare mix of real-life, inspiring, and aspirational that actually makes me want to buy some actual food for once so that my family can eat an actual real meal like chicken, and not just a rotating pantry assemblage of grains and cheese and chickpeas and non-perishable vegetables and cabbage. I love her. I loved her first book, with its wonderfully adaptable strategies and entertaining stories and excellent recipes, and because she’s the kind of person who calls pork ragu “an instant party.” And now I love her second book, which is, again and perfectly, just about dinner—about getting appealing, delicious evening meals on the table to feed a family that has kids in it. Plus, it’s little and, adorably, styled to look like a Little Golden Book.

 

I’m giving you a sneak preview here, with this tofu recipe that rescued my family from the doldrums of The Same Tofu We Always Eat. Everybody loves it loves it loves it. It’s sweet and sticky and spicy and totally craveably umami. Plus: miso and Sriracha and lime! The trifecta of yum.
This is not Jenny's cat.
You should buy Dinner: The Playbook because it will probably pay for itself in, like, three days (unless you were planning otherwise to just eat beans every night like some people). Then you should enter the give-away to get a copy for a lucky friend. Just leave a comment and live in the U.S. to enter. (If you live not in the U.S., you can send me a complaining email instead!) I'll announce the winner on Monday.

From the Playbook. Courtesy of Dinner: A Love Story
Sweet and Spicy Tofu Bowl
Confession: I ran out of miso once and made this with only half the miso, and it was STILL GOOD. If people in your family eat a lot of tofu, double the recipe.

1 14-ounce block extra-firm tofu
½ cup sweet white miso, such as Miso Master brand (available in Asian markets and in the refrigerated sections of better supermarkets)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon Sriracha, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce [I used regular!]
Juice of ½ small lime
2 cups cooked sushi rice [I used brown rice!] drizzled with 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar while still warm
1 bunch of spinach, sautéed in olive oil, salted and peppered [I made kale slaw!]

About 30 minutes before you plan to start cooking, slice the tofu into pieces the size of playing cards (about ½ inch thick) [I cut it into 12 pieces], lay them flat on a paper-towel-lined dinner plate, cover with more paper towels, then place something heavy on top, such as a cast iron pan. [I actually put the tofu on paper towels on the foil-lined rimmed baking sheet I was planning to cook it on, then covered with more paper towels and a smaller baking sheet with a full kettle on top.]

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the miso, maple syrup, Sriracha, soy sauce, and lime juice.

Preheat the broiler to high. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and coat lightly with cooking spray. Place the tofu pieces on the baking sheet, brush with [half] the miso mixture, and broil for 5 minutes, or until golden but not burned. Flip over and broil for another 5 minutes, watching it carefully. [Me again. I spooned on the remaining miso mixture after flipping it, but I notice now that the recipe does not call for this step. I still recommend it!]

Serve the tofu over the rice with the spinach and a drizzle of Sriracha, if desired.

82 comments:

  1. Harris11:30 AM

    Pick me pleeease. I am a big Rosenstrach fan too.

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  2. I'm a huge Jenny fan and love her new book - don't pick me as I have a copy and bought several to give away, but yippee she's (and it's) great. xox

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  3. Ooo. That's what's for dinner tonight. We made BiBimBap last night, but that's a _different_ kind of tofu, spinach, rice, chili sauce event, right? I would love to read this book.

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  4. I'll take all the help I can get in the meals for family department. Thanks!!

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  5. I love you and I love Jenny and I would love this book!

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  6. Jessica12:56 PM

    I would love this!

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  7. Please. I need this book! During the school year (I'm a teacher) my poor children deserve some better meals! Many thanks.

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  8. For the children! Pick me!

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  9. Oooh, looks fun!

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  10. I would love some new back pocket ideas for dinner :-).

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  11. I would love a copy of this book. Need inspiration....

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  12. This looks excellent! My family would also appreciate a change from The Same Tofu We Always Eat (which is your recipe.)

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  13. What I'd really like is a Catherine Newman cookbook, but this sounds great, too!

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  14. Ooh - this sounds wonderful! I am always so excited to see your blog in my feed. I have had a case of the dinner doldrums since the start of school. I started meal-planning in hopes of getting excited about cooking dinner (again!), and it has worked somewhat. I feel like a new cookbook could jump start my excitement even more.

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  15. You have no idea how happy you'd make my family if I got this book! And me, too. They are So Very Tired of all my old standbys. And I am So Very Tired of having to think about what to make every night. And I second the smart person who said they'd like a Catherine Newman cookbook. Would love it!

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  16. Anonymous4:30 PM

    We are in a dinner rut - I'd love some new ideas!

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  17. Yes please, I'd like to win!

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  18. ALWAYS looking for new ideas, what a great giveaway!

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  19. Real, actual food would be good (I always wonder when I'm at the grocery store, Why do I come here? I never actually buy food--just some apples, maybe a kombucha, a tub of yogurt, some toothpaste--and then I go home and stare at the seven-and-a-half pounds of whole-wheat pasta and bucket o' quinoa from the coop and the half-acre of swiss chard in the backyard and wonder, What the hell do normal people cook for dinner?). Also, I really appreciated the recent New York Times review of "family-friendly" cookbooks, in which the reviewer admitted to not actually liking to cook, but failed to find solidarity and outrage among fellow moms (who all seem to like to cook). I used to love to cook, but 13 solid years of hearing "I hate that!!" and various retching sounds at the dinner table kind of rung it out of me. However, I will try this tofu. Because it looks good to me. And I can use swiss chard in place of the spinach. And, if I win the cookbook, I will try to like cooking again, too.

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  20. huh. i wonder if i could get my husband to make that (and eat it). he does all the cooking these days. i love the sound of it.

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  21. Mmmm...this looks like a good way to get my family to try tofu again. I'd love to check out Jenny's new book! And thanks for the gratuitous cat photo. :)

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  22. ooooh please pick me for the book giveaway! My children need some new dinners to look at and say they don't like but then discover that they actually do!

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  23. Anonymous6:35 PM

    I'm gamely trying against all odds!

    Also, what are your thoughts, Catherine, of the books appropriateness for the mostly-vegetarian and fairly-broke among us? My sense (after first learning about the book through the NYT motherlode experiment) is that there's a lot of meat and $$-ish versions at that. Am I wrong? We truly rarely cook meat, and we really are on a budget. Would love your thoughts!

    Kelda

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  24. needless to say, in my life I aspire to be more like Catherine and Jenny. truly!

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  25. I posted the NYTimes article about hating to cook on my FB page when in reality I don't *hat* to cook, I just *hate* being the primary cook who also is the primary shopper and planner of all meals. The half acre of swiss chard at the end of the summer nearly did me in; we'll eat anything besides beets and of course my daughter hates all greens.

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  26. ooh what the heck is my identity?? ^^^

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  27. I love your blog and have been reading and enjoying since your babycenter days. I would be thrilled to get a free cookbook, especially one as adorable as "the playbook". The tofu looks delicious.

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  28. My copy of her first book is coming apart at the seams......

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  29. Christina9:49 PM

    I opened a cabinet the other day to get out the bottle opener when the smell of herbs and spices hit me. I thought, wow, I haven't actually cook-cooked in ages. This cookbook would be a great motivator to do more than open a box of frozen this or can of that and really cook a good meal. Thanks!

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  30. I love how Jenny makes me feel better about the chaos that seems to permeate our daily lives. (You do too, Catherine, but you make me feel that I should be writing brilliant, funny, and deeply touching articles about it all).

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  31. Looks wonderful; would love to try some new recipes.

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  32. I love her blog and have never cooked tofu myself. I could give it a try! And now I have your blog to visit too. :)

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  33. I really like her first book and their blog makes me happy :) that tofu looks excellent!

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  34. I would love this book. I am totally uninspired in the kitchen lately. Here's hoping!

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  35. I would love a copy. Love reading your recipes and having my husband cook them. You are most inspiring.

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  36. I love DALS! And I sure need a dinner intervention as I'm feeling particularly uninspired as we head into winter and pack away the grill...

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  37. Anonymous8:53 AM

    Count me in - I'm feeling lucky!

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  38. I live in the US!! Pick me, please!!!!

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  39. ohhhh we've got some tofu lovers in our house who are totally getting this for dinner tonight (maybe minus the shiracha for the 4 yr old). I do live in the US, and love DALS.

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  40. Anonymous10:15 AM

    Yes, please. But I would love a Catherine Newman cookbook even more.

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  41. Yay! A new tofu recipe! And also, this book looks right up my alley :)

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  42. I miss tofu! But I do need a dinner game plan!

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  43. I loved the first book and would love to win the second one...

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  44. Tracey1:14 PM

    Checked it out from the library, loved it, and wanted to "forget" to return it.

    Would love my own for keeps!!

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  45. I have Jenny's first cookbook and would love her second. Her blog and yours are great sources of cooking inspiration for me.

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  46. I love DALS, love my copy of her first cookbook, and will be buying the "Playbook" if you don't pick me! But please pick me, because it would make the book all the more special! ;)

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  47. Yes, I would love a copy. Thanks!

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  48. I have a problem. I love healthy recipes and I hate maple syrup (my apologies to the state of Vermont). Why do so many recipes I otherwise really want to try have the horrid stuff in it?

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  49. Anonymous3:01 PM

    I am feeling shy about trying someone else's recipes, but intrigued. Count me in! --Cathy K

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  50. I take it furthest flung Tasmania isn't part of the U.S.? Sigh...I guess you had best add this comment to the "complaining email" side of the ledger. Love tofu, the recipe looks the bomb...am going to try it post haste and despite my lack of ability to enter the draw I will eat it in the spirit of international good will (whilst muttering under my breath...)

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  51. I'm so excited for this book! Love her first book so much- great ideas, great food-

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  52. I don't ever win any of these things, but why not try? This book sounds lovely. Maybe it will change my negative experience with making dinner, though I doubt it will ever really be the "love story" that she's experienced in her first book! Sigh...

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  53. I'm in! Catherine, may I also buy some whittled chopsticks from Birdy?

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  54. Little golden book
    Now I see it
    Love!

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  55. Me, me!! Always need new dinner options. We're so so sick of our standard stuff. Hope you are enjoying fall Catherine.

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  56. The tofu looks great and the book looks great. Even if I lose, I win! :)

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  57. Love your blog, and the DLAS blog! Also, just started reading Brain, Child magazine and was happy to see a couple articles written by you in the first few issues I got!

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  58. Elizabeth12:52 PM

    Looks great! I plan to try the Tofu bowl for dinner next week. Would love to try some of the other recipes in the cookbook as well!

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  59. This is fantastic! My two favorite blogs hyperlinked! I adore your blog, Catherine, and also love reading DALS. I'm definitely going to try the tofu recipe. Thx!

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  60. Alice (Vermont)3:42 PM

    Ooh, that is just what I need. I love to cook, but have a hard time with the thinking and the planning and the new ideas...Thanks!

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  61. We are stuck in a serious dinner rut! I need this book, we need this! Love you all!

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  62. Emily S.1:26 AM

    Oh, yes, please! I'm all about getting appealing, delicious evening meals on the table to feed my family that has one kid in it. Thank you!

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  63. This book would pull me from my dinner time rut and bring life back to our table. Please pass... And thank you

    -wearecreatures.wordpress.com

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  64. KyCat2:50 PM

    Please we need a lot of help!

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  65. Danabee6:35 PM

    Yes, please !

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  66. I love to cook family dinner, I love to read blogs, I love to win contests. I hope I win this one!

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  67. Sarah W8:23 PM

    I eat dinner! I live in the US! I feed tiny humans (or try to) every day and need all the help I can get! Fingers crossed...

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  68. Made the tofu bowl! No miso, so I doubled the soy sauce and added fish sauce, and I subbed lemon for lime as well and served over bok choy and brown rice. Delicious AND perfectly within the grad school time and $$ budgets!

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  69. I have a child that swims every day from 3:45 to 5:45 (yes, really, every day). I come home at 6pm to a house full of people who are starving. Microwave burritos (thank you Costco) and frozen Fried Rice (thank you Trader Joes) have showed up on the table too too too often. If a book can help, I need it. Or, you know, winning a personal chef would be ok too.

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  70. maxanyamom10:04 PM

    I cannot wait to try this new tofu recipe! I've got 2 slabs of extra firm tofu in the fridge in need of a new recipe. The book you are giving away looks absolutely fabulous. I hope you pick me, but whoever wins it is going to be happy!

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  71. My son has recently become a vegetarian so this recipe is the perfect timing! Thanks. And if this is the second entry from me please forgive - it was an accident!!!!

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  72. We could use some inspiration. I have already gotten plenty from you!!

    PS, what is an easy way to comment with name, leave you my email address, but everyone?

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    1. The PS was meant to read: What is an easy way to leave a comment with my name, leave you my email address, but not everyone?

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  73. Julie W.8:28 PM

    I would love this book. Need new recipes! Thanks!

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  74. Just in time! I loved "Dinner, a Love Story," and this new book looks grand. Thank you for writing!

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  75. Jenny is a treasure. Maybe there is some hope in here for my own Great Dinner Rut/picky 4-year-old.

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  76. Would love to win a copy!

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  77. I read Jenny's blog almost as much as I read yours! I would love a copy of the book!

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  78. Allyson12:15 AM

    I would love to have this book. Also, I'm going to make this for my tofu-loving daughter.

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