Wednesday, August 02, 2006

It is so hot in NYC ....

... the only good thing about it is that for the first time, I'm not teaching summer camp! Several summers ago, New York City had a similar heat wave to the one we're suffering now, but I was teaching at an outdoors camp from 8:00 am until 6:00 pm. That was misery. I feel for all those who are not as privileged as I, and who are working (especially outdoors) through this stinking heat. I just checked, and it says the temperature in my area of Brooklyn is 91 degrees. But because of the heat index, it feels like 100. It's almost 9 pm at night folks! That's hot.

Anyways, I soldiered on and actually cooked this evening (thank goodness for air conditioning). I didn't do a CSA post this week (much to M.'s disappointment), but I can't resist sharing this picture of a beautiful bunch of rainbow chard. It came in our CSA share, and I felt like a child at Christmas. For some reason, even though M. and I are big fans of swiss chard, I've never gotten rainbow. And its just so pretty! Hope you all enjoy the peek into our neighborhood behind the chard. We have one ledge in our apartment that provides the best natural light, so we keep using it for pictures. That's apartment living in downtown Brooklyn for you!

So, the rainbow chard was the featured ingredient of this evening's meal. I surfed Cooking Light's website, and found a recipe for Tofu and Swiss Chard Stacks. It seemed pretty straightforward, so I decided to give it a try. I served the Tofu and Swiss Chard Stacks with a little leftover chard, a scoop of brown rice from a pouch of Trader Joe's frozen brown rice, a variation on my Mirin-Soy Glazed Green Beans and some frozen dumplings. I did make a couple of changes to the Tofu and Swiss Chard Stacks, namely increasing the yield from two servings to three by slicing the tofu into 6 slices, not 4. I also subbed cremini mushrooms for the shitaake mushrooms because I really don't care for the taste of shitaakes (no matter how many times I try them). And while entering the recipe, I realized I totally forgot the sesame seeds! Oh well.

Overall, I enjoyed this dish. I wanted a different swiss chard presentation, since I always do the same thing with it. Typically I just sautee the chard until wilted with garlic, salt/pepper and lemon juice. While that's very tasty, I wanted something slightly different. This recipe added an Asian element to the dish with the marinated tofu and the addition of soy sauce to the greens just before serving. Would I make it again - maybe. There were many other swiss chard recipes that appealed to me when I used the Cooking Light website search engine, I'd probably dive into some of those before repeating this one. But it was pretty quick and easy, and come September it would definitely be something I'd make after a long day at school.

Tofu and Swiss Chard Stacks

Cooking Light's notes- Marinated, broiled tofu and a spicy chard mixture are layered for free-form individual lasagnas. Use water-packed tofu; its firm texture holds up well. Serve with fried rice that's been tossed with steamed edamame.

My notes - This recipe was said to serve 2. I cut the tofu into six pieces (instead of four) and we'll get three meals out of it easily. I subbed baby portabello mushrooms for shitaake, because I don't care for the taste of shitaake mushrooms. And I totally forgot the sesame seeds!

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin (sweet rice wine)
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 (12.3-ounce) package water-packed reduced-fat firm tofu, drained
Cooking spray

1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps
1 1/2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups thinly sliced Swiss chard
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce

To prepare tofu, combine the first 4 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Cut tofu lengthwise into 4 equal slices. Carefully place tofu in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Pour the soy sauce mixture over tofu. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes, carefully turning once.

Preheat broiler.

Remove tofu from dish; discard marinade. Place tofu on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Broil 10 minutes on each side or until tofu is lightly browned.

To prepare greens, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, ginger, pepper, and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add chard and sesame seeds; cook 3 minutes or until chard wilts, stirring frequently. Stir in 2 teaspoons soy sauce.

Place 1/4 cup chard mixture on each of 2 plates; top each serving with 1 tofu slice. Repeat layers with remaining chard and tofu.

Yield: 2 servings

CALORIES 155(29% from fat); FAT 5g (sat 0.4g,mono 1.2g,poly 2.8g); PROTEIN 13.8g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 130mg; SODIUM 754mg; FIBER 2.1g; IRON 3.9mg; CARBOHYDRATE 12.4g

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