Baked Chili Tofu w/ Fresh Matcha Tea Noodles & Black Sesame Dressing

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This post is in partnership with DōMatcha®

It’s Monday. Meatless Monday.

I get pretty excited about my Monday’s as I do my Friday’s.  Monday’s are a new beginning.  A new week to grind, move things forward in our lives, follow up on important action items, and just continue to pursue our hopes and dreams.  For me that means getting inspired to create super-healthy, fun and inspiring recipes such as this Baked Chili Tofu & Fresh Matcha Tea Noodles w/ Black Sesame Dressing.  I actually made this Sunday and ate it while watching the 2017 Emmy’s.  Talk about fun and inspiring.  Many of my favorite shows and actors were winners last night.  Woohoo!! 

This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite food authors and food stylists, Donna Hay.  I came across this recipe on her website.  It is a wonderful website with beautiful food photos and refreshing recipes, where I always find inspiration. 

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I veered a bit, opting to make homemade green tea noodles with my new pasta machine.  I used DoMatcha’s Matcha tea, which gave the noodles a subtle, leafy flavor.  I haven’t made homemade pasta in a while and after making the noodles, I wondered why I haven’t been.  Fresh pasta is the bomb.com!  Tender, smooth and fairly quick to make (on the weekends!), you’ll be hooked and freezing for later use.

The remaining ingredients I kept the same and the result was magical.  The sweet and spicy Chili Tofu paired with the green tea noodles, vegetables and Black Sesame Dressing are what Meatless Monday’s are about.

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Baked Chili Tofu w/ Fresh Matcha Tea Noodles & Black Sesame Dressing//serves 4
Adapted from Donna Hay 

baked chili tofu
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1-16oz package firm tofu
1 cup fresh (recipe below) or packaged green tea noodles or spinach noodles
1 ½ cup baby kale (or regular kale leaves, trimmed) blanched
8 brussels sprouts, shaved and blanched
2 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
½ cup toasted, unsalted peanuts

black sesame dressing
½ cup rice wine vinegar
½ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 long red chilies, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds

matcha tea noodles (adapted from Lights, Camera, Spatula)//serves 4
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon culinary matcha powder

To start, prepare your Matcha tea noodles (can be made a day ahead and refrigerated*) by placing all of the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until the dough comes together.  Now, blend until the dough begins to form a ball, stopping periodically to scrape down the edges.  Continue to blend for 15 seconds to “knead” the dough.

Take out the dough and form into a ball. (If your dough is still grainy looking, knead it with your hands until tight and glossy).  Wrap with plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour.  Cut the dough into 4 sections, roll each piece into a ball and flatten with your hands.

Next, with a pasta machine, run each piece through the machine, starting with the largest setting (7).  Fold into thirds and run it through a second time.  Run the dough through once on each setting, until the dough is very thin. (If your machine goes up to 7, it will be thin enough by 5 or 6).

Next, cut the pasta sheet in half as it will be pretty long.  Run the pasta sheet through the spaghetti cutter.  Toss cut pasta in a bit of flour.  Set aside.  Repeat with the remaining pasta dough pieces.  If you don’t plan to use all the pasta at once, freeze in small batches in a Ziploc bag for up to four weeks.  

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta for 3-4 minutes, or until “al dente.”  Fresh pasta takes little to no time to bake, so you don’t want to overcook it.  Please don’t.  You worked too hard to crank out those perfect noodles.  Be vigilant people!  Drain, but do not rinse.

For the sesame dressing, begin by placing vinegar, soy sauce, maple syrup, chili and sesame seeds in a medium bowl and mix to combine.  Set aside.

To prepare the Baked Chili Tofu, preheat the oven to 400’F.  In a small bowl, combine the sweet chili sauce, sesame oil, and orange juice.  Mix to combine.  Place the tofu on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spoon chili mixture over the tofu and bake for 10 minutes.  Open the oven and flip over the tofu (you should see a nice caramelization once you flip).  Bake for another 10 minutes to caramelize the other side.  Remove from the oven.

To assemble, place the noodles, kale, brussels sprouts and green onion in a large bowl.  Pour over a little black sesame dressing and combine. 

Divide between small serving bowls and top with the chili tofu, the remaining dressing and peanuts to serve.

*Fresh pasta should only be refrigerated for up to 18 hours.  If refrigerated for longer than this, the pasta will discolor and clump together.

Tip:  Boil your pasta right after your tofu is done and your vegetables are cut.  The warmth of the noodles will wilt the vegetables nicely.