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.

 

Matcha Spinach Hummus w/ Dukkah & Golden Pea Shoots

This recipe is in partnership with DōMatcha®

Hummus is one of my favorite go to lunches, weekdays and weekends.  It is the perfect food as it is loaded with protein and good fats.  It is simple to make and can be customized with the addition of squash, carrots, bell peppers, beets and so on.  This Matcha Spinach Hummus with Dukkah (more on this later) was exactly what I needed this past weekend.  It was back-to-school shopping weekend and I had a plan and I had hummus.  Much like Christmas shopping, although less erratic (I can still get parking), back to school shopping is its own level of crazy.  So, I needed a quick meal on the road to keep me focused and to not become part of the crazy.  Translation: Overwhelmed and a bit hangry. 

The recipe only requires chickpeas, tahini, spinach, garlic cloves, matcha powder, and olive oil.  I sprinkled the matcha hummus with Dukkah (pronounced DOO-kah) for extra crunch and tanginess.  Dukkah is an Egyptian condiment consisting of a mixture of herbs, nuts (usually hazelnuts) and spices.  I purchased mine from here.  You can use this as a spice crust for fish, meat, chicken, tofu and vegetables.  In other words, you can put it on everything.  And you will, once you taste it.

Enjoy!

 

Matcha Hummus w/ Spinach, Dukkah & Golden Pea Shoots//serves 8

hummus
2 (15.5 oz) cans chickpeas, drained
½ cup tahini
2 cups fresh spinach
2 cloves garlic, peeled or to taste
Juice of 1 lemon, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons DōMatcha green tea
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup store bought dukkah, for sprinkling

garnish
Golden Pea Shoots (optional)
Micro Cilantro or regular cilantro

Place drained chickpeas, tahini, spinach, garlic, lemon juice, matcha powder and olive oil in a food processor. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and process mixture until smooth.  Add more olive oil as needed until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt, pepper or lemon juice.  To serve, drizzle with olive oil, dukkah, golden pea shoots and micro cilantro.

Chocolate Matcha Tea Ice Cream Sandwiches

This post is sponsored by DōMatcha®

Nothing says summer like ice cream, or my favorite, ice cream sandwiches.  It doesn’t have to be summer for me to enjoy a great ice cream sandwich.  These chocolaty and chewy sandwich cookies are filled with bittersweet Matcha green tea ice cream.  Although I drink matcha daily, incorporating it in desserts and other recipes, is a treat within itself.

I made this ice cream without an ice cream maker, and frankly, I prefer it this way.  It’s quick and simple and doesn’t require the process of freezing your ice cream machine canister a couple of days ahead.  Just mix your ingredients, place in a loaf pan or container of your choice (just make sure it’s shallow), and voila, 6 hours later you’ve got creamy ice cream to wow your family and guests.  With this method, green tea ice cream is just the beginning.  Try other flavor combinations or just go with simple vanilla, which is my son's absolute favorite.  But, lo and behold, after making the green tea ice cream, I almost thought I wouldn't have enough for my sandwiches.  The kiddos loved it!  We all kept taking spoonful after spoonful.   It's just that tasty.  

The cookie sandwich recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit’s latest magazine issue, “Cook Like a Pro.”  I used their Oatmeal Cookie sandwich and Chocolate Cookie Sandwich recipe interchangeably as I preferred a round cookie instead of the rectangular version. 

A few tips to keep mind, although the ice cream requires 6 hours until firm and ready to eat, preparing the ice cream sandwiches will require a 1-2-day prep time.  You can make the dough 2 days ahead and the cookies can be baked 1-week ahead if you’re in no rush. The ice cream sandwiches can be assembled a week ahead also.  Make sure they’re frozen.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Matcha Ice Cream Sandwiches

No-Churn Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream//serves 4
Adapted from Japan Centre

matcha green tea ice cream
3 egg yolks
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons DōMatcha® Tea Powder
¾ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches//makes about 12
Adapted from Bon Appetit

chocolate cookie sandwiches
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the ice cream, in a bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the granulated sugar until thick and pale. Add the matcha powder and stir until a thick green paste forms.  Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, gently heat the milk to a low simmer.  Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract.  Gradually add the milk to the matcha green tea paste whisking until well incorporated.   Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a medium bowl and set in an ice bath; let stand, stirring occasionally until well chilled.

In a mixing bowl, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form.  If you are using an electric stand mixer, beat the cream on medium speed.  Fold the cream into the chilled matcha green tea mixture.  Pour the mixture into a loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until firm, 6 hours. Serve promptly.

For the chocolate cookie sandwiches, whisk cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and 2½ cups flour in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to medium and add eggs and vanilla; beat until very fluffy, about 30 seconds. Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients, beating just until combined (use a large spatula to incorporate any dry ingredients at the bottom of the bowl). Divide dough in half and wrap each in plastic, pressing down to form into ½”-thick disks. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°. Let 1 disk of dough sit at room temperature until softened slightly, about 5 minutes. Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a large ⅛"-thick rectangle (about 16x12"), dusting with more flour as needed. With the bottom of a glass or biscuit cutter, cut out cookies and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Gather the scraps, work the dough, dusting with flour as needed, and reroll dough, cutting the remaining cookies.  (If the dough becomes too soft and sticky, place dough back into the refrigerator). Place cookies in the refrigerator to chill. Bake, rotating baking sheet front to back and top to bottom halfway through, until edges are firm, 12–15 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets.

To assemble ice cream sandwiches, using a 4-oz. ice cream scoop or ½-cup measuring cup, scoop out large domes of ice cream onto an upside cookie. Top each with a right-side-up cookie, then press down gently until ice cream extends to the edges. Freeze sandwiches until ice cream is hard, about 2 hours. Cover tray with plastic wrap and freeze at least another 8 hours to let cookies soften, if you can wait that long.