Whoa! Look what I did! Nah, I’m not talking about the fact that I turned butternut squash into noodles and tossed it with a spicy peanut curry “mmm” sauce, raisins, coconut, and baked tofu for a vegan, gluten-free, amazingly good dish that just about all of my friends can enjoy. (If soy is a no-no, this would be great with chickpeas.)
What’s even more super exciting is that I finally joined the cool kids club and made myself a piece of wood that looks a lot older than it is. I suppose I would extra cool if I fashioned this from the multiple trees laying in my yard right now as a reminder of our “friend” Irene, but truthfully, I did what all of you are just as capable of: I found my way around a hardware store and followed some simple directions.
The instructions came from Shawnda, the fabulous cook and photographer at Confections of a Foodie Bride. I always admire her work, so I couldn’t contain my excitement when she posted her DIY: Wooden Table Top Tutorial. Let me be clear: there is not a handy hand in this household, and yet, we could totally handle this. There is no nailing involved, and no cutting as long as you ask someone at the store to do it for you. All you need to do is sand, glue, stain, and paint. Easy-peasy, I promise. Thank you, Shawnda!
If you haven’t figured it out already, I couldn’t wait to share my first recipe photographed on my mock-vintage-wooden-tabletop. (I’m not even done with it, actually, still need to pain the other side.) But I’m very excited about this meal too, so let’s get back to that. This combination of sweet, tender butternut squash, plump raisins, and spicy, peanut-y curry sauce has been teasing my tastebuds, ever since all of these things happened (not necessarily in this order): Dawn made Peanutty “Noodle” Salad out of zucchini ribbons, Sarah made her now infamous Peanut Mmm Sauce (I’ve used it once before), and I tasted grated yams as a “rice” at Prasad on my recent trip to Portland, OR. With all that incredible inspiration, I knew this would be good. Great, even. But “so-mind-blowingly-delicious that it gets pushed to the top of the queue and published the same night that I ate it and not just because my new wooden “tabletop” is so awesome” good? Yeah, it’s that good.
6 oz firm tofu, pressed* and cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, and grated to yield 12oz (see recipe instructions)
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk beverage (from a carton; not light coconut milk)
2 tablespoons all-natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce, or gluten-free alternative such as tamari or coconut aminos
2-3 teaspoons chili-garlic paste
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 clove of garlic
1 packet of Truvia, or other sweetener, to taste
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
fresh chopped cilantro and/or mint, for garnish
Preheat oven to 475ºF. Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and arrange the cubed tofu in a single layer. Lightly spray the tofu with cooking spray. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides.
Meanwhile, grate long, thin strips of butternut squash using a vegetable peeler. Set aside until tofu and sauce are finished.
To make the sauce, combine coconut milk, peanut butter, tomato paste, water, soy sauce, chili-garlic paste, lime juice, lime juice, garlic, ginger and curry powder in a blender. Process until smooth.
Place 1/4 cup water, squash, and raisins in a large, nonstick saute pan. Turn heat to high, cover, and steam for 3-4 minutes, until squash is just tender. Remove cover and stir in sauce and tofu. Cook for 1-2 more minutes, stirring, until heated through. Divide among serving bowls and garnish with coconut, mint, and cilantro.
*To press tofu, remove the block of tofu from the packaging and wrap in a clean dishtowel. Put this on a plate,and place another plate on top. Put a heavy object or two (like a jar of roasted peppers, or whatever’s in your fridge!) and refrigerate. Let sit overnight, or just during the day before you plan to cook the tofu.
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 16.7 g
Saturated Fat 5.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 585.7 mg
Potassium 692.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 39.1 g
Dietary Fiber 6.1 g
Sugars 12.6 g
Protein 14.6 g