BBQ tofu
We are supposed to get 1-2 inches of snow here in Ohio tonight–our first real snow this year. I am not a huge fan of winter but I don’t mind a cozy snow day now and then. Particularly a snow day that ends with a plate of sweet bbq tofu next to a pile of warm cinnamon sweet potatoes and spicy black-eyed peas. Make this healthy nutrient-dense meal the next time you are snowed in and you won’t regret it. You will be warm and full of happiness from the inside out.

I actually stumbled upon this delicious combo of black-eyed peas and sweet potatoes on a blog called Post Punk Kitchen (the bbq tofu was my own addition to help round out the meal). I love how the spicy-sweet flavors complement each other so well–healthy Southern comfort food at its finest!

For the Black-Eyed Peas

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch kale or collards, rough stems removed, thinly sliced(about 1/2 pound)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-15 oz cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup veg broth
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional, a smidge of smoked paprika would be great too)

Preheat a 4 quart pot over medium heat. Saute the onion in the oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Use a little cooking spray if needed. Add the garlic and saute a minute more. Add the greens, 1/4 cup of water and salt. Cover the pot and cook the greens down for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add black-eyed peas, tomato sauce and broth and thoroughly mix. Cover pot and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add hot sauce and liquid smoke, then use a potato masher to mash some of the beans, about 1/4 of them, to thicken the sauce. Cook for about 5 more minutes uncovered. Taste for salt and seasoning. Serve hot.

For the Sweet Potatoes

  • 1 pound apples, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • (2 average sized) 2 pounds sweet potatoes or yams, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon agave (optional, I left it out because my potatoes were sweet enough already)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger

Cooking spray

Preheat a 4 quart pot over low heat. Spray with cooking spray, then add apples, sweet potatoes, water and salt. Cover pot and sweat the apples and sweet potatoes for about 20 minutes, stirring often. What this means, is just to cook them slowly and let them steam. You want to coax the moisture out of them, but if you make the flame too high they’ll burn and cook unevenly.

After 20 minutes, you can turn the heat up just a bit. Add a little more water if needed. Cover and cook 20 more minutes, paying close attention so that they don’t burn, and stirring often. When they’re very tender, they’re done. Mash with a potato masher. Add the agave, cinnamon and ginger, and mash some more. Taste for salt and seasoning. Serve warm.

For the BBQ Tofu (this is more of a technique than a recipe)

  • 1-14 oz package of extra-firm tofu (drained)
  • 3/4 cup of bbq sauce of choice

Line a plate or baking sheet with paper towels and place the tofu on top. Put more paper towels on the tofu and place something heavy on top (like a textbook or a cast iron skillet) and allow the water to drain out for about 30 minutes. Discard the paper towels and slice the tofu into 1/2 inch slices. Cut each 1/2 inch slice into 4 pieces. Pour the bbq sauce in a baking dish and toss tofu with the sauce. Allow to marinate for 1 hour.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and place the tofu on the baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, turn half-way through. Brush with more bbq sauce if desired. Enjoy!