I tend to try a recipe, love it, and never make it again. If my husband, on the other hand, tries a recipe and likes it, he makes it again and again until neither of us can stand the sight of it. That's what happened to the recipe I'm sharing today, twice, but he made it recently and, unsuspecting, I tasted it and said, "this is delicious, what is it?"
It seemed vaguely familiar, and turned out to be a recipe I had posted back in 2008, and again in 2012. With some minor changes to the ingredients, I'm re-posting it again since we enjoyed it so much. I want to occasionally share some of the older recipes that have become buried in the archives, and this one deserves another look.
Braised greens with tofu, cashews and raisins, served over polenta (serves 2 to 3 adults)
The polenta is based on a recipe from Passionate Vegetarian, by Crescent Dragonwagon. The author says it's an old Tuscan peasant recipe.
- 1 cup course grind cornmeal (our co-op sells a bulk coarse grind labeled "polenta")
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes (not brewers yeast powder), optional but recommended
- Oil a 3 quart oven-proof skillet or dish. Put all ingredients in the dish and mix together casually.
- Put the dish, uncovered, in a pre-heated 350˚ oven. Bake for 40 minutes, undisturbed. After 40 minutes, stir and bake 10 more minutes, if needed. Remove from oven and let sit for five minutes. Creamy, dreamy, heartwarming polenta. Mmm.
the braised greens with tofu, cashews and raisins
Based on a recipe that I think was from the NY Times, but I'm not sure. The inspiration may have come from Parade Magazine.
- 1 pound collard greens (I used a large bunch - no idea what it weighed) (or you can use kale, which was in the original version of the recipe)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or low sodium veg broth
- 1/2 pound extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon tamari
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs (one slice of bread should be about right- use gluten-free bread if desired)
- 1/4 cup raisins (I use dried cranberries when making this dish for a certain raisin-hater)
- 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (shiitake are recommended)
- one good sized carrot, peeled and finely grated
- 1/2 teaspoon natural sugar
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (unseasoned)
- salt to taste, as needed
- freshly ground black pepper
- Wash greens, remove any thick stems, coarsely chop and set aside the leaves.
- Place the tofu cubes in a small bowl and drizzle with one teaspoon tamari. Toss to coat all the cubes. Let sit five minutes.
- Heat one tablespoon oil in wok or skillet. Add the tofu cubes and cook over high heat until browned.*
- Turn the heat down. Add the mushrooms, cashews and bread crumbs and sauté until they are lightly browned. Stir in the raisins. Remove mixture from pan and set aside.
- Add the other tablespoon of oil to pan, add the shredded carrot, increase heat to high and add the greens. Stir to mix, then cover and cook about three minutes until the greens have wilted but are still bright green. (Be careful not to burn them.)
- Reduce heat, stir in sugar and vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the tofu mixture. Spread over polenta and serve.
*I used my air fryer to fry the tofu without oil. I let the tofu cook while I prepared and cooked the rest of the dish, and added it at the end. The tofu takes about 20 to 30 minutes in the air fryer. Low sodium vegetable stock was used to sauté the veggies.
The whole vegetable part takes about 15-20 minutes including prep time, so plan accordingly so you can have the veggies and polenta finish cooking about the same time.