Mustard-Crusted Tofu with Kale & Sweet Potatoes

 Before I get to the recipe at hand, I have a confession to make: I have made a Twitter account. Putting thoughts of giggling pre-teens and tech-savvy celebrities aside, I signed Floptimism up! I still don't think I understand it. I feel a lot like an 82-year-old woman, actually, as I sign in and stare at Tweets full of abbreviations and symbols that might as well be in another language. I have a lot of catching up to do, but I'm excited! There are so many times that I have quick little thoughts or tips I want to share with you, but they aren't nearly substantial enough to warrant their own post on here. So, in addition to keeping track of all of my updates on the blog, I'll (hopefully) be Tweeting fun little blurbs about food and perhaps, inadvertently, life. So search for Floptimism on Twitter, or just click here for my profile!

Now, about this Mustard-Crusted Tofu. This was my second foray into the world of tofu (check out my first over here!), and it was just as delicious as the first. It was extremely salty somehow, despite not using heavily salted products at any step, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It offered a broad array of textures and flavors, from sweet and crunchy to smooth and savory. The mustard was a little overpowering, so I've adjusted the recipe below to call for less of it right off that bat; the same goes for the oil. The mustard also didn't seem to want to stay on the tofu very much, which may or may not have something to do with the reduced oil, but I didn't find this to be too distracting. In the end, the ginger is hands down what makes this dish a star. It comes through in both flavor and aroma perfectly, and once the mustard is toned down a little bit, this meat-free meal will deliver an incredible balance of flavors - a real treat, for sure. As for the kale and sweet potato side dish that comes along with it? My only complaint is that there wasn't more of it, also reflected in the ingredient ratios listed below. It's just a shame that my pictures didn't turn out very well this time, because this is the kind of dish that makes eating meat-free not only easy, but downright exciting. If my photography skills aren't convincing enough, I hope that last claim is.

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Mustard-Crusted Tofu with Kale & Sweet Potatoes, adapted (barely) from Epicurious
Yield: 4 servings

The Ingredients
14 ounces firm tofu
1/3 cup whole grain dijon mustard
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2/3 medium onion, sliced
1 tablespoon minced & peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 bunches kale, leaves cut from the stems and thinly sliced crosswise, about 12 cups total
1 medium sweet potato, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced into rounds
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

The Method
Slice the tofu into eight equal portions, each about 1/2-inch-thick. Arrange them without overlapping on paper towels and weigh down with a moderately heavy object to drain for 10 minutes. Spread both sides of each slice evenly with mustard and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat half of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add in the onion and ginger. Saute for 1 minute before adding the kale, sweet potato, and lemon juice. Cover and reduce heat to low, cooking until the potato is tender and kale has wilted, approximately 12 minutes.

While the kale mixture is cooking, heat the rest of the oil in a separate skillet over medium heat and add the tofu. Cover and cook until heated through and crisp, roughly 2 minutes per side. Serve the tofu over a bed of kale and sweet potato. 

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