The Rumbly Tummy: Coconut Citrus Tofu & Spinach
Scott remembers the first time we made this Coconut Citrus Tofu & Spinach somewhere in rainy New England. We were too many hours away from our next gig to stop to eat, so Mallory insisted on "whipping up something quick" in the camper while Scott pumped gas. But something quick also needed to be something hot, as The R&T had successfully booked a "chasing winter" tour, which meant that they not only played Michigan in March and Canada in April and New England in May, but they also hadn't felt their toes since January. So when "whipping up something quick" became "can you drive super slow from the gas pump while I boil these hot soba noodles," Scott didn't mind so much. Especially when he tasted this tasty (and filling!) dish. This may have also been the moment Scott mastered eating with chopsticks while driving.
Since it was springtime in New England, The R&T had also procured a fresh, beautiful green bag of local spinach. We strongly recommend grabbing a bag from your local farmers market, too. You can't quite beat the in season, hearty leaves of a local farm (compared to the squishy kinds we all grew up to hate-- even if it did make us strong like Popeye). You can also replace to spinach with Swiss Chard, or any of the softer hearty greens.
Last night, on our way through Ohio from Virginia to Michigan, we had the distinct pleasure of using our delicious local Virginia bag of spinach to make this magical dish again. And we got to share it on the front porch of our pal, Phill's, house in the quintessential town of Granville. We strongly recommend eating this dish with a pal like Phill. Not only will he let you use his kitchen, but he may even send you off with a jar of honey to replenish the last tablespoon you used of your own.
Coconut Citrus Tofu & Spinach
1 block tofu, drained and squeezed to remove excess water
1 large bag spinach (4-6 loose cups)
1 14 oz can coconut milk
1/4 c tamari or liquid aminos
2 limes (feel free to experiment with lemon, orange or any other citrus!)
1 TBSP honey
1 c basmati rice (or substitute rice or soba noodles)
1. Prepare rice according to instructions. Continue with remaining recipe while rice cooks.
2. Cut tofu in 1/2" slices, then cut in half again to create 3x3 squares (it doesn't need to be exact).
3. Zest one entire lime into a small mixing bowl. Squeeze in juice and pulp from both limes. Add coconut milk, aminos, and honey. Mix well.
4. In a large heavy bottomed pan, place a bit of the coconut mixuture (about 1/4 c). Place tofu in single layer on top.
5. Place pot on high heat. When tofu begins to sizzle, pour most of the coconut mixture over, let the liquid bubble and reduce (about 10 minutes). Flip tofu to sear other side. After 5 minutes, place all of the spinach on top of the tofu. Pour remaining liquid over spinach. Place a lid on the pot until spinach wilts and tofu finishes searing (about 5 more minutes).
6. Remove from heat. Place rice in bowls, then spinach, then tofu. Pour liquid at the bottom of the pan over the dish. Then eat it on a small town front porch while you wait for Columbus traffic to clear. Or, in your house.