Let’s talk about the Spiralizer. If you do not have the Spiralizer or the Spiralizer Attachment you are missing out on 1. an easy way to get more vegetables into your diet and 2. an easy way to cut carbs. I mean really, the stand alone Spiralizer is only $30! You need it. I’m serious. Spiralizing is extremely easy and much better than purchasing pre-packaged spiralized vegetables. I generally do zucchini noodles or zoodles, but I also like to use sweet potatoes and carrots.
This spring roll bowl dish can be made to be hot or cold (I had the noodles be slightly warm when I made this) and you really can use any vegetable you like. This is essentially what I had in my fridge so it is also a good “everything must go” recipe. I have to admit, I did purchase a bottle of fish sauce to try in the sauce at first…I opened the bottle and why anyone would use this stuff in anything is beyond me. The smell is pretty awful and when I say pretty awful, it’s horrendous. You can make your own vegan “fish” sauce, but this go around, I didn’t have the time, nor did I have the produce required. Needless to say, I opted for soy sauce instead because I could not get the smell out of my nose. I also want to note that you can replace the tofu with any protein of your choice. Shrimp or chicken would work well with this as well! This recipe yields about 2 large bowls, so double up the ingredients if you want to have leftovers or make it for more people. I hope you enjoy it!
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce* or fish sauce
- 1/3 cup lime juice about 1 1/2 limes
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 large zucchini spiralized into zoodles
- 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot thinly sliced
- 2 serrano peppers chopped (deseeded if you don't like spice)
- 1 package extra firm tofu or protein of choice
- basil mint, cilantro, chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped peanuts
- 1 lime sliced
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- salt to taste
- 1 pinch of sesame seeds
Put all ingredients for the Sweet Garlic Lime Sauce in a food processor or small blender and blend until smooth. (* I want to note that I used soy sauce in place of fish sauce in the recipe because honestly I can't stand the stuff. If you have no problem using it, it does have a nice flavor once mixed with other ingredients.) Set aside.
Drain and remove tofu from package. Wrap paper towels all around it on a plate to begin drying it out. Press the water out, replace with new paper towels and place a heavy pan on top to help squeeze the rest of the water out for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a small cookie sheet with rim. Once tofu has dried out, cut into 1 inch cubes and place on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt and bake for 25-35 minutes or until light golden brown. Flip the tofu halfway through.
While the tofu is baking, spiralize all 3 zucchini into a large bowl to get your zoodles. Set aside. Thinly slice or julienne red bell pepper, carrot, chop serrano (deseed if you do not like a lot of spice) and mince herbs. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large pan on medium heat and place zoodles in. Heat until slightly softened (you don't want to cook the zoodles too much or else they will be a mushy mess). Remove from heat and place back in bowl. Refrigerate until cool.
Once the tofu has baked to a light golden brown, add to the large pan used for zoodles and lower heat to medium-low. At this point add a splash (enough to coat the tofu) of the Sweet Garlic Lime Sauce to the pan and stir continuously. If you let it sit it will burn. This creates a nice thick coated sauce for the tofu. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the tofu has firmed up a little more. Remove from heat, place in a separate bowl, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Remove cooled zoodles and toss with the Sweet Garlic Lime sauce. Serve in a bowl and add your toppings (tofu, red bell pepper, carrot, serrano pepper, basil, mint, cilantro, and chopped peanuts). You can always add whatever veggies you feel like as well. Squeeze lime over the bowl and enjoy.
Source: Pinch of Yum