Inspiration. It waxes & wanes. Sometimes I’m full of it, other times I struggle, searching high & low for it. Then sometimes it arrives when it’s least expected, & can lead to an exciting new discovery, or scrumptious new recipe.
While my cooking skills have grown tremendously over the last few years, I am, not by any means a chef. I very rarely create a recipe from scratch, & while there are times that I can throw things together intuitively, I am still at a “follow the recipe” stage & rely on fellow bloggers & cookbooks for guidance. However, I am getting better at modifying recipes & giving them own my personal spin, & I’ve also been enjoying “veganizing” recipes – either favorites from the past or new discoveries. It can be as simple as omitting cheese or using a vegetable broth, or it can encourage a bit more culinary creativity. That, essentially, is how this was born.
It all started with an email from Trader Joe’s advertising the new “fig butter” & a link to a recipe for Fig, Mustard, & Pear Champagne Glazed Chicken. The fig butter caught my eye immediately & just as I was about to disregard their suggested chicken recipe, I had a thought….what about swapping the chicken for tofu? Yes! A few days later I made the trek to TJ’s on a mission for fig butter, only to discover, sadly, that they were out of it, the warehouse was out if it, & I was out of luck. Plans foiled? Almost.
There were two other butters lining the shelves, obviously overlooked by those pining for the fig butter – “mango butter” & “apple-cranberry butter.” Immediately I scrapped the apple butter, but the mango butter called to me & I grabbed it. Perhaps I could make a delicious “tropical” glaze with the mango butter? It sounded a little more of the season to me anyway….
It took me a few days to be brave enough to conquer this “experiment.” I’m not a fan of failure, or wasting food with trial & error, but “you never know unless you try.” So finally took the leap. Wanting this to be the perfect texture, I drained/pressed the tofu long beyond my usual 30 minutes. More like 3 hours. I let it sit while I ran some errands & what a difference it made.
While the tofu baked & an alluring aroma wafted through my kitchen, I thought about what to pair with it. I typically enjoy baked tofu over rice & steamed greens & decided to play it safe & go my usual route. After all I was taking a chance on the tofu! I had a beautiful bunch of chard from my CSA, which I lightly steamed, then I thawed some frozen mango pieces (however, I’d use fresh in the future), & tossed those in with the greens.
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- ½ cup Trader Joe’s Mango Butter
- ½ cup Trader Joe’s Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
- 1 cup Trader Joe’s Champagne Vinaigrette
- Press & drain tofu for at least 30 minutes, longer if you can. Once drained, cut tofu into ¼ inch thick slices.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. In a small mixing bowl, combine the mango butter, mustard, & vinaigrette. Place the tofu in a baking dish & spread ⅔ of the glaze mixture generously over the top side of the tofu. Roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, turn the tofu slices over & spread on the remaining glaze mixture. Continue roasting for another 20 minutes, until a the tofu glaze is bubbly & golden brown on the outside, but still tender on the inside. Remove from oven.
Finally it was time to retrieve the tofu from the oven, with a gorgeous bubbling glaze & sweet mustard aroma I had a feeling I’d stumbled upon something quite wonderful with this little culinary adventure.
I plated the sliced tofu & mango-chard mixture over TJ’s”Rice Medley,” & topped it off with some micro greens for a bit of color & extra nutrients.
Mango Butter & Mustard Glazed Tofu over Swiss Chard, Mango, & Rice
Wow! What a dish! Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine it would turn out this beautifully! The tofu was the perfect texture. The marinade, while more of a glaze than a liquid, didn’t penetrate the tofu, but there was so much flavor surrounding it that it didn’t matter. The bed of greens & rice made for a light, but filling meal.
I imagine the possibilities for this tofu are endless. In fact, I have a few more ideas up my sleeve. Until then, I hope you enjoy this sweet, simple & wholesome dish.
***I made a quick trip to TJ’s today & the fig butter is back! It is now in my possession! Stay tuned for a figgy version!