I love fall and winter squash is one of my top three reasons why. I love the color, the delicate, slightly sweet flavor and how nutritious it is. When Dreamfields Foods asked me to participate in their October Healthy Pasta Month event I was thrilled. I married my favorite Butternut Squash with Kale and created a Lo Mein With Crispy Tofu.
Since I was going to post in International week, it got me thinking about infusing the ingredients of American fall into an Asian-inspired recipe. Since I drew the spaghetti card, I thought a lo mein would be a great place to start.
Please note that this post is sponsored by Dreamfields Foods. Even though I was compensated, the opinions expressed (and the yummy recipe) are all mine.
Organic extra-firm tofu is my best friend. I usually buy it at Trader Joe’s but they are having it in more supermarkets, so it’s becoming easier to find. I like it because it’s so firm that you can skip pressing it.
That means you can use it at the last minute. You can use regular firm tofu in its place, as long as you press it for anywhere from 3 hours to overnight in the fridge.
The tofu step may seem like it would be hard, but it’s surprisingly easy. You just cut it, toss it with a little organic cornstarch and add it to a hot pan with a couple of tablespoons of oil. This creates a wonderful crispy texture that really elevates the whole dish.
For the easy sauce you just mix up orange juice, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, fresh ginger and garlic.
You can even make some easy homemade vegan pasta to use in this recipe if you want.
Butternut Squash And Kale Autumn Lo Mein With Crispy Tofu
- 1/2 box Dreamfields spaghetti
- 1 block 16 ounces organic extra-firm tofu, cut into small rectangles (*see note)
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons organic cornstarch or all-purpose flour divided
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or other vegetable oil
- 1 cup vegetable broth or water plus 1 vegetable bouillon cube
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 8 ounces mushrooms , sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 10 ounces butternut squash , fresh or frozen, cut into cubes (about 2 cups)
- 2 cups chopped kale fresh or frozen (see note)
- Preheat oven 250°F. You will use this to keep the tofu warm later in the recipe.
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Place tofu and 2 tablespoons of the cornstarch in large bowl; toss to coat well. Set aside.
- Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add tofu in single layer. Cook 5 to 8 minutes or until one side is golden brown; turn tofu.
- Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 minutes or until other side is golden brown. Drain tofu on paper towel-lined plate. Transfer to baking sheet; place in oven to keep warm.
- Meanwhile in large bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together broth, bouillon cube, orange juice, soy sauce, ginger and garlic; set aside.
- Add onion to skillet that was used for tofu. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms; cook 5 to 7 minutes more, or until they cook down and release their juices, stirring occasionally.
- Reserve ¼ cup sauce mixture. Add remaining sauce mixture to skillet, then stir in squash. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Whisk remaining 2 teaspoons cornstarch into remaining ¼ cup sauce. Add to skillet along with kale; stir thoroughly to mix in cornstarch. Increase heat to medium-high; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
- Add pasta; toss to coat. Divide pasta-vegetable mixture among 4 bowls. Top with crispy tofu.