When you are married to someone who doesn't share the same food preferences with you, it can get difficult to prepare meals for them. Lucky me, I live in a world with a long, beautiful, invisible thread that connects everything and everyone easily-- the Internet.
It has become a routine for me to Google pictures of food to give me inspiration and ideas on what to cook, whenever I feel like my husband might be getting bored with my menu. Yes, I Google just photos-- I don't like reading recipes. Ironic, I know.
So last week, I felt like I needed to make something new for dinner that can also go to my husband's bento. I stared into our fridge and vegetable bin-- tofu, sweet peppers, carrots, eggplants... Oh, there's cheesecake too! Oops, that was just my attention jumping up and down.
I wanted to cook pasta with all those vegetables, but there's no way I can make my husband eat pasta that's not freshly cooked. So I ran to my dinner consultant, Google, and typed: tofu and vegetable dishes.
A lot of clicks and I got lost and I don't know how I got to a tofu dish with red sauce and chopped green onion on top with that search keyword. But it instantly gave me a different version in my head.
I took out the tofu, carrot and sweet peppers and made this dish that my husband loved. It requires a lot of mincing, but my husband liked it well, so it's worth every chop.
green bell pepper, minced
red paprika, minced
salt and pepper
chili bean sauce
small shiitake mushroom (for topping, optional)
For the tofu, you may steam or lightly fry it. If you want it in your lunchbox or if it will not be consumed immediately, I suggest frying it to reduce watering.
For the sauce, pour a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil on pan in medium heat. Toss in your minced vegetables: ginger, carrot, green bell pepper, yellow and/or red paprika. Sprinkle black pepper and ajinomoto/kombu powder and mushroom powder.
Add water. Adjust taste.
Once desired flavor is achieved, squeeze desired amount of chili sauce. Stir fry a minute more and voila-- top it on tofu and yum yum yum!
Tips and tricks
You may make a lot and keep it in the fridge for future uses. Mine lasted for a week in an airtight container.
But I guess it will not last a day because it's really yummy, so I might as well suggest: double the serving you need because everyone will ask for a second, a third and even more!
You may ask if you can just use red bell pepper instead of paprika-- well, probably. I haven't tried because the only bell pepper we have here is the green one. Also, paprikas are more juicy than bell peppers, so not putting paprika will probably compromise the richness of your sauce.
RIGHT: This is how this dish looked like when I added yellow paprika. It tasted the same but I personally prefer the visual effect without yellow paprika. But color lovers might find this more attractive so, there you go!