Saturday, March 2, 2013

Lemon-agave tofu shish kebabs (for another birthday!)


You know how sometimes you plan a dish in advance, research a recipe, take time to prepare it, and then it isn't really that great? It might be okay (or it might not...), but overall, it just isn't worth the time you put in?

The flip side of those experiences are the times when the opposite happens. You throw something together with minimal planning or thought, with intuition and convenience guiding what ingredients are used, and with a hefty dose of hope when predicting how things will turn out...and then things turns out brilliantly.

That, dear readers, was my experience with these kebabs.


I think we have established that my approach to cooking tends to be more of the 'adapt' / 'make it up' variety than the 'strictly follow a recipe' variety. With these kebabs, though, I had intended to plan them. I was making them to take to my Dad's birthday celebrations last night, to accompany a variety of other kebabs being made by my sister and her boyfriend (seafood, chicken, and red meat). I'd had plenty of time to figure out what my kebabs would involve.

When I got home from work yesterday, about an hour before we needed to leave again, I had absolutely no idea what would be going into these. I knew I had a block of tofu, I knew we had vegetables, and that was it.

It turns out that keeping things simple is a more reliable method than you might think. With three ingredients in the marinade, and seven ingredients overall, these provide a ratio of effort to output that is really quite remarkable.

In all, I strongly recommend this recipe if you find yourself needing to prepare a dish at short notice with no advance planning!


Lemon-agave tofu shish kebabs
An easy dish perfect for barbecues
You can adapt the vegetables to those you have on hand
Makes 8 to 10 kebabs
Vegan and low fat


Ingredients
1 block (~350g) firm tofu, sliced and pressed and then cut into squares
1 red capsicum (bell pepper), cut into strips or squares
1 small zucchini (courgette), cut into slices
1 brown onion, cut into quarters and then small slices
2 tbsp agave nectar (honey or maple syrup would work too, but the flavour would be different)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp soy sauce

8 - 10 wooden kebab sticks

Method
Thread a piece of tofu onto a kebab stick, followed by pieces of capsicum, onion and zucchini. Repeat three times to create a full kebab. Repeat for the other kebab sticks. Set kebabs into a shallow dish.

Combine the agave, lemon juice and soy sauce in a small bowl or jug. Whisk to combine. Pour over the kebabs and then use a marinade brush to ensure all kebabs are coated. 

Allow to marinade for at least 20 minutes before cooking on a barbecue, grill or hot plate for 3-5 minutes on each side, until browned.

Clockwise from bottom left: meat kebabs, seafood kebabs, chicken kebabs, and these tofu kebabs.

Happy birthday to my Dad, too, whose celebrations provided the opportunity for these!

Submitted to Healthy Vegan Friday #33.

What was the last thing you made at short notice that turned out well?

27 comments:

  1. You make me laugh. I am exactly the same. These look great. I usually just chuck a big field mushroom on the bbq for those sorts of ocassions so thank you for the inspiration!

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    1. We need to swap - I like the idea of a field mushroom!

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  2. they look lovely - I love the top photo! And I occasionally make something that tastes unexpectedly good and then I find myself trying to remember what I did so I can blog it and have the reminder for next time.

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    1. That tendency to forget is exactly why these got blogged the very day after I made them ;)

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  3. These looks so pretty Kari! :)

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  4. Looks delicious! I love when something that's just thrown together turns out brilliantly!

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    1. Me too - it's like a double bonus, the enjoyable taste bit and the minimal preparation bit :)

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  5. They look like they turned out great! I don't usually follow recipes 100% anymore. I follow the basics and then add ingredients in my desired amounts.

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    1. I think that's by far the best system!

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  6. They look amazing and I love your blue and white plate. I would love to try these; they must be full of flavour. Happy birthday to your dad, too xx

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    1. Thank you Charlie! I love the plate too; it's one of four that we got for our wedding and they are my favourite set.

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  7. Oh wow what a great combo, agave with lemon! Nice and healthy kebabs!

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    1. Thanks Natalie - agave and lemon seem to get along very well!

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  8. I had some friends over on Friday and one left most of a chocolate sponge roll. We were going to a party on Saturday afternoon and S suggested we turn the sponge into a trifle. The resulting chocolate, raspberry trifle was incredibly delicious, I'm now wishing I'd taken a photo so I could blog it! You just have to love it when those things happen.

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    1. You do :-) Perhaps you should blog it even without a photo?!

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  9. Oh wow this looks brilliant - there is something so fun about eating a kebab and pulling all the goodies off the skewer!

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    1. I know! So much better than the other kind of kebabs (which hold very little appeal to me).

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  10. YUM! I never thought to put tofu on a kebab- great idea!

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    1. It works really well - highly recommended!

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  11. Very interesting combo, and I love the idea of making tofu shish kebabs!

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    1. Thanks Lisa - they are definitely something I'll be making again.

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  12. These kebabs look awesome. That marinade looks so delicious - and I love the idea of grilling tofu.

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    1. Thanks Katie - it's definitely a great way to cook it!

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  13. Strangely enough, I have never thought of putting tofu on shish kebabs. Great idea! They look delicious and are making me hungry. :)

    I'm the same way with cooking. I rarely follow recipes. I normally only use them to learn how to cook something new or when baking. I also feel that, generally, less ingredients are actually better. Simple and easy dishes are always good in my book. :)

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    1. I think I'm learning that simple rule more and more with age - a small number of ingredients can go a long way!

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