Last Saturday over lunch, my friend Michelle, a fellow cook at Integral Yoga Institute shared some of her thoughts about becoming a vegetarian and, eventually a vegan. She said something that, to me, really cuts to the essence of healthy eating in general: “A lot of people think of vegetarianism as giving something up… but I think of it as receiving more. More benefits, more blessings, more life”. I can’t help but think of all of the people who are so afraid of letting go, whether it’s mom’s decadent sweets or that daily slice of pizza after work. Sometimes, saying no really does make room, for example, for mom to show you her love in another, deeper way, or to treat yourself with something that will make you feel good, really good, all over. Thanks, Michelle for your wisdom.
Michelle’s most popular dish at the Institute is tofu with cashew sauce and raisins. It’s quick and refreshing, perfect for a lazy summer day. Packed with protein, healthy fats, a little sweetness, and lots of kick, this dish satisfies all of the senses. Here’s my take on it.
Tofu with Cashew Sauce and Raisins
(Inspired by Michelle at Integral Yoga Institute New York)
2 (14 ounce) packets soft, firm, or extra firm tofu (not silken)
1 cup cashew butter
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 cup raisins
½ cup thinly sliced scallion
- Press the tofu by wrapping it in kitchen towels and placing under a heavy book. Let sit for 30-60 minutes
- Meanwhile, combine the cashew butter, orange juice, water, tamari, honey, vinegar garlic, ginger, and cayenne pepper in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. The sauce should be very pourable.
- Cut tofu into 1 ½ inch cubes and place in a large bowl.
- Add the cashew sauce and raisins to the tofu and stir gently until well combined.
- Serve at room temperature garnished with a sprinkling of cayenne pepper and the scallions.