Saturday, 23 July 2011

Summer Food: Tofu Chili Wraps

A while ago, Max and I made these Tofu Chili Wraps, a nice, vegetarian alternative to meaty Burritos. I really love making these in the summer, because sometimes, even though it’s really hot, I don’t want to forego cooked meals altogether, and this recipe is a nice sort of in-between option that can be varied freely on a scale from fresh and salady to hot and filling.
Strange though, if you look at traditional cuisines, spicy food and hot weather don’t seem to be a contradiction. In fact, spicy food seems to be expecially popular in countries with a hot climate? I’ve been wondering for a while if there’s some hidden logic to it, or some underlying scientific reason, so if anybody has a clue, enlighten me.

Anyways - tofu chili wraps: I’ll tell you how we made them, although there’s basically nothing to it - you more or less just have to throw all the ingredients into a frying pan, and then roll them up in a tortilla with some lettuce and sour cream.
Another reason why this is a good recipe for the summer - minimize the time spent in a stuffy kitchen - maximize the time spent outside in the sun or immersed in a lake.
So here are the basic ingredients:
1 block of firm tofu, cut into small cubes
1 onion, chopped finely
1 small can of sweet corn
1 small can of kidney beans
200g mushrooms (optional, because not a typical ingredient of chili, but I think we had some left over in the fridge, and I am ever happy to improvise. In my kitchen, supply usually influences demand. I encourage you to do the same and utilise whatever leftover vegetable you have that goes well in chili - especially bell peppers or green beans, but also courgettes, carrots, whatever you like!)
1 cup tomato puree
1/2 tsp chili powder (you can use fresh chilis as well, although I'm not sure of the equivalent amount in terms of spiciness)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp cumin
fresh parsley, chopped
salt, pepper to taste

Classic pan-fry procedure: Heat oil in a frying pan, add onions, fry until golden, add crushed garlic and tofu, fry until browned and a bit crispy (it’s no problem if it breaks into smaller bits). Add sweet corn and kidney beans along with the tomato puree and cook for about 7 minutes. Season.

Line some tortillas with some lettuce (and maybe some sliced cucumbers, carrots, and other crudités if you desire), add filling and sour cream, and voila.
Perfect summer food.

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