Kung Pao Ding w/Baked Tofu and Barley

This recipe was inspired by my favorite dish at Alice and Friends Vegan Kitchen in the Edgewater neighborhood in Chicago! So many veggies and textures, it's spicy and sweet and full of flavor and perfect for #meatlessmonday !


1 package Extra Firm Tofu (drained and pat dry)- I like to wrap it in paper towels and weigh down with a cast iron to press out the extra water

Pearled barley, cooked (about 2-3 cups)

Broccoli- 1 medium crown, cut into florets

Cauliflower- 1/2 medium crown, cut into florets

Avocado or Olive oil - 1 tbsp (or whatever neutral oil you prefer)

Mushrooms- 8 oz raw, cleaned and sliced

Green Onions- 3-4, sliced thin

Red Bell Pepper- diced

Yellow Onion- 1 medium, sliced

Raw Cashews- 1/3 cup, chopped

Ginger Sesame Marinade/Sauce-

Carrot Ginger dressing (I used Whole Foods brand)- 2 tbsp

Sambal- 2 tbsp

Coconut aminos (or low sodium soy sauce) - 1 tsp

Sesame oil- 2 tsp

Sriracha- 1 tsp

Corn starch- 1/2 tbsp

Water- 1 tbsp


1. Preheat oven to 450 F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper

2. Make the marinade and pour in an 8x8 dish

3. Cut the tofu into about 24 even slices and line in the marinade dish- it should fit tightly, but well. Marinate for 5 minutes per side and add to one baking sheet.

4. On the other baking sheet, add the broccoli, cauliflower and red pepper and toss with oil. Lightly season with salt and pepper.

5. Put both baking sheets in the oven and set a timer for 15 minutes, this is when you'll put the vegetables out. Keep the tofu in until everything is finished.

6. In a large, nonstick pan, heat to a medium-high heat and add the sliced onions and mushrooms and continue to stir about 7-10 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

7. When the sheet pan veggies are done, add to the non stick pan, as well as the remaining tofu marinate and cashews. Stir until sauce is combined really well with the vegetables.

8. Remove tofu from oven when it is browned/crispy. This should be done when the vegetables are all combined and cooked.

9. In 4 bowls, divide the cooked barley (about 3/4 cup to 1 cup each). Top with cooked veggies, tofu and green onions. Garnish with more sriracha if you like it SPICY :)



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