Almond Tofu Fritters and Swiss Chard Salad with Warm Black Sesame Garlic Vinaigrette


Ever heard that some of the greatest recipes are the result of the worst mistakes or happiest accidents? Well, this recipe is just like that. I set out to make a tofu version of coconut chicken, and since we are trying to do low carb, no dairy, bla bla bla for the next few weeks I decided to coat the tofu in almond flour, along with coconut flakes. This almond flour/coconut combination worked out incredibly well for me when I tried it with chicken tenders back in October so why not with tofu?

Normally when I cook tofu, I take the tofu out of the freezer, wait for it to defrost, open the package, drain out all the water, slice into squares and plop it into a large mixing bowl. I then toss in a bit of Masa flour, corn starch, seasonings of the night, salt and pepper and mix it all together until the tofu is completely coated. Once coated, I fry it up in a couple tablespoons of oil or toss it in the oven. No biggie. I’ve executed tofu successfully like this a least a hundred times by now.

Well, Monday night I decided to marinate the tofu, which I never do. Then I mixed almond flour, finely pulsed coconut flakes, salt and pepper together in a mixing bowl. I reached into the marinade, scooped out small handfuls of cubed tofu, lightly squeezing it of any extra liquids before tossing it in the almond mixture. Well, the almond flour just got soggy and made a big clumpy mess, not at all like the experience I’ve had with Masa flour. So trying to correct my error, I added in even more almond flour. Did. Not. Help. The almond flour just would not adhere to the tofu at all.

At this point, with my oil starting to shimmer, I was feeling pretty frustrated. Then I hear Amy say from behind me, “Why don’t you crack an egg in it and make fritters?” I whipped my head around at her, with my hands still desperately tossing the tofu around the mixing bowl, and dumbfoundedly replied, “Huh???” She repeated, “Yeah, just crack an egg in it and make fritters. You know, like one of those mistake recipes.” Lawd Cheezus, sometimes I swear that woman is a genius! So, that’s what ended up doing. I cracked an egg in, mixed it all together, and then tried frying a small fritter to test out what was gonna happen. The tofu was still too big and falling out of the batter but I let it finish frying up before setting it on a paper towel to rest. Needing to figure something else out, I plunged my hands back in the mixture and mashed it all together until the cubed tofu was more manageable in size. So, I then tried a second small fritter, dropping it carefully in the oil and voila! Success! Well sort of, but I was so relieved anyway!

Dinner ended up turning out nothing as I had intended and yet delicious and satisfying anyway. Only drawback was, Amy thought the fritters looked just like peanut butter cookies and couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed that they weren’t every time she took a bite. Needless to say, this fritter recipe needs a lot of tweaking, if I even make it again. However, the warm swiss chard salad turned out exactly as I wanted it to and so that is the recipe I’m posting today.

Lesson to take away from all this? If you find yourself “failing” miserably in the kitchen, just keep pushing through it and who knows what wonders you may end up creating. Also, a little help in the kitchen goes a long way!

Failure is a greater teacher than success. ~Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Swiss Chard Salad with Warm Black Sesame Garlic Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

1 bunch Swiss Chard, tough end of stems removed, then sliced into bite size ribbons

1 tsp of Toasted Sesame oil, or oil of choice

2 – 3 Black Garlic cloves

1 tsp Rice Wine Vinegar, or to taste

1 tsp Black Sesame Seeds

Salt and Pepper to taste

Method: 

Place the chopped chard in a large mixing or salad bowl. Set aside. Over low flame in a small cast iron skillet, heat the oil until just warmed through. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix together until well incorporated. Turn off the flame and pour the warmed vinaigrette over the chard. Toss until the Swiss chard is well coated. Serve immediately.

 

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