Sweet Paprika Tofu with Savoy Cabbage.
I'm heralding this king of the cabbage world as it really is a gem! And it's particularly abundant in the supermarkets at this time of year so you can buy it for next to nothing, or, if you have the option, grow your own! (That will be me in another life then 🤪)
It's packed full of so many nutrients and what I love about Savoy cabbage is there is very little waste - don't discard the outer leaves just chop them up finely - those darker leaves carry a huge amount of the nutrients. It's a great source of minerals such as iron, Magnesium & Potassium. It's high in Vitamin C, K and B6 & B5 and also rich in folate (note all of you focusing on fertility and pregnancy) and fibre. There's even protein in your humble cabbage - not a lot, but it contains all the essential amino acids the body needs. Ok, you'd need to eat a ton of it to get enough but the point is, your humble veggies are so worth their weight in gold. It's worth also mentioning that you are far more likely to absorb the nutrients from your veg than you are from popping pills.
To get enough protein, here is my Savoy Cabbage pairing - Tofu! Savoy cabbage is better known for mixing with meats - its milder, less peppery flavour blends in well.
Tofu might therefore seem an unusual mate but then thats where my blend of herbs and spices come to the fore! Whether you are vegan or not, tofu is such a good source of protein, plus it's dead cheap too.
A 300g block of tofu gives about 36g protein per pack - I'd halve this per person , so you are getting 18g protein via the tofu then add in some nuts, seeds, whole grains and pulses, plus the cabbage of course and you'll bring up your protein to well over 20g per person.
In with the Savoy Cabbage stir fry, I have added 15-20 grams of Black Sesame seeds. Black sesame seeds are a wonderful addition, not just for their protein but also for a huge number of macro and trace minerals. They are a high source of calcium - so great for your bones! And there is some early but interesting research on them in regards to oxidative stress and how this might impact on various disease factors from cancer to blood pressure and more. They are a powerful antioxidant and, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Black Sesame Seeds are regarded as the most ancient and most revered of all seeds, playing an important role in the balance of your health.
10grams of black sesame seeds plus a serving of whole grain rice will add another 4-5 grams of protein to this meal
Little tip - If you want to get all the nutrients out of your seeds, it's worth grinding them up - I make a roasted walnut and black sesame seed mix - Pop some walnuts in a hot pan and toast them, adding the sesame seeds (for measure go half quantity seeds to nuts) at the end so that they lightly toast with a pop. Then grind them in a blender/grinder. I keep this mix in the fridge in a jar. You can chuck this into almost anything to add a power pack of protein, healthy fats and nutrients to a meal. It's good with veggies, eggs, as a spread on toast (think nut butter) - will even go with yoghurt and fruit.
Having said all that - the whole seeds look v pretty on the cabbage 🤷🏻♀️🥬!
This is enough for 2 big people, kids btw will love these too...
For the Sweet Paprika Tofu
300g block of firm tofu, remove some of the dampness but not all - you want the flour to stick to it.
Generous glug of olive oil
Heaped tablespoon spelt flour
Heaped teaspoon sweet paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Two teaspoons dried oregano
Salt and pepper
For the Cabbage Stir Fry
3 - 5 spring onions chopped
1/2 savoy cabbage core removed and thinly sliced
Glug of Olive oil (or use what's left in pan)
Pinch sweet paprika (if using same pan you cooked the tofu in , you'll already have added flavour.)
20 grams black sesame seeds
Squeeze of Lemon juice (For added Vit C and iron absorption) to add on top or serve on the side. Salt and Pepper.
Dry off the Tofu a little, keeping it damp enough for the flour mix to stick to the tofu. Cut into sticks - they should be approximately 1 by 2 - 3 cm but the smaller you go the more coating and crispy crunch you'll get.
Place all the dry ingredients into a shallow bowl, mix thoroughly and then dip and thoroughly coat each of your tofu sticks. Go back in and dip them all again - You want lots of coating for maximum crunch and flavour!
Place the olive oil in a pan and bring to an even heat (not too much - you want a sizzle but not smoke) and then evenly fry your sticks, turning them frequently until they all turn a crisp browny red. Set aside while you cook the cabbage.
For the stir fry. Add a little more oil if needed to the same pan. Add your spring onions first on a low heat, allowing them to soften, then turn up the heat slightly to add your cabbage. Once the cabbage has softened, add your sesame seeds, salt and pepper. Add a squeeze of lemon juice at the end and if you feel the cabbage needs a little more cooking, pop a lid on your pan for 1 minute.
Serve on its own for a lighter meal or with some whole grain basmati rice for something a little more substantial. Grilled tomatoes also go beautifully with this dish.
Check out the video on instagram here