Sweet and Spicy Asian Tofu (Weight Watchers) ~ Savory Simple

For those of you who follow my site regularly, you might have noticed a slight decrease in recipe posts over the past few weeks.  The truth is that I’ve been insanely busy and I have terrible time management skills.  I’ve been trying various methods to improve my productivity but nothing seems to stick.  I know social media is a big part of the problem.  Recipes must be pinned!  Tweets must be tweeted!  Hey, what’s happening on Facebook? Also, this is my first year shooting food photography in natural light and I am not adjusting well to the shorter days and general lack of quality sunlight.  So to those of you who are good at multi-tasking and handling endless to-do lists, I must ask a very important question:

What are your best time management tips?  

Seriously, I could really use any and all advice so don’t hold back.  There are just never enough hours in the day to get it all done!  I find myself working in the evenings and on weekends and I’m still always behind. Someone suggested only checking my email three times per day.  I tried that for a week and was twitching the entire time as I waited for my next fix.  I will freely admit that I’m an internet junkie but I see plenty of other junkies online getting oodles of work done.

There’s been another downside to the hectic schedule; I’ve let my eating habits slip a bit and have put on some weight.  After contemplating a few options I’ve decided to return to my old standby, Weight Watchers.  Paleo sounded very interesting but in the end it’s just too restrictive for me.  I really do think Weight Watchers is a great program. It has the flexibility to let me eat what I want within reason and test recipes for the blog.  I’ve always been an online member but I’ve started going to meetings for the first time and I really love the support and accountability.

Today I’m sharing the first of what I hope will be many delicious Weight Watchers recipes (and don’t worry, there will still be plenty of the normal goodies). This sweet and spicy Asian tofu has been an obsession for me lately and since I love it so much I figured it was worth sharing.  I swear I’ve been eating it almost every day.  I crave it. It has everything I want in a weekday recipe- flavor, texture and it’s incredibly fast and easy to make.  I can have a home cooked lunch ready in less than 10 minutes and it scales up very easily for two when making dinner.  I buy fresh, pre-cut stir fry veggie mixes to save time.  If you’re not sure how you feel about tofu, try this. It’s pan-fried and I honestly feel like I’m eating fried cheese.  It soaks up the delicious sauce and is filling without being overly heavy.  It’s also very budget friendly!

Side note: I’m only focused on points but if there’s enough interest I’d be happy to calculate the nutritional values of my Weight Watchers recipes. Just let me know!

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Sweet and Spicy Asian Tofu
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 7 ounces extra firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon high-heat oil (I use regular olive oil)
  • cooking spray
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 cups assorted stir-fry vegetables
  • 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce (I recommend Mae Ploy)
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • optional: a few drops of fish sauce
  • ⅔ cup brown rice, cooked
Instructions
  1. An hour before cooking, wrap the tofu in paper towels and place between two plates to help press out the liquid. I like to change the paper towels once during this process. Slice the tofu into even cubes.
  2. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Once it's hot, add the tofu cubes and allow them to pan fry until golden on one side and then use tongs to turn the pieces. Brown at least 4 sides for the best texture.
  3. Set the tofu aside and if the pan is no longer oily, add some cooking spray. Saute the garlic and vegetables over medium-high heat with a bit of salt. I prefer my veggies slightly crunchy.
  4. While the tofu and vegetables are cooking, stir together the sauce ingredients.
  5. Serve the tofu and vegetables with the sauce over brown rice.
Notes
You want to use tofu that's been packed in water for this recipe, not the silken boxed variety. I recommend using a non-stick pan for the tofu because you will need less oil.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 7 Points+

 

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Comments

  1. I find chasing sunlight so frustrating! and then if you don’t time it perfectly then you have to wait another 12 hours! It took me 3 days to take a photo of chocolate cake!! *end rant*
    I know this probably won’t help much but take five minutes a day to center yourself, breath and write a to – do list. I even find putting times on it helps. Eg, 9-10 check emails 11-12 go to post office 12-1 write blog post.

  2. Chasing sunlight. Sigh… settle for florescent light mostly. It’s just impossible for me to be able to photograph everything I cook with natural light. I just choose to stress less and let it be. Not the best advice there is, I know. I also feel like there’s never enough hours in a day. I guess when it comes to food, I do shopping roughly once a week and tend to plan my meals as I shop. 7 days, 7 veggies, enough meat for 7 days. Just so I know what to get out of the freezer, when to marinade etc.

    As for this tofu recipe, very nice! I have one more cube of tofu in the fridge waiting for me to turn it into this. :-)

  3. Nice recipe and photo.

  4. Everyone suffers with lack of daylight for photography. My food shots reduce drastically in winter. The only solution is to try to put a day aside in which you shoot 6 or 7 shots.

  5. I know this feeling all too well – my problem is that I tend to spend so much time panicking about how little time I have and how I’m going to fit everything in that I end up with even less time to do the things that I need to do! I’m trying to get smarter about how I use my time but it’s not easy.

    I think it’s good at this time of year especially to have some healthier recipes so I’m looking forward to trying this!

  6. I know how you feel! I get up at 5:30 am and I just don’t stop until close to midnight. Bake, photograph, cook, clean, network, blog, read, pin, tweet…oh my gosh I don’t know how I do it. :) And I have a 6-month old and a 3-year old… and a husband! :-D
    If I ever was to go on a diet, I would only choose WW. I know a few people that have done it with great success. I have a WW cookbook and everything I have tried is delicious!

    Such a pretty photo! Can you believe that I have never had tofu?!

  7. I’d love to see the nutritional information for your recipes. It’s always nice to get an idea of what all is in a serving. Thanks!

  8. Good luck on Weight Watchers! I’ve heard so many great things. I also have had a ton of success with MyFoodDiary.com if you are looking at other options. Regardless, this recipe looks delish. :-)

  9. I think all of us have serious issues about not having enough time in the day! As a mother of 3, I think I spend a large part of my day serving them…but no time for myself :( Need to find a reasonable balance, too. If you do find a good strategy, let me know :) At least your food looks good…! There’s always time to cook…

  10. I work from home mostly, and still have no time during the day to cook so this time of year it is always dark when I get a picture…unless perhaps it’s on the weekend. I just keep trying both ambient light, which is unfortunate florescent in my kitchen, and a flash and move on. I, too, am back on WW. A great program. Love your stir-fry!

  11. This looks great! I love tofu. With regards to time management, one of the best advice I received was to not be too hard on myself. I often stress myself with my own list of things to do, but I’m learning to be more flexible… Also, here’s a post I wrote about balancing blogging and a full time job: http://www.confessionsofachocoholic.com/chocolate/how-to-balance-blogging-with-a-full-time-job :)

  12. I’m right there with you, Jen! With the loss of daylight (and my Pinterest addiction), I’m lucky if I manage to get something up on my blog once a week. I am in awe of people who post every day. (Are they magicians?) I don’t even have children, so my only excuse is…cats? o_O

    This tofu dish looks delicious!! It’s making me feel guilty about the olive burger I just inhaled for lunch. :D

  13. I actually did have to give up my personal social media and I rarely check anymore. I do get a ton more done now, but I still have that feeling I’m going to miss something! I also keep tons of detailed notes on my iPhone. I plan out my schedule the week before (grocery lists, meals, to-do’s, and on what day of the week I need to be doing what). If I have it planned and in writing it holds me a lot more accountable to get it done. And it feels good to be able to cross things off my list and get everything done!

  14. Lan | angry asian says:

    now this is my kind of dish! i adore tofu and asian stirfry.

    for my own space i only aim for 1-2 posts/week. i tend to focus on foods that i eat often. if i know that i’m going to make/eat something blog worthy, i make extra servings so that i can snap the leftovers over the weekend or on Thursdays when i work from home. as you can imagine, i eat best Wednesday & Friday nights! :) if i plan things right, i might have a few baked items too (like cookies or slices of cake) that can be photographed during the day, those are bonuses. in regards to finding the time when i should be working, honestly, i do photography prep way beforehand. i have a corner in my living that gets great light during 10am – 3pm and i set up props sans the food prior and when i’m ready to click that is when i put food down. 10 snaps later, i’m done. in regards to editing, like Bree from the mixedcon talk, i do it while watching tv. it’s usually the actual content that takes me forever & not so much the pix.

  15. Natural daylight is SO HARD to catch right now! I feel my pics are totally suffering too.
    Good for you for going for weight watchers! I adore stir fry (hello, yummy method to clean out my fridge) and am constantly in the market for new recipes. Yours looks like it has just the right amount of kick.
    Oh time management–I’m a chronic list maker, but always wish I could do more!

  16. I have noticed that you’re not posting as usual and I’m not happy about that :) This single guy sometimes depends on your recipes to get creative in the kitchen… I lack that very much when it comes to cooking.. I’m such a basic eater!!!

    Anyway for time management I just tell myself one thing at a time… the less I multi-task the more productive I get. Science backs this up no matter how much we like to claim that we are good at multi-tasking. Once I started doing that, I found that I did have quite a bit of time for myself… I really think it helped me calm down too… I seemed panicked most of the time because I was trying to do everything at once and now I’d like to think I’m more composed :)

    Hope you’re not feeling stressed… it the holiday season… enjoy the festivities :)

  17. the whole winter thing has thrown off my schedule completely. by the time i get home, its so dark and i have no time for workout, cooking, or anything. I have been struggling a little bit as well. but lately I have tried to make a schedule on things- although it may not work 100% of the time. I try to post once on the weekends (using natural light) and if i have enough motivation- post once more on weekdays using a light box. I started making weekly menu plans so that i know exactly what to cook, how long it takes and such. To-do list works great for me. Also, I have tried to get workout done in the morning as much as I can. I hope these tips help. and btw the tofu recipe looks amazing- i have a slight obsession with tofu too.

  18. I looooooooove tofu. And yes. I’m overly stressed. I actually hate christmsa right now.

  19. This sounds amazing. I am a huge fan of asian food, especially when it is spicy and has tofu in it! Thanks for the recipe!
    Ash @ Limo Services Denver

  20. Well I’m not big on tofu, but your photo is good enough to eat :-)

  21. I love Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce. My boyfriend and I put it on pretty much most stir fry vegetables we eat, haha. So basically this recipe *really* appeals to me!

  22. I wish I could give you a tip on time management but it is one of my areas of struggle as well. I can say that this dish caught my eye on foodgawker and it looks very tasty. It is always nice to see food that is healthy without quotation marks. Good Luck!

  23. This recipe sounds great! I feel like people turn up their noses at tofu, but if they just try a recipe like THIS delicious one, I’m sure they’d change their minds.

  24. I have no advice, alas. I am barely treading water myself–the influenza last week and strep throat this week. So I just wanted to say hugs.

  25. I wish I had good time management skills. The more immersed in the blog world I get, the more things spiral out of control. I try to set daily goals and meet them. Not that I always do.

  26. i’m with you, I’m not used to the shorter days yet either! I’ve finished my last 2 shoots in the dark… luckily it worked out, but it’s forced me to speed the process along!

    I’m not a tofu lover but I love the sound the sweet & spicy flavors here!

  27. Time management is my elusive friend, also. I think it’s hard to say “creative” and “time management” in the same sentence! I love a good tofu recipe…thank you! Sounds delicious!

  28. Tofu,spicy and sweet, that’s the combination I love! And it’s very healthy,too.

  29. office job deadlines, freelance deadlines, my blog, family, friends, etc etc – I need time management help right now as well. I am struggling! I also have a hard time saying no to things, so I always over clutter my calendar. Everyday. Need help with this!

    I adore tofu – even though I am not a vegetarian, I eat it all the time. Your sweet + spicy version is on my tofu list now. I’ve been making crispy tofu lately, so this is a nice switch up!

  30. Jen, I really love the sounds of this simple lite delicious nutritious meal. I plan to fix it this coming week. As for the whole time-management thing, I struggle with it too…sometimes more than others. Too many interests, too many things calling my name, too easily pulled off course. I’m reading a book you may appreciate, “The War of Art.” Really very clarifying insights onto the whole subject of Resistance, Distraction, Procrastination and how they pull us from our unique & artful purpose. You might find it interesting. See what others have to say about it on Amazon. My eyes are widening as to what’s required. :) best of luck to you – and to me! :)

  31. For time management, I basically have to write it all down and just try and get through it one by one, however long it takes. I mean, that’s not really a “tip” cause I’m sure all of us “try” to get through it and not all make it, but I find that having a list, I can usually push myself to do it more than having it all written out in my head.

    I love this spicy tofu dish – I’m all about tofu! I don’t understand people who don’t like it :) good luck with weight watchers, i’m intrigued by it so i’ll definitely be keeping an eye for your progress & posts!

  32. Argh, there is never enough natural light in a day! My way of time management is to just avoid twitter more than once a day max, but I know I miss out on so much with that decision, so that’s not good advice :) Time management is HARD, and my eating habits are often what suffers too.

  33. There really is not enough time in the day! I think for the most part, I sacrifice sleep to get posts done. I’ve been waking up at 4AM almost every day this week to ensure a post going up. It has not been fun.

    Anyway, this tofu dish – love it! I’ve put on some holiday weight as well so this here is just what I need :)

  34. I’m the last person you should ask about time management skills! Although I swear by my To Do list – if it’s not written down and staring me in the face, it’s not likely to happen. And to accommodate my schedule, about a year ago I stopped photographing in natural light, and am now using studio flash (particularly useful in the winter when it gets dark so early). With the proper modifier, you can’t tell the difference between artificial and natural light (in every movie that you see where a scene is shot outdoors, the actors are lit by big lights, not by natural light, although the background is usually largely natural light). Anyway, nice recipe. Tofu marries so well with Asian flavors, and this is a particularly nice recipe. Good stuff – thanks.

  35. I’m no pro on time management, but I have learned the less I totally freak out about “not having enough time to do everything!” the more I actually get done. Love the look of this healthy meal

  36. Love this spicy tofu recipe, I almost never eat tofu but definitely would love a spicy version. I also find the time change and getting darker earlier affect my work and photography in particular. I am in dire need of dieting too and I sometimes go days if not weeks without posting. This time of the year particularly is so busy and if you got small children, it’s no wonder. I don’t think it’s about time management. Life is just hectic!

  37. Great recipe! I feel you on the short days and lack of natural light – I live in Seattle so I often find myself at odds with mother nature. Something that works really well for me is to have a post queue of at least 3 to 4 completed recipe posts (with photos). That way I feel much less pressure and stress and can work with the weather and light with a bit more flexibility.

    • Thanks, Alyssa! I really need to get some more recipes in the queue if I can find the time to jump ahead. I was able to do that this summer and you’re totally right- it was a huge stress reliever.

  38. I struggle with time management issues daily. I honestly have been feeling so much stress from all the stuff I’ve had in my head to do I was losing sleep for the past month. I finally broke down and put myself on a 1-notebook diet (because I had a million lists in notebooks floating around house) & have been attached to it for almost a week. I’m writing a reasonable to do list daily, written the night before so I already have a plan when I wake up next day. The worst for me was figuring it all out on the same day, then getting side tracked…I need a plan (loose is ok :) )
    Social media is a pit for me. I’m avoiding it right now because it’s just doing me no good. Huge time waster & at end of day I’m feeling way more productive and accomplished without it.

    Not sure those were tips but, just wanted you to know you’re not alone :)

    As for this dish, looks awesome. I’m still slightly intimidated by tofu, but pan fried is my favorite. Good luck with WW, helps me every time!

    • Thanks Aggie! It sounds like you and I are on the same page with time management. I can’t survive without to-do lists but I might have too many of them. I’m so scatterbrained that I feel dependent on them. I spent much less time on social media today and felt twice as productive. It can be fun but in the end it’s only so helpful and then it just becomes a distraction.

  39. I’m with you about time management — been away from social media for almost a week now and it’s so refreshing to get things done on my to-do list.

    Love tofu in every way imaginable :)

  40. Unfortunately, the inclusion of fish sauce in this recipe means that it is NOT a vegan dish. Please update your key words to reflect this mistake.

    Other than that error, this looks like a beautiful dish!

  41. Spices of India says:

    Photography is nice. Dish which you have been served is delicious.

  42. Denise Wilson says:

    Love Tofu!

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