Friday, March 22, 2013

Low-carb Greek Briam with
Goat's Feta and Cinnamon-Baked Tofu
Meat Free Week – Day Five


My partner Tony has been participating in Meat Free Week this week to raise money for animal protection organisation, Voiceless. Five days so far without meat and Tony's been doing it hard replacing his proteins with tofu. He can handle small doses of tofu but he needs to eat a lot of it to make up for the amount of protein that he normally consumes.

For nutritional reasons, Tony tries to maintain a low-carbohydrate diet, so he needs more protein and fat than the average person to make up his energy source. Unfortunately, this means he needs to eat some animal proteins like chicken and fish (he doesn't eat red meat) because tofu isn't enough for his needs, but he does his bit by only eating free-range products.

I respect and understand Tony's need to stay on this diet, however this morning he came to me with some very exciting news.

Inspired by his week of going without meat and trying some different recipes using tofu, he is taking the compassionate step to go meat/fish free one day a week from now on.

This is huge. Not just for Tony (and for me!) but for the animals, the planet and human health. Going without meat for just one day a week will save the lives of around 100 animals per year. It will also help towards improving the environment, reducing greenhouse gases, and lessening the chances of developing health problems such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, bowel cancer and obesity.

If you're interested in cutting down your meat consumption, there is a world-wide movement called Meat Free Mondays which might inspire you. Their website has lots of compelling reasons to cut meat out of your diet, and there are plenty of delicious recipes for you to try.

I have a recipe right here that you might be interested in too! And the added bonus of this version of Greek Briam is that it is low in carbs and tastes absolutely amazing! The creaminess of the goat's feta and exotic flavour of the cinnamon-baked tofu are a marriage made in heaven.


Low-carb Greek Briam with Goat's Feta and Cinnamon-Baked Tofu


The cinnamon-baked tofu recipe is adapted from a recipe for Cinnamon-Spiced Baked Tofu that I found on Macaroon and Artichoke's wonderful blog, The Food Duo.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 green capsicum
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 sticks of celery, chopped in 1cm pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1/2 small tomato
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 100 ml Cretan extra virgin olive oil
  • 400 ml water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 60g goat's feta cheese, cubed

For the Cinnamon-Baked Tofu
  • 200g tofu, cut into 1/2 cm thick bite-sized squares
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Slice the eggplant, capsicum and zucchini into round pieces, about 1 cm thick.
  2. Slice the onions and tomatoes into thin round pieces. There ain't much of these to veggies so cut them as thinly as possible to make them go as far as possible!
  3. Place all the briam ingredients in a medium-sized oven dish and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees celsius.
  4. While the briam is cooking, prepare the cinnamon tofu (see below).
  5. After 45 minutes, remove dish from the oven and use the back of a fork to press the vegetables down into the liquid.
  6. Turn oven up to 200 degrees celsius and place tray of tofu, and dish of vegetables back in the oven.
  7. After another 15 minutes, turn tofu and bake for 15 minutes more.
  8. Total cooking time is 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  9. Remove both trays from oven and dish out vegetables into serving bowls, topped with the tofu, then goat's feta.

Prepare the cinnamon tofu

  1. Place the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, cinnamon and oregano in a small bowl and mix well.
  2. Arrange tofu pieces in a small non-stick oven dish and pour marinade over tofu.
  3. Allow to marinate for 10 minutes then place in oven 30 minutes before briam has finished cooking, turning once after 15 minutes.


I really loved the low-carb tofu moussaka we had on Monday night, but tonight's Briam would have to now be our new highlight of the week. It was absolutely delicious.


8 comments:

  1. oh how i love briam! this looks so delicious and rustic. when i had briam in greece, it was served in a single serving casserole dish. i remember wanting to eat 5 of them, but i only got one :/

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    1. I know what you mean Caitlin - you can never eat too much Briam! When Tony saw the quantity I served up last night he said "I'm not going to be able to eat all that!" but of course, he did :)

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  2. The tofu with cinnamon and goats cheese sounds so greek! Well done for coming up with something that completes your briam meal. I bet it taste really good!

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    1. You're right Jenny, the cinnamon tofu and goats cheese created some sort of magic together. This is so far our favourite dish of Meat Free Week.

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  3. Lisa, I am so glad that you enjoyed the cinnamon tofu! Good on Tony going meat-free at least one day. Hopefully, he'll be inspired to increase the number of days in the future. It's definitely a great start and for a great cause!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks again for the recipe Macaroon! I'm thrilled with Tony's decision, and I'm going to incorporate more vegan eating into my diet as well, so you'll be seeing a lot more of me at your blog!

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  4. I like most of ur recipes. many new ideas to try.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Ami! I'm glad you like my recipes :)

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