Chipotle Copycat Dinner
Serves 4 to 6
If you're looking for a flavorful, hearty, weeknight meal, look no further than this Chipotle Copycat Dinner. This homemade Mexican meal is nutritious, full of plant-based protein, and any leftovers, if you have them, are perfect for lunch the next day. There are three recipes below but you can also download the class packet which includes that full shopping list.
Tofu Sofritas is a "Chipotle copycat dish" made with crumbled tofu, warming spices, and sofrito which is a bright, spicy sauce that elevates everything it touches. If you think you don't like tofu, don't judge until you try this one. According to the American Heart Association, tofu contains all the essential amino acids your body needs and is rich in minerals and vitamins, including calcium, manganese, iron, and vitamin A. Tofu is also a primary source of isoflavones – plant-created chemicals that are associated with a variety of health benefits.
The black beans and rice both come together in a snap but make magic together. Black beans are high in fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, and protective plant chemicals. Beans support heart health in part because their fiber helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease.
In a recent cooking class, tofu skeptics gave this meal an enthusiastic two thumbs up and said this was their family's favorite dinner so far! Try it and see what you think.
Special Equipment: Food processor
Sofrito is that special something you can't quite put your finger on in so many dishes with Cuban, Puerto Rican, or Spanish influence. It's that unique flavor that turns a plain dish into a lively affair. Flavorful and sometimes spicy, this sauce typically consists of onions, garlic, peppers, and tomatoes, depending on what part of the world your recipe originates. In this Tofu Sofritas, the sauce is used to braise spiced tofu, creating a hearty, flavorful, and protein-dense dish. Sofrito can be made in advance, frozen, and then used to quickly brighten up beans, rice, or tofu for an easy weeknight dinner.
For the Sofrito Sauce
1 red bell pepper, cut into big pieces
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
½ cup crushed tomatoes
¼ cup cilantro leaves, packed, plus more
for garnish (or use parsley)
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
Juice from one lime, 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon olive oil, optional
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
For the Tofu
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (14- to 16-ounce) package of extra firm tofu, drained
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons chili powder
3 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon salt
Avocado or guacamole
Shredded vegan cheddar cheese
Directions for the Tofu Sofritas
To make the sofrito, put the pepper, onion, crushed tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, oil, red pepper flakes, and salt in a food processor. Pulse ingredients until finely chopped. Set aside.
To make the tofu, heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Crumble the tofu into the pan. Add cumin, oregano, chili powder, syrup, and salt. Toss to coat the tofu with the spices, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes until spices are fragrant and tofu is starting to brown on the bottom of the pan. Stir in the sofrito and cook for about 10 minutes, until everything is tender and flavors are combined.
To serve, build bowls with rice, tofu sofritas, and other toppings. Garnish with cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.
Makes about 4 ½ cups
A few simple additions can turn boring rice into a bright and flavorful dish. Garlic, lime, and fresh cilantro make this the perfect accompaniment to Mexican or Asian dishes like tofu, beans, and vegetables. For a low-carb/grain-free option, used grated or finely chopped cauliflower instead of rice. Add it to a pan with a little oil or water and salt. Cook for about 8 minutes until it turns translucent then add in the scallions, garlic, lime juice, and cilantro. Cook for another couple of minutes then serve immediately.
1 ½ cups long-grain (jasmine or basmati) white rice
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
3 scallions, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced/pressed/grated
Lime juice from one lime, 2 tablespoons
½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
Combine the rice, water, and salt in a small pot with a lid. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Uncover and fluff with a fork.
Stir in the scallions, garlic, lime juice, and cilantro. Serve immediately.
Easy Mexican-Style Black Beans
Busy nights call for simple meals. Pantry staples like canned beans are a healthy plant-based source of protein and fiber and can be transformed from plain to delicious with just a few fresh ingredients. Lots of onion and garlic provide a savory backdrop to the earthy beans and fresh tomato, added toward the end of the cooking contributes tartness, color, and texture. Omit the tomato, if you prefer, and sauté diced bell pepper with the onions. These saucy beans were made for a serving over fluffy rice.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic minced/pressed/grated
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans
1 large tomato, chopped
Cilantro, for garnish, if desired
Heat the oil in a pan or pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 5 to 7 minutes until soft. Stir in garlic, cumin, and red pepper. Cook for another minute until fragrant. Add black beans with liquid from the can. Let simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato and simmer for another 5 to 8 minutes until some of the liquid has cooked down. Serve immediately