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charred broccoli + tofu stuffed avocados with sweet lemon curry sauce

charred broccoli + tofu stuffed avocados with  sweet lemon curry sauce // the first messchive blossoms // the first messingredients for charred broccoli + tofu stuffed avocados with  sweet lemon curry sauce // the first messmarinating some tofu // the first messto be grilled // the first mess
I took a little holiday from here and I really hope you don’t mind. Two weeks away from this space in the middle of spring-to-summer felt a bit indulgent and lazy until I realized that hey, I was never aiming for an endless conveyer belt of super-pretty-health-fun-wow-tasty-vibes with this site anyway. Almost three years of creating and sharing here, and I think I finally just grasped what the point of it really is.

I’ve always firmly believed that each person, each entity, is enough as is. We’re all pretty miraculous as lives living right here. It might be our work in life to wake up and just realize that one truth, to get to that state of pure feeling and experience–no words or actions necessary, nobody remembers those anyway. Moving forward from that accepted self means not being reduced by some of the more challenging episodes of the everyday, but instead just being and becoming. You do what you can with what knowledge is available to you, and next time? You’ll do it better just by virtue of having walked in that beautiful and probably messy path.

It’s easy to admire the beauty of something that smacks of completeness, but I’ve always been more interested in growth and how we get to there as a community, even if the “there” changes and moves along. How we work together and relate to pull ourselves out of a difficult spot or a challenge, I’m into that. I love reading and watching interviews with chefs, master carpenters, explorers, makers of all stripes, and people who just DO THINGS because their stories inevitably weave a rich-as-fuck tapestry of experience and lessons from their surroundings. They took their sense of selves, realized the might, made themselves a student of their community/environment, and in turn uplifted some portion of humanity. The mind that shifts and is able to see differently is something to behold.

So we’re always growing together over here. Maybe it’s a new kale salad technique, a new spice, some all-too-human recounts of events and feelings felt. I love that we can all interact over something so simple as a possible bite to eat between hello and goodbye, and on the internet to boot. Just great. Today I grilled an avocado and my sense of time and place went a little wild. So delicious! Its natural shape is perfect for a little stuffing of sorts, so I went to work on charring a few more things for that component. Some marinated tofu, pungent broccoli and a sweet lemon and mildly curry-ish sauce for smothering. The curry part was an accident too, the little bag of it selected when I intended to reach for ground cumin. No need to cope with the error because man, it’s good. Bright, warming, and lightly sweet. I found the whole dish a little strong/rich in terms of mouthfeel, so the sauce is in there to help along with some diced apricots that weren’t quite ripe. Just a touch of pucker to make it work and go pop.

I always feel compelled to dream up some kind of wholesome, feel-good grilled main for y’all this time of year. I know full well that the inclination is just rooted in what I want to eat since we’re creeping up on summer, but it’s also a bit of a counter to the sauced meat-laden magazine covers everywhere right about now. Surely this can’t STILL be feeling like a new thing, right? Eat your vegetables and show ‘em what you’re made of :) xo

charred broccoli + tofu stuffed avocados with  sweet lemon curry sauce // the first messgrillinpre-plate (charred broccoli + tofu stuffed avocados with  sweet lemon curry sauce) // the first messassembling charred broccoli + tofu stuffed avocados with  sweet lemon curry sauce // the first messcharred broccoli + tofu stuffed avocados with  sweet lemon curry sauce // the first messcharred broccoli + tofu stuffed avocados with  sweet lemon curry sauce // the first mess

charred broccoli + tofu stuffed avocados with sweet curry lemon sauce
serves: 6
notes: Some cooked grain in this mix would be yummy if you’ve got some around. Also, swapping tempeh for tofu could be delicious. If you don’t want to bother with making the sauce, I think some super classic/classy barbecue sauce would be so, so proper.

charred broccoli, tofu + avocados:
1/4 cup olive oil + extra
1 tbsp dijon or grainy mustard
1 clove of garlic, peeled + sliced (optional!)
2 tbsp chopped chives + blossoms if you’ve got ‘em
big pinch chili flakes
5-6 sprigs of thyme, leaves rough chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice + zest
salt + pepper to taste
ground cumin to taste
1 package of extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 stalks of broccoli, stems removed
3 firm, but ripe avocados
1-2 barely ripe apricots

sweet curry lemon sauce:
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 strip of lemon zest
1/2 tbsp dijon OR grainy mustard
1-2 tbsp maple syrup OR agave nectar
1/4 cup diced red onion
fat pinch of mild curry powder
small pinch of ground cumin
splash of filtered water (more or less depending on desired consistency)
salt + pepper
1/2 tsp tamari soy sauce
3 tbsp-1/4 cup olive oil

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, mustard, garlic, chives, chili flakes, thyme, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper and cumin. Set aside.

Lay the tofu slices in a large dish and cut the broccoli into florets. Add the broccoli to the dish with the tofu slices. Pour the marinade mix over the tofu and broccoli. Cover and refrigerate, allowing to marinate for at least 1/2 and hour.

While the tofu and broccoli is marinating, make the sweet lemon curry sauce. Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard, maple syrup, red onion, curry powder, cumin powder, water, salt, pepper, tamari, and oil in a blender and blend on high until you have a completely smooth mixture. Check the sauce for seasoning and place in the fridge while you grill

Preheat your grill to high. Cut the avocados in half, and remove all pits. brush the exposed surfaces with oil and season with salt + pepper. Set aside.

Start laying the tofu and broccoli on the grill. Cook until char marks appear on all surfaces, carefully flipping pieces of tofu and broccoli over here and there for even cooking. Remove all tofu and broccoli once it’s sufficiently cooked/charred. Place avocado halves on the grill and cook until char marks appear. Remove and place on a serving platter.

Chop up the tofu and broccoli into small pieces and toss together in a medium bowl. Dice up the apricots and add to the bowl as well. Toss with some more chopped chives or chive flowers if you want and spoon into the grilled avocado halves. Finish with drizzles of the sweet lemon curry sauce.

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Emily @ Cortado Chronicles05/06/2014 - 6:14 am

Um, yes. Yum. What a great recipe to come back with.
Being a vegetarian, BBQs in the summer months have been lingering in the back of my mind – how will others cope with my dietary requirements?!
I might throw my own ‘veggie’ BBQ party. Show non-veggies that BBQs sans meat can be exciting and fun too.

Valentina05/06/2014 - 7:10 am

Your photos make me really hungry!!! :D I’ll try this recipe, my boyfriend ate grilled avocado some years ago in Spain and sometimes it asked to make it for him – I’ve never tried it yet!

Magda05/06/2014 - 7:23 am

Indeed, if your blog was a conveyer-belt of recipes and photos, it would be a bad thing. Spontaneity and people writing after they have lived something in the real world, it’s what it’s all about.
Thanks for your words and for a great recipe.

anoushe05/06/2014 - 7:53 am

This looks amahzing!! :)

Millie l Add A Little05/06/2014 - 8:59 am

Gorgeous post as usual and those charred avocados look super tasty!

Sini | my blue&white kitchen05/06/2014 - 9:06 am

Grilled avocado? And if that’s not enough, filling that damn delicious looking grilled avocado? Girl, you’re a genius! Can’t wait to get into some summer grilling at our summer cottage. Will definitely make this recipe. Also, that second photo just blew my mind. Nature’s beauty which you’ve captured so perfectly.

The Naked FIg05/06/2014 - 9:21 am

This looks out of this world! I don’t even have words. Just WOW.

Monica05/06/2014 - 9:21 am

These photos are gorgeous, this recipe looks amazing, and I have those same flats! :) Therefore, this post is awesome.

Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth05/06/2014 - 9:35 am

Wow! Wherever you went for two weeks, can I go there?? Profound writing. Out of the box recipe. You go girl! Total awesomeness.

Kierstan05/06/2014 - 9:38 am

Well deserved time away from this beautiful blog.

Your photos and recipe are deliciously amazing. A perfect meal for a summertime BBQ, enjoyed with friends.

cynthia05/06/2014 - 10:21 am

Holy wow. This looks and sounds so phenomenal, Laura. If this isn’t super-pretty-health-fun-wow-tasty, I don’t know what is.

Also, it was so crazy awesome to meet you last week! You are every bit as chilled-out rad and fabulous that I imagined you to be.

Erica C. Barnett05/06/2014 - 12:36 pm

Wow. That photo of the tofu and garlic chives looks like a flower garden. Lovely (and I can’t wait to make this!)

Sophie05/06/2014 - 6:27 pm

Yum, this looks amazing! Thank you so much for your honest words, Laura. Sometimes I need to be remined that trying my hardest and learning along the way is the best accomplishment of all.

kristie @ birchandwild.com05/06/2014 - 8:24 pm

This looks so delicious and summer perfect! I can’t wait to try it. And beautiful photos, as usual!

Sophie05/06/2014 - 8:28 pm

Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever seen tofu looking so beautiful! It must have been difficult to remove it from the marinade.. beautiful blog and photos.

Dick Punch05/06/2014 - 11:30 pm

I thought doze purdy purple flowers were fireworks in the dark picture. Mad decent.
Laura: Hi Nicole!

Légumes | Pearltrees06/06/2014 - 4:03 am

[…] charred broccoli + tofu stuffed avocados with sweet lemon curry sauce […]

[…] Linked from: www.thefirstmess.com […]

This just looks SOOOOO gooood!!!!!! I’m in love with tofu and have recently started cooking a lot with this magic ingredient! I love the charred look on the broccoli and that curry sauce is like the best thing ever!!!!!!!

sarah06/06/2014 - 3:20 pm

‘but I’ve always been more interested in growth and how we get to there as a community, even if the “there” changes and moves along. How we work together and relate to pull ourselves out of a difficult spot or a challenge, I’m into that.’ Yes. Most my life I focused on end points and was always trying to arrive at some perfect place, or state. But it’s just all about the process, and one I figured that out, life became a much more beautiful place.

I appreciate your musings and thoughtfulness so much. And I never got to hug you goodbye! But that just means we have to see each other soon, right?xx

ps. grilled avocados? amazing.

[…] stuffed avocados with sweet lemon curry. i can get behind this […]

jade08/06/2014 - 7:00 am

These photos are simply stunning – I am completely blown away.
You are a very talented lady, Laura.

la domestique08/06/2014 - 7:33 am

I love everything about this post. The sun is shining and I’m off to fire up the grill!

[…] permanent auf der Suche nach vegetarischen Grill-Rezepten – und bin fündig geworden: bei The First Mess sah ich gegrillte Avocados, mit einer Tofu-Brokkoli-Füllung, dazu gibt es eine süße […]

Jeanee09/06/2014 - 10:18 am

This loos SO GOOD! The photo of the seasoned tofu needs to be hung on the wall as a piece of framed art.

Lindsay10/06/2014 - 8:13 am

Thanks for this timely post. Love all of your images and recipes. Keep up the good work!

Grace from The Big Reveal10/06/2014 - 11:51 am

These look so delicious! I can’t wait to try it out. You have never steered me wrong, so I know it will be fabulous. And, your photography is always so stunning it makes me gasp out loud..at my desk. (I’m sure my coworkers think I’m nuts, but it’s worth it!)

Thanks for being a continued source of inspiration.

Kate10/06/2014 - 5:57 pm

This meal is absolutely stunning, improvised or not. I hear you—I’ve been feeling like a recipe factory lately and took a much-needed weekend break from my phone and my computer and cooking. I want to hang that sliced tofu photo on my wall. :)

[…] seen a recipe calling for warm or cooked avocado, I throw up in my mouth a little…until THIS. Another lovely vegan meal on The First Mess, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to want to […]

Danny Farrington14/06/2014 - 8:37 am

This all looks scrumptious – may I ask you where you got your lovely tableware from? I’ve been searching for weeks for bowls and plates like that!

[…] Asparagus Salad with Sweet Curry Sauce Serves 2. Adapted from The First Mess. You could cook the tofu more, or even fry it for more crispiness – same goes with the […]

Laura Wright15/06/2014 - 11:29 am

Hi Danny, I picked up the enamelware plates from a local antique shop.
-L

Hungry? | Wilderness & Gold17/06/2014 - 1:42 pm

[…] Image of Charred Broccoli + Tofu Stuffed Avocados with Sweet Lemon Curry Sauce. […]

Links We Love | Roost Books20/06/2014 - 12:43 pm

[…] * A new take on avocados, transitioning into summer, and seeing everything as just right, as it is—effortless. […]

Laetitia24/06/2014 - 9:32 am

Wow, this looks amazingly delicious.

[…] * Charred broccoli & tofu stuffed avocados with sweet lemon curry sauce […]

Shea26/06/2014 - 1:32 pm

This is the first of your recipes that I’ve made and I just had to comment to say it is so good! Particularly the sweet lemon curry sauce, YUM. A perfect dressing for other salads, too, if you’re like me and tired of the same old balsamic vinaigrette. I don’t have a grill, so I ended up roasting the marinated broccoli and tofu, and it came out great. I’ll definitely be trying more of your recipes!

[…] Thursday – charred broccoli + tofu stuffed avocados with sweet lemon curry sauce […]

Recettes | Pearltrees12/07/2014 - 11:03 am

[…] charred broccoli + tofu stuffed avocados with sweet lemon curry sauce […]

Stephanie14/07/2014 - 1:29 pm

Holy moly! This recipe looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing – adding this to my BBQ bucket list!

[…] Charred broccoli and tofu stuffed avocado with sweet lemon curry sauce. (via The Kitchn) […]

jacqueline30/07/2014 - 10:42 pm

This was seriously good. Had to make a couple modifications as I had some treats from my CSA to use but the dressing and marinade I kept the same. The smokiness of the veg/tofu meeting the creaminess of the avocado was delicious. Thanks for an awesome recipe!

[…] ‘Charred Broccoli + Tofu Stuffed Avocados‘ — Well, anything with avocado is a given obviously. And anything […]

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