12 ounces spaghetti (about ¾ a box)
2 1/2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons miso
1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
14-ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained
1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
While the spaghetti is cooking, combine 1 tablespoon canola oil and next 7 ingredients (through sesame oil) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.
When the spaghetti is done, drain, rinse, and divide into 2 bowls. Toss 1 bowl with ¼ cup of the miso mixture. If your kids are picky, toss the second bowl with a little oil or butter.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon canola oil to pan; swirl to coat. Cut tofu crosswise into 4 (1-inch-thick) slices. Add tofu to pan, and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until browned. If your kids might prefer plain tofu, take out 2 tofu steaks and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon miso mixture to pan, and toss to coat the tofu. Remove tofu from pan.
Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil to pan; swirl to coat. If your kids prefer raw asparagus, put half the asparagus in a bowl and serve it while you finish up cooking. Add asparagus and mushrooms to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add remaining 2 tablespoons miso mixture to pan; toss to coat.
PLATING FOR PICKY EATERS: Put a helping of plain spaghetti, plain tofu, and any leftover raw asparagus on a plate, preferably in a way that doesn't allow the components to touch one another.
PLATING FOR ADVENTUROUS EATERS: Twisting the spaghetti with a pair of tongs, set a twirl of miso-glazed pasta into each bowl. Top each serving with a big helping of miso-glazed vegetables and a miso-glazed tofu steak. Sprinkle with green onions.