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Posts Tagged ‘tofu’

Moms do everything better

Tonight I tried to recreate this thing that my mom used to make all the time when I was little involving rice, tofu and mushrooms.  It didn’t work, but what I ended up with was okay, anyway:

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It looks kind of risottoy, but that’s through no talent of my own.  I just over cooked the rice because I was talking on the phone when I did the measurements.  I can hardly figure out the measurements for rice when I’m giving it my full attention and I have a calculator in my hand, so doing it while on the phone was a bad idea.  Anyway, here’s the recipe I made up.  Watch that rice.

  • 3/4 cup brown rice
  • vegetable stock
  • 8 to 9 cremini mushrooms
  • 1 block tofu
  • 1/4 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Couple sprigs of thyme
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • Salt, pepper

Cook the rice using the package directions, substituting stock for the water.  Cut the tofu into eight long slices, and then cut each slice into fourths.  Salt and pepper it and bake it in a 450 oven for 30 minutes or so, flipping halfway though.  Slice the mushrooms and chop the garlic/onion.  Cook the onion until soft, then add the rice, the garlic and the mushrooms.  When the mushrooms are cooked, add the tofu, thyme, soy sauce and more salt and pepper.

I think I realized halfway through the meal why it didn’t taste the same as I remembered it:

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Damn those seasoning packets.

Anyway, earlier I had THE blueberry Z Bar:

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Pretty good.  Better than other fruit bars that always taste fake.  It still tasted a little fake to me, though.  Maybe I’m sensitive.

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I need a miracle

I made this for dinner again, except this time I kind of forgot to look at the recipe halfway through and just started throwing things together.  I have a bad habit of doing that, but it turned out fine:

Once again, I would like to tell you that I am in love with these bread crumbs.  So in love, in fact, that I ate some with a spoon while I was performing the necessary dredging of the tofu.  My only complaint is that they’re not whole wheat.

Now I’m drinking wine in celebration of Obama and the fact that tomorrow is Jack’s birthday!  He’ll be one.  I imagine that at midnight, this strange sense of calm will come over him and he’ll no longer be interested in chewing up my flip flops and peeing when he gets excited.

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Take 2

I know.  I am an idiot.  I forgot to get a close up of the tofu.  You’ll just have to trust me when I tell you that Emily is very smart.

Here are her instructions:

  • Take your firm tofu out of the container and rinse it under cool water (this gets the gross tofu juice off)
  • Pat it in between some paper towels
  • Cut it into small pieces.  It works best if they are on the thin side.
  • Place in a bowl and marinate in your favorite stuff for a few hours
  • Put some cornstarch in a pie plate and season with what you like (just like you would flour for fried chicken)
  • Roll your tofu in the cornstarch
  • Place tofu in a lightly oiled nonstick skillet on medium heat
  • Cook until golden and crispy on each side

I had two problems from the start, the first being that I didn’t have any cornstarch.  Easily fixed with a little help from the Food Emporium.  The second problem, however, was that I don’t own an nonstick pan.

So, I just used cast iron like I always do.  I marinated the tofu in a mixture of tahini, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger and honey. This sauce was a little thick, and I think that might have been my third problem – when I dredged it in the cornstarch, it got kind of gloopy.  If I’d just used soy sauce or something thin that the tofu could have easily soaked up, I think it would have worked better.  Am I right, Emily?  Also, maybe I really needed a nonstick, because it didn’t get very crispy.  But, it was waaaay better than the majority of my past attempts, and I’m going to try it again with a different sauce.

The rest of the meal is just soba noodles, asparagus, orange bell peppers, cilantro, scallions and mushrooms mixed with the tofu and the leftover marinade.  I would post the recipe, but I just kind of threw stuff together and I honestly don’t even remember the amounts. I didn’t measure at all.

I also had an Edy’s cookies and cream bar for dessert, and to complete this exciting night, I’m going to go read.  I’m way into The Road and I can’t stop thinking about it.

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Tofu success!

Remember when I wrote about how I am really bad at cooking tofu? (Sorry there are no pictures in that post; when I had my photo issues, all of my uploaded ones – which means only, you know, like 4,000 or something – got deleted.)  Well, this week I am on a mission.

I was inspired by a reader named Emily, who clearly felt bad for me and was nice enough to email some instructions.  Sorry, Emily, I haven’t used them yet, but they are on the agenda for tomorrow.

For my first attempt, I decided to bake it a la Betsy.  Except I didn’t have two hours, I only had twenty minutes.  But that’s okay because – are you ready? – I still made the best tofu of my life. Which, okay, is not really saying all that much, but I have made a lot of tofu.  Bad tofu, but tofu nonetheless.

Check me out:

Looks crispy, right?  I know!

So here’s what I did.  It’s definitely not revolutionary, but no method has ever worked this well for me.

  • Drain, press for thirty minutes, slice into about eight rectangles
  • Freeze
  • Defrost, then press slices again
  • Marinate
  • Bake at 400º for 20 – 25 minutes, flipping once

I marinated mine in Trader Joe’s Goddess dressing.  I haven’t had the Annie’s version in awhile, but I’d venture to say that it tastes very similar, if not exactly the same.

With the tofu, I made this little chickpea and couscous salad:

The recipe (I just found the bullet feature on this blog, in case you didn’t notice):

  • 2 T tahini
  • 1 lemon with zest
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 T vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup dry couscous
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 tomato
  • 3 – 4 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 can chick peas
  • 1 scallion
  • 2 T red onion
  • 1 ounce goat cheese
  • parsley
  • Salt and pepper

Whisk the tahini, lemon juice, zest, garlic and vegetable stock until smooth and set aside.  Cook couscous according to package directions with sun-dried tomatoes to soften them.  Let cool.  Add chick peas, cucumber, tomato, scallion, red onion, parsley and goat cheese, then add dressing and salt and pepper to taste.  Serves 2 – 3.

Stay tuned for tomorrow, when I will attempt Emily’s method, which involves corn starch.  I’m a little nervous.

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I have about 42 of Heidi Swanson’s recipes bookmarked, but for some reason I always forget about them when I’m trying to figure out something to cook.  Tonight, I finally made her Garlic Soba Noodles and it was SO. GOOD.

But the best part wasn’t the soba noodles.  It was the tofu.  I usually just make bread crumbs out of bread or crackers or any other crumbly thing I can get my hands on, but this time I bought some Italian-flavored panko bread crumbs.  I did this mostly because I was feeling too lazy to make my own, and these were the only ones I could find that didn’t have some kind of trans-fat-high-fructose-poison combination in the ingredient list.  These bread crumbs were really good.  Maybe I just have a thing for bread crumbs.  Actually, I do have a thing for bread crumbs.  I used to eat them out of the canister with a spoon when I was a kid (remember that, mom?  Why’d you let me do that?). They totally made this meal.  I added some parmesan cheese like Heidi said, and dipped in some egg whites, and done!

Afterward, I had some chocolate ice cream:

It’s a tiny bowl, but I packed that sucker.

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This could be trouble

Sorry for the late post, I didn’t eat any snacks this afternoon.

Unless you consider about a pound of cookie dough a snack.

I don’t.

Chocolate chip cookies.  I made them for my friend’s bbq tomorrow.  And then I ate three.  And then I stood over the tupperware container, staring at them.  Chris finally pulled me away when I started quietly whispering “not for me, not for me.”

At least they are from a vegan recipe, so no butter or eggs.  And I used whole wheat flour.  And Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips, which I know are not vegan, but they are just so good.  And so big.  Like Hershey Kisses.  Only better.

I have to stop talking about the cookies now.

After this, while I was making dinner, Chris had some cheese and crackers and I stole a chunk of white cheddar:

And then we just had tofu and rice for dinner:

I made very small portions by mistake.  We were both still hungry afterward, which is surprising, considering the amount of cookie eating that went on beforehand.  I haven’t had a snack yet, but I am drinking wine.

That was foreshadowing.

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Insert title here

I think I figured this little issue out.  Or at least a very nice man named Andrew in support did.  Apparently I have to start naming my pictures.

Sigh.  It’s a whole additional step that I’m just not that interested in taking on, but I guess I’ll manage.

The first picture I have for you tonight is titled “peanutnoodles:”

It is actually cold sesame noodles.  See, I already screwed up. But check out this “tofucloseup:”

See that crispy exterior?  I am getting better.  I think my new trick is slicing it super thinly and cooking it in a really hot pan.

And finally, we have “edys:”

It’s a cookies and cream bar.  I eat these a lot, so I’m going to have to get creative here.   I have a feeling wine is going to be another problem area.  Which reminds me – I’m drinking some right now.

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