I know that Thankgiving has already passed in the US (and is looooong past here in Canada), but before I get to anything else, I want to express my own thank you. THANK YOU to all of you, amazing DDD readers, for hanging in and continuing to visit this blog even though my appearances have been pretty scarce for the past couple of weeks.
Where have I been, and what have I been doing, you ask? Well, this will give you an idea:
[How to photograph a piece of coffee cake. Oh, and finally–a practical use for my Magic Bullet!]
Yep, that’s right: basically, every spare moment of my waking life has been devoted to either testing recipes for the new cookbook, or baking recipes for the new cookbook, or photographing recipes for the new cookbook (well, more correctly, watching the photographer photograph recipes for my new cookbook–I did all the styling, though!).
The shoot this past Sunday basically took the entire day (sorry, Girls, for leaving you alone with Dad for so long). Since this is also crunch time at the college where I work, that means little time for much else, unless I forgo sleep (actually, I tried, but it seems I just can’t pull those all-nighters like I used to in my 20s any more. Boo hoo.).
All this to say, dear readers, that I hope you’ll forgive me if I’m a little absent from the blog over the next couple of months. Posting may be a little less frequent and you may see a few more “Flash in the Pan” recipes than usual. In the end, though, once I return full force, I’ll be able to deliver what I think is going to be a stellar allergy-friendly and vegan cookbook, with smashing photos! Can’t wait to share a sneak peek once I have some of the final edits done!
They do often say that writing a book is like giving birth–which brings me to a topic I’ve been thinking about quite a bit lately: babies. In fact, babies have featured prominently both in my thoughts and in my life over the past few weeks (no, no, silly, not in that way! No changes to report in the DDD household. Now that would be a medical miracle, wouldn’t it?).
I have, however, been watching from the sidelines and sharing the excitement as my friend Eternal Optimist’s daughter has gone through her first pregnancy; I learned Sunday that said daughter gave birth to a beautiful girl, making my friend a first-time grandma. I’m thrilled for them both. (But here’s a question for parents out there: are all babies this much bigger these days? The infant weighed in at nine pounds four ounces–seems gargantuan to me!). I also came across this thought-provoking post by Janae about why she chose to have a family while others choose not to (and I shared in the comments why The HH and I remain childless). Her post is well worth a read.
All this baby-talk* reminded of when a high school chum, the first in our group to get married, had her first child. We were in our early twenties at the time, and the rest of our clan continued on with university, orientation parties, pub crawls, residence shin-digs, part-time jobs, cramming for exams, end-of-term parties and vacation parties. During one conversation, my friend mentioned that some days, she didn’t even have time to shower. As a 20-something, at the time, I thought, “Really, now! I mean, that would only take 20 minutes out of her day. Seriously, she must be exaggerating.” But today, as a 50-something birthing my own culinary “baby,” I’ve come to understand that sentiment. With full days of baking followed by 11-hour photo sessions (bye-bye, weekend!) and recipe testing most evenings on top of my full-time work at the college, life is very full (don’t worry if you ever get close to me, though–I do still shower.).
Well, given my chaotic schedule these days, I’ve begun to rely more and more on old standbys and quick, simple meals. This tofu scramble is one of them. Ready in less than 30 minutes, perfect for brunch or a light dinner, it’s by far my favorite tofu scramble recipe, ever. And I would never have remembered to share it here with all of you if I hadn’t recently written about the concept of “lost recipes”, as it falls into that category.
This is my variation of a recipe from the Moosewood Classics cookbook, one of the first veg recipes I made from one of the first veg cookbooks I ever bought. We make this scramble at least once a month, and have been doing so for the past dozen years or so. In the early days, when the HH was still flush with new love and wanted to please me on every little thing, he dug in enthusiastically along with me. However, ever since he swore off tofu, I tend to savor it all on my own–and it lasts quite a few days. The recipe is extremely versatile, too, since you can switch up the type of curry paste you use (either Indian or Thai, or Chinese. . . possibilities are endless). I prefer mine fairly spicy, but again, the level of spice is up to you.
Whether your own schedule is, like mine, heading toward warp speed, or whether it’s more like a secluded beach in Bermuda, this is an ideal dish to serve for Sunday brunch (and enjoy leftovers the rest of the week). And with baked goods overflowing in my kitchen lately, I’ve certainly been grateful for a plate of this scramble ready to go over the past few weeks!
* As in, “Talking about babies,” not as in, “Ga ga goo goo.”
Curried Tofu (Adapted from Moosewood Classics)
With its hearty, savory flavors and high protein content, this tofu works equally well as a breakfast or brunch scramble, or the main attraction on a dinner menu.
1 block (about 1 lb or 450 g) firm or extra firm tofu, pressed if possible (I don’t always have time to press it, and it’s still delicious)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil, preferably organic
4 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (remove seeds for less heat)
1 tsp (5 ml) turmeric
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin
1 Tbsp (15 ml) Bragg’s or wheat-free tamari
1-2 Tbsp (15-30 ml) water, if necessary
Crumble the tofu into scrambled egg-sized chunks, or else cut into small cubes. Set aside.
In a large nonstick frypan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion and jalapeno, and sauté until the onion is soft and golden, 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the curry paste, turmeric, cumin and tamari until smooth. Add 1-2 Tbsp (15-30 ml) water, if necessary, to thin it out to pourable consistency.
Drizzle the liquid mixture over the onions in the pan and stir to mix well. Lower heat and add the crumbled tofu. Stir, coating the tofu with the onions and spices, until the tofu is evenly coated and deep yellow. Continue to stir until the scramble is heated throughout, 5-10 minutes. Serve immediately. Makes 3-4 servings. May be frozen.
Suitable for: ACD Stage 2 and beyond, sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, nut free, vegan, low glycemic.
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© Ricki Heller, Diet, Dessert and Dogs