Friday, February 27, 2009

Italian-Style Tofu(Vegan); Coconut Rice(vegan)

It has rained just about all day, thank goodness, because we still need it desperately. I love the sound of the rain on the skylights here in my little house, but it made me sleep late again this morning, lol. Woke up around 5:30, heard the rain, and rolled over and slept until just about 8, sigh, and didn't want to get up then, really. The ol' back and hips made that decision for me, tho, so I crawled out. And that's just about how my day has been today: Just crawling along, lol. Finished a book, finished the laundry, but couldn't use the computer too much this afternoon because it started thundering. But, life went on anyway!

The two recipes I'm going to post are both from "Vegan with a Vengeance," by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Both of them are easy, and they both turned out good, much to my delight.

Marinated Italian-Style Tofu

1 lb. firm extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
1/2C white cooking wine
2Tbs. EACH olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Bragg Liquid Aminos or tamari, fresh lemon juice.
2 cloves garlic, smashed
A big pinch each dried basil, marjoram, and thyme

Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Cut the tofu widthwise into eight equal pieces. Marinate for an hour, flipping after 30 minutes.
Place tofu on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Flip over and bake another 10 minutes. Place in the broiler for about 3 more minutes for extra chewiness.

I have to tell you that I made a mistake when I got the tofu ready to marinate: I only cut it four ways, and don't know how I misread "eight." The recipe still came out ok in my opinion, tho. Another change I made was to use oregano, as I don't like basil, and I used mint, because I don't have any marjoram. The thyme I had and used. All in all I thought it was good, I'll make it again, and since I have two pieces left, that's what I'm going to have for dinner tonight.

Isa makes one suggestion about the marinade: "Don't throw it out. Reserve the marinade and get creative. Mix in a little water and arrowroot or cornstarch, then heat it up, and you've got yourself a gravy. Or, use it to stir-fry broccoli or asparagus for a nice, fast side dish: heat up some vegetable oil over high heat, then add your chopped vegetables, pouring on splashes of the marinade as you cook."

Since I'm going to bake a potato to go with the tofu, I'm going to try to use cornstarch and water to make the gravy, and see if I like it on the potato. I dunno, it's pretty intense. Possibly the 1/2C of white wine was a bit much, especially since I don't drink, and, um, have to admit, that wine has been in my cupboard a long time, lol. Oh, well, live and learn, right?

This next one just plain sounded good, so I bought some jasmine rice and decided to give it a shot. My version is much, much simpler than this one, tho.

Coconut Rice with Toasted Coconut

2C jasmine rice, washed
1(13.5 oz)can coconut milk
1C water
1 cinnamon stick
1/4tsp. salt
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
12C unsweetened shredded coconut

Combine the rice, coconut milk, water, cinnamon stick, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover pot, and simmer 20 minutes. Add the lime zest and stir with a fork. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit 10 more minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the shredded coconut:
Heat a skillet over low-medium heat. Add the coconut and toast, turning frequently, for about 3 minutes, or until the coconut is browned and toasty.
Remove the cinnamon stick from the rice and serve, sprinkling the toasted coconute over each serving. Garnish with lime wedges if you so desire.

Like I said, mine was much simpler. For one thing, altho I had fully intended to buy cinammon sticks, the price was just more than I could deal with. Outrageous, in fact...or at least, for my wallet. Maybe not for yours, I dunno. Plus I forgot the shredded coconut, lol. Duh, right? So, I used the coconut milk, water, and a little margarine, and that's all. Long story short, it was pretty good, and I enjoyed it. There's some leftover in the 'fridge, and one of these days I'll heat it up and eat it.

Now it's time to heat the oven for my baked potato, and see if I can make a decent gravy out of that marinade. Until next time, Happy Eating, and God bless.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

LowerFat Banana Bread(Vegan); Bulgur/Tomato/Feta Salad

Yup, still the same day, lol, but I almost forgot I have two more good recipes I want to post. Probably I've said this before, but I think it bears repeating: Almost none of the recipes I post here are original, as I'm not all that creative when it comes to making up recipes; wherever possible I give full credit to the author/source where I found the recipe, and if I can't, I still tell you it's NOT my own recipe; I have tried every one of the recipes I've posted, and will never post one I haven't tried...I don't think, lol...and I will never take credit for a recipe that's not mine.

The banana bread recipe is from "Veganomicon," by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, and is very, very good. I made it because my next-door neighbor had bought too many bananas, and I very kindly offered to help her use them up before they rotted, lol. So, what do you do with overly ripe bananas, right? You make banana bread. And I did!

Lower-Fat Banana Bread

2 large or 3 small very ripe bananas 1/4C applesauce 1/4C canola oil
1/2C sugar 2Tbs. molasses 2C all-purpose flour 3/4tsp. baking powder
1tsp. ground cinnamon 1/4tsp ground nutmeg, or grated fresh 1/2tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease a 9X5-inch loaf pan.

In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas really, really well. Add the sugar, applesauce, oil, and molasses, and whisk biskly to incorporate. *See note at bottom.

Sift in the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Us a wodden spoon to mix until the wet and dry ingredients are just combined.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes. The top should be lightly browned and a knife inserted through the center should come out clean.

Remove from the oven and invert onto a cooling rack. Flip the bread right side up and let cool.

*Note: "Never use a hand mixer for banana bread because it makes it gummy; treat it like a muffin batter and mix with a wooden spoon just until the wet and dry ingredients are combined. In fact, if you would like to turn these into muffins, pour the battter into a greased muffin tin and bake for eighteen minutes."

In the directions for the bread, they mention using chocolate chips if you want to. There's no mention of the chips in the ingredient list, so use your own discretion as to how many to use if you so choose. I didn't.

This bread is wonderful, I loved it, and actually followed the recipe to a tee!!! How often does that happen, eh?

This next recipe is a salad recipe, which I don't usually mess with. I'm not a really big salad eater for the most part. Years ago, when I was much, much younger, if you had opened my 'fridge, you would've thought that you'd come upon a salad bar. Many times, a big salad, with all sorts of stuff in it, was my dinner, with whichever salad dressing my hand had grabbed from the 'fridge. Nowadays, tho, you won't find anything pertaining to lettuce salads in my 'fridge, because for some reason, lettuce hurts my stomach. I've tried other greens, but didn't really care for them, so now, any salad I try has no greens in it. Usually. There may be an exception to that here and there.

Anyway. This salad comes from "How To Cook Everything Vegetarian," by Mark Bittman, which is a huge book, just jam-packed with information: techniques, variations on a recipe, how to store things, and lots and lots and lots of recipes, many of which are vegan or can be easily veganized. I don't think this one can be, tho, which is a shame, because it's an awfully good salad.

Bulgur/Tomato/Feta Salad

1C fine-grind(#1) or medium-grind(#2)bulgur
3C chopped tomato or quartered cherry tomatoes
1 small onion, diced 2-oz. feta cheese, crumbled
2Tbs red wine vinegar, or more to taste
1/4C extra virgin olive oil, or more to taste
2Tbs chopped fresh oregano leaves or 2tsp. dried
1tsp. hot red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly groung black pepper

Soak the bulgur in hot water to cover until tender, 15-30 minutes. Put the tomato, onion, feta, vinegar, olive oil, oregano, and redpepper if you like in a large salad bowl and stir with a fork to combine. Sprinkle with a little salt)remember the feta can be salty) and lots of pepper.

When the bulgur is tender but not mushy, drain it in a strainer, pressing down to squeeze out any excess liquid. Put it in the bowl while it's still warm and fluff with a large fork to stir in the other ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more oil or vinegar as needed. Serve the salad at room temperatue or cool it down and refrigerate it for a couple hours or so.

Variations: can use two cups cooked rice or cracked wheat instead of the bulgur. Can add two cups canned or cooked chickpeas to the salad bowl before adding the bulgur. You will probably want to add a little more vinegar and oil, too.

Ok, here's my take on it. First of all, will I make this again? Definitely. It's a keeper...and it doesn't even have any garlic in it, lol. Secondly, it took over two cups of very hot water, and almost 45 minutes to get the bulgur to the tenderness that I wanted, and it was still somewhat crunchy. Thirdly, I didn't have any red pepper flakes, so I used about 1/4 tsp. of cayenne, but couldn't feel any heat. And, I used drained, diced, canned tomatoes, which worked fine, and the dried oregano. Changes I couldn't help, not because I wanted to play around with the recipe...NO! I didn't use canned tomatoes...duh! I forgot: I actually bought a really big tomato, just for this recipe. I'm willing to bet that the canned and diced ones would work in a pinch, tho, and I'm thinking that the next time I make this, I might try balsamic vinegar instead of the red wine. Maybe goat cheese crumbles instead of the sheep's milk feta, too.

Until next time...and I'm really thru this time...Happy Eating.

Cinnamuffins(Vegan); Vanilla Pudding(Easily Veganized)

Wonderous, glorious, much-needed day off, thank God! Today and tomorrow both are my days of freedom, the two days a week that I live for, honestly. Work hasn't been all that bad this past week, but still, I dearly love my time at home, locked securely into my little cave, with nowhere to go and see! Talk about reclusive, eh? I wonder how I'll be when I go into partial retirement this coming fall? Will I still be this reclusive, or will I get cabin fever, no matter what time of year? Time will tell....

For right now, tho, spring is on the way. I've seen a couple robins in the past few days, and the little tiny yellow jonquils in my front yard are blooming. Such brave and pretty little flowers, that even tho yellow isn't one of my favorite colours, I love those little things. Hmmmm, I think I might just pick a few and bring them in the house...they would look lovely in a cobalt blue vase, I think. And it's time to start changing my tchotkes(did I spell that right?)around, too, to bring out the more springlike ones. And time to start sitting out in the sun for a few minutes a day, combat my depressive tendencies as well as get my daily dose of vitamin D.

This is my favorite time of year, albeit the hardest, for me. Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, and the beginning of my 40-day observance of the season by fasting from chocolate and desserts. Groan. It's going to take a lot of prayer, but I'll make it. Only one year did I give up: after 23 days, I just couldn't take it any more!!!

These two recipes come from one of my first, and favorite, vegetarian cookbooks: "The New Laurel's Kitchen," by Laurel Robertson, Carol Flinders, and Brian Ruppenthal. Actually, the original "Laurel's Kitchen" was my first love, but I've since lost it, and this new one is a wonderful substitute. I'm not sure if it's even in print any more: It was copyrighted in 1976.

The muffin recipe is already vegan, and it's very easy to veganize the pudding recipe: Substitute soy milk for the whole milk. That was an experiment for me, as a friend of mine had told me that soy milk won't thicken like whole milk, but it did just fine with this recipe. So, here we go....


1/4C oil 1/2C dark molasses 1C applesauce

1 1/2C whole wheat flour[I used all-purpose white flour] 1/2tsp. baking soda
1 1/2tsp. baking powder 3/4tsp. cinnamon pinch cloves
1/2tsp. salt 1/2C raisins

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin...use the smallish-sized cups with this recipe.

Mix oil, molasses and applesauce. Sit together the flour, soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Stir together the wet and dry ingredients and raisins. Drop into muffin cups and bake 18-20 minutes.

These are really good, and I will make them again sometime when I feel like baking. I didn't add the raisins as I didn't have any. Wonder how chopped nuts, or chocolate chips, or maybe blueberries would work in this? I also didn't use a muffin pan, because I have a set of 12 silicone cups, which I love. They just sit on a cookie sheet, don't have to be greased, and the muffins don't stick to them like they do to the paper cups or even, sometimes, the muffinpan cups.


2C fresh milk 1/4C brown sugar 1/8tsp.salt 2Tbs. cornstarch or arrowroot
1tsp. vanilla

Gently heat 1/1/2 cups of the milk in a heavy pan. Stir in the sugar and salt.

Combine the cornstarch or arrowroot with the reserved milk. Add to the milk when it is very hot; cook and stir over low heat until thick. If you are using cornstarch, cook and stir over very low heat for a few minutes more. (If you want a richer pudding, you can stir a beaten egg into 1/2 cup of the pudding, then beat that into the whole pudding while it is still very hot.) Cool somewhat and then add the vanilla.

Makes about 2 cups to serve 4-in theory. Sometimes it actually serves two. Good warm or cold.

This pudding only served one, lol, but I manage to make it last for two days. Altho the recipe doesn't say to do this, when I put it in the 'fridge, I put plastic wrap over the surface of the pudding, as most pudding recipes say to do this to keep from forming a skin. This stuff was excellent, I couldn't believe how good it was...and no, I didn't add the eggs. I think it's rich enough without them, and of course, vegans won't use them anyway. It did take quite a long time to thicken up, about 20 minutes, but it was worth it. It would make a great filling for a cake of some kind...sort of like a Boston Cream Pie, with that wonderful chocolate glaze on the top...............

Now, some more about my homemade seitan. I have to sort of apologize for my first very critical and mostly negative review of it. After sitting overnight in the 'fridge, it was much, much better than when I first made it. I still haven't tried to make a sammich with it, even tho it's supposed to be "lunch meat." What I did, tho, was to dice it up into bite-sized pieces, and stir it into the leftover Fettucine with Vegetarian "Ham," to take the place of the ham. Reheated, it was very good that way. There's still some of the first roll of seitan in the 'fridge, wrapped tightly in foil, so possibly it's still good. I have no idea how long it's suppsed to keep. Oh, I almost forgot: The rolls...logs, if you prefer...have a very tough skin on them, almost like sausage, which my dentures couldn't handle, lol, so I peeled it, just like I used to have to peel kielbasa or smoked sausage, back in the day. You may not have a problem with it, but I did.

Until next time, Happy Eating.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Seitan "meat,"vegan;VeganAlfredo Sauce w/Vegetarian "Ham"

It has been just about two weeks since I've posted. Work has just been overwhelmingly busy, very hard on my poor old legs and hips, so I've been coming home and not doing much at all in the evenings. On my days off, tho, I've still managed to do some "real" cooking, some of which has been wonderful, but with at least one new recipe that I didn't like at all.

Mostly I've just been trying to keep up with my email, posting on on the Depression forum, and reading...reading a lot, too. I just finished a book called "Art in America," by Larry McLarty, and if you like to read, and haven't read this one, I highly recommend it, it's a wonderful warm, funny book. Few books can make me literally laugh out loud, but this did, quite a few times. Other than those few things, tho, I haven't had the energy to do anything else, not even my house chores...thank goodness I live alone, so I don't have to do anything I don't want to, lol.

Ok, on to the recipes. I'd been meaning to try my hand at homemade seitan for a long time, and yesterday I finally made some. The recipe is called "Veggie Lunch Meat," and I received it in my email, in a newsletter from Nava Atlas, whose cookbook, "Vegan Express" is one that eventually I want to own. I've seen another recipe for homemade seitan in Isa Chandra and Terry Romero's book, "Veganomicon" that I will try another time.

Veggie Lunch Meat
This makes a lot, so freeze some for later.

1C white beans 2Cwater 1/4C oil
2tsp. EACH salt, paprika, onion powder
1tsp. EACH garlic powder, ground fennel, sage, pepper, soy sauce
1/4tsp. turmeric
2 3/4C vital wheat gluten

Get the water steaming in a steamer.
Place everything except the wheat gluten in a blender, and process until smooth. Pour into large bowl, and add wheat gluten, working it into a dough.
Shape into a log, as thick as possible, wrap in aluminum foil like a Tootise roll.
Steam for one hour.
Preheat oven to 350ºF during the last 15 minutes of steaming. Remove seitan from steamer and bake 45-60 minutes. Seitan should swell and press against foil.

Not a very difficult recipe at all, much easier than I had thought it would be. I decided not to use my usual steamer, and placed a large, metal colandar in my big pot, put the cover over the logs of seitan, and it worked just fine. The white beans I used were canned cannellinis, which I drained but didn't rinse. The only change I made to this recipe was one I couldn't help: I omitted the fennel and the onion powder because I didn't have any. Everything else I followed to at T, unlike most other recipes I try. And, just for the sake of a little information here, I found the bag of vital wheat gluten at Kroger, in their health food department. So far, they've carried everything I've needed with the exception of nutritional yeast and quinoa. Possibly I could suggest to a manager there to stock them, eh? Anyway.

Did I like this? No. Why? It's bread. Pure and simple, this is a boiled and then baked wheat bread loaf, spiced more than most bread is. The texture isn't all that "breadish," but the taste and color are. The taste isn't bad, please understand that, it's just that it's, well, it's bread, lol. It looks sorta like a roll of liverwurst, and the texture, well, it's hard to describe it, but it's sorta chewy, sorta soft, and somewhat moist. And, I'm not sure how to use it, now that I've made it, because I don't think it will actually make good sammichs, which is what lunchmeat is for. Oh, me! Oh, btw, the one teaspoonful of black pepper was too much for me, gave it a very "hot" feeling, which I don't care for too much.

Can I chunk it up and make a gravy with it? Possibly. I'll try, anyway. Can I slice it into cutlets, and serve with some kind of sauce on it? Probably. I'll try, anyway. Heck, I'm even going to try to make a sammich with it, a grilled cheese and seitan sammich on sourdough bread. And one of these days, I'm still going to try the seitan recipe in "Veganomicon." It's not as spicy as this one is.

This next recipe is a most definate winner. I loved it, in fact, I liked it better than the Alfredo with coconut milk, which I also liked a lot. Both of them are keepers!

Creamy Alfredo Sauce w/ Vegetarian "Ham"

2C soy milk 1/2C "cream cheese"(I used Tofutti brand)
1/2C "sour cream"(again, Tofutti brand) 2T Nayonnaise
1tsp. onion salt 1 tsp. dried parsley 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
5-6 slices "veggie ham," in bite-sized pieces salt and pepper

In medium saucepan, add 1st four ingredients. Heat on low, stirring constantly, until "cream cheese" melts and mix is smooth and creamy. Add next 4 ingredients, and season. Simmer about 10 minutes, add garlic, stir well, and pour over pasta.

I have no idea what "veggie ham" is like, didn't have any, so didn't use it. I also used real mayo, not Nayonnaise. Towards the end of the cooking time, I added some vegetarian Parmesan, and about four tablespoons of Blue Bonnet margarine, just for a little more richness. The recipe the way it is, tho, is vegan, but I'm not vegan, so changed it up just a tad. It's wonderful, it really is, and will be a do-again for me. The pasta I used was a tri-color rotini, because I'd never tried the tri-color pastas before. Couldn't tell a whole lot of difference in taste, but it did make for a pretty dish. Definitely a keeper.

And y'know what? I think I'm going to go chunk up some of the "lunchmeat," toss it into the Alfredo and pasta, and heat it up for lunch, just to see how it is!

Until next time, Happy Eating!!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Scrambled Tofu Burrito; Four-Cheese Pasta Bake

Thursday evening, in an attempt to stop wasting food, I came up with a way to use the leftover scrambled tofu, and I was delighted with the results. I made burritos...or wraps, if you prefer. There is no actual recipe here, it's the sort of thing you can do "to taste," any way you like it. I used a couple good handsful of frozen spinach to mix in with the tofu, and heated that up until it thawed, and everything was hot. In the meantime, while the tofu and spinach were heating, I put a piece of vegetarian smoked provolone "cheese," broken into three strips, down the middle of a tortilla. On top of that I poured some salsa, and on top of that, I spread some goat cheese crumbles. I did this on two tortillas. When the tofu/spinach mixture was good and hot, I spooned some over all the other stuff on each tortilla, rolled them up, and put them in a dry skillet over medium heat, just long enough to get the wraps lightly browned all over. Then I put some Tofutti brand "sour cream" in a bowl, and beside it I poured some more salsa, and then, I chowed down, lol. They were wonderful, and while I ate them I felt very smug, because I hadn't wasted the tofu leftovers!!

Friday night I decided I wanted some macaroni and cheese, and again, no actual recipe, just "to taste," again. I put some water on to boil for the pasta, which happened to be rigatoni, and while I waited for it to boil I made a plain white sauce: about 2 good tablespoonsful margarine, about the same amount of flour, and let it brown just a tiny bit, to get the raw flour taste out. Then I added soy milk, ended up using two cupsful, I think. When it started getting thick, I put the cheeses in: 4oz log of herbed chevre, a couple handsful of goat cheese crumbles, and several good shakes of the "Parmesan" cheese, too. The water was boiling, so I put two handsful of rigatoni into it, some salt, and let it boil until the pasta was pretty much done. When the pasta was done, I put it into a buttered casserole dish, and mixed the cheese sauce in with it. Then on top, I broke three slices of the "provolone" cheese into three strips, and layered those on the top. Put the whole thing in the oven, 350ºF, for about 15-20 minutes, or until the provolone browned, and the pasta and sauce was bubbling. My side veggie was a frozen mix of broccoli/carrots/cauliflower. It was a really good meal, very nice on a chilly night, and something that I'll do again sometime, I know.

Tonight? Well, I think I'll add some water to the leftover tempeh/white bean gravy, as it's just way too thick, and have that with a baked potato, and some kind of veggie. Easy. And uses up the last of the gravy, so, here again, no wasted food!!! Ahhhhhh, I just feel sooooo virtuous!!!...snicker.

Until next time, Happy Eating!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Escarole w/ Capers & White Beans; Scrambled Tofu

My day off, and it's a beautiful sunny but cold day, too cold for me to bother going outside. I learned that this morning when I took out the trash and mailed off the money orders for my utility bills. According to, at roughly 9:30 this morning, right after I came back in, it was a nippy 17ºF out there. Thankfully I don't have to go anywhere until 6:30AM Saturday, when I go back to work. My to-do list for my two days off this week had umpteen zillion items on it, most of which I've managed to get done. It's a good feeling to be productive, and since I got up around 4:15AM, I had no excuse not to do most of the list, lol. Work was a bit of a pain in the tush this week, but money-wise, it turned out ok, so I'm content with that. And let's face it, the money is the only reason I'm there, I'm not there to get close to my co-workers, especially the ones that have royally pissed me off. Fortunately, most of the time I can bite my tongue and just go on about my business, catching up the work that they can't be bothered to do. And then I come home and cook, lol.

This recipe is from "Veganomicon," by Isa Chandra Moskovits and Terry Hope Romero. Even tho I'd gone thru the book from cover to cover when I took it out of the library, now that I own it, I'm going thru it again, and this time very slowly, reading just about every word in it. So, I came across this Escarole recipe, and decided I'd like to try it, which I did, and really liked it. So here it it:

Escarole with Capers and White Beans

1 head escarole
1Tbs. olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 red pepper flakes
1/3C capers with some brine
1C cooked small white beans(navy or great northern are ok)
Lemon wedges for serving

Preheat a large pan over medium heat. Saute the garlic in the olive oil for about 3 minutes, until just starting to brown. Add the red pepper flakes and cook just long enough to soften(a few seconds). Add the escarole and salt to taste, and use tongs to toss until it begins to wilt and release moisture. Add the capers and beans, and cook just until heated through, about 3 more minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

Serves 4 as a side, or 2 as a main course.

That's the recipe the way Isa and Terry wrote it. Me being me, tho, of course I didn't do it exactly that way, one reason being that I didn't have any escarole. But! I did have quite a bit of frozen spinach, so after rinsing it off to get rid of any freezer burn, that's what I used. Instead of red pepper flakes, which I also didn't have, I used maybe an 8th of a teaspoon of ground red pepper, and probably could've used a quarter teaspoonful, as there was absolutely no bite at all once it was done. I had to also leave out the capers, and instead of lemon wedges, I used lemon juice, quite few shakes out of the bottle. This was good. This was very, very good, and yes, I plan on cooking it again. And again. And again. It goes very well with a baked potato, and some tofu marinated with teriyaki sauce, crumbled, and then fried with a little margarine. I was able to get three meals from this, so it goes a pretty long ways.

This next recipe, Scrambled Tofu, is another of Isa's recipes, and comes from "Vegan with a Vengeance." Totally unlike me, this morning I wanted breakfast, and I don't mean just a bowl of cereal or toast and a banana, either. I wanted real food, and lots of biscuits and gravy and scrambled eggs. It just so happened that I remembered that I had the leftover Tempeh Sausage and White Bean Gravy in the freezer, so I dragged that out and set it to heat in the top of my version of a double boiler: a smaller pot inside a larger pot that had simmering water in it. Works just as well as the fancy-schmancy ones in the big stores, too, I'll have you know. Dragged out my trusty box of biscuit mix, and made a pan of biscuits, but didn't put them in the oven just then. I still needed scrambled eggs. Major problem here: didn't have nary an egg, not one. So, I went to Vegan with a Vengeance, found her recipe, and made the Scrambled Tofu.

Scrambled Tofu

1Tbs. olive oil
1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped into 1/2-inch chunks
2C thinly sliced cremini mushrooms
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound extra-firm tofu, drained
1/4C nutritional yeast
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 carrot, peeled(optional, I grate it in at the end, mostly for colour)

2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried thyme, crushed with your fingers
1 tsp. ground paprika
1/2tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. salt

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Saute the onions for 3 minutes, until softened; add the mushrooms, saute for 5 minutes; add the garlic, saute for 2 minutes. Add the spice blend and mix it up for 15 seconds or so. Add 1/4C water to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom to get all the garlic and spices.

Crumble in the tofu and mix well. Don't crush the tofu, just kind of lift it and mix it around. You want it to remain chunky. Let cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding splashes of water if necessary to keep it from sticking too much. Lower the heat a bit if you find that the tofu is sticking. Add the lemon juice. Add the nutritional yeast and mix it up. If the mixture is sticking to the pan, add splashes of water. The moistness really depends on how much water the tofu was retaining before you added it.

Grate the carrot into the tofu mixture and fold. Serve with guacamole and salso and potatoes and toast and tempeh bacon.

Well, I didn't have it with guacamole and salsa and potatoes and toast and tempeh bacon, lol, but with the tempeh/bean gravy and hot buttered biscuits. The biscuits got put into the oven right at the point where the recipe says to let the tofu cook for 15 minutes, btw. Letting them sit and dry for a few minutes made them rise a little better, and a little softer than usual, very good.

I actually followed this recipe quite well for a change. One thing I changed, tho, was the nutritional yeast. I can't buy it at Kroger, and can't seem to get to a health food store. Now, to my way of thinking, since a lot of times it's used as a kind of cheese substitute, why can't I use vegetarian parmesan cheese instead? So, I tried it, and sure did like it. Don't know if it would work in other recipes calling for "nooch," but it's worth a try another time, I think. Also, I'm not sure what kind of mushrooms I had, but I think they were just plain old white button mushrooms, so that's what I used. They worked just fine. Did I like this? Yes, I did, very much. Will I make it again? Probably not, simply because I'm lazy, and there's more prep work and measuring than I care to do for breakfast, lol. I've scrambled tofu before, with just garlic, black pepper, a little soy sauce, in margarine, and enjoyed that, too. So most likely I'll just take the easy way out in the future.

One comment that Isa made is that,"If you don't have any nutritional yeast on hand, you can still make this, but don't add the water while it's cooking." I never had a problem with the mixture sticking to the pan, so didn't have to add the water anyway.

There's a lot leftover of the tofu, and I'm thinking it might make a good sandwich, or even a wrap with some salsa and vegetarian smoked provolone "cheese." There's still some of the gravy left, and I'm thinking that possibly I can add a few seasoned bread crumbs, and make "sausage patties" from it. Maybe.

Until next time, Happy Eating.
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