Monday, January 14, 2008

Tofu Joes

For the past year-and-a-half or so, I have been sticking to a flexitarian diet, with pretty good success. I feel good, I feel healthy, I am saving money, and doing my part to shrink my carbon footprint without going through the hassles that some people go through. As part of my diet, I have been learning the ways of Tofu. My problem, however, is an inability to come up with new, creative ideas to use the stuff. I mean sure, stir-fry is great, but I quickly tire of the flavors of soy sauce, shredded cabbage, and bean sprouts. Thus my prayers were answered a few weeks ago while wandering through the aisles of Barnes & Noble when my eyes fell upon a small cookbook. Small, but full to bursting with ideas and recipes for tofu.

101 Things to do with Tofu, by Donna Kelly and Anne Tegtmeier, is a breath of fresh, non-soy sauce scented, air. Recipes range from the simple basics, like tofu fillets, to sauces, tofu Alfredo sauce, anyone?, to more creative fare, such as tofu tikka masala. Even desserts are covered, with recipes for raspberry chocolate chunk pie, chocolate cheesefake, and crème brûlée. On the menu today...Tofu Sloppy Joes.

This is one of those recipes that you need to plan ahead, as the first step is to freeze your tofu. Yes, freeze it. It sounded weird to me too the first time I did it, but in freezing the tofu you change the internal structure of the curd, causing it to release its water and become more porous and sponge-like.

Yum, a hot, open-faced tofu sloppy joe. Tastes remarkably like a sloppy joe...who'da thunk? I think I'll be making this recipe again. ^_^

Here's the recipe, with a few personal alterations.

Tofu Sloppy Joes

1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
8 oz firm tofu, frozen then thawed
half a can of tomato paste
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup water.

Sauté onion and green pepper in olive oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Press tofu to dry and crumble into the pan, cook five minutes, stirring constantly. Add remaining ingredients and simmer ten minutes, stirring frequently. Serve on a bun, or in my case, an English muffin.


After note: I was wandering through the State Liquor Store on Pacific Ave, today and my eyes fell upon a beer (or malt liquor, technically, I suppose) that held my attention and imagination.

Stay tuned for my review...if I'm still able to type after drinking it.


Tammy said...

Great blog! Found you through Cave Cibum. I'm a "flexitarian" as well... or as I like to call it.. a pseudovegetarian. I also write a food blog. Feel free to check it out if you like...

Happy eating and blogging!

Dean said...

A little late, but...

I found your page by mistake and was catching up on some older posts when I came across this one.

Funny that you found Samichlaus in a store somewhere. I never have. And I've looked! It's actually a lager, not a malt liquor, and it's really good.

Key notes about it: Only brewed one day a year (December 6: Day of Saint Nicholas; Samichlaus=Santa Claus in German Swiss). Fermented for 10 months before it's bottled in October. Beer started in Switzerland and is now brewed in Austria. It still ferments after it's bottled.

Which means the 12 pack I've had in my fridge since 2005 should knock me on my ass when I open them this New Year's Eve!

...Happy drinking, as always. And I enjoy the blog.