Monday, May 2, 2011

Recipe 1: Scrambled Tofu with Mushrooms and Peppers

I decided to go meatless for the month of May and am a carnivore by nature, I purchased some additional cookbooks to help me get started working with foods I'm not too familiar with.  I have to admit I was scared at the prospect of working with soft tofu and have only had it once while dining at a Chinese restaurant.  I didn't like the dish because of the texture, but decided to give soft tofu a second chance.

Today's recipe is courtesy of  The Tofu Book by John Paino and Lisa Messinger, p. 125. I've never heard of either person, but when I read the back cover, I discovered John Paino was the co-founder and past president of Nasoya Foods, which I found to be a bit spooky since I used Nasoya soft tofu because they offered a coupon and I'm on a strict budget.

Below is the recipe with my notes and adjustments.

Scrambled Tofu with Mushrooms and Peppers 

1 medium onion, diced
1 tsp light or dark sesame oil (note:  I used toasted and I used approx 1 tbsp)*
8 medium mushrooms, sliced 
1/2 green or red pepper, diced*
1/4 tsp sea salt (I used 1 tsp)*
1 lb soft tofu*
1/4 tsp tumeric

1.  Heat oil in nonstick pan. (Note: My personal observation - 1 tsp of oil is too little even in a non-stick pan and am amazed at people who can use only 1 teaspoon of oil for sauteing)
2. Saute onion till translucent or about 4 minutes.
3. Add mushrooms, peppers and salt and saute till peppers are soft or approx 5 minutes. (Note:  1.  I sauteed until the mushrooms released all its liquid because it is much easier to see when a mushroom goes soft than a red pepper; 2).  I think diced red tomato would make a great substitute for the pepper; and 3) I used a whole teaspoon of salt because I like salt and there are a lot of veggies in the pan).
4.  Add soft tofu to pan and crumble with back of wooden spoon.  Once tofu is crumbled, add turmeric and saute for about 8 minutes. (Note:  I didn't crumble tofu with back of wooden spoon.  I removed the tofu from package, patted it dry with paper towel and then used hands to crumble the tofu to achieve a better consistency of the crumbles.)


After I got over the initial shock that I wasn't eating scrambled eggs, I enjoyed it.  I'd make again, but would probably try with diced tomatoes since I'm not a huge pepper fan.  I also discovered that the recipe stated it serves 4, but if it is the only thing you're eating, it really only serves 2.

100 New Recipes Before I Turn 46.....

Monday, May 2, 2011......

Last September,  I turned 45 and made a list of things I wanted to do before I turned 46.  The list I compiled wasn't a 'to-do' list, nor would I consider it a New Year's resolution list, but a list of things that would challenge me in a fun way.

The list included such items as read 24 books (I'm admittedly a very slow reader, but am always wanting to read more), train for a sprint triathlon and try 100 new recipes.

When I told people about my 100 new recipe challenge, many people thought I was crazy, personally I thought this challenge was a snap until I realized I never recorded a single recipe I made.  I forgot to keep a list.  I've probably have made 80 new recipes since September, but haven't a real clue what they are.

This blog serves as a record of my adventure into my take of cooking 100 new recipes before mid-September.    I started today because I'm going meatless for the month of May and wanted to record my take on foods I've never really worked such as tofu, seitan or tempeh.  I'm curious to see if plant-based foods will satisfy my carnivore cravings, but don't think this blog will be entirely devoted to vegetarian or vegan recipes.  I throw monthly gourmet dinner parties to collect food for my local food pantry where my dinner guests are subject to any new recipe that catches my eye....and live with a carnivore who calls tofu, toe-food.

If anyone reads my blog and has a recipe suggestion I haven't tried and would like me to try (depending upon if I can reasonably afford it), please send it to me.  I will take pictures of all my finished recipes via my Verizon Samsung phone (I'm probably the only human being who doesn't own or want a digital camera, but may during this experiment).