Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Killer TOFU!

This post takes its title from the classic song by The Beets featured on the Nicktoon (for a time in the 1990s, this is what cartoons on Nickelodeon called themselves) Doug. Don't remember it? Here you go:

I don't think Nicktoon lyrics ever surpassed the genius of, "I eat my sugar cereal, but it makes my teeth bacterial."

Anyway, if you remember, I used to think tofu was food for zombies (or Hannibal Lecter). But I needed some protein, so today I purchased a package of extra firm organic sprouted tofu at Trader Joe's. My roommates and I also went to Fairview Farms to pick up our Community Supported Agriculture box, so I had fresh kale, rainbow chard, lettuce, turnips, radishes, carrots, green garlic, and oranges. I also had some spinach from my last trip to Trader Joe's. For dinner, I decided to mix all the green stuff together with the brainish stuff (that's the tofu) and eat it with polenta. Here's what I started with:

I made the mistake of not cooking the tofu separately from the greens. In the future, I'll brown the tofu evenly, then remove it from the wok while I stir fry the veggies, then add it back in. This time, I just stir fried everything together, and the result was some pretty unevenly browned tofu. That seemed to be just an aesthetic problem, though, since the tofu was cooked through. Here's everything getting all cooked and yummy in olive oil:
That's the polenta in the back. In hindsight, I guess polenta doesn't really go with the rest of this meal. But I had just purchased some, and I was all excited to cook, so I wanted to cook everything. The texture combination of polenta and tofu was strange, though. In the end, I burned some of the tofu to the wok (it didn't take too long to scrape off, thank goodness) and the rainbow chard got a little nasty and wilted. But the tofu didn't eat me, so I count it as a win:

Sometimes real food blogs (by real, I mean food blogs in which people with cooking skills explain to people like me how to cook properly) use natural lighting and pleasant backdrops to make pictures of food look delicious. But I think that's a bit dishonest. Anyway, I think the food looks pretty this way, like a sunrise over a landscape of leafy brain chunks.


  1. If you've always thought tofu tasted brain-ish, you might consider pressing slabs of extra-firm tofu. It makes it taste-feel more solid, possibly meaty. You can buy a press, but I usually just sit my tofu between baking sheets with a few volumes of encyclopedias on top. Best of luck with the soy!

  2. Great idea! I don't have a press, but I do have a lot of heavy books.

  3. This is so much better than a "real" food blog :)

  4. I agree with Austin, It's an extremely good blog