So I know I promised a picture of Sunday's lunch. But my friend got here late and we were in a big hurry to cook and eat so that we could leave on time, and I completely forgot to take a picture! Sorry. Next time--and this meal is so easy that there will be a next time soon, I'm sure. But let me tell you about it.
The Golden Bowl is just a bowl of brown rice, topped with twice-cooked tofu and steamed veggies. Just add a little soy sauce and you have a simple, delicious meal. The tofu method is, as yet, the best way I've found to cook tofu on the stovetop. After draining the moisture out of the block of tofu (I usually use firm tofu, but extra firm seems to be fine too), I just cut it into little cubes. Over medium-high heat I sauté the tofu in just a TINY amount of hot oil (make sure the oil is hot before adding the tofu) until it is evenly browned, to a nice golden color. Then I add a little soy sauce and toss the tofu until all the soy sauce is cooked out of the pan and the tofu looks evenly coated. Then remove the tofu from the pan and let the excess oil drain out in a plate covered with a clean towel. Clean the pan.
Put the pan back over medium-high heat and add just a TINY bit more oil. When hot, add the tofu again and toss constantly, until it starts to get really firm and crispy-looking. Add a bit more soy sauce and coat the tofu, just like before. At the very end of cooking, sprinkle a couple of spoonfuls of nutritional yeast over the tofu and toss until the tofu seems evenly "breaded." Now it's done--I usually put it back on the towel for a minute as I assemble the bowls, so that any excess oil can soak out of the tofu.
Fresh veggies work great for this meal; however, in the interest of time I pulled a bag of stir-fry veggies out of the freezer and just cooked those for a few minutes, until heated through. At The Grit, they drizzle a bit of melted margarine over the rice before adding the tofu and veggies. I do this sometimes, depending on the occasion. Since we had my friend here, I went ahead and used the margarine so that the dish would be as delicious as possible.
The verdict: It was a success! She said she only likes tofu that's cooked well (hey, most people can identify, right?), and this seemed to fit the bill. And I taught her how to make it! Yay! So maybe she'll be vegetarian permanently!
Vegan eating on a low budget Wesley Foundation retreat = difficult but manageable. The Wesley Foundation, which is also where Bob works, has been very understanding of our needs. Thank goodness for powdered soy milk and peanut butter!
Tonight, Doc Chey's Noodle House. I don't really like noodles, but one of my best friends is 22 today and she loves the place. I looked up the menu online, and they seem to be willing to bend over backward for special diets. Several entrées are marked "vegetarian," and my guess is that most are probably vegan too. So it should be fine. After that, she wants us all to go to Coldstone with her. As far as I know, there is one sorbet there which is marked as dairy-free. So I guess that's a possibility.
Tomorrow, school starts. Blah. This means more busyness, less cooking, less blogging. But that's okay. For the last week or so, I have been living in my dream world where all I have to do in the world is cook and go for walks and read and write and do Pilates and have people over. It can't be like that forever, right? But even if daily cooking/blogging is not possible, it will be frequent at least. Gotta stay healthy--steer away from convenience food that becomes so easy when you're working and going to school.
So I hope to be back soon!