Thursday, January 11, 2007

Tofu-and-millet

Something I grew up eating, being from Savannah and only a stone's throw from the Atlantic Ocean, was seafood. And I have to admit, when going veg, fish was the hardest thing for me to give up. In fact, when I went vegetarian I still ate fish for months (so not entirely vegetarian, I guess), and only gave it up upon going vegan. I feel good about not eating fish, even fish that my dad caught himself on his little 17-foot fishing boat--why kill for food when there are so many delicious, peaceful alternatives? And I don't really even miss the taste of it that much, especially since I have learned to cook so many wonderful, healthful plant-based dishes that I would never have even dreamed of before.

When I found Jennifershmoo's freebie recipe for tofu fish sticks, I decided to give it a try. The recipe was very easy; I modified it in only two ways. First, I used sunflower seeds in place of almonds, since almonds are expensive and therefore kind of a treat around our place. Second, I used water in place of soy milk to dip the tofu in for breading. I cut the tofu into eight cutlets, so I guess I truly didn't make tofu fish sticks. Anyway, it only took me about ten minutes to throw everything together, and then baking time was 30 minutes. They came out golden and beautiful--and delicious! Not entirely fishy, of course, but the kelp granules added that hint of flavor, and the lemon juice added at the end really helped bring it out. I will make this recipe again, for sure!


While it was in the oven, I thought about how to complete the meal. A typical meal I remember from growing up was "fish-and-grits." It's probably a southern thing! Anyway, I don't really keep grits on hand, but what I did have was millet. Hmm, cooked millet is not entirely unlike cooked grits in texture. So I went for it. I toasted the millet in the saucepan before adding the water, to bring out the depth of its nutty flavor. I seasoned it with salt, black pepper, and paprika; additionally, I added a 4-ounce can of chopped green chilies. It was done the same time as the tofu--great planning!


The millet was delicious cooked this way--I'll definitely do it again. Millet is quite a bit more nutrient-packed than grits too, being rich in B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. Just as I had hoped, it complemented the tofu quite well. For a vegetable, I made a good helping of fresh kai-lan, stir-fried with chopped garlic and ginger.


This was a fun meal to prepare! Here's one more shot, of the whole deal:


I had never used kelp granules before, and I really enjoyed the flavor they added.

I have tentative plans to make cupcakes this weekend with a friend. Yes--I may be breaking in my new cookbook! So stay tuned... And peace to you all!

17 comments:

aTxVegn said...

I saw fishsticks on another blog recently and they look so perfect with the breading. Did you make tartar sauce too?

I love millet, esp. toasted before cooking! Looks like a great meal!

Pixie said...

Looks like an awesome southern spread. Unfortunately my family didn't care for the "fish" recipe, but I'm glad to hear you did.

Don't Get Mad Get Vegan! said...

Mmmmmmm, looks so yummy, and thanks for reminding me that i have millet in the pantry that i've been wanting to try.

now i know just how i'll fix it! ;)

bazu said...

I love millet too. If you have Vegan with a Vengeance, there's a great recipe for millet polenta in there that, like you, replaced corn with millet. I really like that. Your fishsticks look great- I really need to try that recipe!

Confession time: I really miss seafood too, in the form of sushi and ceviche. Mmmmmmm.

Dori said...

A perfectly pleasant southern spread. My dad was of the southern decent, he would have appreciated a meal like this. I tried those tofu sticks, I like them.

Julie said...

Everything looks great! I might give those tofu sticks a try. And those veggies...oh so green and beautiful!!

Mikaela said...

Thanks for the millet advice :)

Brooke said...

I am not familiar with kai-lan. Will have to google it and go buy some! :-)
I made those fish sticks for my kids, but they didn't go for it much. But, I liked them!

Michelle said...

i am planning to make those "fish" sticks for my kids.. i even managed to find a goldfish cookie cutter, but i'm just missing the kelp granules.

fish is the ONE thing i never ate, omni, vegetarian or vegan. i always hated that fishy taste. i might try these, if it's just a hint of fishy taste, then i might like it. :)

Caty said...

Everything looks so yummy, especially the tofu fish sticks! I've been wanting to try them for ages but I can't find kelp powder anywhere.

Freedom said...

That's funny that fish was the last thing you gave up - it was the first for me, several years before I went vegetarian. I went fishing with my grandparents a few times as a kid and when I saw those poor fish writhing around on the jetty, gasping and bleeding, it nearly broke my heart, so I gave up seafood.
This meal looks great, I'm glad it came together so well and tasted great!

Vicki said...

hi laura! what is kai-lan, by the greeness of it, i'm sure i'd love it. the whole meal looks wonderful, thanks for the fishstix idea -- bet it's in Vegan Lunch Box? yes sireee, i'll stay tuned for cupcakes! :o)

theONLYtania said...

Oooh looks good, I've never had millet but it sounds great the way you made it! I've been looking at that tofu fish sticks recipe too, but never got around to it for lack of kelp granules. The sunflower seeds is a neat idea though!

Vivacious Vegan said...

I practically grew up on frozen fish sticks and tater tots! I think I'll definitely try these. Love what you did with the millet. It sounds delicious.

Webly said...

I forgot how easy those fish sticks were. Yours look beautiful!

Celine said...

it all looks incredibly tasty! i don't know if i can find kelp granules around here or online, but if i can, i'll definitely give this a try.
which cupcake are you wanting to try the most? the rosewater ones are my favorites! or maybe the rummy ones. regardless, they're all sooooooo good! :D
have a great weekend!

laura jesser said...

For those of you who are having trouble finding kelp granules, I got mine at the Asian market in town. I have also seen them at the local health food store (Earth Fare--I'm sure Whole Foods or someplace like that would have them too)... they're on the aisle with the herbs and spices, in little cardboard shaker containers. Good luck!

Diann, I should have made tartar sauce! I actually thought about it, but then decided I had enough work to do already. Next time I will definitely plan ahead, and make the tartar sauce the day before!

Hey Bazu, thanks for pointing that VWaV recipe out to me--it's one of those I've never really noticed before. It'd be a great one to try!

Celine, there are several recipes I would really, really love to try. The top two are probably the green tea cupcakes and the apple cider cupcakes. I've been having a bit of trouble gathering all the ingredients for those, though. I ended up going with the rummy ones that you mentioned!