Cookbook author Mindy Toomay's blog about eating for health, cooking with spirit, and celebrating life in northern California. Here she dishes up food rants and raves, recipes, and plenty of kitchen wisdom.

By your own efforts, waken yourself, watch yourself, and live joyfully.
-- The Dhammapada

Why not make a daily pleasure out of a daily necessity?
-- Peter Mayle


Tofu travels south

When people tell me vegetarian cooking sounds too limited, I tell them it's actually a liberation, an expansion into a wider world of foods and flavors. Vegetarian cooking isn't at all bland and boring, I say, and it goes way beyond brown rice and tofu.

All true, but that doesn't mean tofu is banished from my kitchen. It's a high-quality protein source and has lots of other nutritional benefits, including a lot of isoflavones, which have antioxidant and hormone-balancing powers.

What's more, tofu is infinitely versatile, happily wearing whatever seasoning disguise you dress it up in. The tofu possibilities are practically infinite. You can grill it, bake it, stir-fry it, or blend it up to make a creamy dip. And it can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Now what meat product can make that claim?

I usually go in an Asian direction when I cook with tofu, in keeping with its roots in the Far East -- and my love for Japanese and Chinese cuisines. But sometimes I mix up the "other white meat" with nontraditional seasonings. This dish, for instance, is a south-of-the-border concoction.

I simply diced some onion, zucchini and potatoes (tiny dice on the latter) and sauteed them in olive oil for a few minutes with chile powder, oregano, and salt. Then I added some canned diced tomatoes (with juice), a minced clove of garlic, some finely chopped pickled jalapeno pepper, and a splash of water. Then I put on a lid and let it cook for about 5 minutes to form a nice saucy texture. Then I added the diced tofu, covered the pan again, and cooked for 5 minutes longer. Voila! A kind of Tofu Rancheros.

It was delicious and satisfying. Hope you enjoy it, too.

Blessings and bon appetit!


At 4:16 PM, Blogger Kelvin said...

Kia Ora (Hello) from a blogger down under in New Zealand. I have tried tofu, but didn;t like it much. It might of had something to do with the way it was prepared, so who knows, I might give this a try.

At 5:57 PM, Blogger Mindy T. said...

Hi kelvin. thanks for dropping by, and I hope you will give tofu another chance (or a dozen more chances). It really is a tasty and versatile ingredient...

At 10:26 AM, Blogger Fiber said...

Looks fantastic! And I have to agree - cooking vegetarian opens up a whole new culinary world to explore!

At 7:51 AM, Blogger Mindy T. said...

Thanks for stopping by again, Fiber. Yeah, those meat-and-potatoes folks don't know what they're missing!


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