Friday, December 7 Italian Marinated Tofu (Veganomicon) and Spaghetti with Pesto & Veggies, Salad and Garlic Bread Rating: 4.5

We make this pretty often in the warmer months when fresh basil, tomatoes and bell peppers are plentiful. It’s especially good with leftover grilled veggies. Still, it’s yummy even with the less than wonderful veggies in the stores this time of year. I actually had some pesto in the freezer left from a batch I’d made at the end of the summer with basil from my mom’s basil tree (yes, it gets to be the size of a small tree by summer’s end in her garden). The pesto-pasta-veggies are pretty simple – I just let the veggies soak in the leftover tofu marinade for about an hour and then sauté them so they’re just cooked, but still crisp. Alternately, I sometimes roast them in the oven or cook them in the grill pan. This time we had broccoli, bell pepper, tomatoes, onions and garlic. Spinach is also a really nice addition if you have any on hand. You can use any type of past you like, but when I use chunkier veggies like broccoli, I like a sturdy shape like spaghetti or linguini. It’s nice with capellini, too but the veggies need to be in smaller pieces. We love the Italian marinade in Veganomicon. I made it the night before and let the tofu marinate for a full 24 hours, so it was extra flavorful. I generally reduce the amount of olive oil just a titch and add a dash or two of liquid smoke. We cut it up into smaller pieces after baking it so it would mix in with the pasta, but it’s also good served on top, too. Seth makes what are quite possibly the world’s best salads and garlic bread. The loose recipe for the bread is this: get a mini baguette (like from Trader Joe’s) and slice it lengthwise. Set aside. Chop/mince a ridiculous amount of fresh garlic (about half a bulb/head – yes that much). Heat some olive oil (he uses a bunch, but you could use less) and add the garlic when the oil is hot. Sprinkle in a whole bunch of Italian seasonings (you can use a blend or just use a mix of oregano, basil, marjoram, etc.) into the oil & garlic mixture and cook for just a few minutes. The garlic should be very lightly golde, but not browned. Spoon the oil/garlic/spice mix over the sliced bread and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 5-8 minutes, until the bread is crispy & golden and the garlic is browned. Eat way too much of it. Be safe from vampires for a week.


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