Friday, December 6
Salt & Pepper Tofu with Mac & Cheese
I really wanted some comfort food. The weather here has been really weird, going from much colder than normal to much warmer than usual and with a lot of rain all around. I was going to make the Sunflower Mac from Isa Does It, but decided not to at the last minute. I got worried Seth wouldn’t like it because we once made a mac & cheese using butternut squash and he was not a fan due to the sweetness. I don’t think the Sunflower Mac would be quite as sweet, but it does use carrot, so I bailed on that idea and went with the standard, old school style recipe from The Vegan Soul Food Guide to the Galaxy. Well, the basic recipe, which I then modify. It’s more or less how my mom used to make mac and cheese when I was a kid – milk, cheese, flour – except I use almond milk, nooch and a whole bunch of Daiya. The recipe as written in the book calls for a fair amount of oil, which I don’t leave out entirely, but I do cut it back to about a tablespoon. It also uses rice cheese, which is just gross, so I use Daiya pepperjack and cheddar instead. And I added a little smoked paprika this time too, which was yum. I do a half batch because I will eat my weight in mac & cheese if it’s around and like to limit the temptation since it’s not the healthiest thing in the world. For the tofu, what I really wanted was battered and fried with ranch dressing to dip it in. What I made was a modified version of the Salt & Pepper Tofu in Color Me Vegan. The last time I made this, Becky from Glue and Glitter suggested baking it instead of frying, so I thought I’d give that a go. I went ahead and cubed tossed the cubes in about a teaspoon of olive oil, then added the spice mix and tossed it some more until they were all nicely coated. The recipe calls for sautéed green onions and garlic for the tofu. I didn’t have any green onions, so I minced some shallot and cooked that with the garlic and tossed it with the tofu and spices, then I baked it for about 30 minutes, stirring it up every now and then so all the sides cooked evenly and got nice and crispy. I made a variation of one of the sauces which ended up being just tamari, rice vinegar, shallots and a little squirt of agave. Then, I put the tofu into a hot pan, added the sauce and tossed it to get it all coated and let the sauce sort of cook onto it. I had some chipotle aioli in the fridge, so I served that alongside the tofu and they went surprisingly well together. Broccoli rounded things out nicely.