Saturday, August 13, 2011

try new meals, but keep the old

One is silver and the other, gold.

Oh, no, wait a second - that's friends.  Make new friends, but keep the old... Was anyone else a Girl Scout? In case you can't tell, I was.  I did the cute little Brownies thing and then felt very mature when I progressed to a green uniform...until I realized two things:

  1. The only thing you need to do to enhance your "rank" in Girl Scouts is get older.  Not die.  That may help some people achieve great things, but I need a little more incentive.
  2. Only dorks are Girl Scouts after Elementary School.  Sorry if I just offended any life-long Woman Scouts out there (I guess that's the rank we'd be at by now, right?), but that's how it was where I grew up.  It might be different elsewhere.
Anyway, the point of using that little ditty is that I didn't make the new meal on the old menu for dinner tonight.  I made the old meal on the new menu.  Follow?  No?  Okay, I'll break it down - The only thing left on my old menu was Ginger Bok Choy and Soba, which is a new recipe, since I don't think I've made it before (to my elderly recollection).  I'm having a little trouble rounding up the enthusiasm to make it, though, especially since napa cabbage will be subbing for the ever-elusive bok choy.  So, instead, I made an old favorite from my new menu, Punjabi Peppers and Tofu.

I've made this at least a dozen times before, so I'm not going to rave about how easy it is to make or how incredibly tasty the tofu is, but I'll show you...

After the tofu had a little quality time with the oil and skillet, I piled in the chopped red and green peppers for a short saute while I chopped the tomato and assembled the spices.

Does it get easier than this?  Yes.  I needed exactly one teaspoon of each of those things.  One measuring spoon makes everything easier.

Here it is, coated with that delightful spice mixture and sauteed to juicy perfection.  Mister and I noticed, between this and whatever thing I made with tofu last week that Trader Joe's tofu is much sturdier than Whole Foods.  It's denser and therefore chewier, which makes Mister happy since he could still probably live his life happily without his crazy wife making tofu a part of his regular diet.

I guess I could fill you in on the rest of the new menu, couldn't I?

1. Ginger Bok Choy and Soba from Appetite for Reduction.'s still on the menu.  Honestly, I would have made it tonight, but Mister said "no pasta" because he had leftover Broccoli con Pasta (from last night) for lunch today and felt that would be overkill, and I really want him to perceive soba noodles as pasta.

2. Garlicky Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil.  I have no idea where I got this recipe but it's killer and it's tomato season here in Pennsylvania.  Also, I'm amazed I haven't yet killed the hydroponic basil plant my mom gave me a couple of months ago, but it's really not looking that great, so I plan to use up the healthy-looking leaves that are left on it and then try again with a new plant.  I think soil might be important next time.

3. Blessed Broccoli and Tofu Stir-Fry from La Dolce Vegan, as are the rest of these recipes.  It's been a little while since I've gone into this book and I do enjoy cooking from just one cookbook sometimes, since I can just leave it there on the counter until tomorrow night.

4. Vegetable Biryani because I recommended this to a friend via Twitter and now I want some.  And because it is super-simple and extremely tasty for how little effort goes into it.  If I have some downtime coming, maybe I'll go back to the original and spend a few hours making an "authentic" biryani.  We'll see.

5. Tasty Tempeh TVP Chili, even though this is usually a cold-weather food, I found myself craving a nice, hearty chili.  It could be because Percy Street BBQ, owned by one of our celeb chefs, just won "Best Pie" in the Best of Philly issue of Philadelphia magazine and in addition to all the grilled animal bits, they also have a vegan chili.  In any case, hold the alarms - I got the chips.

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