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Cheese Minus Cheese

Posted Feb 17 2010 6:08pm

I realize that I’ve been more absent from my blog (and everyone else’s) than I usually am, and I’m sorry about that for every blog-related reason. Nonetheless, my schedule has changed a bit recently such that I’m lucky if I have time to post two or three times a week. It’s not entirely a bummer—just take my word for it. :)

Tonight being an evening I had relatively free, I was excited to get back into some kitchen creativity. I had some silken tofu that needed using, so I decided to turn it into some old-fashioned, down-home comfort food along the lines of a baked cheese-and-potatoes combination.

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Of course, by cheese and potatoes I mean neither. This blog exists under the illusion that my thought processes make sense, so please just (continue to) humor me. All I mean is that there are foods I like better than cheese and potatoes, and those other foods were indeed the components of my dinner—it’s just that it kind of turned out like…well, cheese and potatoes.

Please, just indulge me. Then indulge yourself with this lovely sticktoyourribbishness.

Tofu-flower Casserole
or Cheezey Tofu-Cauliflower Bake (Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb cauliflower florets
  • ~1.5 cups silken tofu, loosely measured
  • juice of 1/2 large lemon (about 2 tbsp)
  • 6 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
  • 3/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (or enough to cover the top of your casserole)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350*.

2. Steam or microwave the cauliflower until fork-mashable (10 minutes in the microwave worked for me).

3. Meanwhile, combine tofu, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic powder and salt in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. An immersion blender works well too.

4. When cauliflower is done cooking, dump into a medium bowl and mash coarsely with a fork. Add the brown rice.

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5. Pour in the tofu mixture and stir to coat thoroughly and evenly.

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6. Coat a small casserole dish (I used 1.5 qt) with cooking spray and pour in the contents of the bowl. Pat down evenly.

7. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top. I recommend Italian-flavored bread crumbs, or do as I did and mix your bread crumbs with some vegan parm plus oregano and basil or Italian herb blend.

8. Bake for 30 minutes, or until center is no longer too goopy (though your knife won’t likely come out clean if you test it by poking). The casserole should feel a bit firm and the top should have browned a little.

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9. Serve over green beans (or other vegetable), if desired.

Serves 2 (generously!)

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I challenge you to serve this and make it look pretty. Not that my plating skills are anything much, but yeah, this dish seems to like to behave like the glorious mess that it is.

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My dinner tonight marked the 5,424th time I have eaten one of my own recipes and thought, “Why is no one paying me to do this?”

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I’m not necessarily trying to toot my own horn, but toot-frickin’-toot if it means I get to play in the kitchen creating deliciousness that I get to pass on to anyone who might be interested! At the very least, I amuse myself, if no one else.

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In the couple times I’ve worked with silken tofu, I’ve found it to be super-versatile and fun to use in a variety of ways. Do you like silken tofu? What’s your favorite way to use it?

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