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Best Tofu Salad, Another Tester Burger, and Baking Class Report

Posted Oct 01 2008 9:05pm
You've probably noticed that I’ve been searching for an awesome tofu salad. Not for me, but for Chase to have something he can wrap or sandwich during the busy school week. I found Julie Hasson’s recipe on the Everyday Dish blog for Ginger Peanut Tofu Salad, and since peanuts and tofu are Chase’s most favorite foods, I decided to make it. Now it was really really good on its own, but I decided to stretch it since Chase ate the last tofu salad I made all in one sitting. When I buy tofu, it goes straight into the freezer, and as I often do, for this recipe I put the crumbled tofu in a dry nonstick skillet over low heat just to dry it out a little more. It also warmed it so the peanut butter would mix in easily. Other than that, I followed the easy recipe exactly, then added in a small head of broccoli sauted in tamari water, half a red bell pepper, enough miso mayo to make it a salad, and a little more seasoning and a tablespoon of rice wine vinegar. I know tofu salad isn’t very pretty, but this looks rather Christmasy!

Chase came over to pick it up and I asked him to try it so I could report to blogland. He did and said “It’s the best tofu salad ever.” I said, “Really? The best one I’ve ever made?” He said, “No. The best tofu salad anyone has ever made.” I made him stop eating it before it was half gone. So there you go. I now have the perfect tofu salad. Thank you, Julie!

I also tested another of Joni’s burger recipes. This is a delicious soyfree wheatfree quinoa burger I made with red quinoa. The quinoa gives it such a wonderful texture. I ate it plain with a side of broccoli – oh, so good!

A couple of other meals – Lentils with Zucchini (remainder of monster zucchini from the farmers market).

Sweet Potatoes and Blackeyed Peas, with red and green peppers, onions, and quinoa. A very nice combination for something I threw together to satisfy my craving for blackeyed peas.

I also made some Banana Ginger Muffins that don’t have enough ginger flavor, but they will next time!

Speaking of muffins, a few of my Strawberry Jalapeno Muffins “curled.” Does anyone know what makes them do this? Please don’t tell me my oven isn’t heating evenly and I need a new oven.

By the way, Chase is feeling much better. Thanks for all your well wishes and germ information. And the avocado soup I made over the weekend that was too limey to eat as soup is perfect as is on salads or mixed in with rice. I’m so glad I didn’t have to throw out 4 cups of soup!

Now for the report on the vegan baking class. Whole Foods has a “no pictures” rule, so sorry for that. Perhaps after showing you my curly muffins I shouldn’t have said in my last post that we were more knowledgeable about baking than the instructor. He did graduate from the French Culinary Institute and the class was geared toward beginners. But I’ll give you three examples of why I said that.

1. Every recipe used soy milk. I asked him what his second choice for milk was. It was like it never occurred to him to use anything else. He said coconut milk, but that’s only because he was using that to make coconut ice cream later. I said “What about almond milk?” He said, “That’s a great idea! Or you could use rice milk!” That’s all I ever use.

2. He made a pastry cream/pudding for a tart very similar to the banana pie I recently made. I told him I hadn’t cooked mine long enough and had tried to use the leftover like yogurt to make a cake. Again he said “That’s a great idea!” I told him it didn’t work and asked him why he thought it didn’t. He told me to just cook my pudding longer. Well I told HIM that. That’s not the answer I was looking for.

3. He also said he had learned from the raw foodie in our class that you could make a pie with cashew cream. He had never heard of that either.

To his credit, he made an awesome chocolate cake. He had one already prepared for us to eat, and then he baked a demo one. Chocolate cake with chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache. When the demo came out of the oven at the end of class, he said “Someone should take this home. Anyone want it?” Before I could kick my poor sick half-asleep son under the table, Chase raised his hand and said “I’ll take it!” He got to take home a freshly baked vegan chocolate cake. Here’s a picture of a slice. I think that made the class worth attending.

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