1108 Peanut Tofu and Veg

This dinner was delicious, you guys.  Even better, it required minimal prep and minimal hand-on cooking time – and the former could be reduced by using store-bought peanut sauce.  Simple, plenty of protein, and full of veggie goodness.  I could use a few more adjectives to tell you how much we liked it, but instead I will tell you that even though this recipe was supposed to serve four, we ate the whole damned thing, compulsively plucking mushrooms and cubed tofu out of the serving bowl long after we intended to stop.

Tofu and Mushrooms with Peanut Sauce
Adapted from The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook

1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
3/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, grated
Thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
Generous pinch of red pepper flakes
1 large onion, coarsely chopped

1 pound block extra-firm tofu
2 cups quartered mushrooms (or more if you’ve got ’em)
1 bell pepper, cut into 1″ chunks

Combine the first set of ingredients, then refrigerate for at least an hour or up to five days. Add the tofu and marinate at least half an hour or up to overnight. When you’re ready for dinner, preheat your grill or broiler. Thread the tofu, mushrooms, and peppers on skewers, brushing everything with the peanut sauce. If you’re using the broiler, you can alternately just put everything on a foil-lined baking sheet. Grill or broil, turning once until the mushrooms are cooked through and the tofu is lightly charred, about 10-15 minutes total.

0712 First Zucchini Bread of the Summer

I was home sick today – something didn’t agree with me – the sort of sick where it took approximately 30 minutes to get started on anything, whether that was a nap or lunch or knitting or an episode of Gossip Girl.  Somewhere in there I decided to use up one of the bonus zucchinis from Juli in a loaf of zucchini bread.  There are approximately 400 dozen recipes out there, but for the first zuke bread of the year, I tried one from The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook, one of the oldest cookbooks in my collection, and a frequent reference point when I’m trying to figure out what to do with unfamiliar or excess veg.

Unlike my Moosewood cookbook, though, these recipes only occasionally taste virtuous.  You know what I mean, right?  Swap out the fat for applesauce, the sugar for rice syrup, and you’ve got yourself a pale imitation of a cookie.  I should know.  I baked a couple dozen of these earlier in the year.

This bread, however, verged on the virtuous and remained extremely moist after the bake and cool time – to the point that I considered giving it what Mollie Katzen calls the biscotti treatment.  While I happily snacked on the bread and greatly enjoyed how wonderfully it made the house smell, I’ll be trying a different zucchini bread next time.

Zucchini Bread
Adapted from The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook

1 1/3 cups flour (preferably whole wheat)
2/3 cup bran
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon round cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup nonfat buttermilk
3 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium zucchini, peeled and shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)

Preheat your oven to 425.  Lightly grease a 9×5 loaf pan with butter or non-stick spray.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, blend together the buttermilk, egg whites, vanilla, and shredded zucchini.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir just to combine.  Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

(Squash math: down to 1!)