Create • Inspire • Journey
by Rachelle Eason
Vegan Plus Desserts
My friends reading this are going to laugh that I am actually putting cooking ideas out in the universe and I really need to focus on my Eco-Stained Paper Collection. Anything I make should probably come with a warning! If I were to name myself in the cooking world, I would choose Chef Charcoal. Almost everything I touch turns to black.
I am fortunate that my husband has been the primary cook all these years. He is a phenomenal cook and I always have thought he has missed that calling in life. He has graciously always cooked vegetarian food for me and our children as he prepares his own meat based dishes. Since I went vegan-plus-desserts about five years ago, he has made those accommodations for me as well. So, yes, I am spoiled!
The children learned to cook when they were very young. As a homeschooling family who followed an unschooling/life learning philosophy, the kids all cooked regularly. They each had a night of the week and along with Chris, covered the evening meals with some impressive choices. Each week, two people had to cook two evenings since no one ever wanted me part of the rotation, of course.
Meals varied according to what the children were studying at the time and often we got to enjoy ethnic delicacies that brought foreign cultures to our table. And then there were the many months of weekly Friday night dinner of chocolate chip pancakes compliments of our five year-old at the time. I miss those days!
With the kids now being older and a couple in college, meals are not usually part of a plan each day. Peanut butter and jellies are grabbed in between hours of training on the tennis court, bowls of cereal are devoured quickly so one can get back to his computer, and microwave options are quick and easy for the other two.
However, when I am not crazy busy with work, I get this crazy idea every once in a while that cooking may be a good idea for me to do. I’ll plan menus and go to the grocery store with great intentions. When I get home, my short attention span kicks in and I really drop the ball on cooking as planned. The ingredients for the pre-planned meals get used by others and when I finally decide I should go into the kitchen, I am left with bits and pieces of what, in theory, should have been nice meals.
That’s when the creativity comes into play. Based on the concoctions of my youth and when my children were little, I grab a few ingredients, put them together in the simplest way, and voilà, gourmet! Well, it’s really not gourmet, but if it’s not burnt, I call it a success!
My latest concoction is Matzo Tofu. Based on a dish one of our very close family friends used to make when I was young, Matzo Eggs, Matzo Tofu is super easy, vegan, and delicious. I use regular matzo which is made of flour and water, and extra firm tofu. Since tofu takes on the flavor of what you put with it, you can change the taste just by changing spices or adding sauces.
I know that you are all just chomping at the bit to hear how I make this delectable menu item, so here goes…
Open a package of tofu and slice it in cubes…right in the pack. I like Nasoya brand and usually buy their extra firm tofu because of the recipes I intend to cook. If I was buying it specifically for Matzo Tofu, the firm would also work.
Dump the tofu into a frying pan and pour enough water to cover the bottom of the pan and just a bit of the bottom of the tofu. Turn the stove to a bit higher than medium and the water will start to boil.
While it cooks, move the tofu around with a spatula.
Once a good bit of the water has boiled out, break up the Matzo over the tofu. I use a whole piece.
Pour a little bit more water over the mix, making sure to pour over the Matzo so it begins to soften. Continue to heat just a bit higher than medium until the water boils out again. Remember to move the mix around a bit as it is cooking so it doesn’t stick to the pan.
If you added too much water the second time, then break up a bit more Matzo and put it in the mix. I prefer my Matzo to be chewy and not too soft. Add some Italian seasoning and cook just a bit longer.
Plate it up and drizzle with your favorite sauce. I like Teriyaki on everything so that is my go-to condiment.
Then, voila! You have a simple meal of protein with a grain that I prefer over rice or pasta. Complement it with a cucumber-tomato salad with Italian dressing and it is divine. I enjoy it and it is better than prepackage frozen food. It’s time to eat!
Lol! This is definitely not the blog for inventive recipes or sophisticated meals, but I look forward to sharing the simple way I eat under my vegan-plus-desserts diet. I’ll describe that in detail another time!
To give you a hint, this is what I was doing while I waited for the water to boil…