Friday, July 13, 2007

fortitude vs. foible

Yesterday I succeeded in the water campaign (goal: 64oz, actual: 80oz), and I did, in fact, do a sinkload of dishes, but I did not, in fact, stay within my caloric goal range. I was brought down by the seductive lure of Ben and Jerry's cinnamon buns. It should be illegal. And, I also smoked several cigarettes, dammit.

So, half thumbs' up, half thumbs' down. I'm just a human bean. (My neighbor, Sherrie Epperly, had a t-shirt that said that when I was a little kid, and I always wanted it. It had a picture of two beans with faces. Cute.)

But, either way, I did make a fantabulous dinner last night. I thought Maggie was coming over, but she wasn't feeling up to it, but it worked out anyhow because this dinner was the bomb, and I was excited to have leftovers. I'm actually having a hard time not eating my lunch right now. But, I'm enjoying some delicious Fage greek yogurt (Total 0%) with a drizzle of honey and some water for breakfast (of champions), so I think I'll be okay.

I tried out a recipe from the cookbook I mentioned yesterday, The Flexitarian Table by Peter Berley. I made the Tofu with Lemon, Soy, White Wine and Butter Sauce. Yum. This is one of the recipes I copied down when I was looking through Ellen's copy, and one of the first that jumped out at me yesterday when I was flipping through my library copy. It was really easy, and really delicious.

Tofu with Lemon, Soy, White Wine and Butter Sauce

from The Flexitarian Table by Peter Berley

1 lb. firm tofu, slived into six 1/2" thick slabs [ek - I actually got eight, all the better!]
1/4 c. dry white wine
2 T. soy sauce, naturally brewed [ek - I used Bragg's Liquid Aminos]
2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 t. honey
3 T. unsalted butter, cubed [ek - I used 2 T. to cut down on a little of the fat]
2 T. finely chopped shallot
1 1/2" slice fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 t. sea salt [ek - I skipped this]
pinch of red pepper flakes
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary

Set rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat ovent to 400. Lay the tofu in a small ovenproof skillet that will hold it comfortably without overlapping.

In a small bowl, tir together the wine, soy sauce, lemon juice and honey. Scatter the butter cubes, shallot and ginger over the tofu, pour the wine mixture over and around, and season the tofu with the salt and red pepper flakes. Scatter the thyme or rosemary sprigs over the tofu. Bring to a boil over high heat, then transfer the pan to the oven and bake for ten minutes. Place the pan over high heat, bring the sauce to a simmer, and simmer until it begins to thicken, 3-5 minutes. Discard the herbs and serve the tofu drizzled with the pan sauce. [ek - I was confused about the last part--bringing it to a simmer again after taking it from the oven. When I took it from the oven, the sauce was pretty thick, so I just turned the tofu, and let it sit for a few minutes, then served].


I made this with some mashed potatoes-n-chard and some steamed broccoli. For the mashed potatoes (I just made this up as I went along, but they came out remarkably well).

about 4-5 medium potatoes, washed and chopped into 1-2" dice (skin on)
2 large cloves garlic
about 6 stalks of swiss chard, stalks and leaves chopped
2 T. freshly grated parmesan
2 T. unsalted butter
sea salt and pepper to taste
just the teeniest bit of your favorite finishing oil to drizzle when serving (I used white truffle oil)

Place the potatoes and the garlic cloves (peeled but left whole) into a pan with enough salted water to cover them by about 2" and bring to a boil. Boil under tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and place into a bowl.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil, then add the chard and cook for 1-2 minutes until tender and leaves are bright green. Drain thoroughly, and squeeze out the excess water.

Mash the potatoes and garlic in the bowl with the chard, butter and cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Voila!


For the broccoli, I just steamed it for a few minutes until it was tender and vibrant green, then tossed with a little squeeze of lemon juice, a tiny drizzle of olive oil and some sea salt and pepper to taste.


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I'm dogsitting tonight in Squirrel Hill for a little maltese named Dolce. Since I won't be going home to cook after work, I'm thinking of justifying the java fried rice from Spice Island. Dare I?

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