I realized as I looked at the calendar the other day that there are now ten weeks left in 2013! I’ll be trying to make the last few posts count and hope to get some mid-week posts in as well. Since I have already prepared this week’s meals I decided to make the mid-week post the New Recipe Challenge post and have some brewing ideas for the weekend post. The bigger question is what to do for 2014…but that’s for another post! I thought I’d start the countdown to 2014 with a confession…I cannot seem to make myself like tofu. If you ask most non-veg people what vegan’s eat I think the top three things they can think of (besides where do they get their protein from?) are pasta, salad and tofu. I am sensitive to food textures and even when flavors are spectacular if the texture is not appealing I can’t deal with it. If you’ve been following the blog you may have noticed there has been an avoidance of tofu recipes (and other so-called meat substitutes…and cheese, I’m one of those freaks that never liked cheese). However, one of the goals of this year was to try new things and one of my favorite bloggers has posted some really yummy looking tofu recipes. So here we go…
Chipotle BBQ Tofu. You see why I caved and decided to give it a go? I admit I was not fully committed. I halved the recipe (two packages of tofu is a lot when you don’t know if you’ll like it) and then I only prepped one slice of tofu. The theory was if I did not like this preparation I would try one of Susan’s crock-pot tofu recipes that seems able to convert the non-believer. Also, I had an adorable delicata squash (a new food for me) sitting on my counter in need of a recipe decision. The homemade Chipotle BBQ sauce in the tofu recipe seemed like it would also be good for the squash (and, well, then I’d have something to eat if I didn’t like the tofu).
Make this BBQ sauce. Put it on everything and eat it often. I appreciate that Susan posted some handy tips on storing the leftover chipotle but cannot see how she doesn’t make buckets of BBQ sauce and find recipes to use it on immediately. Chipotles have a distinctive flavor that is not quite spicy but not quite smokey either. Tasting the sauce before baking the tofu made me hopeful. I didn’t hate the tofu (that’s an endorsement from my usual one bite and meh). It was a better vehicle for the BBQ sauce, which is really what it’s all about, but still not quite a pleasant texture for me. The squash was delicious but the sweetness of the squash altered the flavor of the BBQ sauce so I may try to spice it up next time (there will be a next time).
I was trying to decide what would go with my BBQ tofu and since I had leftover chipotle I went with a Pinterest find, Linguine with Chipotle Pumpkin Cream Sauce (you knew there’d be pumpkin somewhere). This dish was very easy and delicious. I subbed penne for linguini and cooked the pasta until slightly underdone then added directly to the sauce to finish, rather than spooning the finished sauce over the pasta as the recipe suggests. This is probably not the best if you are counting calories but I find it is the best way to ensure your pasta soaks up the flavors of your sauce for a better bite. The chipotle is the predominant flavor in this recipe with the pumpkin adding creaminess and working to thicken the sauce. The pumpkin seeds and almonds add some texture and nuttiness that is welcome. The dish also reheated well; some of the creaminess was lost but the flavor was even better and while not creamy it wasn’t dry either.
Of course, dessert is necessary when talking comfort foods. I had a couple of bananas that needed to be used and wasn’t really feeling like bread or muffins. Perusing my cookbooks I saw Veganomicon’s Banana Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding and decided this would be perfect to also use up the rest of last week’s English Muffins. I made 2/3 of the recipe since I only had two bananas and I baked it in an 8×8 pan. I soaked the bread longer than called for since it didn’t seem that the bread was soaking up the liquid but it baked up nicely. This was a wonderful end to a meal that seemed far more indulgent than it actually was. The picture doesn’t do it justice. I brought leftovers into the office and had requests for the recipe!
New Recipes Made This Week: 3
New Recipe Tally 2013: 118