This week, I’m going to share one of my favorite recipes for making potatoes, from Jeanne Lemlin’s book Simple Vegetarian Pleasures, and an idea for how to cook tofu. One of the big challenges of tofu is making it taste like things. One way to do that is to sneak it into food by masking it with other vegetables and flavorings. I love cooking tofu and mushrooms together, because the mushrooms have a strong aromatic taste that the tofu absorbs.
Nutritional Facts: Tofu is very filling, as well as being low in fat and cholesterol, and a great source of calcium and manganese. Potatoes are another good low-fat protein-rich food; they contain a complete protein. True vegans can add a multivitamin or some bread with marmite and jam to your breakfast to start off the day with your complete dose of vitamin B12.
Total Preparation and Cook Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 3-4 people.
2 medium-sized potatoes
3-4 gloves of garlic
3-4 tablespoons of olive or peanut oil
Mushrooms and Tofu
1 lb of firm tofu
1 package of fresh mushrooms, any kind
1 shallot or onion
2 cloves of garlic
seasonings (optional): Adobo, dried or fresh cilantro, granulated garlic, salt & pepper
Preparation (20 minutes)
Wash the potatoes very well. (The skin is high in nutrients, so leave it on instead of peeling it.) Chop the potatoes into 1-inch cubes.
Chop 3-4 cloves for the potatoes. Mince 2 cloves of garlic for the tofu.
(To save time, you can skip ahead and start frying the potatoes while you chop the veggies for the tofu.)
Peel the onion or shallot and cut into fine slices.
Wash the mushrooms well, and chop into fine slices.
If you’re planning to add any other vegetables to the tofu, steam or boil them ahead of time.
Cooking the Potatoes: 20 minutes
1. Fill a pan with a few tablespoons of oil and turn the temperature on medium-high. Wait for it to heat up a little, then put in the potatoes. Cook for ten minutes, or until potatoes are soft throughout, while stirring about every two minutes to avoid potatoes sticking (if the potatoes stick a lot, add more oil).
2. When the potatoes are soft, add the garlic and lower the flame to medium-low. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until the garlic is slightly browned.
3. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove to a plate.
Cooking the tofu (20 minutes):
1. Add some oil to the pan, and turn the flame on medium-high heat. Add the onions. Cook for about 5 minutes.
2. Lower the flame slightly. Add the garlic and tofu to the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until garlic is slightly browned.
3. Add the mushrooms. Lower the flame. Season to taste – I used a spoonful of Adobo, some dried cilantro, and salt and pepper. (If you’re using steamed carrots or any other already-cooked vegetables, put them in now.)
4. Simmer for about 5-7 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender. Remove to plate.