Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Veggie evening...

We have tried out tofu a few times now, but we have never tried the "smoked" variety. When I found a recipe that used it, I didn't realize I was going to have a hard time finding it. I was not able to find it in a regular grocery store, but I did finally spot it at a local food co-op called The Common Market. My heart skipped a beat when I saw the price though... about $4.50 for 6(!) ounces

When I opened the small package of tofu for the recipe, Smoked Tofu and Farfalle Casserole, there was a definite aroma - almost like a jerky smell - not in a bad way though! I noticed that it was very solid and diced easily without any crumbling. The original recipe called for raw yellow bell peppers, but since I already had roasted reds, I went ahead and used those instead. You will notice in the recipe you will use the same Dutch oven from beginning to end, which keeps the dishes down some. The peppers, garlic, baby peas and fresh thyme start off the dish by quickly heating them through - then in the same pot, you start the water for the pasta. Once the pasta is cooked al dente (I undercooked it by about 3 minutes from the package time), the pasta is drained and you start on a creamy cheese sauce by thicking some milk and flour. When the mixture is viscous, sharp cheddar is melted in and the tofu, pasta and pea mixture is thrown in to get coated. To add a crunchy top, panko breadcrumbs are scattered over and the Dutch oven is placed in the oven to allow the flavors to meld and add a golden crust.

To keep the veggie themed meal going, I made the recipe Balsamic Carrot Salad to have along side tonight. Diagonally sliced carrots are marinated in a pungent mixture of balsamic vinegar, oil, garlic and seasonings. Be sure to make this at least an hour ahead so they have plenty of time to absorb the tasty sauce. Fresh, crunchy, and easy to boot - can't beat that in the summer heat!


  1. don't give up on smoked tofu! There are lots of varieties to try. I have a sesame-ginger one that I like a lot, I use it in a salad with a peanut dressing I make, and it's really yummy.

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  3. you make tofu look good.......seems like a good dish to make for everyone when vegaterian [sp]friends over

  4. Mmmm,looks great. I wish that market were closer to me. It looks like a place that I would love to shop.

  5. I still can't use tofu as a prime protien...I've tried, but it's gonna be an accent for now

  6. That carrot salad sounds delicious, and the dish you've used looks fun!

  7. wow, both recipes look great! i'm definitely going to try that pasta-tofu dish but maybe with just plain ol' tofu. yum.

  8. Try looking in some of the areas many Asian markets. You'll find tofu in more varieties than you could ever imagine.

    I know where the ones in the Alexandria area are located but I know there are some in Rockville and Silver Spring.

  9. I'm not much of a tofu person myself,but the carrots look delish!

  10. Joanna - I actually liked this better as lunch today - it seemed to calm down some, so we will not dismiss it yet!

    Jamie - Thank you for pointing that out! I'll be waiting to see what it all involves in Auguest!

    Lexi - Thanks!

    Linda - It is a pretty nice place to shop so far!

    Wheresmymind - Yeah, I think I know what you mean.

    Pille - We picked the dish up last year, it is a favorite!

    Kickpleat - Yeah, plain might be better here.

    Barbara - I'll have to do that, I just need to find more to shop at! Those areas area bit far for me though.

    Emily - Thanks!