I hope the DH is flexing his fingers, because I’ve just crossed the finish line of my 2014 New Year’s Resolutions challenge. You know what that means, don’t you? He’s going to be treating me to a massage.… there’s that tight spot right behind my shoulder blades…. Aaaah!
But I’m sure that you’re more interested in how the Crazy Foodie Whole Grains and Tofu Challenge turned out, right? My goal was to serve whole grains and tofu at least once a week for six weeks. Here’s the week-by-week break down (recipe sources for new recipes are at the bottom):
- Pepperoni pizza and Hawaiian pizza on 100% white whole wheat crust.
- Short grain brown rice (with black bean, sausage, and sweet potato soup).
- Oops! What happened? I forgot to make something with tofu!
- Short grain brown rice bowl with oven-baked miso glazed tofu, red peppers and kimchi (Shulman) New! Too much like red rice with miso-roasted squash, leeks, red pepper, and tofu (also from Shulman), so it was good, but we preferred the other recipe.
- Buttermilk rye bread (King Arthur) New! Pastrami on rye was ubiquitous in New York City delis and diners when I was growing up — I’m sure they still are — but I couldn’t pass up the hot open-faced turkey sandwiches (on white bread, of course) smothered in gravy, so I never got acquainted with rye. What a revelation! We loved the heady flavor and sturdy texture of this quick bread.
- Stir-fried rainbow peppers, eggplant, and tofu (Shulman) New! (with short grain brown rice) Loved the interplay of textures and flavors: roasted eggplant melting in your mouth, crunchy peppers, and meaty tofu. Beautiful colors, and the earthy aroma of hoisin sauce! Adjusted the proportions of the ingredients from the printed recipe to suit my family’s taste.
- Short grain brown rice (with beef curry).
- Pine nut-parmesan biscuits (King Arthur) New! Everyone really loved these flaky biscuits except me. I thought they were a little too salty, and the flavor of the pine nuts might be brought out more by toasting them first. With a little adjusting, this recipe has potential.
- Tofu in creamy nut butter sauce with scallions served with roasted brown rice with gomasio (Kaufmann) New! Roasting short grain brown rice lightened up its texture and punched up the nutty aromas of the rice. I could eat gomasio — a traditional Japanese condiment made of toasted sesame seeds and salt ground to a coarse powder — sprinkled on top of rice every day for the rest of my life!
- Brown basmati rice with onions, peas, and corn.
- Seared tofu salad (inspired by “Grilled Tofu Salad,” in Hugo Arnold’s The Wagamama Cookbook) New! I used the printed recipe as a springboard, because the bean sprouts that the original recipe called for wouldn’t keep long enough, and also, I forgot to get some other key ingredients… doh! But we all loved the results, so check out the recipe here.
- Long grain brown rice (with red beans and rice).
- Soba noodles with tofu (which counts for both tofu and whole grains, since soba noodles are made with buckwheat) (Shulman)
Final grade? A-. How embarrassing! I didn’t even realize that I missed the first week’s tofu dinner until I went back over my dinner journal. Still, it’s a decent track record, and a good mix of new recipes and picks from the recipe box.
I’ll raise the bar for my next challenge: can I keep both my resolutions for another 9 weeks? Remember that the recipe for the seared tofu salad in week 5 is here. Drop me a line if you’d like to hear about any of the other recipes that I mentioned!
I gave a short review of these sources (except for Hugo Arnold’s book) in my post, 2014 New Year’s Resolutions.
- Hugo Arnold, The Wagamama Cookbook (Kyle Books, 2004).
- Julie Kaufmann and Beth Hensperger, The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook (Harvard Common Press, 2002).
- King Arthur Flour, Whole Grain Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Nutritious Whole Grains (Countryman Press, 2006).
- Martha Rose Shulman, “Recipes for Health,” in The New York Times.