Victoria's Vegetarian Victuals

I went to the library a couple of weeks ago, to check out some information, and found to my annoyance that some foul miscreant had stolen all but one of the books about tofu.  I concluded that tofu must be getting more and more popular, and hopefully with honest people as well as with those who steal books.  I checked out the lone survivor, and a couple of other books on meatless cooking and nutrition, including on about a soy product called tempeh, and I'd like to share with you this month some of what I have learned.

First, tofu is an excellent source of protein and many good vitamins.  There are any number of good reasons to use tofu and tempeh in your recipes.  You can add any flavor that you like to tofu, as it is entirely bland, and has virtually no flavor of its own to conflict with your additives.  The variety of ways that you can use these two products is endless.

For example, they are excellent for not only meatless dishes, but also for desserts and salads.  They are easy to cook, which is a big bonus, and most of the dishes can be prepared in a microwave oven.

Tofu and tempeh dishes can be fried, baked, microwaved, stir-fried, poached, broiled, or toasted.  Just about whatever you want.  Both products are highly nutritious, low in cholesterol, and are an excellent source of calcium, which we all need, particularly the ladies out there.

Here are a couple of recipes for you to try this month.  Enjoy!

Boston Fried Tempeh

  • 6 ounces Tempeh, cut into 1/4" cubes and fried (use vegetable oil to fry)
  • 1 teaspoon dark molasses
  • 2 tablespoons minced onions
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • dash of salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Combine and mix all ingredients, and spoon small amounts into a small lightly oiled (vegetable oil) baking dish.  Bake for fifteen minutes.  You may serve this hot or cold.

  • Yields: 3 servings
  • Preparation Time: less than half an hour

Potato Tofu Casserole

  • 3 cups mashed potatoes (you may use potato flakes)
  • 1 1/2 lbs. mashed tofu
  • 1/4 cup of chopped parsley
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Sauté together: 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and 1 medium chopped onion When the onions are softened, mix them into the potato-tofu mixture.  Spread the mixture onto an oiled 2" deep baking dish, and sprinkle with paprika.  Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.  Bake for 35 minutes

  • Yields: 3 servings
  • Preparation Time:  less than half an hour.

Whipped White Beans and Garlic

  • 4 cups cooked white beans, drained
  • 3 cloves of sliced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon margarine
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine the beans and enough water to cover them in a heavy saucepan, (at least 2 quarts) with a lid.  Bring to a boil over a high heat and cook 5 to 10 minutes, until the beans are thoroughly heated, and very soft.  Drain them very well, and return them to the saucepan.

Sauté the garlic in the margarine in a small skillet over low heat until it begins to brown.  This should take about 5 minutes.  Turn off the heat and stir in the 1/4 cup of milk

Add the milk and garlic mixture to the cooked beans. Mixing with a hand held electric beater, whip the beans thoroughly until pureed, but not yet smooth. Add more milk if necessary.  Stir in the salt and pepper, taste, and adjust the seasoning.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: less than half an hour.

Soft Molasses Cookies

Blend the following ingredients until smooth and creamy:

  • 1 cup molasses or sorghum
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 lb. silken tofu, mashed
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar

Mix together the following dry ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups of unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix together wet and dry ingredients until well blended.  Drop by spoonfuls onto an oiled cookie sheet (vegetable oil).  Bake for about 10 minutes.  Store in a tightly covered container to preserve moisture.

  • Yields: 36 cookies
  • Preparation Time: less than half an hour.