Friday, July 27, 2012

Two Foods

These two recipes are both easy to make, and both pack a lot of protein. Both are vegan, and both will keep well in the refrigerator for at least a week in an airtight container.

1. Maple Dijon Tofu

(I modified this from a chicken recipe.)

1 package tofu
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 TBSP maple syrup
1 TBSP red wine vinegar

Drain tofu block. Slice into eight slabs. Press between dishtowels and under something heavy for at least a half hour. Then score both sides of each slab.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together mustard, syrup and vinegar. You can taste the mixture and decide whether or not you'd like to add salt and/or pepper at this stage, or you can wait till the end.

Dredge tofu in the mustard mixture, making sure to coat both sides. I had some extra mustard mixture so I dredged some scored scallions, too. 

Place on foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 450 for about 40 minutes, or until pleasingly brown around the edges.

Season with salt, pepper, or fresh rosemary if desired. I did not desire to season the tofu in any additional way.

2. Zucchini Salad

1 onion
1 small handful fresh parsley
3 small zucchini
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup vegetable broth (I used Penzeys)
1 can chick peas (I used Goya)
1 cup chopped walnuts
apple cider vinegar
olive oil
salt and pepper

Chop the onion and parsley. Set aside in just enough apple cider vinegar to cover while you do everything else.

Prepare quinoa in broth to package instructions. Set it aside to cool.

Chop zucchini into nickel- or standard D6-sized chunks. Blanch and shock. Set aside to cool.

Drain and rinse chick peas.

Add zucchini, quinoa, chick peas and walnuts to onion mixture. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to combine.

Wait at least an hour and THEN add salt and pepper to taste, or salt and pepper individual servings. My vegetable broth and canned chick peas made this salty enough for me, and I just added some pepper.

Makes .... about five 1.5 cup servings, probably.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Judgmental Alphabet list-in-progress

He's quite an aesthete. She's friendly, but a bit of a flibbertigibbet. There are many labels like these that beg to be illustrated by Edward Gorey. In my Time Travel Alphabet Book Fantasy, Gorey says, "Gosh, Emily, what a swell idea! I've done some things like that. Would you like to come visit Elephant House while I work on illustrating this?" And then we hang out.

This alphabet is incomplete! As is the case with my list-in-progress of cultural reasons to wear red for every month of the year, I welcome suggestions to fill in the blanks.

Nob (reader suggestion)
Villain (reader suggestion)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

In Which the Internet Teaches Me to Clean Things

I enjoy activities that combine laziness and science. Here are two:

1. As a commenter suggested in the amazing Unfuck Your Habitat community, mouthwash will remove coffee and tea stains from mugs as well as from teeth. I had purchased some Original Listerine because it seemed retro-fancy. Ladies and Gentlemen, it was NOT retro-fancy. I disliked the flavor to an extent that I will not describe here, and went back to Cool Mint. However, the Original was not a waste since swishing it around in a stained mug for a few seconds and then sponging it off yields a clean, unstained mug with zero scrubbing on my part.
Before and after The Mouthwash Treatment. 
2. My household inherited some lovely sterling silver from grandparents. However, we don't use these things and they became oxidized over time. I wanted them to be shiny, but I didn't want to devote any polishing or scrubbing time or effort, nor did I want to spend money on polish or wipes. Luckily, I was able to use water, aluminum foil, baking soda and sitting around, all of which I already had. The results were actually more impressive than can be noted from this before and after shot, since I had to get a weird angle on the "after" so as to not reflect in the Asparagus Server, it is now so shiny.