Sep 14
     

yummers

The first thing that comes to mind when anyone says “healthy” is granola crunching, candle making, organic farming, pony tail wearing hippies that live in Hudson, N.Y. and sell their tye-dye hemp shirts while preaching the wonders of compost. The second thing that comes to mind is tofu. That white, rubbery substance looks like anything but food. An eraser. Play- Doh. Cement bricks. Curd- which rhymes with turd, so by the laws of  the transitive property…you can guess the rest. Pretty much all of these things taste better than plain tofu. Right?

Wrong!

Roomie, my roommate who is a vegetarian and henceforth vegan loves tofu. She eats that shit all the way up. When she suggested we make our first healthy meal centered around that white non- meat, I literally shivered. Already regretting my decision to go cold turkey on Mac ‘n’ Cheese a few days into the experiment, the word tofu nearly sent me running to the frig for the first leg- of- animal I could get my hands on.

I’ve tried tofu before. In one of my “keep an open mind” rants, I put my money where my mouth is at a vegetarian friend’s house and learned a lot about myself that day: One- I sometimes make very bad decisions, Two- spitting food out in front of the person who made it will not gain me any new friends, in fact it might have the opposite effect.

But I thought “Hey, let’s try to keep any open mind here” and 5-6 hours later, I found myself in front of the oven checking on a broiling batch of tofu marinated in teriyaki sauce, sesame oil and sesame seeds. Sounds yummy, right?

I’d like to mention that I’m no food critic. In no way. I wouldn’t know gourmet from garbage (in the figurative way, of course. I would never eat garbage. For free.)

This recipe is courtesy of my roommate, the fearless vegan who is brave enough to try and teach me something about cooking and eating like a human being.

The recipe: Teriyaki Tofu With Whole Wheat Spaghetti

– cut up some tofu in a pan

-throw in some teriyaki sauce, sesame oil and sesame seeds

– pop that sucker in the oven and let it broil for 25 min

– prepare the spaghetti: if you don’t know how to make spaghetti, then I have to congratulate you on your many many riches and the fact that you can pay people to feed you. That, and maybe you should give your mom a rest and cook dinner one night.

when the pasta is cooked and drained, add the broiling mixture to the pasta then add more sesame oil, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce and sesame seeds.

Dinner!

The verdict:

The teriyaki was powerful enough to mask the rubbery nothingness of the tofu. The spaghetti did a good job of that as well. So in the end, I learned something powerful about food: tofu isn’t not good. Those hippies might be onto something. But if you ever see me in dread locks just shoot me dead right there and then. My integrity will thank you afterwards.

I also made a new mantra for life: The best way to try new things is to have an open mind. And drown the new things in lots of sauces that might defeat the purpose of trying to eat healthy in the first place.

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2 comments so far

  1. 1 jenny abeles
    5:31 pm - 9-14-2011

    As I read your first two posts, I was gnoshing crackers and cheese, or, actually, “cheese-food.” It seems that if they have to remind you it’s food, maybe you shouldn’t be eating it. But I’m telling you this only to indicate that I am very sympathetic to your mac-and-cheese addiction. That powdered cheese probably qualifies as “cheese-food,” too, but boy is it nummy. Do you ever add veggies, like kale, to it? Cuts down on the guilt.

    So, Jimmy, this is a very readable blog so far–entertaining and informative. Your voice is clever, tongue-in-cheek, quippy–certainly effective in a blog format. You’re not challenging the reader, except inasmuch as you might change her or his eating habits. I really like your decision to riff on food a bit, explain your tastes and lifestyle, and then provide a recipe (and I thought your pictures were tantalizing). It seems to me that in doing all this, you’re skirting many political issues, food production and consumption issues being extremely polemical in this country. I wonder if you’ll address any of these issues directly–health care, obesity, organic farming, eating local, animal rights, and so on. Doing so might change the carefree tone of your blog a bit, but it would allow you to add another dimension to your thinking, explain further why you are embarking on this food experiment, and give you an opportunity to link to other sites that could elaborate further on the political side of things.

    Either way, I like the persona here–a charming, quirky, funny voice–and look forward to more anecdotes about her dietary history and journey. Nice writing so far!

  2. 2 jennchen115
    2:16 am - 10-19-2011

    “the word tofu nearly sent me running to the frig for the first leg-of-animal i could get my hands on.” LOL!!! you sound like my bf. I as a vegetarian gf tried to get him to join the club for a week and he couldn’t even handle two days.

    And you actually spit right in front of her? now now… tofu aint THAT bad! LOL

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what's eating jimmy? a blog about food. and jimmy