Friday, October 29, 2010

Baked Tofu and Agrodolce Cauliflower with Cucumber

Here is a preview of dinner tonight, baked tofu and agrodolce cauliflower with cucumber.

This morning:

What a good food day it was at our house yesterday. I am already feeling the pressure to live up to it today which is going to take some work if it is even possible. I loved both the savory oatmeal and the beans and green rice. It is unusual for me to come up with two meals in one day that result in the happy dance. ;-) Oh the pressure of it all, LOL.

The cold front has definitely rolled through the high today is supposed to reach yesterday’s low. Whoa, what happened to my upper 70’s? Good thing I took the time to enjoy them while they lasted as they seem to be gone now. This morning it was 52 degrees at 9am. Brrrr that felt especially cold after the warm front we had for a few days. Oh well, all good things must come to end. Hopefully we will have some pretty (and light) snow falls this winter to enjoy.

Breakfast for Dan this morning was his favorite mixed berry and nut oatmeal. He could eat this everyday and be perfectly content. I feel the need to change things around more than he does.

Dan took leftovers from dinner last night in his lunch today. We both liked the smoky beans and green rice a lot so I don’t expect it to stick around very long.

My breakfast was another bowl of savory oatmeal. This one contained the following: ½ cup oats, 1 cup water, 2 cups of spinach, 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed, 2 tablespoons salsa, 1 radish julienned, ½ tablespoon dehydrated leeks. I sprinkled a little no salt seasoning on top and that was it. I really love savory oatmeal for breakfast when it is cool outside. Thank you again Courtney for sharing the concept.

Here is the nutrition on this version:

Calories - 294.81
Calories From Fat (21%) - 61.44

Total Fat - 5.44g
Saturated Fat - 0.66g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 255.74mg
Potassium - 658.13mg
Total Carbohydrates - 39.95g
Fiber - 10.01g
Sugar - 2.57g
Protein - 9.01g

I checked on my folks, did a little light housekeeping for them and watched a roast my father had in the oven while he went to pick up my mother from her hair appointment. I had to take the opportunity to snoop in their cupboards. OMG, talk about processed food *shakes head* I wouldn’t eat 95% of what my parents have in the house that they call food. No wonder my meals are such a culture shock for them. I guess I should be amazed that they eat anything I cook, LOL.

At mid-day I had an enormous apple and two Brazil nuts. I thought I was hungry but the apple was so large that it and the two nuts were more than enough.

Next I headed for the garden to for a little fall clean up. It is sad to see the little plants winding down. It seems like we have such a short growing season here but that is probably just my imagination. I love having my herb garden to use all summer. That is the part of the garden I miss the most in the winter. Do any of you have an Aerogarden? I have thinking of buying one for herbs for a few years but haven’t done it since I want the herbs to be organic. I would love to hear your experiences with the Aerogarden.

Mid afternoon had some of the leftover smoky black-eyed peas and green rice. Darn I like this stuff. This may actually have to be a repeat soon. I really enjoyed this dish.

Tomorrow there will be excessive excitement in our lives. The three amigos (Luca Belle, Massimo and Nicco) have their annual wellness check up with the vet. I dread this trip every year. Nicco is particularly poorly behaved at the vet which is why he has a warning on his medical record. That is when we started affectionately referring to him as “danger kitty”. Hard to imagine that six pound white puff ball could be so bad isn’t it? He has bitten more people at the vet office than I care to admit. In fact he is so bad that only the vet that I have known for 30 years likes to deal with him. Sad isn’t it? I always end up leaving the vet apologizing for his bad behavior. Dan gets to be the cat holder so that Nicoo can’t bite anyone while he is being examined. Let’s hope everyone leaves the vet unscathed tomorrow. I will fill you on the antics when we get home. *sigh*

Knowing that tomorrow will be a busy morning with the furries I know I need to think about food today for the mid-day tomorrow with my parents. As always I have absolutely no idea what I am going to make. Time to stand in front of the refrigerator with the door open and wait for inspiration to hit me.

Well, I tried the inspiration routine and nothing jumped out at me. I have decided that one option is to roast veggies for a salad with a quick soup, maybe in the Vitamix. If that doesn’t appeal to me tomorrow when we get back from the vet I may make a pasta or rice dish with veggies and a quick sauce and the Sicilian salad. I feel better having a few ideas that I can make quickly and easily.

Dinner tonight was something that I didn’t plan. I opted to bake two containers of tofu, one for tonight and one for another night. To go with that I made an agrodolce cauliflower dish with cucumber. Here is what I did:

Baked Tofu
Serves 4


2 – 14 ounce blocks extra firm tofu
¼ teaspoon liquid smoke
2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
dulse granules, to taste (used in place of salt)
freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 350 convection. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat.

Drain the tofu and press if out its excess water. Cut the tofu into 4 slabs and place them on the baking sheet.

Combine the liquid smoke, Worcestershire. Add the dulse and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Use a pastry brush to apply the flavoring to the tofu.

Here is what the tofu should look like before you bake it. Bake until you like the texture. I baked mine for 45 minutes and flipped it at the 25 minute mark.

This is what it looks like when it is finished. You will notice that it shrinks by about 20 percent.

Nutritional information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 189.06
Calories From Fat (51%) - 96.7

Total Fat - 11.58g
Saturated Fat - 1.08g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 111.99mg
Potassium - 363.02mg
Total Carbohydrates - 6.16g
Fiber - 0.81g
Sugar - 1.84g
Protein - 19.64g


This results in a lightly flavored tofu that you can use in most dishes. I find the light flavor makes it more versatile.

Agrodolce Cauliflower with Cucumber
Serves 4 (though we split this)


½ red onion, peeled and finely diced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
¾ cup water
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
5 kalamata olives, pitted and finely diced (for a little salty pop, can be omitted or replaced with capers)
¾ cup dried fruit, finely diced (any dried fruit will do I used apple, apricot and peach)
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 pinches saffron
crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
approximately 1 ½ cups diced cucumber
2 – 4 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely minced
freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Combine everything but the cucumber and parsley and cook covered until the cauliflower is beginning to get tender. Then remove the lid and cook uncovered to evaporate the excess water. Add the cucumber and parsley and turn off the heat. You want the cucumber to warm slightly but still have good texture.

Nutritional Information (assumes 4 servings):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 181.81
Calories From Fat (9%) - 16.54

Total Fat - 1.87g
Saturated Fat - 0.08g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 192.28mg
Potassium - 1499.18mg
Total Carbohydrates - 38.69g
Fiber - 11.77g
Sugar - 22.64g
Protein - 8.85g


This was a nice dish that is out of the ordinary. We both enjoyed it. It is a little sweet, a little sour and has salty pops from the olives. I liked the firm bite of the cucumber. Next time I may add more parsley but other than that I wouldn’t make any changes.

Signing out:

I need to get ready for the road trip with the felines tomorrow. We have their carriers out and open so they can explore them this evening. That seems to help them not panic when it is time to load them up for the trip. Wish us luck tomorrow at the cat doc; we are going to need it.

I hope everyone had a good week and has a great weekend. Talk to you again tomorrow.


  1. Did you take that last photo? It's gorgeous!

    I have the serious want for a dehydrator right now, sorely for the dehydrated leeks. They look like something I would sprinkle on everything.

  2. sgcorrie,

    I did take the sunset photo I am happy to hear you like it. :-) It was a few years ago so I don't remember the back story now only that I had Dan pull over on the highway so I could shot the sunset. It is fun living with me, LOL. ;-)

    Try using your oven on the lowest setting to dry leeks. The other alternative is to get an inexpensive dehydrator. My first one came from Target and cost $20. I bought that to make certain I would really use it before buying the more expensive model.

    Enjoy you weekend,

  3. Eek! Good luck w/ the furbabies today, Ali!


  4. Good luck with your babies today! Been there done that....stressful to say the least, especially with multiples. My cats are always so vocal about their distaste of what I am putting them through! :)

    Question for you out of the blue.....when you make and freeze your intentional leftovers, how do you package them and mark them so you know what you have?...and how do you avoid freezer burn, etc?

  5. LJ,

    Thanks we have been home about 30 minutes from the vet. No one got bit, always a good sign. But everyone needs to go back for dental surgery. At the moment all the cats are mad about getting vaccinations so there is lots of hissing and swatting. A bit too much activity here for my taste.

    I hope you are having a better Saturday morning, hugs,

  6. Good Morning Lolly,

    Thanks for understanding. Nicco was better behaved this morning than usual, he didn't bite anyone. :-) They are all out of sorts from the vaccinations currently. Too much hissing and swatting going on currently. Hopefully they will calm down soon.

    For the intentional leftovers I have a lengthy process I go through. First I freeze the portions in small glass rectangular or square containers, because the stack well. When the are completely frozen I take them out of the container and wrap them in parchment or wax paper. The paper wrapped frozen food I slide into a FoodSaver bag. I write what it is on the outside along with the date and number of servings. I started doing this when I worked. I would cook on Saturday so I could freeze things on Sunday for later. It works well. I hope that helped.

    I hope you are having a good Saturday,


Related Posts with Thumbnails