The city is enveloped in fog, the rain drizzles down and the time for skirts and sandals has passed. It's one of those mornings when bran flakes and fruit just won't cut it. It's also one of those mornings I crave something unusual--not your basic palm-warming oatmeal, but something with a B&B-type autumn flair. Something like a maple-glazed tofu scramble with root vegetables.
Tofu is usually reserved for stir-fries, dumpling fillings and spicy curries, but it shouldn't be restricted to Asian cuisine. Heck, almost half of the world's soybean trade is grown in the US, and 8.4% of that half comes from Indiana. That's $2.4 million's worth of beans, which make up the bulk of exports to China, the EU, and Japan. So it's frankly puzzling that we don't see more tofu in Midwestern diets.
Here's a dish that proves you can make this "exotic" food acceptable to even the blandest of American palates.
-1 medium potato, cubed
-1/2 a large carrot, sliced thinly
-1/4 a block of firm tofu, cubed
-1 teaspoon canola oil
-1 tablespoon light maple syrup
-salt and pepper to taste
Place the potato cubes in a sandwich bag with a few drops of water and microwave for 5 minutes. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a small saucepan or shallow skillet and saute the carrots until tender. Add the finished potatoes and tofu cubes. Cook, stirring often, until the sides of the potatoes and tofu are lightly browned. Remove the pan from heat and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and maple syrup. Mix to incorporate, allowing everything to caramel slightly in the still-hot pan. Plate and serve.
The tofu is wonderfully mellow, the potatoes deliciously starchy, and the maple enhances the natural sweetness of the carrots. I was saddened when I saw the emptied plate. This hearty 350 calorie breakfast gave me my fill of vegetables, healthy fats and protein, as well as fruit when paired with diet V8 Splash Berry Blend. I hit the remaining food groups later in the morning with a snack of 1/4 cup granola with light soy milk and a cup of fragrant Pink Lady Apple Green Tea snitched from the librarian's stash in the office cupboard o.o