February 17, 2010

Cheese Minus Cheese

I realize that I’ve been more absent from my blog (and everyone else’s) than I usually am, and I’m sorry about that for every blog-related reason. Nonetheless, my schedule has changed a bit recently such that I’m lucky if I have time to post two or three times a week. It’s not entirely a bummer—just take my word for it. :)

Tonight being an evening I had relatively free, I was excited to get back into some kitchen creativity. I had some silken tofu that needed using, so I decided to turn it into some old-fashioned, down-home comfort food along the lines of a baked cheese-and-potatoes combination.

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Of course, by cheese and potatoes I mean neither. This blog exists under the illusion that my thought processes make sense, so please just (continue to) humor me. All I mean is that there are foods I like better than cheese and potatoes, and those other foods were indeed the components of my dinner—it’s just that it kind of turned out like…well, cheese and potatoes.

Please, just indulge me. Then indulge yourself with this lovely sticktoyourribbishness.

Tofu-flower Casserole
or Cheezey Tofu-Cauliflower Bake (Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb cauliflower florets
  • ~1.5 cups silken tofu, loosely measured
  • juice of 1/2 large lemon (about 2 tbsp)
  • 6 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
  • 3/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (or enough to cover the top of your casserole)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350*.

2. Steam or microwave the cauliflower until fork-mashable (10 minutes in the microwave worked for me).

3. Meanwhile, combine tofu, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic powder and salt in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. An immersion blender works well too.

4. When cauliflower is done cooking, dump into a medium bowl and mash coarsely with a fork. Add the brown rice.

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5. Pour in the tofu mixture and stir to coat thoroughly and evenly.

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6. Coat a small casserole dish (I used 1.5 qt) with cooking spray and pour in the contents of the bowl. Pat down evenly.

7. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top. I recommend Italian-flavored bread crumbs, or do as I did and mix your bread crumbs with some vegan parm plus oregano and basil or Italian herb blend.

8. Bake for 30 minutes, or until center is no longer too goopy (though your knife won’t likely come out clean if you test it by poking). The casserole should feel a bit firm and the top should have browned a little.

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9. Serve over green beans (or other vegetable), if desired.

Serves 2 (generously!)

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I challenge you to serve this and make it look pretty. Not that my plating skills are anything much, but yeah, this dish seems to like to behave like the glorious mess that it is.

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My dinner tonight marked the 5,424th time I have eaten one of my own recipes and thought, “Why is no one paying me to do this?”

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I’m not necessarily trying to toot my own horn, but toot-frickin’-toot if it means I get to play in the kitchen creating deliciousness that I get to pass on to anyone who might be interested! At the very least, I amuse myself, if no one else.

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In the couple times I’ve worked with silken tofu, I’ve found it to be super-versatile and fun to use in a variety of ways. Do you like silken tofu? What’s your favorite way to use it?

31 comments:

j.e.n. said...

yum! i'll be giving this a try, for sure!

Jess - The Domestic Vegan said...

Yum!! This looks so creamy & delicious. Perfect for a cold night!

Shannon said...

i haven't actually used it in awhile... should pick some up :)

and speaking of not being around blog-world... i haven't posted in probably 2 weeks now? eek.

Gabriela said...

This looks great! I'm loving the cheesy, crumbly top :) I haven't really experimented with silken tofu, but I always see it in amazing dessert recipes. I think I need to branch out from using it in stir-fries!

GF Gidget said...

Well... based on your own review I now have to make this!

moretolifethanlettuce said...

i've never had a casserole, never made one, and surprisingly i've never worked with silken tofu! what kind of vegetarian am i???? this looks great, i'll have to break the casserole-less streak :)

melissa (fitnessnyc) said...

great recipe. glad things may be busy in a good way!

sophia said...

I HATE tofu. Esp the silken ones. which is why I think it's incredible that I'm actually drooling over this right now. You are so brilliant, Diane!

elise said...

call me crazy (most people do), but i like silken tofu plain. i also use it in smoothies or to bulk up hummus recipes or for a fake cheeze sauce, but i really love just spooning it straight from the container to my mouth. yeah, im weird. whatever.

congrats on the extra busy-ness??

Mama Pea said...

Toot toot! I was so excited when you said how good this was, because I am always disappointed with my fake cheese creations. I have to try this one!!!

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

Oh Diana, I've waited a few days for a fresh post and it was clearly worth the wait!
Loved chatting on email. Rock. On.Girl.

:)

balancejoyanddelicias said...

i have some silken tofu to use too. I used to make chocolate mousse with it but I don't crave chocolate lately so don't know what to use for. I was just thinking about making something similar, using black beans and cauliflower to make burgers :)

mrssturgis said...

Gosh that looks DELICIOUS.

katherine said...

Looks awesome! I've never used silken tofu before. For some reason, it's always scared me!

Katie said...

I love silken tofu! My favorite way is to mix it with chocolate or peanut butter to make "pudding," but I've also made cheezy sauce. I love the look of your casserole!

Sophie @ yumventures said...

This DOES look delicious, and like cheese and potatoes! You are so creative =) I like to bread silken tofu and pan fry it with some lemon, it gets crispy on the outside and ooey gooey in the middle...yum!

Erica said...

hahaha- you are hilarious. Greatest line: My dinner tonight marked the 5,424th time I have eaten one of my own recipes and thought, “Why is no one paying me to do this?” This looks seriously awesome. I've never used silken tofu before...but I may need to start! Your comment on my blog made me want to get that salad again...haha

Mo Diva said...

this looks amazing! I actually made a veggie scramble (minus eggs) using silken tofu- it was surpriginly DELISH!

Katie ♥ said...

Diana!!! Wow this recipe looks so amazing!!! Comfort food for sure!!

Nooch I am so glad I got finally, think Im the only person in the blogworld that didnt have it, well I dont have coconut oil either!! I need to get that too!!

Thanks for sharing this recipe! xoxo

Gena said...

Why IS no one paying you to do that? You just astound me.

Fayinagirl (means Free One) said...

It looks great! Your writing tickles me so much. I always get a good giggle reading your blog. ;-) Thanks! xoxo

Lele said...

I just had nutritional yeast queso for the first time and wow I am a convert. I'm trying to justify purchasing nutritional yeast, and this recipe is giving my cheapo self more ammo!

Madeline - Greens and Jeans said...

I'm kind of a tofu wimp. I love it, but when I usually buy the extra firm and just end up baking or stirfrying it! This looks incredible though!

Gelareh @ Nutritious Foodie said...

Oh yum this looks and sounds very good.

Caronae said...

Interesting take on a casserole! I usually use firm tofu.
Hope that the reason for your business is something awesome, like you :)

bulbqueen said...

Yeah...what THEY said! I LOVE your blog...the recipes, photos, coconut-cracking video, and your genetically-assured gift for writing and wit. You can't lose!
Ant

Fayinagirl (means Free One) said...

Diana,

Stop by my blog. There's a little gift there for you. Thanks for sharing your sunshine with us. =)

Gina said...

mmm, this is BETTER than potatoes and cheese!! The only negative is that cauliflower and tofu are the foods that give me the WORST gas out of all foods available!! haha, too bad for me, and for everyone else around me....
I do like to use silken tofu, when I'm alone.. and I use it to make smoothies! I have a sweet tooth so incorporating health into my treats is a must!

Lindsay (Happy Herbivore) said...

ymu. yum. yum.

chrystad72 said...

hey hon! I freakin LOVE silken tofu. you can use it in about anything which is awesome. I love it for puddings. I think thats my favorite. Ha but i use it in creamy sauces and baking too. Its a necessity for me! And now I have another awesome recipe of yours I gotta make!! This dish looks fabulous!! Have an awesome day!!

Katie ♥ said...

Evan is so cute! I agree! Hope your weekend is great!! xoxo