Poutine Two Ways, Or: More Bad Food

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In Tucson, Arizona, dozens of tiny Mexican restaurants stay open all night to serve Sonoran street food to drunk youth. The counters sport open buckets of horchata that you laddle out, and there are chimichangas the size of your head for $5. That is where you eat often, but especially after the bar.

Needless to say, that is not the post-bar food situation in Canada. I would have been really disappointed when I discovered that, except I got to learn about whole new terrible food–the jewel of Eastern Canada. Yes, I am talking about poutine.

Poutine (poo-teen) is basically french fries covered in cheese curds and brown gravy, though there are variations on that theme. The important thing is, it is the best invention ever. How it has not swept the globe is beyond me, because its merits are so obvious: the gravy melts the cheese curds, and you end up with a salty, gooey, delicious mess. You can get it everywhere in Canada (and some parts of the States), and it’s cheap as hell.

I never got to taste “real” poutine (the gravy is made with chicken or beef broth) but the Internet is full of information that I gather like some weird little cooking ant:

You make a roux. You add broth and pepper. You put it on the french fries and cheese. Pretty straight forward.

Like I’ve said, I don’t know you. You might be someone who needs like eight cups of gravy–that’s none of my business. So, I’m just going to give you the ratios and you can figure out what you need.  

To make any gravy or cream sauce, this is all you need to know:

          • 1-2 tbsp fat (oil or margarine)
          • 1-2 tbsp flour
          • 1 c liquid

Use the higher end of fat and flour for thicker sauces, the lower end for thinner (poutine gravy is typically thinner). When in doubt, err on the higher side.

The poutine you make will depend on what you choose for the liquid.

Regular Poutine: the ratio above with fake beef broth as the liquid and a few shakes of cheap, pre-ground pepper. A couple shakes of onion powder is good, but optional.

Fancy Poutine: the ratio above with 3/4 fake chicken broth and 1/4 dry white wine as the liquid. No pepper necessary, but you do need fresh green onions to top it.

Before you start making the gravy, get your frozen fries baking and your fake cheese diced to about 1 cm squared (Daiya, Veganrella, and Vegan Gourmet all work–just go for relatively mild cheese). This is smaller than the traditional cheese curds, but fake cheese doesn’t melt as well in this scenario, so smaller is better.

Cook your roux in a pan on low for a bit. It shouldn’t be browned, but you have to give it at least 5 minutes so the flour gets cooked (this improves the flavor). Whisk in your liquid, turn the heat up until the mixture boils, then down to simmer for a bit (whisking often). Cook it down until it reaches the desired consistency, adding your pepper early in the process if you like more spiciness, later if you like less spiciness.

Poutine is usually made with “floor sweeping” pepper: the cheap pre-ground kind (hence the recommendation above). It’s apparently called floor sweeping pepper because back when pepper was novel and difficult to come by, pepper sellers would try to rip you off by cutting the pepper with other things (like other plant material and floor sweepings). Cheaper pepper was more likely to include floor grit. I like pre-ground pepper for poutine gravy because it’s weaker, so contributes the right flavor without being overwhelming.

When the gravy is cooked, assemble like so: fries, cheese, gravy. Top with sliced green onions if you’re doing the fancy version. Aim for a ratio roughly like this, with maybe a little less cheese.

That’s it! Easy, cheap, and profoundly satisfying after a night out. Certainly safer than trying to drunk deep-fry yourself something.

Now, since I’ve shared Canada’s secret with you, would you return the favor and contribute to my food learning? What is your region’s classic post-bar food?

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The Taco Zone

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I don’t want to give you the impression that all I eat is tofu, because it’s not. I eat a lot of booze, too. But I can’t hold out on you any longer. These tacos are just… so good. They almost single-handedly justify the existence of corn tortillas.

I mean, I’m sharing this knowing that there is a saturated taco market right now. That’s how highly I think of this recipe.

These were inspired by a Korean fusion food truck in Austin, TX named Chi’lantro. Check it out if you ever get the chance.

Tofu Tacos

2 servings

  • 1 block firm tofu (frozen, defrosted, then cubed)
  • soy sauce
  • white onion and green onion, finely chopped
  • lettuce
  • savoy cabbage (if you’re feeling fancy)
  • cilantro
  • a lime
  • corn tortillas
  • sriracha

Sauce: 2 tbsp. of each

  • water
  • sugar
  • rice vinegar
  • soy sauce/tamari

Defrost and squeeze water from tofu. Cube it (but closer to 1 cm squared than 1 inch squared). Sprinkle a small amount of soy sauce over it, and then toss and squeeze the cubes to evenly distribute it.

Mix together sauce ingredients and set aside. Prep veggies (lettuce, etc.) for tacos.

Fry tofu in a hot pan with oil. When it reaches the desired crispiness, dump it directly into the sauce and mix it around.

Assemble tacos: corn tortilla(s), tofu, sriracha, cilantro, onions, lettuce (and cabbage), a little leftover tofu sauce, squeeze of lime.

Boom. Easy, delicious flippin’ tacos.

An Exhaustive Guide to Jalapeno Poppers

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My cooking soul-mate, Jessicat, once made something while I was visiting that totally shocked me in its deliciousness. It is, in my estimation, the perfect jalapeno popper filling, and nothing I create will ever surpass it. So, I have taken it upon myself to humbly forge the rest of the perfect jalapeno popper recipe–the perfect pepper consistency, cheese ratio, breading etc. Together, she and I can overcome any obstacle. You know, as long as it relates to food.

Jump to the recipe, or read on!

The Peppers

The first thing to note for poppers is, when you’re choosing your jalapenos, the size and shape matter. Thin peppers will both be harder to stuff without destroying, and have less room inside them for cream cheese (and let’s be serious, that is the most important part of the popper). Don’t get huge peppers expecting to be able to cut them to size, either–that doesn’t work. So, look for shorter, wider peppers. Interestingly, the agriculture program at New Mexico State University recently bred a variety of jalapenos SPECIFICALLY FOR POPPERS. They are perfectly fat, mildly spicy, and not available at my grocery store apparently because they are jerks.

The second thing to note is that the breading will cook much faster than the pepper itself, which is why most homemade poppers arrive on your plate with the pepper almost raw and fairly firm. Practically speaking, this means you bite in, the breading crumbles off, and molten cheese shoots all over your face. To avoid this scenario, you have to do something to soften the peppers before using them. I have two separate methods for this–one quick, one slow.

IMG_0099Freezing the peppers.

Normal freezers are actually kind of slow at their job, and this is an instance where that works in your favor. Vegetables–particularly ones that are fairly watery like peppers–get soft when you freeze them in a conventional freezer. When water freezes slowly (so at higher temperatures) the ice crystals that form are bigger and sharper than those created during a rapid freezing process. Paired with the fact that plant cell walls (unlike animal cells walls) are rigid, the cells resist the crystals instead of accommodating them and are ultimately punctured for their insolence. Once a plant cell has been punctured, it’s less structurally sound and loses some of the rigidity that contributed to the overall firmness/crispness of the vegetable. Peppers frozen in a conventional freezer are softened, but not completely turned mushy, because they have more resilient cell walls (and less water) than some other vegetables and so hold up better post-defrost.

Boiling the peppers. Carefully and briefly.

This is the most obvious and quick solution, which is why I initially tried it. But, it comes with a caveat in the form of a cautionary tale about me macing myself four different ways.

To be fair, I was used to getting frustratingly mild jalapenos in the Northwest, which is why I was caught off guard when I tried this. I do accept full responsibility for not wising up after macing number one, though: if your hands, eyes, and lungs burn from cutting the peppers, boiling them should probably be done with the utmost caution. Maybe a gas mask. Otherwise, you will mace yourself a second time when you take the lid off the boiling peppers to check on them and are flooded with capsaicin-laced steam. Then, if you are being virtuous and bake those same peppers, you might open the oven door and mace yourself a third time with more capsaicin steam, because why would you have learned at this point? Irritated and alone, you will then go to clean your cutting board, and your wiping motions will kick up the capsaicin left from cutting the peppers, and you will be maced again. You know, in this entirely hypothetical scenario.

So, before you start boiling the peppers, I would just like to remind you to be careful. And wash your hands a lot before touching things. Nobody likes spicy genitals.

Once your peppers are cut and cleaned (remove the seeds and white membranes), boil them for 3-5 minutes, drop them in cold water, and you’re ready to go.

As for which way to cut your peppers, there are a lot of different theories.  The best method will depend on whether or not you have a pastry bag with a firm tip. If you do, any slicing method will probably work well. If you don’t, avoid styles 2 and 3 from the picture. You’re trying to balance optimal fullness and cleanedness with not having the damn things fall apart or cook out their filling. I prefer the La Forge method (pepper 4 in the drawing), and using a butter knife to pack it. The Canoe method should generally be reserved for baked poppers.

And now, THE RECIPE. FINALLY.

The Filling

This is an imprecise filling, but should give you an idea so that you can fiddle with it yourself. For the record, it is delicious on everything, not just peppers, so don’t worry about leftovers. How many peppers this fills depends on their size, but let’s say 6-8.

    • ~ half a tub Tofutti cream cheese (not Trader Joe’s kind)
    • a green onion, white and green parts, minced very tiny
    • a garlic, crushed
    • a small amount of faux-chicken bouillon (not broth)
    • a small amount of smoked sweet paprika (probably no more than 1/16 tsp)
    • salt to taste
    • fake cheese, if you want

Have the mixture room temperature when filling, and then refrigerate/freeze the peppers until cool before cooking: warm cheese is easier to get into the pepper, cold cheese will take longer to get out during cooking. This prevents cheese from oozing into your hot oil and splattering all over you, which I’m pretty sure is how Two Face happened.

The Breading

To bread you’ll need a liquid and some floury stuff. There are a lot of options for the liquid (milk + cornstarch, flax, egg replacer, or nothing), but my favorite is a little egg replacer in milk (maybe 1 tbsp egg replacer to 2 c unsweetened, unflavored milk).

Like every other step in this interminable post, there are a lot of theories about how best to bread poppers. The general consensus, though, is that if you’re having trouble getting it to stick, let the poppers rest/dry in between breadings.

Considerable experimentation has led me to believe that this is the best (albeit most time consuming) approach:

Score/scrape/peel some of the pepper’s skin, dunk in wet, dredge in salt/pepper flour, rest, then wet, breading, rest, wet, breading. Letting it rest discourages the liquid from getting goopy, too, because less flour gets mixed in.

The breading itself should be:

  • 1 c flour
  • 1 c breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 tsp salt and pepper

Throw in a little garlic powder, onion powder, and nooch if you’re feeling fancy.

The Cooking

If you fry them, which is worth it, 370 F/ 185 C oil is the consensus on heat. If you don’t have a food thermometer, ball up a little breading and liquid and drop it in your heated oil. If it bubbles a bunch and pops back up to the surface within a few seconds, you’re good. If it doesn’t, wait. If the oil isn’t hot enough, it will soak into the breading and make it fall off. 

If you stuck your peppers in the fridge like I recommended, they’re going to cool the oil down faster just by being in it, which means you should cook fewer at a time (I’d say no more than two or three).

If you bake them, go for around 400 F / 205 C, and do everything possible arrange their seams up. Otherwise, the filling will melt out and you will be left with a disappointing mess, especially since you just maced yourself repeatedly with the peppers.

Alright, that’s it. Now, stand on the shoulders of giants and make these poppers.

Under Pressure

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I’m going to be real with you for a minute. I often can’t even remember to brush my teeth twice a day.

This is relevant because I have always wanted to cook my own beans, but seriously cannot remember to soak them the night before. Or, if I do think ahead and soak them, I forget about them for days and later discover a foamy mess of fermenting beans. It’s gross, and yes, I am suitably ashamed.

The way around having to soak beans and cook them forever is a pressure cooker, but for years I avoided getting one. For me, they seemed to fall into the same category as dehydrators, blenders, juicers, and food processors: expensive things that I would probably not end up using enough to justify buying. I’m writing this post in an attempt to convince you that I was totally wrong, and that your life will probably be improved by a pressure cooker.

Here are a few reasons pressure cookers are great:

  • They pay for themselves relatively quickly. And it’s not a matter of whether they will, but when. Canned beans are really not that cheap, and can be very expensive depending on where you live and what kind of bean you’re getting. Your pressure cooker saves you about $0.35 per cup of beans, which means it will pay for itself in X weeks, where X = cost of the pressure cooker / (.35 x number of cups of beans you eat per week). So, if you eat 4 cups of cooked beans per week, it will take 5.5 months for a $30 pressure cooker to pay for itself, 9 months for a $50 pressure cooker, and 12.5 months for a $70 pressure cooker.
  • Pressure cooking beans doesn’t add too much time to meal prep. Canned beans are basically instant, but dry, unsoaked beans take only 15 to 50 minutesdepending on the bean, and you can cook a week’s worth at once. You don’t have to keep an eye on them during that time either, so you can prep the other parts of your meal while you wait. If you can actually remember to soak them, cooking times drop significantly
  • You can cook non-beans in them faster and retain more of their nutritional value. You can do things like 6 medium potatoes in 15 minutes and a cup of brown rice in 12-15 minutes. Apparently, you also lose only 5-10% of a vegetable’s vitamins during pressure cooking, compared to 35-60% with regular boiling. That is undeniably cool.
  • You reduce your energy bill AND generate less cooking heat. Thank you to Paris Vegan for reminding me–when you cook things in a pressure cooker, they take about 1/3 of the time on average. That means less time running your stove, which lowers your energy bills AND, if you live in a hotter climate, reduces the amount of heat you pump into your already sweltering kitchen. Folks with this problem, you know what I’m talking about.
  • You can easily try all sorts of great new beans. And there are just so many of them.
  • You can flavor what you’re cooking. Bay leaves are just the beginning–cooking in salt-free broth or with herbs, spices, and veggies can up your Bean Awesome Quotient by 10 before you even use them in a recipe. Note: don’t add salt or acid (e.g. vinegar, citrus, or tomatoes) to beans until after they’re cooked, as it slows down their cooking time. This is an great explanation of what goes on when you cook beans.
  • They make it easier to control sodium intake. Home cooked beans only have as much salt as you want them to, and salt-free canned beans aren’t always available.
  • You can use pressure cookers for regular cooking, too. There’s no rule saying you can’t use your pressure cooker without its lid like a regular stock pot, and pressure cookers aren’t significantly more expensive than a stock pot. I have a $50 pressure cooker and a $25 stock pot, and one of them is redundant and should feel bad about itself.
  • Dry beans are easier to carry home from the store, especially if you walk or bus to do groceries. You get more and it’s lighter. If you have ever, like me, walked miles to a grocery store with a backpacking backpack, filled it with food and then walked home suffering, you know what I mean. There’s also no dropping cans on your toes or braining yourself with them. There’s even less recycling to carry downstairs. Yes, I am that lazy.
  • Did I mention it’s cheaper? I know I already said this, but the price difference really does add up. I don’t have concrete numbers yet, but I believe that the difference between canned and dry organic beans is even greater than it is for conventional beans. Using dry beans actually puts organics within my price range, which I like.

So, if you’ve been thinking about getting a pressure cooker–and really, even if you haven’t–I just want you to know that I feel like it’s been one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. I recommend it A LOT, and so does David Bowie.

Short and Savory: Cheesy Beaners

If you or a loved one has ever worked in software development, you know that “normal business hours” are generally quite a bit longer than most other industries. That’s why it’s a terrible idea to start a blog and insist on drawing all the pictures yourself.

On a related note, I do a lot of lazy cooking, some of which is so innovative in its laziness that it breaks new, sodium-packed barriers. That’s why I would like to share with you a mere assembly job–albeit the tastiest, easiest assembly job. It was passed down to me from a roommate, and merits sharing because 1) I hadn’t heard of it so maybe you also won’t have, and 2) gosh it’s tasty. So here you go, the best-worst meal:

Cheesy Beaners

  • margarined toast
  • baked beans
  • fake cheese

Toast bread and margarine it. Put baked beans and fake cheese on top. Bake or broil it in a toaster oven or regular oven until the cheese melts. Eat over, and over, and over again.

The Sauerkraut Soup You Never Knew You Wanted

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Listen. I fully realize that it is still basically full-on summer in certain places. I also realize that sauerkraut soup just doesn’t sound that exciting. IMG_0078The problem is, you don’t even know about this soup. It will provide temporary existential relief. It will make your friends jealous. But, to fully understand how right I am, you might need to taste it AND I JUST CAN’T COME VISIT RIGHT NOW, OKAY?

So make it yourself, geez. It’s easy. I’ll even give you two versions.

Quick and Dirty Original Sauerkraut Soup

  • 1 medium onion
  • 1.5  Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage soysages, diced small
  • 25 oz. jar sauerkraut, drained (better sauerkraut is worth it)
  • 1 large russet potato, diced
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained
  • faux-chicken broth to cover
  • pepper

Brown onions and sausage. Add everything else and cook until the potatoes are done. Boom, you have amazing soup.

IMG_0080

Fancier, Better, But More Time Consuming Sauerkraut Soup

  • 2+ tbsp oil/margarine
  • 1 medium onion (or 2 small, or half a large)
  • 1 celery rib
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 2 Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage soysages, diced small
  • 1.5 medium yellow potatoes
  • 2 c faux-chicken broth
  • 2 c water
  • 25 oz. jar Bubbie’s sauerkraut, drained
  • 1 c dry white wine
  • pepper

Brown onions part way in oil/margarine, then add soysage, celery, and carrots. Once all that is getting brown, add garlic. After garlic is cooked (but not totally brown), add everything else. Cover and simmer until potatoes are cooked through.

It’s really good, so I hope you try it. I don’t have any more time to spend convincing you, but believe me when I say it will be like making out with Morrissey before he was cool and being able to tell all your friends about it. Just don’t turn into some creepy weirdo about the sauerkraut, okay?

You Oughta Know: Fresh Dragon Rice Bowl

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The world is a big place: so big that it handily manages to squeeze out over 24,000 cookbooks a year. Those are real cookbooks—the ones made out of carbon. That number doesn’t include the million skajillions of bytes dedicated to foodstuff on the Internet.

Practically speaking, that makes it really fucking hard to find all the good recipes.

That’s the motive for this segment, which I am calling “You Oughta Know” (hereafter referred to as Y.O.K. because no one needs that song in their head—not ever.) Y.O.K. will be dedicated to telling you about other peoples’ normatively unmissable recipes for “staple” things. These are recipes that you might easily pass over in your browsing due to the sheer number that sound similar, but are secretly not as good. You might try ten such recipes and never find this one, and that would break my heart. I consider these recipes basically perfect, even though I’ll indicate things I feel are optional or good substitutions (in blue).

The first comes from a restaurant in Toronto, Ontario named Fresh. If you like this recipe, I highly recommend buying their cookbook by Ruth Tal, because it includes lots of tasty sauces to put over bowls of veggies, noodles, or rice. The recipe? Miso gravy on veg.

This theoretically creates about four adult servings, and it’s worth making the full recipe, even if you’re flying solo. There are a lot of little things to do here (so, this takes a minute to make) but unless you’re some kind of robot, you won’t get tired of this gravy. Maybe that’s not fair to robots, though.

Fresh Dragon Rice Bowl

The Veggies and Toppers

        • Zucchini (one lg., sliced into disks)
        • Broccoli (one bunch, floreted)
        • Tomatoes (sliced; optional; I like them diced and raw)
        • Other good inclusions: carrots, bell peppers, kale, snap peas, alfalfa sprouts
        • Cilantro (never optional)
        • Green onions
        • Toasted sesame seeds (optional, but tasty)

The recipe calls for most of the big veggies to be grilled, but they can be steamed, stir fried, raw, or some combination of those things and still be good. Follow your heart.

The Tofu

      • One block firm or extra firm, sliced into steaks (1/4-1/2” thick)
      • Marinade (1 hour marination recommended):
        • 4 tsp garlic powder
        • ½ c tamari (can substitute low sodium soy sauce)
        • 2 cups water
        • 2 tsp. coriander, group (optional)

Bake, fry, or grill.

The Miso Gravy

You must own a whisk to make this work. Sorry, college students.

      • 4 ½ tbsp. spelt flour (can sub wheat flour: white or whole)
      • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
      • ¾ cup nooch
      • 1 ½ c vegetable broth (can sub faux chicken—really good)
      • ¾ cup sunflower oil (can sub any oil or remove it completely)
      • 1 ½ tsp. dijon mustard
      • 3 tbsp. miso paste
      • ¾ tsp. sea salt (can sub regular salt; I recommend starting with less than ¾ and moving up as you need it)

If you’re perfect, you can follow the three whole steps for making the gravy that are listed in the cookbook. I honestly just can’t be bothered, so I do it this way (which works equally well):

Mix dry ingredients together and put them in a pan over low heat. Mix the wet ingredients together, really trying to mix the oil into the broth, and set them aside. Once the dry ingredients are really heated through, whisk in the wet ingredients a bit at a time until you have a sexy, yellow gravy (pictured below).

Put the veggies, toppers, tofu, and gravy on top of rice. I recommend a combination of brown and red rice, which gives you the awesomeness of red rice without spending a thousand dollars to have a whole bowl of it.

A Few Words About Tofu Scramble, Mostly Swears

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The title of this post is maybe a little unfair. The real culprit—the thing that draws my excessive yet unabashed ire—is turmeric in tofu scramble. I hate it much more than is reasonable considering its only real offense is being dusty, flavorless, and yellow. I mean, I understand it’s purpose–let’s convince everybody else we have something equivalent by making it look equivalent-ish. But still, I’m the one eating here, and I taste things with my mouth, not my eyeballs. Going to restaurants that have picked up on this trend (and not other trends, like flavor) means they are still giving me bland-ass food. I don’t want a salad and I don’t want stupid boring tofu.

That’s why I’m so happy to share this recipe with you. It is genuinely special. It’s one of the finest tofu scrambles in the world, doesn’t involve turmeric, and was found at a non-vegan restaurant. It is simple, savory, and delicious–everything a breakfast protein should be–with a shockingly short list of ingredients.

Jump straight to the recipe –>

The Origins

104 St. near Jasper is on one of my favorite places in Edmonton, Alberta. There’s a big ol’ wine store, fancy grocery, sustainable home goods place, tiny wine bar, and weekly farmers market (with actual vegetables instead of just crafts). The Blue Plate Diner is also on this street, and–last time I was there–it offered some of the best vegan options in town. The most notable of these was their tofu scramble.

When I describe it to you, you’ll understand why it was easy to replicate. What you won’t understand is why it’s so good. That’s why I have to beg you to try this recipe for yourself. It might just change your life.

The Science

This tofu scramble is different because, unlike others, it relies neither on covering the soy-y flavor of tofu, nor on yellowing it. Instead, it replaces the soy flavors at a molecular level.

How?!??! is what you are likely asking yourself right now. The answer is a process you’ve probably heard of: brining.

The quick and dirty on brining is that it infuses moist things with the salt and flavors of the liquid you soak them in via a process called diffusion. When you have free floating molecules in an area and their movement isn’t restricted, they will spread throughout the area until they’re evenly dispersed. Since plant cells have semi-permeable membranes, when you put them in a bowl of salt water, the salt water (which can get through the membrane) diffuses into the cells and the soy-y water pocketed throughout the tofu (the stuff you try to press out) diffuses out into the bowl. Since this recipe involves some veggies, those diffuse their tasty molecules into the brine and take on some salt, as well. The overall effect is that you get tofu that is lightly salty and savory, without the overwhelming soy aftertaste.

If you want to read more about the science of brining, and don’t mind occasionally seeing reference to animals being brined, I recommend this page.

….

Minimalist Tofu Scramble
onion

Time: ~45 minutes, mostly idle
Servings: 2

1 block firm tofu
2 c very warm water (or enough to cover)
1 medium tomato, diced
3 green onions, sliced (green and white parts)
~1 tsp dried basil
salt n’ peppa (½ tsp salt per cup of water)
1-2 tbsp margarine (not oil)

Steps to prep:

1) Press your tofu, at least a bit. You can skip this step if you plan to leave your tofu brining for a long time, but this will help get the majority of the soy-y water out.

2) Cut up the veggies and put them in a medium to medium-large container with warm water, salt, basil, and a few grinds of pepper. Swish things around to get the salt dissolving. This is your brine.

3) Once it’s pressed, crumble the tofu into the smallest possible pieces. This is important. No chunks. You can use this as an opportunity to squeeze more liquid out by crushing the tofu in your powerful grip over the sink. Add crumbled tofu to bowl of brine and veggies.

4) Let the tofu brine for at least 30 minutes. I am not kidding–it has to be at least that long. Make yourself a cup of coffee. Do some dishes. Relax. Diffusion takes time.

5) Melt the margarine in a frying pan and add tofu and veggies, but not liquid (or at least as little as you can manage without pressing the tofu dry). Slotted spoons are great here.

6) Aim for medium/medium-low heat. Cook the scramble covered initially, then uncovered near the end to cook off some (but not all) of the liquid. Cook until the tomatoes are soft. If you get low on liquid before the tomatoes are done, add water not brine. The brine now contains a bunch of soy-y tofu water.

Serve with margarined toast. And, if you really want to, I guess you can add some crappy turmeric. It probably can’t ruin it.

How To Use This Blog

Listen, I don’t know you. You might have become vegan yesterday, or spent your entire adult life in a coma, waking up last week thinking “now I will learn to cook.” You also might have been doing this vegan cooking thing for, like, a really long time.

I find cooking pretty interesting scientifically, and have acquired a lot of facts, opinions, stories, and experiences. It is very hard to restrain myself from sharing all those bits of information with you, person I don’t know. I think they are cool things worth knowing. But, you’re busy and have a lot of other things to do on the Internet. For this reason, I have tried to organize this blog in a way that accommodates you:

1) At the top of each post there will always be a direct link to the recipe so you can skip the science and stories behind what I’m posting. No scrolling or bullshit for you business types.

2) Burnt umber text, when moused over, reveals footnotes, caveats, or sass. None are strictly essential.

3) Posts will be tagged and categorized appropriately, so you really can use them to navigate. I promise.

4) Comments will be lightly moderated so that this remains a happy, safe space.

That’s it! Now enjoy the site. It is the result of many years thought, fun, and effort.