What we gonna do?
I dunno... Whatcha wanna do?
And we go back and forth like that for a while, until we order pizza--one vegan, one not-vegan. Anyway, Mr. Wright finally got very quiet, listened to his stomach, and declared we needed curry.
Smart stomach. Here's how it went:
Creamy Curried Tofu and Vegetables Over Brown Rice
Creamy Curry Sauce:
2 oz. vegan cream cheese
1 T. curry powder (I use a blend of Lake Chelan Curry and Aunt Rhoda's Curry from Bear Foods Market - my local natural foods store - but you can use your favorite red or yellow curry)
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground nutmeg
1 t. ground ginger
1 t. garlic powder
1 - 13.5 oz. can coconut milk, full fat
2 T. cane juice crystals or natural sugar
2 c. uncooked brown rice, prepared according to package directions
1 - 14 to 16 oz. block extra-firm tofu (not silken)
oil for frying
2 stalks celery
1 bell pepper (green, red, or yellow)
1 c. broccoli, in bite-sized florets
1 large can cut baby corn
1 medium onion
1 c. red cabbage, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 cup kale leaves, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 T. sesame oil
You will also need:
Candy thermometer to check frying oil temperature
Deep wok or fryer for frying tofu
Large wok or extra-large frying pan for sauteing vegetables
In a medium saucepan, combine cream cheese with spices and 1/8 cup coconut milk.
Heat over medium heat until cream cheese melts, then add the rest of the coconut milk and cane juice crystals or sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Allow mixture to boil for 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens.
Remove from heat and set aside.
Now is a good time to start your rice cooking. It will be done in time for serving after tofu and vegetables are cooked.
Drain the block of tofu, then "press" between two plates lined with paper towels to remove excess water. Place a heavy can on top of upper plate to squeeze out even more water.
Slice pressed tofu into bite-sized pieces.
Heat frying oil to 350 degrees, then fry tofu pieces until golden brown.
Remove tofu from oil and allow to drain on paper towels on a platter.
Slice carrots, celery, bell pepper and onion into bite-sized pieces, keeping each ingredient separate, as they will be added to the frying pan or wok at different times.
Place chopped kale into a bowl and drizzle with sesame oil.
"Massage" kale with oil until it becomes supple, rather than firm and woody.
To a large wok or extra-large deep frying pan, add sliced carrots over medium heat. No oil is necessary, as the natural juices of the vegetables will provide enough liquid to saute, coupled with the sesame oil from the kale.
Saute carrots for a minute or two, then add celery. (The key here is to add the hardest vegetables first, as they will take the longest to cook.)
After another minute or two, add bell pepper, then broccoli, baby corn, and onion, in order, with a minute or two of sauteing between each.
Add red cabbage and kale, stirring well, for a minute or two. Note: It's important that the cabbage be among the last vegetables to be added to the wok, because if allowed to cook too long, the purple color will seep into the rest of the vegetables, turning them an unattractive gray color.
Add fried tofu pieces and creamy curry sauce to vegetables, stirring thoroughly to ensure all the vegetables and tofu are coated and evenly heated.
Serve curried vegetables over steaming brown rice.
Serves a large family.