Friday, October 9, 2009

what I'm eating for breakfast: Autumn in the Midwest tofu scramble

This morning, after doing my standard hour(ish) of writing. I went upstairs to negotiate for some breakfast with a kitchen in need of a visit from the grocery store fairy. There was an adequate amount of food, for sure, but not many breakfast items. Basically, there was no oats to make oatmeal, my standard breakfast. But that's okay; I was in need of a change in the morning, anyways.

My mom said I should "look up" an "apple tofu scrambler" online. Interesting...I searched "apple tofu breakfast" and eventually found my way here. No apples, but there is tofu, sweet potatoes, and maple syrup in it.

Okay, I basically disregarded that recipe, but I owe inspiration for the following recipe to my mom and Tamara Marnell, of Bloomington, Indiana, author of The Amateur Nutritionist blog.

So here it is. I'm calling it Autumn in the Midwest tofu scramble:

  • two large chopped apples. I used honey crisp, which I have just under a half bushel of right now, purchased from a roadside stand in Michigan (see my other blog, which I need to update again, for why I was in Michigan).
  • 1/2 thinly sliced squash. I used a squash bought from the same roadside stand where I got the apples. I can't remember the name of this particular variety, but it's about the size of an acorn squash, and looks like a dark green pumpkin on the outside, and inside, it's just like a pumpkin. Any squash with orange, pumpkin-like flesh will work fine in this, as would sweet potatoes.
  • 1 onion. Okay, I didn't have any fresh onions. I used part of a frozen "seasoning blend" (mostly onions with a little bell pepper and celery as well), and a frozen fajita vegetable pack consisting of onions and bell peppers. I estimate what I added was the equivalent of one medium onion.
  • 1 cup chopped carrots. Again, an estimate, add as many carrots as you want.
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper. I would say green, or purple, would go best in this, mostly because almost everything else is a warm color, so the coolness of green and purple would balance it, color-wise.
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds. I used almonds, that's what I had available. I bet walnuts would be great in this, also.
  • 3/4 block firm tofu, pressed. More of this could be added, too, I just so happened to have 3/4 block leftover from yesterday's more modest breakfast of toast, tofu, and jelly.
  • About 1.5-2 tablespoons cinnamon. Unfortunately, I never actually measure things like this out, but about this much.
  • About 1 tablespoon allspice. Or equal parts nutmeg and cloves totaling to about a tablespoon.
  • 1-2 ounces Maple Syrup, or Agave Nectar, depending on how sweet you want it. I used a Maple Agave syrup blend.
  • 1 clove of chopped garlic. *See salt description at bottom of the list
  • enough oil to make thin layer on your pan
  • 1 tablespoon non-dairy buttery spread (optional). I used earth balance. It's pretty good--has all natural ingredients and lactic acid derived from beets, not milk.
  • salt, to taste. *Okay, I couldn't find any garlic at the outset of this coffee drenched cooking endeavor, and when I tested the dish I thought it needed some garlic. My only option was garlic salt. Adding this turned out beautifully. I think the salt helped a lot, possibly more than the garlic.
In a large pan, combine oil, garlic, squash, onion, and carrots. Simmer on medium heat until squash is tender (about 5 minutes, if it's sliced thinly). Add apples, bell peppers, tofu, cinnamon, and allspice. Scramble all this together, adding syrup and butter substitute when cinnamon and allspice appear to be equally spread throughout the pan (Again, this is optional, at this point all the oil I had initially added had been absorbed by food, thus warranting more. I chose the earth balance, could have used more oil, though. Whatever you choose, the extra oil will mix with the syrup and help the spices spread evenly throughout the dish). Cook until apples are soft and tofu has a rich, golden color.

Top with more syrup to reach your desired level of sweetness. Serve with toast, or just eat it by itself.

This recipe makes enough for 2-3 people.

peace and love

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Just set up a new blog for my bike trip around Lake Michigan. I hope to use this blog for bike ride reports and other human propulsion related stuff.


I stepped off the All One gear fixed gear bike I ride around mostly and onto my Fuji Touring for a trip around Lake Michigan. I wrote much more than I did take pictures but I'm still trying to get these pictures off my 6 year old digital camera. The USB chord is not properly connecting it to my computer so far. I will figure this out, though.

I've set up this separate blog for my bicycle related postings, which I hope there will be many of. My friend Andrew, who recently rediscovered the bicycle because of a suspended driver's license, said it.

"We are the engines."

He's right. We are.

I recently propelled myself around Lake Michigan. Most of it, anyways, cutting off the last few hundred miles (four days worth of riding probably). The weather was getting colder every day. This successfully sucked any joy out of riding for 7 hours a day. If it isn't fun anymore, why keep going? Plus, my mom wanted to pick me up and ride some with me in Michigan.

All in all I rode approximately 600 miles from Chicago, Illinois, to Traverse City, Michigan, going clockwise around the Lake.

Now hopefully I can get these pictures up....