Sunday, February 27, 2005

Tofu - pudding/pie filling?

tofu and chocolateI saw a recipe in a magazine for tofu pudding. Sounded simple and easy, and of course, tasty. Also saw something similar on a Good Eats episode. Both recipes were meant to be used as a pie filling.

Since the magazine recipe had only 3 ingredients (1 pkg. firm tofu, drained, 12 oz. melted chocolate chips, 1 tsp. vanilla, blend on high until smooth in a blender), I figured it wouldn't take too long (and it didn't).

tofu puddingI wonder if the resulting texture was correct though. It was more, fudge-like than pudding like. It would've made a great pudding dessert if served right away because it had a fluid texture and was smooth (though slightly bland with a darker chocolatey color). But once refrigerated, the fluid-like texture becomes very firm and thick (and the color lightened). So I'm not sure how this would be in a pie. With cream (or whipped topping) folded in it might make a nice cake filling.

Still..... healthy chocolate? Mmmmm. I think next time I'll add honey (as in the Good Eats recipe) and maybe some Kahlua for added flavor.

If you try this, make sure you drain the tofu well; place wrapped in paper towels with a weight/heavy can on top so the water can drain. Let it drain for about an hour.

Both recipes recommended using a blender but I think I'll try this in a food processor to see if it comes together quicker. Plan to also try using silken tofu to see if that changes the texture after refrigerating.

Overall, this was good. Dense and heavy, but pretty good.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Turkey Meat Loaf

meat loafMom's meat loaf...

I always knew there was a secret to some recipes. Like the tasty stews and meat loaf meals that my mother made (and still makes). I always tried so hard to make them come out just the way she did, but never managed it. Finally I asked her what her secret was, and what was I doing wrong?

It turns out there are these "flavor packets" (powder mixes) for stews, meat loaf, and other such meal items (like the bake-in-a-bag roasted meals, those need a nice secret mix too).
Surprise! She thought I knew. Nope. And yep, she had a good laugh about it too.

Ok... now I know. And won't ever make another meat loaf (or stew) without a mix! Ah, but not the whole mix. If you use the whole mix, it usually comes out too salty (for us anyway). So you have to adjust for taste. If you like it really salty, use the whole mix, if you don't, use about half.

This is her basic meat loaf recipe, only, a healthier version, made with ground turkey instead of ground beef. Little by little I've managed to decrease the red meat we were having too often with "other white meat" meals. Like this one. (turkey tacos anyone? they're pretty good too...but thats another recipe and not-so-secret mix)

1/2 to 3/4 ground turkey
1 egg, beaten
2-3 TBS milk (or half & half)
1-2 pieces of sliced bread, (dampen it with water, squeeze excess)
dash onion powder
dash (dried) sweet basil
dash (dried) oregano
dash (dried) paprika
pepper to taste
1/2 packet "meat loaf mix" (seasoning packet, pick your favorite brand, there are a few)
1 8oz. can tomato sauce

Mix everything together except the tomato sauce. Make sure the bread is mixed in well. Place the mixture in a loaf pan (we usually put it in a foil lined loaf pan, for easier cleanup). Pour the tomato sauce on top and add a little more pepper and onion powder.

Bake at 350°F (in the center rack of your oven) for 1 and a half hours.


We accompanied this particular meal with onion potatoes and brussel sprouts.

dinnerFor the potatoes, mix a little oil (just enough to coat the potatoes) and some onion soup mix (there's another mix!) in a baking/roasting pan, add some potatoes (cut however you like them, we usually do a large dice) and mix well. Make sure the potatoes are all coated with the oil and soup mix. Add a little water and bake for an hour or so (same temp). I found the onion potato recipe on the onion soup mix box, and have made it before. I just don't usually mix this in a plastic bag as they recommend. Too messy (and you can't get all the mix out of the bag afterwards, so it's kind of a waste).

A night or two later, the leftover meat loaf became (with the help of a seasoned tomato sauce) a very satisfying meat sauce for spagetti.

yummy leftoversQuick Tomato sauce

2 8oz. cans tomato sauce
add a dash of: oregano, pepper, crushed rosemary, onion powder, salt
leftover meat loaf, crumbled

In a sauce pan on low heat, bring the sauce and seasonings to a slow simmer and cook for about 20-25 minutes. Use it on your favorite pasta. Mmm!