This is primarily a craft blog, and I try not to stray from that path too often. In fact, I’d initially intended to talk about my BRAND NEW SEWING MACHINE (thanks Kampers!) and the cool little snippy scissors my friend Sara got me (LOVE THEM!). But, crafts are an art, and so is food, so we’re going to talk about food for a little while.
I am a vegetarian. Briefly I was vegan, and for the most part I enjoyed it. I quit being vegan when I met Mike and we discovered that we couldn’t eat anything together because he was picky and I didn’t eat dairy. At that moment, human interaction became more important, as sharing a meal and the act of preparation is a way of bonding. I don’t regret it at all. Besides, a few months later he quit eating meat, so we both sacrificed in hopes of making that bond stronger. We’re getting married, so it must have worked (though I’d like to think that love helped)!
Now, I’m not one to hand out pamphlets. My dietary concerns are private and I’ll only explain them when asked. Most vegetarians I’ve met are pretty similar on that front. Sure, I’ve met some assholes who insist that everyone immediately liberate some cows and throw paint on people, but that is a very, tiny, miniscule, insignificant portion of the population. You can think of them as the tea party of vegetarianism. It’s a small group of radicals that make us all look bad.
So, that being said, why are meat eaters such jerks to us? I’ll admit that many of them are tolerant, even curious, but for every nice omnivore I have met a jerk who has made it their duty to tell my why I’m an idiot for not eating animal flesh. I have heard, “God wants us to eat animals and you’re wasting his gift” on TWO occasions, I’ve been given the “You know, those animals can’t survive on their own, so we’re protecting them by brutally slaughtering them” speech more times than I can count, and my favorite, “I bet your farts are worse than mine,” requires no explanation. My fiance has actually been told that he is harming America because vegetables are picked by illegal immigrants.
The reason this is so stupid (aside from the massive, glaring flaws in logic) is because all I am doing is providing my body with nutrients that come from plants and a few animal products. I’m not breaking down your door and forcing tofu down your throat. Hell, I don’t even EAT tofu that often. I’m raising my family to be compassionate towards all living creatures with the hope that even if the world doesn’t stop eating meat it starts treating its meat a little better. Also, I’m seriously decreasing my risk of heart disease and colon cancer.
So, am I really the enemy here? Don’t you think that hatred of me would be better placed towards appropriate targets? Such as the tea party, or Voldomort?
Rant over! Here’s a recipe for you tofu phobes out there. I wouldn’t eat this stuff every day (I really don’t like pressing tofu) but it’s a pretty awesome meal when I have time!
Courtney’s Tofu Parmesan
1 lb firm tofu
About 1/4 to 1/2 cup of wheat germ, bread crumbs, or a combination of the two. (It doesn’t matter much which you use, I just like the wheat germ to give it a nutritional boost)
1 tsp(ish) garlic power
1 tsp(ish) italian seasonings
1 tbs(ish) Parmesan cheese, grated
Spray oil of some sort (or you could just brush it with some Olive Oil, if you can)
Pasta sauce of your choice (I make my own, it’s so easy, I’ll add the recipe below)
1/2 cup (or to taste) shredded mozzarella cheese.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Press tofu (put it between two plates, put a book on top, let sit) for thirty minutes, drain water. Combine dry ingredients. Slice tofu into eight thin slices and coat with mixture, front and back (should stick on it’s own, since it’s fairly wet, if not, feel free to beat an egg white or two to hold it together. Unless you want tons of breading, this really isn’t necessary). Spray a baking sheet with oil. Place slices on baking sheet and give a quick spray or brush with oil. Bake for fifteen minutes, turn, and then bake for another ten to fifteen, or till a lovely goldish color. Place on top of spaghetti, cover with piping hot sauce, and top with mozarella. Eat it up, yum!
Courtney’s Pitifully Easy Pasta Sauce
About four garlic cloves (more or less to taste)–diced
1 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Two cans of diced tomatoes
Various Italian Seasonings to taste
Optional–red pepper flakes to taste
Optional–one half a block of tempeh (for protein)
Saute the garlic in the oil until fragrant. Add tomatoes, tempeh and black olives if you like, and whatever seasonings strike your fancy. Simmer for about thirty minutes to let the flavors meld (longer if you really want, though you may have to add more tomatoes). If you want, you can put the mixture in a food processor (if you do this, hold off on adding the tempeh and other solids until afterwards) to give it that hearty “Ragu” like texture, but I like it as just delish tomatoey goodness on top of my pasta too. For the Parmesan you should probably leave off tempeh and blend the bajeezus out of it.
Enjoy! Craft stuff later, promise!