I learned recently how to make one of the best dinners you can imagine. You make a satisfying crusted tofu and pair it with cauliflower mashed potatoes, rich white bean gravy and a lemony collard salad. It’s a bit of effort but totally worth it. The tofu really tastes like chicken or fish when prepared this way, and mashed potatoes with gravy are always comforting. Deep thanks to Isa for inspiring this recipe.
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 block of extra-firm tofu, patted dry and sliced into 8 slabs
1 tbsp olive oil
Cauliflower mashed potatoes:
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
3-4 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
2 tbsp vegan butter
1 1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
White bean gravy:
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp sage
1 1/2 cups cooked white beans (from can or from dry)
2 tbsp soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
6 cups collard greens, stems removed and sliced into thin ribbons
Make the tofu. On a large plate, mix the breadcrumbs, garlic powder and nutritional yeast together. On another plate, pour the soy sauce. Dredge each piece of tofu first in the soy sauce and then in the breadcrumb mixture. Press the breadcrumbs into the tofu so it gets a nice coating.
In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add in 4 pieces of the tofu at a time. Cook for 4 minutes on one side, carefully flip with a metal spatula, then cook for 3 minutes on the other side. Add more oil if needed, and remove from the pan when it’s nicely browned on both sides. Cover with foil to keep them warm while you’re cooking the second batch.
Make the veggies. Put the potatoes in a large pot of salted water and bring it to a boil, then add the cauliflower. Boil for 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender, then drain the water, add the vegan butter and salt, and mash together.
In a large bowl, mix the collards, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt together. Rub it all together with your hands until the greens are soft and wilted.
Make the gravy. In a small bowl, add the vegetable broth and flour, and stir into a thick mixture. In a small pan, heat the olive oil and cook the garlic, thyme, and sage together for 3-4 minutes until the garlic is golden.
In a blender, add the beans, thickened broth, garlic mixture, and soy sauce. Blend until very smooth, taste for salt and pepper and adjust as needed, then return to the pot. Cook and stir for at least 10 minutes until the gravy is nice and thick.
Assemble your plate with a piece of crusted tofu, a scoop of cauliflower mashed potatoes covered in gravy, and a spoonful of lemony collard greens. Enjoy your own slice of blissful comfort!
Today’s insight comes from watching the Dalai Lama Summit: when you’re having a hard time with someone, you can generate compassion for them by remembering that they were once a little child, they grew up with conditioning that may be causing them to act harmfully, and they are a living being trying to be happy and not suffer, just like you.
You can still protect yourself of course, but you don’t have to feel so angry or resentful towards them if you have understanding and compassion for their suffering.