Summer in the City

So I cooked these amazing stuffed sweet potatoes on Sunday and found myself with 3/4 of a package of tofu and most of a package of thawed frozen spinach on my hands. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with either, but I had vague ideas about creating a ricotta-like thing to eat with pasta later in the week. I mixed them together with some seasonings and then had a really busy week, so I didn’t get back to it until tonight. I wan’t really feeling pasta, so I ended up making a dinner tofu scramble instead.

Dinner, Instagram-style

Dinner, Instagram-style

I think tofu scramble is my second favorite thing to eat (Mexican food of any type being the first) and this was summery and delicious combined with summer squash and served over quinoa. Here’s what I did on Sunday. I think letting it sit a couple days was actually a good thing because all of the flavors mixed together, but you could probably mix this up and cook it in the same night, too.

3/4 pkg firm tofu

1/2 pkg froz spinach, thawed

1 tsp chopped garlic

fresh rosemary

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

sea salt

fresh ground pepper

So mash that all up together. Yum.

I sauteed the summer squash in a little olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh rosemary until it started to soften, then added the tofu mix and cooked it together while I cooked up some quinoa. This actually took quite a while to cook since I hadn’t pressed the tofu, the thawed frozen spinach was pretty liquidy and the summer squash added additional water. The timing worked out since quinoa takes 20 minutes, but I ate like half a bag of Wholefoods Blue and Yellow Corn Chips because I was hungry and self control isn’t really a thing in my life where food is concerned.

Bonsai roll & avocado roll. Not pictured: french fries.

Bonsai roll & avocado roll. Not pictured: french fries.

In other news, my good friend Andy was in town from Denver this week, and we checked out The Hamilton at 14th and F NW. (Surprise restaurant review! It’s two-for-one night here at StrongandBrave!) So The Hamilton has an eclectic menu that ranges from sushi to burgers to fettuccine carbonara. They also have ridiculous cocktails, including the Summer in the City: purgatory hemp vodka, rosemary lemon syrup, and a splash of ginger ale. Damn. This drink alone is worth the trip. The food menu was a little tough for me. There are very few vegetarian menu options, and no allergy information. The waitress informed me that the Chickpea Cakes were vegan, but when I asked her to check on flour/wheat ingredients, she returned from the kitchen and explained that they contain both butter and flour. Whoops. I ended up with miso soup (made with vegetable broth), an avocado roll and their Bonsai roll (jicama, carrot, spicy taro root, cucumber and asparagus wrapped in soybean paper) and an order of french fries. All of it was super delicious, and sushi and french fries is now my third favorite thing to eat.

The Hamilton gets high marks for customer service, because once I explained to the waitress that I had a couple of food allergies, they were super accommodating. The waitress went back and forth to the kitchen probably four times to ask about ingredients and preparation and when they didn’t have clear information about the miso, the manager came to our table to explain that sometimes miso is fermented with wheat and their package was in Japanese and no one who was working that evening reads Japanese. He also brought me a dish of tamari (wheat-free soy sauce), which they keep on hand. Score! I felt fine after this meal, and I really appreciated how conscientious they were. However: I have IBS, not Celiac. I don’t think someone with a severe intolerance would have an easy time eating at The Hamilton. It seemed like there was a lot of potential for cross-contamination in their kitchen.

Maybe I’m being a diva here, but I don’t think it would be crazy for a restaurant to just have a vegan dish on their standard menu. Just one thing that fits the overall tone of your restaurant and is delicious and free of animal products. I’m not asking for Beyond Meat or Daiya cheese. There are tons of delicious food items, including proteins, that are vegan because nature made them that way. Just a suggestion, you know?

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