Oh, hey: August

ImageWell, here were are again. I would love to recap the end of June and all of July for you, but I think we’d all get depressed thinking about how much of this summer I spent in my office, so I’m going to do this bullet-point-style. In June/July, I

  • was a hot mess of feelings, and no, I don’t want to talk about it.
  • spoke at a panel on reproductive justice at Netroots that was live-streamed, because we live in the future.
  • got the flu on the 4th of July! Good times.
  • planned and executed a conference for 50 college students that they really liked a lot.
  • turned 31.
  • got a vicious summer cold that is still hanging around after more than a week.

So now that we’re all caught up, I have to confess that I was mostly out of the kitchen this summer. I was stressed and busy and not feeling very creative. For multi-day conferences I subsisted mainly on Kind bars and cigarettes. Oh, right:

  • started smoking again.

ImageNow that I’ve got my life back, I’m trying to remember how to make time in my busy schedule of Netflix and Hulu to see friends and cook food I like to eat. My first venture was marinated tofu that I started before the conference and then threw in the freezer when I realized I was not going to have time to cook and eat it before I left for Virginia. That burn on my finger is sad evidence that I totally forgot how to function in the kitchen. Guess what happens when you add not-quite-thawed tofu to hot oil? Yeah. Also, I had marinated the tofu in a really delicious vegan salad dressing that I found at Trader Joe’s, but I forgot that dressing has a lot of oil in it already, so additional oil to cook the tofu was overkill. They tasted okay but I had to drain those suckers on a paper towel for about 20 minutes, and that was after I blotted some oil out of the pan. Sigh.

Anyway, I finally cooked something I like this week, and even though it’s not very exciting, I’m sharing it because I missed blogging and I’m hoping to inspire myself to get back in the kitchen this weekend. Also, sometimes it’s okay to cook with mostly frozen things and leftovers because that is what my life looks like right now. Self-affirmation of the day.

Last Saturday, my amazing friend Molly decided to take me to Sandy Point beach to belatedly celebrate my birthday. It was a super chill day with lots of snacking, sunbathing and talking about politics and social justice, because that is what we do. This recipe was inspired by the 2/3 full jar of salsa I brought home from the beach, because why not?

ImageOkay. You always need olive oil. I had Safeway-brand organic roasted tomato salsa, firm tofu, 1/2 cup of frozen corn and 1/2 cup of black beans. There was also frozen asparagus involved. And about two cups of quinoa that I made over the weekend. And about 1/4 cup of leftover Daiya shredded cheddar.

Super simple: heat some olive oil in a frying pan. I drained the tofu but didn’t press it because laziness. Crumble it into the hot oil and then let it cook for at least 10 minutes because you need to cook out most of the water. You should stir it around occasionally, but this is a very low maintenance recipe.

ImageCook it until very little water remains in the bottom of the pan and add 3/4 cup of salsa (I did this in 1/4-cup increments). Stir it around so all your tofu gets salsa’d and let it cook for about 5 minutes to absorb the liquid. Add your beans and corn. Cook maybe another five minutes. After five minutes, I also added some chopped frozen asparagus. As soon as that thawed, I turned off the heat. 

If you’re eating this right away, serve over reheated quinoa and sprinkle w/ Daiya. I packed mine for lunches this week, so the presentation isn’t lovely, but the flavor (especially with a little Tapatio) is pretty excellent. So this is gluten-free, vegan, super fast and IBS-friendly. 

Also! My amazing intern, Dakota, wrote this awesome blog about veganism and reproductive justice and it is super eloquent and smart and you should read it and comment. http://www.choiceusablog.org/consuming-bodies-the-women-were-leaving-behind/

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