Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day, Peanut Butter Tofu, & Little NYC Shenanigans

Tofu smothered in thick peanut butter sauce may be just what the doctor ordered.
It's Memorial Day everyone! Enjoy those vegan hotdogs, veggie burgers, side salads, and Patriot Pie, but don't forget that this beautiful, honorable day commemorates the brave women and men, the veterans who fought hard and diligently to protect this country. They valiantly gave their lives or returned home wounded, struggling with unimaginable inner turmoil, harboring much emotional pain. We owe them gracious gratitude, unconditional love, and steadfast support.

Thank you to the fallen. Thank you to the veterans. Thank you. Thank you for all that you do.

Here begins a mild discussion about peanut butter tofu and a small briefing of May 17th- a wonderful Saturday in NYC. Okay, it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, but it ended on the highest of positive notes.
Combined pros and cons. Greyhound arrived an hour late. I got lost looking for Kara Walker's latest exhibit in Williamsburg Brooklyn. For a while, my head hung low, miserable and disheartened. I did, however, manage to find Union Square and ate amazing pizza at a busy, three story Whole Foods. A touchy-feely guy named Mike helped me find the theater. I, of course, not needing to have this man at my side much longer wished him well and proceeded inside without him. Ah, my first film festival. Simply fantastic seeing people pose and take heavily flashed photographs in front of the white background with Soho International Film Festival's black font all over it. Met older ladies dreaming of kidnapping handsome young  men. I saw Tom. He walked right pass me and his cologne smelled quite wonderful. I enjoyed Please Reply- an eccentric, upbeat short that set the tone for Tiger Lily Road (my review is up!). Once again, I delighted in the screenplay, the acting, the music. It uplifted dwindling spirits. Truly. I met Ilene Kristen (who played the wild, crazy Roxie on One Life to Live), appreciatively thanked Michael for the complimentary pass (he's too kind for words), and inwardly squealed at his invitation to attend the cast party at some place called The Smith. I declined, nervous as heck to be around Tom and Company for longer than three seconds. My ruby red kitten heels couldn't withstand that torture, even if seated. I met a guy named Ibn on the Megabus home. (Yes, I swap bus carriers time to time). We had met ages ago on my first Megabus back to Philly, but swapped information this time around. He's a big time theater enthusiast, an actor actually. Anyways....
Also learned that my high school mythology/creative writing teacher happened to be in NYC with her former assistant Johnny Ramos (whom I haven't seen since 2002!!!). They saw the Walker exhibit almost at precisely the same time I would have been there. Why fate? Why????
Another positive note:

Our post baccalaureate graduation photograph. Ahem. Well, some of us were ready for the photo. I think I may be missing school a little too much right now. More than normal...
Okay enough NYC babbling, soapy entertainment, and school reminiscing. Let's get to the food, right?
Peanut butter tofu. Incredible peanut butter tofu.
I remember my first taste of peanut butter touched noodles at an art party. Back in Dayton, Ohio there used to be an Asian cuisine restaurant called Chin's- next to my beloved Neon art house theater. Chin's catered the party and I freaked out at the thought of noodles having a nonsensical affair with peanut butter. It just didn't sound right. Everyone laid the pressure on me. I caved and fell in love.
Now the love story gets tastier. I discovered Lotus Food's Forbidden Rice Ramen Noodles on sale this week at Whole Foods and decided that it would be the perfect bottom for saucy peanut butter tofu. I found the recipe on Veg Web which can be very helpful at times. It's always wonderful when instincts are proven correct. Spicy, nutty sauce complements meaty tofu goodness, amazing noodles (saved seasoning packet for another day), and yummy veggies (carrots and broccoli).
Definitely a splendid, fulfilling meal for two hungry mouths.

Peanut Butter Tofu Ingredients and Preparation

2 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoon Liquid Aminos 
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 block extra firm tofu, pressed and chopped into triangular pieces
2-3 teaspoon water

Heat a skillet with olive oil.
Mix together peanut butter, white vinegar, Liquid Aminos, and crushed red pepper.
Pour this into the skillet.
Add tofu triangles, making sure to coat it all as even as possible.

Trying something new too- Lotus Food's Forbidden Rice Ramen is made from black rice flour.
Holding this in my hands reminded me strongly of....
Large scale Louise Nevelson sculpture for some odd reason. Ha ha!
Flip over tofu every minutes, adding water every now and then so that nothing sticks. Ready in about 10-15 minutes. Since I didn't have peanuts handy, I topped added Italian herb panko bread crumbs for crunchy texture. Very delicious idea!
Top prepared peanut butter tofu over desired black ramen noodles and veggies (or whatever you choose to use).
Extra crushed red pepper for bonus heat.

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