Food Blog

Tonight’s dinner: baked tofu (sesame oil + hot sauce + soy sauce), sprouted red + brown rice, wilted pea shoots and asparagus, and curry peanut sauce. Not a great photo, but a pretty good meal.

Food Blog None Vegan MoFo

#VeganMoFo Day 15: Dinner for President Obama

I did my research: our president digs healthy food, or at least knows enough to say so for the press (you can’t be all, mmm, McDonald’s! when you’re married to Michelle). He digs green vegetables, healthy fats, and spice. Other than the salmon, I think Barack and I could get along fine at a dinner table… but I’d really need to hire people to clean my house before he arrived. We are messy, lazy people. Bike gear on the Ikea dining table and errant piles of rabbit hay and fuzz doesn’t exactly scream “Hail to the Chief.”

Regardless, here’s my State Dinner menu, featuring local California purveyors:


Peanut sauce and pea shoots are intended to evoke Southeast Asian cuisine – not quite Indonesia, sure, but making it my own. Plus I don’t want to over-complicate the cooking if the president’s at my house. Surely I’d have something to say to him, too, and not just about the veggies. Presidents don’t really go eat random citizens’ cooking without some ulterior motive, do they? What’s the big idea, here?!


But does it matter? It’s all a fun hypothetical, anyway. Really I’m just cooking this for myself and for my boyfriend; these are foods we already enjoy, and we wouldn’t turn away someone we generally like without good reason. Now, if the prompt suggested hosting Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, this would be another story…


And for me, this is a pretty damn good weeknight dinner. I mean. Those grill lines on the tofu! Damn, that is a lot more attention to detail than your average meal in my house.

The peanut sauce could be spicier/tangier–and that would be easy enough to adjust, even now–but the veggies and tofu turned out well. The tofu marinated in dish of red curry paste before hitting the grill. I stir-fried a fresno chile, minced ginger, yellow onion, broccoli, purple cauliflower, green cabbage, zucchini, sweet red peppers, and a handful of fresh oyster mushrooms in coconut oil with a splash of soy sauce; the pea shoots were *just* wilted in a separate pan with six cloves of garlic and toasted sesame oil.

Food Blog None Vegan MoFo

Mushroom-cherry tomato sauce with spaghetti and wilted pea shoots


  • Olive oil and flour whisked together over medium low to make a roux
  • One big diced shallot and a pinch of salt sauteed with the roux
  • Then a few minced garlic cloves and a pinch of dried thyme
  • Add a whole bunch of sliced cremini mushrooms and keep stirring until things wilt
  • This also required a little more salt, a little more oil, and a splash of white wine, some more wine (hell, the rest of the bottle; there wasn’t much), and some water just trying to get the damn thing to a sauce-like consistency
  • Somewhere in there I threw in half a pint of cherry tomatoes, the bigger ones cut in half, and let them cook until they exploded or got squished on impact
  • When everything looked pretty good, a few splashes of balsamic vinegar got mixed in
  • After the pasta cooked, I put a bunch of nutritional yeast in there (NOOCH IS LIFE) and some pepper before mixing the pasta in with the sauce

Also threw a half pound bag of pea shoots in a pan with a little oil and a tiny bit of leftover pasta cooking water ‘til they got wilted.

This was actually pretty tasty, despite some questionable stages during the saucing process.