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June 1, 2008

for dinner:

i'm trying to go a month without eating meat to see what that's like (not easy for me)...plus i don't get to use recipes - i gotta make it up as i go. I won't blog about it, but since tonight was the kickoff i thought i would, as the kids say, "share"

so: fresh white corn - cut off the kernels with a knife. got a georgia peach and cubed it. sauteed both in olive oil, a bit of salt and a dash of white wine (reisling). When corn started to have flecks of brown, I put this all in a bowl and added minced red onion that i had mixed with a little balsamic. Put the bowl in the fridge to cool.

Took firm tofu and cut into 1/4 inch slabs the length of the block. Coarsely chopped almond slices and breaded the tofu in them, salted. Fried the tofu in oil and butter until both sides were brown. Removed, put on a plate, added the corn/peach mixture on top and to the side...then took the remaining browned nuts left in the pan and sprinkled them on top.

verdict: i liked it - butter fried tofu reminds me of grits, and the georgia peaches completed the theme...



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Comments (36)

Supposedly, peaches soak up the most pesticides of any produce... Of course, that may just be a rumor made by the organic food conglomo-corp. lobbyists.

Posted by: glenn at June 2, 2008 9:38 PM

That looks really nice Ze, even though I’m not a fan of tofu (it’s a food that can't decide what it wants to be... meat?... cheese?.... potato?)

Posted by: Gena at June 2, 2008 9:48 PM

Wow, that sounds delicious. I haven't tried sautéing peaches before, were they very firm? How did cooking affect their texture?

Posted by: Peter at June 2, 2008 10:34 PM

That looks so delicious. I'm going to have to say thank you, because I'm going to try that recipe out this week.

Please do take the time to share a few more dishes you make up on the spot.

Good luck on your meatless journey.

Posted by: jeremy at June 2, 2008 10:52 PM

I went vegetarian for lent, but did use some recipes. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, and it has helped me to eat healthier in general. And it was a good way to bust my cycle.

Posted by: Eric at June 2, 2008 11:00 PM

First time writing here, even though I am a huge fan of everything you do.

Just wanted to say that as an Eastern Orthodox Christian, I have to abstain from meat (and milk, and eggs, and anything made of those products) during lent. So I know how it feels.

A word of encouragement: if I can do it, you most certainly can! Even without the recipes.

P.S. Did you squeeze the moisture out of the tofu before frying? It gets a lot crispier that way.

Posted by: Anna at June 2, 2008 11:26 PM

That actually sounds pretty tasty. I've never heard of sauteed peaches before....

Posted by: Sassafrass Molly at June 2, 2008 11:49 PM

mmmm - delicious!
I think I would have been tempted to add something green and leafy to this... but what? Maybe some romaine tossed with white balsamic and walnut oil, little salt & pepper...
If you have access to rainbow chard - that stuff is the shazzoo - sautee it with a little garlic, olive oil & lemon. Also - a big, BIG favorite of mine is small fresh beets of different colors - make sure the greens are still attached when you buy 'em - cut off the greens. rinse them well and slice into thick strips; quarter the beets & toss in olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper & roast 'em at about 400 degrees for around 20 minutes, stirring occasionally - then sautee the beet greens in olive oil, add salt & pepper and a little lemon juice at the end. Serve them together with some fresh goat cheese (unless you're doing no animal at all - not sure what to suggest in that case!)

Posted by: Marianne at June 3, 2008 12:10 AM

Tofu would mild that sweet out nicely. Almost a dessert here.

I have told a minimum effort vegetarian friend that Doritos and Pepsi for every meal won't cut it, but you seem to have good ideas already. All meat? No fish or chicken either? Tougher that.

Just in case, pizzas without meat, the rustic kind are amazing and super varied. One crust mix will make two thin pies easy. Mmm artichoke and olives and fresh mozza and garlic oily sauce and fresh tomatoes and whatever else is sitting around.

Good luck!

Posted by: boo at June 3, 2008 12:14 AM

d'oh. I just now realized that you said you can't use any recipes... I should have just suggested the veggies and let you figger it out. Oh well. Pretend you didn't read that. :)

Posted by: Marianne at June 3, 2008 12:16 AM

Sounds good. I wouldn't use the butter (vegan) but actually there's some pretty butter-like margarines these days. And I tend to forget that you can cook with fruit, though it often turns out nice. You can get pretty good results from marinating and baking slabs of tofu too, wrapped in foil for a bit, then open to brown the tops.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bean/2234267580/

Posted by: Bean at June 3, 2008 12:59 AM

Sounds incredible. And I'm a little freaked out over how multi-talented a person you are, ze.

Posted by: Shelley Noble at June 3, 2008 1:23 AM

sounds good!

Posted by: coffeeaddict at June 3, 2008 1:27 AM

I went veggie for a while to see what it was like. Eating vegetarian left me feeling more satisfied after meals and healthier overall. I can't wait to go back to it. I'm living in Korea right now and it's not really viable here; it's one of the many reasons I'm looking forward to returning home in a few months.

Kudos on the recipe. It looks and sounds delicious.

Posted by: Alden at June 3, 2008 2:38 AM

Cooking without recipes is a really good way to learn about different kinds of foods and what you can mix and how you balance out the taste of a meal. I can highly recommend it to everyone.

Posted by: Manfred at June 3, 2008 3:17 AM

hey ze, as a vegetarian myself, i recommend you go 2 months without eating meat and see how you feel 'cos that's how long it took me to get totally refreshed ;)

Posted by: abby at June 3, 2008 4:03 AM

very excellent. been going at it for about a year, myself. it only gets easier.

Posted by: thaine at June 3, 2008 4:37 AM

careful! I tried the same thing in 2001; started out with a pasta with onion, red pepper and garlic. Haven't had meat since then.

Posted by: kyle at June 3, 2008 6:58 AM

I just went veggie the other week. I'm not strict and I think that's the key as I allow myself fish once or twice a week and still eat eggs.

Cooked and prepared correctly, quorn dishes aren't bad.

Fortunately, I love a plate of veggies or salad.

Good luck with it!

Posted by: The Invisible Man at June 3, 2008 7:35 AM

Hey Ze,

I was a vegetarian for about 3 years, and the easiest way for me (and also most fun) is to make a game out of it. Be really strict about what is and isn't vegetarian. If it has any animal in it call it meat. Its way more fun if you make it a sort of competition. Try to make the best meal that you can without meat. The whole restricted creativity thing. I hope you have fun.

Posted by: ramsonAndSon at June 3, 2008 7:51 AM

been doing the vegetarian thing since last september. funny thing is i hated vegetables. i didn't get used to the diet until around december (ate lots of carbs and fruit until then).

now i'm adjusted and love veggies and my diet, though i still don't really know what to cook for myself a lot. good luck with busting that cycle! you're inspiring :-)

Posted by: william at June 3, 2008 9:01 AM

You don't mean you're going a whole month without bacon, though, do you?

Posted by: Karen at June 3, 2008 1:36 PM

A great substitution for the tofu in this one could be polenta! Not that you have to substitute anything, but it's always nice to have options.

Unfortunately (for this context, anyway), whenever I make polenta, I tend to find some way to add bacon to it.

Posted by: Nerdsavant at June 3, 2008 6:15 PM

I went without meat for a month. I missed it and went back. It was an interesting experience but I wouldn't do it again.

Meat is awesome.

Posted by: zoo at June 3, 2008 10:37 PM

I never thought I'd be a vegetarian. Then I read the China Study. 2 years later and I'm still going strong.

I ate a cheeseburger about 6 months ago and it literally made me comatose for the next two days... not literally but close.

I make up meals all the time. My favorite is the black bean, rice, quacamole, salsa and chips bowl. Or the zuchini, mushrooms and rice pasta dish. I then give them names.

A vegetarian bachelor is a scary thing indeed.

What I learned: I feel better and my mind is less clouded. Plus, I'm not dying from protein overload or eating things that used to walk around.

BTW - the girls in Detroit think you're all the rage.

Posted by: Noel Jackson at June 3, 2008 11:58 PM

Some would say that looks like shit. I say, "Just wait".

Truthfully though, I've been a vegetarian in the past. But I just called it "broke".

I've made strides in this area in the at various times to improve my diet, and usually fall off the wagon during crunch time and find the convenience of a quick cheeseburger hard to resist. I will be making a more concerted effort to try again this summer and see how long I can go. My hope is that after I reach the 3 week mark, I won't even think about a thick juicy steak fresh off the grill or deep marinated tri-tip from the rotisserie. I'm a freakin' awesome cook!

Something I've made that I really liked a lot was a sauteed mixture of squash, sweet onions and thick apple slices with a little bit of olive oil and spices to taste. Mild italian herbs are really good with it.

Posted by: MrPresident at June 4, 2008 1:55 AM

please Ze, more pictures of Food! I'm putting a menu together for my diner.

Posted by: danielmcvicar at June 4, 2008 2:23 AM

I went veg 15 years ago and never looked back. It was one of the best decisions of my life, for so many reasons. I did it gradually, over the span of about a year, cutting out one form of meat at a time (first pork, then beef, then poultry, then seafood), so I never really experienced hard core meat cravings like you probably will. My suggestion would be to still eat the foods you love, just make them veg. Try tempeh (great in fajitas), seitan (yummy in stews), or lentils (I have an amazing sloppy joe recipe that uses these if you ever lift the "no recipes" restriction) in place of meat. Good luck!

Posted by: jenlicata at June 4, 2008 8:47 AM

Gross, I was vegan for years but I'm not a fan of cold, relish style salads. But the tofu sounds lovely!

Posted by: Bunny at June 4, 2008 7:17 PM

Howdy Ze!

Would you please consider inviting me over for dinner?

You were sorely missed at RailsConf this year. I think Chad Fowler had a super-tough job trying to come up with a speaker whose presentation was even close to being as interesting and relevant as yours.

Posted by: Rev. Dan at June 5, 2008 1:00 AM

try quinoa, it's an easy meal or side dish. I like it with fresh avocado. good luck. =)

Posted by: alice at June 6, 2008 3:15 AM

Hi Ze,
I've been enjoying your blog for the last year and honestly the whole time I just assumed you *were* vegetarian. Its tough at first figuring out what to eat, but it looks like you are already on the right path by cooking for yourself.

Bog speed on your honorable quest, sir.

Posted by: duncan idaho at June 7, 2008 2:36 PM

The meal looks yummy. Was it?

If you haven't had them yet, get thee to little Italy and buy fava beans. Laborious to produce, but well worth the effort.

After your month, read Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and see what you think about what you eat. That book changed the way I eat, probably permanently. (Like others, I've eaten as a vegetarian before. Can be good. It really makes you think about what you're consuming).

Posted by: gypsy sister at June 9, 2008 11:44 PM

Dude, "reminds me of grits" would *not* be a selling point for me. Other than that, it sounds delish!

Posted by: Thaklaar at June 10, 2008 1:28 PM

ze, where you at with the veg-fest? let's hear more stories, recipes!
please.
p.s. green (french, puy) lentils.

Posted by: laika at June 19, 2008 9:42 PM

he is a great cook

Posted by: jazmin at November 26, 2008 10:32 AM

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