Saturday, May 03, 2008

Tofu keeping my sanity in check

It's been high-stress and high-activity volume the last couple of months. Events, work events, classes, and injury have made me into one big ball of a mess. At times figuratively, but a lot of times literally. My apartment (at least on my end) is in complete disarray. I hate it, but I also am at a point where I don't care.

To make a long month into a short story, (which paradoxically could also be a rapidly short month into a long story) I'll just tell you that I've had weddings to attend, a conference to organize, and night classes to endure. On top of that, from some unknown event (possibly stress, possibly some position I slept in), I've hurt my lower back. So, on top of being stretched to the limit, my one outlet of stress release has been taken away from me this week: my running. I've been told to not run this week, and let me tell you... it SUCKS. Betsy described it best when she said that it's taken over her thought process, and I can't agree more. My Google is tired out from searching "lower back pain", "stretches, lower back pain", "running, back pain".

The other thing is, because of me not running, my hunger and appetite has been thrown off a little bit. It might be psychological, but sometimes I'm not as hungry, and sometimes I'm just plain ravenous. And sometimes, I just need chocolate. But then, who doesn't.

In an attempt to keep some part of my life healthy, I've decided to make a batch of this tofu quiche that I made for Staff Breakfast a couple of months ago. I've done the unconventional thing and un-veganized it because I don't have a lot of stuff that the recipe calls for, and frankly, egg whites are less expensive than tahini and nutritional yeast. It's helped me eat with pleasure yet still with nutrition in mind, and has helped me keep my cool, knowing that I at least have some parts of my life remaining in my control.

This recipe is SO easy. Seriously, I can't stress it enough. I had to feed about 80 people at the staff breakfast, and the tofu quiche worked miracles with that.

Below is my version, but play with it because it's damn near impossible to mess this up. And even if you mess it up, it'll still taste good, I guarantee it.

Tofu and Egg White Crust-less Quiche

Makes 24 mini quiches
2 packs of tofu (I've used all sorts, and to me, it's all the same)
1/2 cup of egg whites
1 large bell pepper (Or 2 medium. Just a heads up, I suck at recipes because I seldom follow them myself.)
1 medium onion
1 garlic clove
1-1.5 cup of cremini mushroom
1 tablespoon each of sage, thyme, and rosemary (I used fresh. Play with the spices. It's the fun part)
Olive oil for sauteeing and oiling the muffin tin
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Chop all the vegetables. Sliced or diced, it doesn't matter, just make them all the same size so it cooks evenly.

3. Sautee the vegetables starting with the garlic and onion. Throw in the bell pepper and then the mushrooms and spices. Sautee until the mushrooms sweat. Throw in some salt and pepper to taste.

4. Meanwhile, throw the tofu in a food processor and blend it. When the vegetables are done, blend them together and salt and pepper again to taste. ( I honestly would just stop here and keep this thing as a dip in the future. Seriously, you had to pry my hands away from the crackers to keep me from eating the entire thing in the food processor.) Pour the egg white into the mixture, and blend it again.

5. Spray the muffin tin with oil, or grease it to your liking. Pour in the mixture in each cup, about half way. They'll rise. Bake them for about 20 minutes. When done, let it cool for another 10-15 minutes. Carefully take them out with a spoon. They're on the soft side so be really delicate about it if you want them to still look like quiches. Enjoy with bread, rice, over a salad, you name it!

Honestly, this is barely a recipe, because I'll probably change the way I make this and it'll still come out great. If you want the vegan version, make the original. And if you want the yolk, use 1 egg per tofu package.

My back hasn't improved much, so I might have to see a chiropractor... In the meantime, I'll be noshing on these quiches while only running in my head...


Louie said...

damn sucka, that sounds good. i'm gonna make it with some diced celery/onion/carrots..

yv said...

ooo mirepoix.

definite tofu love. i still want to try some of that tofu spread you talked to me about a year ago. snap, has it really been that long? time flies.

Betsy said...

i had awful lower back pain last summer and it was the worst. it put my life on hold basically. eventually it went away but i still get scared that it's going to happen again. funny thing is i still don't know what caused it!!