Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Lavender silk

I am at a time in my life when I have found it to be a good idea to have some soy products on a regular basis. I also want to somewhat decrease the amount of meat I've been eating lately, while maintaining an amount of protein that makes me feel well, and the two goals work together well. I am, therefore, working on doing this in a more interesting way than tofu in my lunch salad every day.

I have seen recipes that suggest blending silken tofu to make a cream sauce. Now, I've used it in soups, to make them creamy, with very good effect. So, the other night, having some lovely fresh basil and some homemade noodles, I decided to try this.

First note - purple basil makes sauce that is, well... purple. Lavender, really, blended in the tofu. It's not the most appetizing looking food I've ever produced in my kitchen, particularly tossed with the light brown noodles.

Second - the texture was amazingly good. I have issues with dairy, and I've been missing a lot of those creamy textures - this was great.

Third - it was also a bit bland. Part of that, I think, was the basil - I'd had it nearly a week, and it was losing flavor. It was also the tofu, though, which absorbs flavor. I do remember reading that you need to season it much more than you expect - have to remember that, next time.

On the whole, though, we both liked it - voted "an experiment to repeat." The mouth feel (very important to me) was great, the taste was OK, just needed a bit more punch. (Seasoning added liberally at the table helped a good bit.)

Now, silken tofu has less protein in it than firm, so it was not enough alone. I have to serve it over something. I ended up tossing the sauce over cooked noodles, chunks of cooked turkey, and zucchini.

I made the sauce with 1 14 oz. package of fresh silken tofu, several cloves of cooked garlic (left from a garlic chicken dish I'd made) and a bunch of purple basil. I chopped the basil roughly, put it and the garlic into the container for an immersion blender, and blended them smooth. Then I added chunks of the fresh tofu.

I sauteed onions and zucchini, added the already cooked turkey. When it was hot, I tossed in the cooked, drained fresh noodles. Then I added the sauce, tossed just until it was heated through, and served immediately, with freshly grated romano cheese.

One of these days I'm going to try adding pictures. Believe me, though - this was no loss. Odd looking stuff. Did taste pretty good, though, and I'll definitely do it again.

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