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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Changes to Menu 2

*All changes made here will be made in the original menu. So, if you're cooking Menu 2, all of the changes are incorporated into one post - you don't need to go back and forth between posts.*

Faced with a very large pile of mushrooms on a cutting board I was nervous.

Was this wild mushroom pasta really going to taste good?

Good news is - I followed the recipe exactly, having never made it before, and was very pleasantly surprised with just how delicious it was. The whisking was key to making the sauce thicken up at the end. I also let it cook for a few extra minutes on medium heat. Also, a hint - I thought I had flour, and didn't, so I cheated, and used three tablespoons of buckwheat pancake mix. It worked - and my pasta thankfully didn't taste like pancakes.

For the arugula salad, I made the dressing once, and stored the rest for other servings. The herbed tahini dressing will thicken when you refrigerate it. So, when it's time to use it again, just add a teaspoon of water (a bit more if you see fit), and stir. The dressing will return back to the right consistency for your salad.

I had extra sprouts, which I had bought for the salad, so I added them to the hummus wraps.

Finally, the dish that lasted almost all week - the lasagna.

So, the recipes I use from Vegetarian Times always need more flavor. So, instead of the amounts in the recipe for the lasagna, I recommend using:
1 cup of basil,
1/2 cup of parsley
1/2 cup of pine nuts
3-4 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
Juice from one lemon

Also, I find that three zucchini, not four, is enough.

Cooking with tofu can be a challenge - in this recipe, it's important to try and get as much of the water out of the tofu as possible; it makes the "ricotta" more cheese-like.

So, while I'm still looking for the best way to cook with tofu in general, here's what I did for the lasagna:

I cut each tofu block in half lengthwise, and microwaved the halves for four minutes. This removed some water. Then, I put the tofu on a cookie sheet, covered it with a cutting board, and placed a heavy pot on top of the cutting board. I pressed down a few times to squeeze water out, and then left the pot on top of the cutting board for about ten minutes. This got a fair amount of water out, and from there, I put the tofu in the food processor and took it from there with the seasonings.

If you have tips for cooking with tofu, please leave a comment or email me at themenudrawer@gmail.com!

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