Another Go At Tofu

look at all those ingredients. Makes your mouth water, doesn’t it?

I am a self-proclaimed cookbook addict. Always have been. From a very young age, I would make a beeline to the cookbook section of bookstores. After seeing which Fear Street books were new first. I’ve spent many hours sitting in the corners of bookstores, looking at every cookbook I could get my hands on. I used to watch lots of PBS cooking shows (no cable in my house. nor ninendo. i had to get my share of “Hey Dude” and Duckhunt practice at my friends’ houses), and always looked at any of their chef’s cookbooks. I remember one show in particular, “Jacques Pepin’s Kitchen, Encore with Claudine” (I swear I didn’t google it. I have a crazy memory), with Jacques Pepin and his daughter and I always would look at his cookbooks. I’ve looked through everyone of Molly Katzen’s Moosewood cookbooks, and had an unhealthy obsession with Martha Stewart cookbooks in college. To this very day, I spend a lot of time in the Barnes & Noble at Union Square, sitting on their floor, my back very uncomfortably leaning against other, lesser books. And, when I visit home, I’ll often eat lunch while looking through a cookbook of my Mom’s, even though I’ve read them all cover to cover. I could tell you every cookie recipe in “The Silver Palate Cookbook”, but I’ll look through them again soon, and I really don’t care what gross 70s southern recipes are found in “Charlotte Cooks Again” (Mom-alot of them really are nasty. You know that), but I still read it.

The catch is, I never, ever, actually buy any of these. I am the opposite of a compulsive buyer. Don’t ask me where I got such an odd quality cause I love shopping! I’ve spent many a day browsing Anthropologie for over hour before heading to J Crew to see what they have on sale, and finishing my afternoon at Paragon Sports and Jack Rabbit (my favorite running store in New York). But I never buy, unless it’s on some crazy super sale. It’s like I lost that part of the female gene. I always feel really guilty spending money on something I don’t need (and even then I have to seriously talk myself into it), and even have a hard time spending gift certificates without thoroughly researching my options. And my Mom can confirm that I have a hard time spending her money too. Should I just leave the female gender now??

Anyway, I look at them and drool over them and long for them, but I never buy cookbooks. However, I’ve been reading so much lately about Dreena Burton’s cookbooks all over everyone elses blogs. Raves and raves and raves. Maybe she’s paying people (just joking Dreena!!!!! you’re awesome!!)? I had to check out her books to see what all the freaking fuss was about. So, 2 weekends ago, on my way downtown from picking up my race packet from New York Road Runners, I stopped by Barnes & Noble to do a little “browsing” (i.e. spending my afternoon looking at cookbooks and magazines). I grabbed some books (Vegan Cupcakes…, the new Martha Stewart Cookies book, Vive le Vegan and Eat, Drink and Be Vegan) and snuggled into a corner and hoped that an employee wouldn’t yell at me for physically drooling on them. Ok-yes. Dreena is amazing. Her recipes sounded amazing!! Everyone was soooo right. I’ll never doubt you again, fellow bloggers! Would this be the day I finally bought a cookbook? NO! My super ridiculous self-control when it comes to shopping strikes again.

I did, however, check out her blog the second I got home. And I drooled on my computer screen as well. This woman just can’t stop! If I wasn’t going to buy her book, I at least had to try something from her website. And it wasn’t that hard to pick. Just look at this recipe, and tell me that you don’t want to lick your computer screen: Olive Oregano Wine Baked Tofu. I almost did. I needed to make this one ASAP. And make it, I did, this past Sunday.

It was soooooo easy to put together. So so so easy. I got the marinade together in about 5 minutes and then it cooked for about a half an hour. I’m still raving to my roommate how little time it took. But was it good, you’re probably asking… Oh man-it was soo flavorful. You could taste all the ingredients seperately but also together. The wine was really good in it, as well as the olives, sun-dried tomatoes and especially the grapes. And every day after it’s been getting better and better. I’m so excited to eat my final serving of it tonight and I might have to make it next weekend it’s just that good! So Dreena, you truely are a genius. So much so, that tonight, on my way home from work, I went against my reluctance to buy anything, I bought your book (ED&BV). Feel proud.


Olive Oregano Wine Baked Tofu (adapted from Vive Le Vegan

1 block extra-firm tofu, patted dry and cut into 2 inch x 1 inch pieces.
1/2 cup white wine
2 tbsp honey (she called for agave nector, i didn’t have any)
1 tbsp oregano
2 tsp dried basil
2 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinager
1/3 cup kalamata olives (she called for dried mediterranean, i didn’t have any), chopped
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/3 cup green grapes, quartered
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp allspice
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix thoroughly all the ingredients except tofu. Spread out the pieces of tofu in a single layer in a 8″ x 12″ baking dish. Pour over all the ingredients. Put dish in the fridge for about 20 minutes (she didn’t call for this, I decide to let it marinate for a little while). Put the dish in the oven. Cook for about 20 minutes. Flip the tofu over. Cook for about 20 more minutes. Serve and enjoy the flavors overwhelming your mouth.

When I was finished, there was lots of liquid left in my bowl, so I added some spinich and used it as kind of a dressing. It was tasty!!


15 Responses to “Another Go At Tofu”

  1. 1 lindzakins921 April 8, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    ooo yum!!!! you might convert me into buying cookbooks too! i wish i had that self control w/ all kinds of shopping ๐Ÿ˜‰ it is definitely a trait to admire!

  2. 2 VeggieGirl April 8, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    I’m a cookbook addict myself – a MAJOR one :0)

    looks like a delectable dish – LOVE the colors!

  3. 3 eatingbirdfood April 8, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    One of my favorite things to do… go to Borders or Barnes and Noble, grab tons of health and cooking magazines and cookbooks, sit with some coffee and drool over recipes. Sometimes when the workers aren’t anywhere around I’ll take a pen and paper and jot down recipes.

  4. 4 linds April 8, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    Oh my goodness…I used to watch Jacques and Claudine with my dad every weekend…such good memories ๐Ÿ™‚ I loved that cooking show!!! Julia Child was another favourite, anytime she was on I just loved watching her.

  5. 5 Meredith April 8, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    That looks amazing and I love Dreena! I might be making this soon!

  6. 6 Kath April 9, 2008 at 7:17 am

    I cannot WAIT to make this!!!!!!!!! It’s been on my “to cook” list for 2 weeks now. You convinced me to put it on next week’s meal plan!! YUM!

  7. 7 meredithsg April 9, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Looks wonderful and am probably going to make it next week. This time I should have everything.

  8. 8 Alice (in Veganland) April 9, 2008 at 10:45 am

    oh, I have also a hard time spending money, and I think we can still be called women ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. 9 ChocolateCoveredVegan April 9, 2008 at 11:56 am

    oh my goodness, I am JUST like you when it comes to spending! When I shop with my mom, she actually has to convince me that itโ€™s ok to buy something! And while my sister will buy a pair of $100 jeans without breaking a sweat, I can make myself feel guilty for spending even $40! Same thing with expensive foods. Iโ€™m glad to know Iโ€™m not the only one!
    On a different note, your tofu dish IS making my mouth water, even though Iโ€™m full from lunch!

  10. 10 caraferguson April 9, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    This book really MUST be good. My friend told me about it too. Hmmm.

  11. 11 arielle April 9, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Okay. We need to be friends. Seriously. I didn’t have cable or nintendo when I was little (my brother and I used to borrow our rich friend’s one when their family was on vacation) and all I watched was PBS cooking shows. And then I would “make mixtures,” i.e. throw a bunch of crap in a bowl and act like I was following their recipes.

    Also, I have probably sat next to you at the Union Square B&N reading cookbooks because I do that all the time. Except I do buy them. Often. And then I don’t use them. So if you ever need to borrow any, I’m your girl.

    And finally, this looks really good. How long did it keep? Like could I make it and eat it for lunch for a few days?

  12. 12 carrie April 10, 2008 at 12:12 am

    i just have to comment on one thing . . . you said:

    “I am the opposite of a compulsive buyer. Donโ€™t ask me where I got such an odd quality cause I love shopping!”

    dude, have you MET walter? because maybe that would help you understand this ๐Ÿ˜‰

    silly elizabetsy. love you!

  13. 13 Romina April 10, 2008 at 9:13 am

    Dreenas cookbooks converted me! They’re amazing, as is your dish, my mouth really is watering. =)

  14. 14 Betsy April 10, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    hahahahaha-we should make a barnes & noble date!

    yup-you got it right. how come i never thought of my dad??? man-he is one thrifty guy.

  15. 15 Mel April 14, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    I am SUCH a cookbook addict! I read them like novels- never gets old! I saw this recipe on Dreena’s blog but was hesitant to make it because it looked kinda fussy. But after reading about your excursion with it, I have no excuse not to now! It looks SO tempting! Thanks for the motivation ๐Ÿ™‚

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