Thursday, 13 February 2014

Something old, something new...

Sometimes life throws you a challenge. My current challenge (well, the non-work-related one) is... vegetarian chili. That's not too bad, you say? That depends, I say.
I've made chili before, and it's basically an easy dish. But the version I'm going for now is actually low-carb vegan chili, due to several different persons with several different food issues that I would like to feed at the same time, out of one pot. And I am, very much, a meat person. I like the strong tastes and the taste mixture of meat with beans and tomato in a chili, very much so. I also like the texture of minced meat in the chili. And while beans are not that high in carbohydrates, they are high enough that I felt a need to put in something beside bean and tomato. Well, apart from my being sort of suspicious that it would be a little... bland otherwise.

So yesterday, I've bought tofu for the first time in my life, and though I've eaten tofu before (not much of that though) I have found out, this morning, why so many recipes talk about marinating it before using it. There was that time, at a living history event, when a piece of wood whittled off of something had fallen into my food bowl. (There's perils as well as joy in sharing camp with a very dedicated woodworker.) Wood, let me tell you, at least when it's fresh and not a weird wood like strongly resinated pine or juniper, tastes like... nothing. Sort of blandness personified.

The only difference to that piece of tofu I tried this morning? (I tried it raw and straight out of the bag, because I am a daring person and wanted to know how bad it possibly could be.) The wood was harder to chew. And probably contained less protein. So at the moment, a bit of tofu is hanging out in some marinade, and later on I shall put a bit of it into a pan and fry it to within an inch of its life... and then see whether my chili project will fly, walk, crawl, or jump over a friendly cliff into the ocean and sink like a stone.

(In the event that it should fly, I promise you the recipe. Should it totally tank, I will never speak of it again, though... so if you want a recipe, keep your fingers crossed for me!)

5 comments:

Margit said...

Ich habe ja eher eine Haß-Liebe zu Tofu. Viel Erfolg!
Hier ein finde ich guter Artikel rund um das Soja/Tofu-Thema:
http://www.deutschlandradiokultur.de/warum-es-so-viele-sojaallergien-gibt.993.de.html?dram%3Aarticle_id=236306

Anonymous said...

Just remember that most vegans are veteran tofu eaters and probably like it. They'll appreciate your thoughtfulness. And if your chili has nice seasonings the blandness of the tofu won't be noticed.

a stitch in time said...

Margit, na, amal geht's scho. Zum Tofuliebhaber werd ich sicher nicht mutieren!

Hm... the plan is that not only the vegans/vegetarians should like the taste, but also the low-carb-fraction. Oh, and myself, too. That's the most difficult bit, probably...

A Life Long Scholar said...

When I do vegetarian chili or spaghetti sauce I tend to use ground walnuts +/- sunflower seeds +/- pumpkin seeds to give a texture similar to what mom's meat-based version had, and because they taste yummy.

lyorn said...

I liked it better cold on Sunday than hot on Saturday. Not sure if it aged gracefully, or if the sweet note it had (don't know what from? Didn't seem to be the maize) was more muted in the cold chili. I feel that sweet goes fine with meat bur far less so with plant protein. I didn't discover any of the bitterness I would have expected from the cacao you said went into it -- when I made a chili sin carne with cacao powder, it turned out very bitter.