chile cornmeal-crusted tofu sandwiches.

today is ash wednesday and the beginning of lent. my students who celebrate post facebook statuses or come in and tell me what they’ve given up for lenten season. some haven’t figured it out yet and come asking me what i think they should give up for lent.

i never tell them what they should give up rather talk them through their thoughts. most of the time they know what they want to give up, they just want to make sure their thoughts are clear and sensible.

i find myself doing that a lot. talking students through their thoughts. being a sounding board. asking them the hard questions. asking them the important questions.

i did that yesterday when one of my students, c, was talking about a paper he had to write on female oppression and male privilege. another student, j, was walking a couple steps in front of us as we were walking to our destination as a group. j heard us talking about this paper, and c answering the questions i was asking. when c felt better about writing his paper, j turned her head around and said,”you knew the answers the whole time.”

i’ve known j for almost two years now. she’s a senior. so, she’s kind of figured out my approach. this question posing, i’lltalkwithyoutotheanswer way i have of talking with my students.

that made me smile.

so, now that it is the beginning of lenten season, here’s a recipe for those of you who are giving up meat or need something to make on meatless fridays.

chile cornmeal-crusted tofu sandwiches
printable recipe – adapted from veganomicon

yield 4 servings

vegetable oil, for frying
1 container extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 cup soy milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon lime zest
1 teaspoon salt
4 sub rolls, sliced in half and split open

for the chipotle mayo:
1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper, to taste

for the chipotle mayo, combine 1 chipotle pepper and a little bit of its sauce with mayonnaise in a bowl. season with salt and pepper. set aside while making tofu.

cut the tofu into eight slices and then cut each of those slices in half on the diagonal. in a wide, shallow bowl, mix soy milk and cornstarch until dissolved. combine cornmeal, spices, lemon zest, and salt in another similar sized bowl.

in frying pan over medium heat, heat about 1/4” of oil. while oil is heating, bread tofu. dip each slice of tofu in the soy milk mixture and then coat in the cornmeal mixture. fry tofu for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. remove from oil and drain tofu on paper towel.

to assemble sandwiches, spread chipotle mayo on both halves of bread. layer in spinach. add your tofu. eat happily.


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