Monday, February 22, 2010

Lenten Ginger-Miso Tofu Broccoli

Once again, I am giving up meat for Lent. I first gave up meat for Lent back in 2006, because I had been reading about how much of a toll our meat consumption takes on the earth. For most of history meat was a luxury that families would only have occasionally and if they could afford it. Now, western culture tends to consider meat the main event of any meal, even though much of the world still leaves on staples like rice and beans. Or ramen noodles and mac 'n cheese. Plus, there are ethical issues with the meat industry around the treatment of the animals and the environmental impact of factory farms and food transportation. Giving up meat is a way for me to practice self-denial in a way that honors creation, stands in solidarity with the less privileged in the world, and helps me to think about how much consumption impacts the world. And maybe I'll get around to reading a Michael Pollan book.

During the last few Lents, I have gradually gotten better at eating vegetarian without being totally unhealthy. My first year giving up meat was also my first year living on my own and working full time at church, so when I came home for dinner I was usually tired and too hungry to put much thought into food. I ended up eating a lot of boxed rice and noodles. I've improved since then, and this year I am determined to do even better. Lots of fruits and veggies. And less carbs and cheese. This weekend was a disaster in that area, what with my fact that my friends love to gorge on cheesy carbs when we hang out (and the fact that they left all of the leftovers at my house) - but this is a new week.

Tonight I made a ginger-miso tofu dressing that I found on the Food Network website. I tried a version of it a couple years ago, but this recipe is out of this world. The dressing is salty and tangy and so good that I think I might use it as a regular salad dressing. The silken tofu makes the dressing creamy and adds protein. I stir-fried some broccoli (I love stir-fried broccoli), doused it in dressing, and stirred in some more silken tofu. Delicious.

My next project will be making my own hummus - as soon as I can local some tahini.


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