I walked to the back of the elevator, heading up to my office. A flustered young woman came on after me, pushing the button to her floor impatiently. The doors closed and we dutifully faced forward and didn’t speak.
Her back was to me and I noticed a small simple tattoo of a bird hidden behind her left ear. I debated for a few seconds if it would be weird to comment on it, if she’d rather be left alone. The lyrics from an old country song popped into my head: A kind word never goes unheard, but too often goes unsaid. Cheesy but true.
“I like your little bird tattoo,” I said, pointing at my ear.
“Oh!” She reached up to touch it, but never met my eyes. “Thanks. I sometimes forget that it’s there.”
We reached her floor and the doors opened. As she got out, she paused to say, “Thanks again. You helped me to feel a little bit better.”
I’m usually a huge fan of elevator silence. But I’m glad I spoke up this time.
Well, this is a pretty anticlimactic return to the ole blog, but for whatever reason, it inspired me. Lucky you.
I grew up on tuna salad and tuna melts and it was a major comfort food to me, and just one of my favorite things ever. I ate it at least once a week for most of my life. Several years ago at a work event, I had the opportunity to get my mercury level tested for free. I figured it would be high, but it came back at 5 times the “acceptable” high number. Eeks. I didn’t change my behavior too much at that point, but when I was ready to start a family, I went off fish and got tested again and I had brought the level to “undetectable.”
As I moved toward veganism, I knew that tuna salad was one thing I’d miss terribly. So I was thrilled to find easy peasy vegan options. This one is simplified down to the things I like best. While living in the UK for 3 years, I got into the idea of sweet corn instead of celery in the salad and still love it this way.
This was a very easy, tasty recipe I made tonight and thought I’d share. My husband wasn’t crazy about it, but what does he know? Thank you to my friend Ava who shared the recipe for the sauce. I threw the rest together with what I had handy. While it came together quickly, there are still a buttload of dishes/pots in the kitchen waiting for a fairy to come do them. Don’t be shy, dish fairy!
1 cup / 8 oz neutral oil good for high heat (I used grapeseed)
salt (I used about 2 heaping tablespoons kosher salt)
one package noodles of choice (I used some whole grain spaghetti)
one package super firm tofu (could also do seitan, tempeh, etc)
frozen peas (whatever other veg you have would likely work great, too)
dark sesame oil
soy sauce or tamari
hot sauce or red pepper flakes, optional
Put on a big pot of water and bring to boil, cook noodles according to package directions.
While you’re waiting for the boil, press the water out of the tofu. I basically do it like this, except I put some paper towels on top and under the tofu and use various canned goods as the weight. Leave it weighed down for now. Preheat your oven or convection oven to 400F or so.
Read ginger scallion sauce recipe through. Make sure you get out all of the necessary equipment and ingredients.
Now, liberate your tofu from the oppression of the weight, cut into cubes or whatever you like, and put in single layer on foil on some sort of shallow baking pan with sides. Drizzle with soy sauce/tamari and sesame oil. Pop into the oven or convection oven for 10 – 20 mins (basically, I just let it bake until I was ready to plate the dish, but keep an eye on it).
Prep the scallions and ginger according to recipe, put in big pot/bowl (I used my big stock pot) and salt to taste. He wasn’t kidding, it does taste nasty at this point.
Heat up the peas in the microwave or on the stove top in a little water.
Heat up the oil for the sauce according to recipe. Keep a close eye on it. When it seems damn hot and/or almost smoking, dump it in the huge pot with the scallion/ginger/salt mixture.
Assemble the dish: serving of noodles, top with tofu, then peas, then sauce. I used about 2 tablespoons of sauce per serving and this was probably too much as it was a bit greasy. Top with hot sauce or red pepper flakes, if desired. Gobble up.