Let’s talk about let-downs.
Jarrod and I have been following our New Years Resolution to cook more at home and we are loving it. Every day I tease him about being a “salad guy” at work because he’s always so proud of bringing in a big, colourful salad full of tomatoes and zucchini and carrots and greens. Then at night we come home and usually have a nice big grain and veggie bowl, or some soup for our souls.
But the past couple weekends have been a bit stressful — Jarrod’s train club had its winter open-house two weekends in a row which meant that I didn’t really get to see him all weekend, including on the long weekend.
Missing Jarrod on weekends is hard. We are both so busy during the week that our weeknights together end up being pretty quiet, but we love taking walks, making food and going on dates during the weekend. So on the third day of Family Day weekend, we decided that Jarrod would leave his train show early and we’d go to Bloomer’s for a limited-time special they were hosting — eggplant “fish” and chips.
Jar’s British, so as you can imagine, he was pretty excited for the idea.
So excited, in fact, that we forgot to check the time that Bloomer’s was open until. After about a half-hour subway ride, we emerged from the underground to find Bloomer’s in darkness, having closed before we even left our place. With no one to blame but ourselves, all we could do was laugh all the way back home.
Fortunately, when you have a well-stocked fridge and a good imagination, there’s no telling what you can and can’t do. Could we make a facsimile for breaded fish and chips? Well, not quite yet. But we did manage to pull together an easy, slightly “fishy” flavoured tofu filet and a classic purple ‘slaw to make what I’m calling “fish-ish” tacos without the heavy breading. I’ll leave that to Bloomer’s!
Fish-ish tacos with two-minute slaw
Prep time: 20 minutes passive (tofu pressing), 10 minutes active
Cook time: 10 minutes
Yield: Four tacos
Allergen info: Nut-free, gluten-free (depending on choice of taco wraps)
Alternate options: For a grain-free option, use lettuce wraps instead of wheat or corn tortillas
Kitchen tools required: Knives and cutting board, mixing bowl, frying pan and spatula
- 2/3 of a block firm or extra-firm tofu
- 7.5 ml (1/2 tbsp) onion powder
- 0.62 ml (1/4 tbsp) kelp granules
- Dash of Old Bay seasoning (optional)
- One lemon, cut into wedges
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) shredded carrot
- 250 ml (1 cup) finely sliced purple cabbage
- One shallot, finely chopped
- Scant 63 ml (1/4 cup) vegan mayonnaise
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Press the tofu (about 20 minutes) and slice into eight “nuggets” down the short side of the block.
- Rub the tofu lightly with a lemon wedge.
- Sprinkle on the onion powder, salt and pepper, kelp granules and Old Bay Seasoning if using.
- Cook in a frying pan over medium-high heat using only a bit of oil for five minutes per side or until golden and crispy.
- Make the slaw: thinly slice the cabbage and grate the carrots, toss with the chopped shallot and mix thoroughly with vegan mayonnaise and salt and pepper.
- Assemble the tacos — two tofu nuggets per taco, a generous heaping of slaw and whatever else you feel like. We added avocados and cilantro, but get creative!
You want my advice? Enjoy this on a patio if you’re one of the lucky Torontonians experiencing above-10-degree weather! Okay, bring a sweater, but still — don’t let these sunny days pass you by!