Tuesday, March 12, 2013

In Which My Dad Eats His Tofu

Something amazing has come to pass: My dad ate tofu. When I first became vegan (12+ years ago), my dad pretty much turned his nose up at everything I cooked - even cookies and birthday cakes. Since that time, I've become a pretty capable home cook (if I do say so myself), and he has really come a long way. He enjoys my sweeties, and most of my cooking, he is still often skeptical of my creations. The word "vegan" still seems to evoke a dark shadow of suspicion over whatever is being served. Ha! I love my dad like crazy, but this is just the way it is. 

So, the other night, I really wanted to invite my parents over for dinner. We hadn't seen them in a little while, and there was a lot to catch up on. The problem was, I had already planned and bought the stuff for a tofu-based dinner. I wasn't sure about this, but I decided to forge ahead - with some tasty side dishes in case he rejected the tofu. The whole plan was made even more daring by the fact that I was making a recipe I'd never tried before. Ha ha - I am such a risk-taker! 

Broiled Tofus on Shallot-White wine Sauce, Quinoa Saffron Pilaf, Roasted Cauliflower

Well, guess what happened?? I served the dinner (which was very delicious, thankfully), and my dad ate it right up, with no fuss or hesitation or commentary! Dreams do come true! Buoyed by this joyful event, my mom even served my dad tofu two nights later, and he happily ate it up. Very exciting!

As for the dinner? It was great. I made Kermit's Relief and Quinoa Saffron Pilaf - both recipes from 30 Minute Vegan Taste of Europe - and a side of Roasted Cauliflower. Supposedly this "Kermit's Relief" is a tofu version of frog legs, which makes me uncomfortable just to think about it... so I just thought of them as "broiled tofus." The tofus are coated with a thick, noochy "marinade," and then broiled in the oven. They come out crispy, chewy, and covered in flavor. Also, that bed of Shallot-White Wine sauce they're served over is AMAZING. Next time I will make twice as much sauce. It was just delicious and complimented the tofus perfectly. I actually really loved this dish. The quinoa was nothing too flashy, but it was yummy and a good balance to the meal. And of course, roasted cauliflower is always perfect no matter the time of day.

All in all, it was a great meal, a great evening with my parents, and a great victory for tofu!

Any vegan victories in your life lately? 


  1. This is a great story! I have a similar problem with my boyfriend's dad. When I try to get him to try tofu he says "i've already tried it before" well he's tried chicken before too, but when he gets offered a bite at dinner he never says no! he just freaks out at the word "vegetarian". I wrote a little story on my blog about the thanksgiving I spent there. I made a stuffing (using the croutons, water and butter) and his daughter made a stuffing (with the same croutons, chicken broth, and onions) and he REFUSED to even taste mine because it was labeled "vegetarian". funny thing is, there were NO veggies in mine, but there were veggies in the other one. It really hurt my feelings, but i'm happy for your vegan win! I did manage to get his grandparents to try tofu and they liked it! That's only a small win, since they keep trying to convince me that shrimp and chicken are vegetarian foods. *sigh*

  2. Yay! Great story, go Dad!

  3. [ Smiles ] Well, you're much better at your vegan cooking and your dad knows it.

    Lovely article!

  4. Aww, so heartwarming! This is just like the time when I miraculously convinced my dad that Brussels sprouts are not evil, and started him on the path of sprout appreciation. It's so gratifying to win over the haters. ;)

  5. Oooh that tofu looks perfect and how awesome that you fed your dad tofu! I am nowhere near there with my dad yet but last time I saw him he said he was interested in going to a veggie restaurant he'd read a review of as long as it served cheese. Baby steps!

  6. Tip for those who are trying to make inroads in resistant/picky eaters: enlist the endorsement of credible third party "experts." Amey's dad is actually much more open to vegetarian & vegan fare now that Mark Bittman of New York Times fame has largely moved in this direction. Also, Ottolenghi's vegetarian fare has a definite cachet and stamp of approval that seems to make it instantly OK. Just sayin'.

  7. I was very confused about the name Kermit's Relief until you explained, haha! The tofus sound really delicious, and hooray for your dad for giving it a try! I'm really interested in the 30 minute taste of books, dinner in under 30 minutes has been the name of the game lately.


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