Hey there, I missed y'all.
Five months ago, I wrote a post letting you know that I was going to take a little time to work on some non-food stuff in my life. I only intended for my blogging to be a bit light for a month or so. Two weeks later, I woke up on a weekday morning with unexpected...symptoms. I hurt, I didn't want to eat, and doing much of anything only made me feel worse.
After lots of doctor's visits and tests, four weeks ago I had a hysterectomy (and a unilateral oophorectomy - say that three times fast). I've been given a clean bill of health and I'm on the mend. I can tell I'm feeling better last week especially, because I've been buying lots of music, trying out new restaurants, and dreaming of travel this summer. I'm restless! It's a good sign.
Even though the last thing I've wanted to do the last few months is make new dishes and write about them, I've been cooking plenty. I've been making old favorites and trying variations on them. Before I had surgery, I made lots of dishes for the freezer. That way, afterward I could just thaw out something to reheat and coach Jim through making some sides for us. I make freezer-friendly food nearly every week and I usually have four or five dishes stashed away. It's especially useful to stock up when you know you're going to be unable to cook much.
Soups of all kinds freeze well, as do many casseroles. Breads to go with them also freeze beautifully, whether they're a yeast bread or a quick one leavened with baking powder, like this cornbread. This bread is adapted from a recipe I used to make almost 20 years ago. I found it in Southern Living magazine, but there are lots of versions out there, often showing up in Junior League and church cookbooks. Despite broccoli being the main ingredient, the original is hardly healthy. It owes its moist texture and rich flavor to oodles of butter and eggs. Some versions add cheese too. I was able to give my vegan version a rich texture with pureed tofu and just the right amount of canola oil, but with my first couple of attempts, the flavor was a bit thin. The third time, I added some sage. That warmed up the flavor perfectly.
I am sending this to Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Simona of Bricioli and organized by Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once.
Vegan Broccoli Cornbread
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 (14 to 16-ounce) package firm tofu, drained
1 cup plain almond milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup minced onion
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
Preheat oven to 350 F. Oil a 9 x 13-inch baking pan or 2 8 x 8-inch ones.
Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, basil and salt in a large bowl. Puree the tofu and almond milk in a blender.
Heat the oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir the oil and onion, tofu and milk , and broccoli into the dry ingredients. Spread batter in the baking pan or pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly golden on top and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Serves 8. Freezes well.