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By Laura Stec

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About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Labor Day BBQ and a Food Party! Fall

Uploaded: Sep 1, 2022

Welcome back Food Partiers! I hope your summer has been fun. I have been out and about Solo Travelin’, as well as watching my business (and hopefully yours too) rise up from the Covid ashes. Back in the writer’s saddle, we’ve got stories for you from lands afar, and right next door. A couple things happening in September…

1. Next week we’ll report on a new effort by the Palo Alto Unified School District to reintroduce scratch cooking (plant-forward) back into the school lunch program. A new professional development program has begun at the district, using Iron Chef competitions to pull creativity from the staff, and build new recipes for the students. After joining forces with this noble effort, I am very proud to be involved and share progress with you.



2. After that, we’ll be a Travelin’ Solo around the high country of Idaho. The Food Party! did a month long trip out to these majestic mountains and plains, and we’ll report on places to camp, eat, visit and go WOW!, along with a review of new outdoor cooking equipment and ways to make solo trips easy and fun.



3. September finishes out with two reviews of newly opened restaurants in the hood. Care for some hand-pulled noodles from Highland Noodles in Milpitas? Maybe you’d prefer the exotic faire of Aurum, a modern Indian bistro in Los Altos?



Until then, here’s a classic recipe for your Labor Day BBQ. You can bet that at least one of your guests will be a plant-forward eater this year, if not more. Surprise them with this delicious and easy BBQ Tofu.

BBQ Tofu with Lime

1 16 oz package extra firm tofu
1 bottle your favorite BBQ sauce
2 - 3 limes, juiced

Slice the tofu into 4 slabs, place on a dry dishcloth on a flat surface like a cutting board or baking sheet. Fold the cloth over the tofu to cover or place another cloth on top. Top with another flat surface and a weight, like a big bag of flour or a few jars, and press the tofu for 20 minutes, removing excess water. This is an important step to lend the correct “meaty” texture to your tofu. Don’t skip it, especially if your tofu is sold soaking in water.




While pressing, mix your BBQ sauce with the lime. The juice “wakes up” the bottled sauce, giving it a fresher flavor profile.

Remove tofu from the towels; puncture with a fork, and cover with marinade. Best to let sit overnight but give it at least an hour of marinating if you have time.

Preheat grill. Remove tofu from the marinade and place over medium heat. Low-ish and slow is best for tofu because it gives time to caramelize the outside (without burning) and dehydrate the tofu even more, creating a lovely meaty texture. Try for 10 minutes per side at least, flipping only once if possible. Look for the grill marks before flipping. BBQ Tofu is also delicious the next day, so make plenty.







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Comments

Posted by Lateisha Tolliver, a resident of East Palo Alto,
on Sep 1, 2022 at 1:39 pm

Lateisha Tolliver is a registered user.

We prefer spareribs and chicken on the summer grill.

Tofu is not very popular among African Americans and never will be...no different than white folks disdaining a plate of savory chitlins.


Posted by Estelle Steinman, a resident of Community Center,
on Sep 2, 2022 at 8:08 am

Estelle Steinman is a registered user.

Laura...
Speaking of tofu, have you ever tried or cooked with tofu chorizo?

Some people say that tofu chorizo tastes as good as the traditional Spanish/Mexican pork offerings.


Posted by Jim Takamoto, a resident of Downtown North,
on Sep 2, 2022 at 10:45 am

Jim Takamoto is a registered user.

Most (white) people cannot differentiate authentic all-natural tofu from the common pasteurized stuff commonly sold in supermarkets.

Japanese tofu is soft and spoils quickly. It is often eaten cold/raw with a dash of shoyu (soy sauce).

The firmer, commercialized tofu is best suited for cooking (stir fry, grilling etc.) and no self-respecting Japanese person grills hot tofu on a Weber kettle.

The San Jose Tofu Company in Japan town (San Jose) is the only place where one can purchase the real deal.

Trendy does not equate to knowledgeable.


Posted by Cheyenne Willows, a resident of another community,
on Sep 2, 2022 at 3:09 pm

Cheyenne Willows is a registered user.

I was raised on tofu as an infant and all the way through adolescence. Steamed rice and vegetables complimented our meals.

Until I was 19, I had never tasted any form of meat in my entire life and the one time I did...at an In and Out Burger, I grew deathly ill.

Beans, rice, tofu, and veggies are my 'go to' in terms of dining + plenty of fresh in season) fruit.

No dairy either as true vegans do not compromise when it comes to resisting all meat and dairy products.


Posted by Julie Prescott, a resident of Community Center,
on Sep 3, 2022 at 1:54 pm

Julie Prescott is a registered user.

Tofu hot dogs don't cut it. They cannot be inserted with a stick to roast over an open fire or used in making corn dogs.

The darn things fall off the stick and into the coals or the corn meal batter.

Getting real sausages at Ditmer's is a far better choice.


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