This recipe, like so many of my favorites, is really a framework to support a meal of creativity and whim. It’s different each time I make it, depending on what’s growing in the garden or what I can pull from the freezer.
It was passed along to me by a friend who got it from a friend who once cooked in the famed Athens, Ga., vegetarian restaurant, The Bluebird Cafe. Bulldog Tofu, so I’m told, was born in that very kitchen. The cafe has since closed. But the bulldog in the dish’s moniker recalls its Georgia roots.
Makes 4-6 main meal servings
- 2 cups cooked short-grain brown rice (or try forbidden rice, my new favorite)
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1 14-ounce package extra firm tofu (If you can get your hands on Twin Oaks Tofu, that’s my favorite.)
- 1-2 cups diced veggies of your choice (peppers, onions, celery, zucchini and cabbage are all good)
- 1 cup diced tomatoes, fresh, frozen or canned
- 2-3 cloves garlic, diced
- 1-2 cups diced or sliced mushrooms, any variety
- 1-2 cups chopped green, leafy vegetable (can be kale, spinach, chard)
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 cup sharp cheddar, grated
- Prepare rice.
- Cube tofu. Add butter and tofu to a medium-hot skillet. Sauté tofu until nicely browned. Set aside.
- Sauté onions and other vegetables (but not leafy greens) in skillet until they begin to soften. You may need to add more butter to the pan. Add garlic. Sauté one more minute. Add tomatoes and stir until the mixture thickens. Then add soy sauce and nutritional yeast. Stir until well mixed. Add leafy greens and cook until they just begin to wilt. Set aside.
- Sauté mushrooms in a hot, dry pan until tender. Add to the vegetable mixture.
- Assemble casserole in an 8×8 baking dish. First rice, then tofu, followed by vegetables.
- Top with grated cheese and cook in 350°F oven until the cheese is melted and all parts are well-heated.