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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Sunday, October 30, 2005


Vegan when I wanna be

When I attended Chico State in the mid 80s (yes, I'm that old), it was considered cool to be a vegetarian. Most of us dabbled in the elusive art of eating only veggies and dairy products, me included. But I didn't stay vegetarian long. It wasn't that I minded the food restrictions, per se; I simply didn't have either the conviction or the money to make the lifestyle choice a permanent one. Instead, I became--as my friends and I liked to call ourselves--an opportunity eater. If there was an opportunity to eat, I did. Vegetables, meat, fruit, free bagels from my roommate that worked at Oy Vey Bagel Cafe, free burritos from my friend that worked at Speedy Burrito: I ate what I could get, especially if I could get it for free.

And I grew large.

(Oh, wait, I grew large from the beer; I was an opportunity drinker, too.)

Since college, I have sometimes thought that I wouldn't mind becoming a vegan or even a raw foodist (is that what they call themselves?), but then I catch a whiff of barbequed tri-tip or see a plate of fried calamari and I know that I could never be anything but what I am: a gal who loves food and who loves to eat; a true opportunity eater. Oh well, I guess that's why I'll never loose that extra 10 (err, 20) pounds I picked up in college. C'est la vie.

Here's a great meal that I whipped up the other night. Oh, and besides falling under the category of delicious, it also happens to fall under the category of vegan. Go figure. There might be hope for me yet.

Veggies in Coconut Curry Sauce over Basmati Rice


2 handfuls broccoli florets, broken into bite sized pieces
2 handfuls cauliflower florets, broken into bite sized pieces
1 handful tiny tomatoes
1/2 white onion, diced
1/2 pound extra firm tofu, cut into bite sized chunks
1 15 oz. container of Maya Kaimal's Indian Coconut Curry Sauce <--- the secret ingredient!*
Basmati rice (enough for 2-4 servings)

1. In rice cooker or on stovetop, start basmati rice.
2. In large skillet over medium heat, mix first six ingredients. Don't worry if mixture looks thick; the cooking of the vegetables will add water to it.
3. Cover and cook for approximately 20 minutes or until the veggies are tender.
4. Serve veggies in sauce over the basmati rice.

Yum, yum, yum, yum, delicioso!

Serves 2 opportunity eaters or 4 vegans.


* You can buy Maya Kaimal's Indian Coconut Curry Sauce at your local Whole Foods or other natural foods grocery store. I found it in the refrigerated section by the fresh pastas and sauces. Or, you can order it online at It's yummy! And vegan!