Tofu Squash Taco Scramble – and POPCORN!!!!


Hi Everyone, Jess here.  Since Halloween my kitchen has remained a venerable whirlwind of activity. I’ve been busy sorting cranberries, thawing beef bones, using my shiny new Vitamix (my 40th birthday present) with wild abandon, and popping the most tastily satisfying popcorn of my life.  Where to start?  I’ll try to pace myself as we have a few weeks before the Winter CSA starts up and I don’t want to chew your ear off all at once.  Instead, I’ll chew on this.

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Here was my Meatless Monday concoction, which even my Nan (a skeptic of all things not involving meat) enjoyed! It is simple and an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink sort of dish. Unfortunately this is the only photo I took of the cooking process, but I’ll break down the recipe at the bottom of this post.  If you’re looking for a tasty way to use some of the winter squash, look no further!  Today I used one small dumpling and a small delicata (no peeling required).  This recipe is easily adaptable to use meat if you prefer, or other CSA veggies you might have on hand.

In the meantime, I wanted to continue the epic saga of the popcorn.  Last we left off, Sarah had a cob in the woods after the microwave attempt and I had finally gotten a couple of kernels to pop after drying half of a cob out in the oven (not before burning up about 1/2 a cob during experimentation myself- the squirrels love me today!)  

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I had let this cob sit in the oven overnight with the door open. The oven was off but still hot from making dinner. I also added a second cob to the rack after taking this photo (and testing to find that the dried out kernels were in fact popping).

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The next morning, here was the cob-and-a-half worth of corn kernels, which were much more easily removable from the cob than were the undried cobs.

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I heated about 1/3 cup of coconut oil (canola would work too- something with a high smoke point) and tossed in a few kernels while shaking the pan over medium heat. When those kernels popped successfully, I quickly and carefully whipped them out of the pan and added a few more kernels before covering and shaking. Within a couple of minutes, I got this (and it was still popping as I snapped the photo).

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This was the best popcorn. The texture was… really nice.  As a CSA blogger, I must apologize that the right word is escaping me.  The popcorn was lacking that styrofoam quality of conventional popcorn. The crunch was more substantial in a totally good way. It was “fresh” popcorn like I’ve never had. I ate the whole bowl with nothing on it.

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As with any popcorn, there were a few that half-popped, but these junior poppers were the best! With conventional popcorn, half-popped kernels usually are way too hard to eat. These kernels were not only edible but scrumptious and with a really good texture, much less crunchy than you’d think.  They are a snack all their own!

Back to the recipe of the day.  Enjoy and see you tomorrow!  

Tofu Squash Taco Scramble
 
A super flexible recipe, change it up as you see fit (the winter squash in this is great, though!) I find the longer and better you drain your tofu, the better the texture. Canned tomatoes and frozen corn from the summer are great for this, but if you don't have any, a 14 ounce can works, too. If for whatever reason the tomatoes & salsa aren't providing enough liquid for the simmer, you can add a splash of water, cooking wine or stock, but just a splash as the veggies will release water during cooking. This makes great leftovers, too!
Ingredients
  • 1 package tofu, drained well and cubed into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 3-ish cups winter squash, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 pint jar of diced tomatoes, including liquid
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cups of cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups of corn kernels
  • 1 medium bell pepper, diced
  • 1½ tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ cup salsa (mild medium or hot to taste)
  • optional extras
  • corn tortillas
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
  • extra salsa
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add cubes of squash to a sprayed and rimmed cookie sheet. Roast until tender, about 20 minutes, with some shaking and turning along the way to ensure no burning.
  2. In a large pot, heat 1 tsp of the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender. Remove from the pot and set aside.
  3. Add more oil to the pot and heat. Add your tofu to the pot and stir until starting to brown. Add in the chili powder and cumin and continue to stir for about 1 minute. Once things settle add in the tomatoes and stir up to loosen any sticky bits of tofu and such from the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add in the remaining ingredients (hopefully your squash is ready to also add at this point, but add whenever it's ready and you should be good) and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Serve on corn tortillas with sour cream, cheese, and extra salsa as desired.

 


About Jess

Jess Anderson is the creator of CSA|365 and is passionate about the local food movement. A long time member of Springdell and a busy mother of two, Jess loves keeping her family fed by honest local food.

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