Mar 26
2010

Revolution Tofu Curry

in Book Reviews, Eggs & Tofu, Main Course, Recipes by Type

I love cookbooks and I own an embarrassing number of them.  For the most part though, I don’t actually cook from cookbooks.  I use them as inspiration and resources for research.  There are a few, however, that stay on a special shelf, because not only are they wonderful sources of information, but because they are the few cookbooks that I actually consistently use recipes from.  Up until recently there were just five of them: Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen, by Elizabeth Andoh, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, by Jaden Hair, Mr. Fuji’s grandmother’s cookbook that she gave to each granddaughter (or granddaughter-in-law in my case!) when she got married, and a cookbook put together my mom’s extended family a few years ago of all the family favorites.  There are now six cookbooks on that shelf.  The newest addition is Jamie’s Food Revolution, by Jamie Oliver.  I recently received a copy of the book to review.  I’m always excited to look at a new cookbook, and started to flip through this one with the same excitement I would any other cookbook.  But I found myself slowing down and being drawn in by the pictures and then the recipes that went with those pictures.  All I could think was, “Wow. I cannot wait to go cook something out of this book!”  The thought struck me that if I handed this cookbook to Mr. Fuji, he might actually be just as excited by those pictures and recipes as I was.  Mr. Fuji is no cookbook fanatic, but he loves a good meal, and I predicted that in those pages he would see the promise of some great meals.  I was right.  When he got home from work that evening, I casually handed him the book and asked him to flip through it and tell me what he thought.  I’m sure he was mentally rolling his eyes, but he opened up the book and started to turn some of the pages.  I saw his attitude go from humoring me to looking really hungry.  The same thing has happened with every person I’ve handed the book to.

Jamie's Food Revolution

Since that moment, I’ve made several of the recipes and they have not been a disappointment.  They have been delicious and comforting meals that our whole family has enjoyed.  This excites me, because this cookbook isn’t just a cookbook, it’s a call to action.  Jamie Oliver wrote the book after being inspired by all the people he’s met “who thought they could never and would never learn how to cook.”  This cookbook is part of his declaration that it’s time for a revolution.  He writes,

“[W]e have a modern-day war on our hands now, and it’s over the epidemic of bad health and rise of obesity.  The question is, do we wait until it’s too late, or do we do something about it now?  I say we do something about it now.  I’ve been told that fewer than a third of Americans cook their dinners from scratch these days.  And although 75 percent of people in the United States eat most of their meals at home, much like us Brits, over half of those dinners are fast food, delivery, or takeout! Regardless of recessions and credit crunches, we all need to know how to cook simple, nutritious, economical,  tasty, and hearty food.  And once we’ve got this knowledge, we should pass it on through friends, family, and the workplace to keep that cycle of knowledge alive.” (p.9)

He goes on to ask that we get personally involved in passing it on by teaching at least 2 people how to cook some of the recipes you know (or learn from his book), and then get those people to promise to pass it on.  The book has a bit of everything in it—20-minute meals, pastas, salads, stews, vegetable side dishes, breakfasts, and sweet things too.

Squirrel loves her curry

But this is not just a cookbook—it is part of a bigger picture.  After a recent report put out by the US government that was filled with statistics on the obesity epidemic in the US, Jamie decided that there was something he could do.  He was especially struck by the statement that today’s generation of children are predicted to be the first which will die at a younger age than their parents due to obesity-related bad health.  Jamie’s response?  He has started a campaign here in the US to get people “back in touch with food and keep cooking skills alive before it’s too late.”  He is focusing his efforts on helping our children.  Part of his campaign is going towards changing the school lunch program.  He states, “We want to make sure every kid gets good, fresh food at school.  It’s proven that real food promotes more effective learning.”  His words remind me of a quote by Frederick Douglass, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”  No matter how cliché the statement is, it is true that we are the present, but our children are the future.  What kind of future have we given them if we are dooming so many of them to health problems.  We have the tools to change that—we have the tools to build strong children so that they may have a strong and healthy future.  I encourage you to get involved.

Jamie’s website contains a wealth of information on what is being done and what you can do to get involved.  I would encourage you to go and sign his petition that will be going to President Obama on these issues.  You can also watch his show, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, to see him in action (the show starts tonight, but the sneak peak episode can be watched online).

Sign the Food Revolution Petition

I know that for the most part, I’m preaching to the choir here.  If you weren’t already cooking meals for your family you probably wouldn’t be reading my blog.  But that means that we have a greater responsibility to get involved by passing it on, because we are part of the group with the tools and knowledge.  I’m inspired daily by many of the moms I know who are doing things like baking bread for the families or making sure that there is a homemade meal on the table, no matter how simple.  I am inspired by fellow food bloggers who are making efforts to pass on their knowledge to our children, like my friend Mardi, who teaches at a school in Canada, and has started a special program at her school to teach kids basic cooking skills.  These are people who recognize the importance of healthy eating and cooking skills and are actively involved in fighting the same depressing statistics that spurred Jamie Oliver to action.  What are you going to do about it?

To do my small part, I am passing on one of Jamie’s recipes to you.  This is a wonderful easy recipe for curry sauce that can be served with whatever protein you’d like.  I chose to serve it with tofu, but it would be just as delicious with chicken, fish, or whatever other meat you’ve got on hand.  Pass it on!

Revolution Tofu Curry

Print This Recipe

Revolution Tofu Curry

Adapted from Very Simple Curry, p. 271, Jamie’s Food Revolution

Serves 4

6 scallions
large bunch of fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 heaped teaspoons curry powder
1 tablespoon butter
2 cans (14-ounces each) coconut milk
sea salt
juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
15 ounces extra firm tofu, patted dry and cut into 1-inch cubes

1. Finely slice the scallions and finely chop the cilantro.

2. Put a pan over low heat and add the olive oil.  Sprinkle the curry powder over the oil and the scallions.  Stir everything together and then add the butter.  Continue to stir and cook for 20 to 30 seconds more.  When it’s all bubbling, add the coconut milk.  Bring everything to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 2 minutes.  Finish the sauce by seasoning it to taste with salt and then stir in the cilantro and lemon juice.

3. In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the sesame oil.  When it is hot (it is ready if a drop of cool water sizzles when it is dropped into the pan), add the tofu.  Let the tofu brown, and then toss and continue to brown the tofu on all sides.  When it is browned, turn off the heat and serve the tofu with the curry sauce over rice.

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria March 26, 2010 at 10:34 am

I am so excited for Jamie’s show. I already signed his petition too. Such a great project/cause! I am loving your recipe too. You have the best tofu recipes!

Reply

Fuji Mama (Rachael) March 26, 2010 at 1:42 pm

@Maria, Thanks Maria!

Reply

Tina @ Squirrel Acorns March 26, 2010 at 10:44 am

Thanks for the heads-up on the show. I’m going to go set my DVR. It’s funny because just this morning, my older son missed his bus. So, since I had to drive him to school, he got to stay at home for an extra 30 minutes. I was in the middle of making waffles (I freeze them), and he wanted to help me. He’s not usually interested in helping me cook even though I always encourage them to work with me. He was stirring waffle batter and he exclaimed, “I’m learning to cook!” I think passing these skills along to our own children is one of the best and easiest things that we can all do.

Reply

Lyndsey March 26, 2010 at 11:00 am

I have a cookbook collection that i use the same way you do. I don’t actually cook from them. It’s nice getting your list of the one you do use. Of course I have and use Steamy Kitchen, been twittering with her for awhile and she’s a local celebrity, she was on the cover of our local paper (food and wine pullout) ,

Now on to the school lunches. I work at an elementary school, and our school board works hard to make them fresh and nutritious, and with in the government guidelines. I think it should go back to the parents to take the time to teach it to there kids, because if they don’t get it at home, they are not going to carry it over to school. Even if when they do offer healthy choices at school, they won’t choose it.

I have always packed my daughter a healthy lunch(you should see what some of them bring for lunch), and made healthy meals from day one. She never ate candy or Mc Donalds for the first few years of her life. She won’t eat burgers, and she always has to make sure she gets veggies with her meal. She like several kinds of vegetables, fruits, sushi, tofu, etc…but she also likes ice cream, and mac & cheese.

I would love to pass on some of his recipes, and maybe even see if I can set up something at my school to teach some of the kids to cook. It might be what they need at home to make their parents step up!

Sorry to go on about this, Thanks for letting me vent here,( you don’t have to post it). I’m off to look for his book!

Reply

Fuji Mama (Rachael) March 26, 2010 at 11:10 am

@Lyndsey, Thank you for your fabulous comment Lyndsey! I think you are right—education really needs to start in the home!

Reply

Lyndsey March 26, 2010 at 11:02 am

Your daughter is too cute. How could you not smile with her around everyday! Give her a hug for us!

Reply

sherry March 26, 2010 at 11:03 am

YES! This is such a huge issue and it is hopefully going to turn an en of “order up” Mothers to learn to cook with fresh nutrient packed protein & veggies. I am sending this recipe on to my daughter in laws (they are going to love it?) Actually one of them does cook beautiful Vegan fare.

Reply

Fuji Nana March 26, 2010 at 12:07 pm

I believe Jamie Oliver is also on Oprah this afternoon. Might be worth a watch!

Reply

Fuji Mama (Rachael) March 26, 2010 at 1:43 pm

@Fuji Nana, Thanks for the heads up!

Reply

Sara March 26, 2010 at 12:09 pm

I’ve heard so many good things about this cookbook and I’m so glad that this issue is being brought up more and more. “Convenience” is ruling alot of lives right now and we need to get to our food and to the table.

Reply

Shannie B March 26, 2010 at 1:14 pm

We are huge Jamie Oliver fans in this household. We’ve been very firm in providing home cooked meals and not relying on food out of a box or take-away container. Our newest challenge is to eliminate high fructose corn syrup from what little prepared items we do actually use.

Now my question for you is, would you think the curry would taste just as wonderful if I subbed soy milk/almond milk/skim milk for the coconut? I’ve an insane allergy, much to my dismay.

Reply

Fuji Mama (Rachael) March 26, 2010 at 1:45 pm

@Shannie B, Shannie, yes you could substitute another type of milk! The sauce won’t be quite as thick, but it will still taste wonderful! You could always add some pureed tofu to thicken the sauce a bit, or use another thickener that you like!

Reply

Steve March 26, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Rachael I’ve not been here in a while and I love the new look of your site, well done.

I continue to believe that bad health and poor eating habits start at home and not in school. We are a generation removed from good home cooking skills and our fast paced two income life style has gotten more and more people into processed food. I guess it seemed convenient at the time but now people are paying the price for poor choices.

I’ve learned some good skill and technique and am now passing them onto my daughters. It’s amazing if the parent has confidence and ability kids can and will learn anything. Having ownership in making dinner has always made getting them to try something new easier. I don’t think many parents will have given their five year old a 6″ Kasumi chef’s knife like I have but after learning how to handle a knife properly after over a year my now 6 year old has never had an accident. She knows so many principles about cooking I didn’t learn till I was 40.

I believe a revolution in food is very necessary but passing on recipes to people with little or no cooking skill is only the first step. Let’s get them in the kitchen and cooking, that’s important but let’s start talking technique because then you can cook anything. Teach someone a recipe and they’ll get good at that recipe, teach them the techniques required to execute that recipe and they’ll start to experiment with different flavor profiles and really cook.

Reply

Fuji Mama (Rachael) March 26, 2010 at 3:10 pm

@Steve, Thanks Steve! I agree whole heartedly. Of course passing on a few recipes isn’t going to be enough, and there needs to be technique that goes with those recipes. My post is just the tip of the iceberg!

Reply

redkathy March 26, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Oh my gosh what a wonderful post. Yes yes we need to pass it on!!! I had the opportunity to take in a female family teen some years ago. You know a wild child. Anyhow, I attempted to teach her to cook, clean, and shop. She is married now and has a toddler.Guess what, she didn’t HAVE TO get married. She tells her friends that she learned about family, acquired her values, cooking skills, and frugal ways from living with me, the wicked witch! She was grounded more than half of the time she lived with me.

And Lyndsey, she hit the nail on the head! The schools should not be the first example for our children. All learning starts in the home, from day one!

Your little girl is obviously happy, healthy, and very lucky to have a mom like you!

Reply

Fuji Mama (Rachael) March 26, 2010 at 3:11 pm

@redkathy, Thank goodness for parents/parental figures in our lives (like you!) that know how important examples are in a child’s life!

Reply

Gaelle@whatareyoufeedingyourkidsthesedays.com March 26, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I really enjoyed reading this post and the comments. I am a strong believer of involving children in the kitchen from the very first age! Helping them acquire new tastes, new skills, a curiosity of new things. “My if-they-cook-it, they’ll eat it” theory!! And, like Jamie Oliver stresses it, it does not have to be “fancy”.
However, I do believe that schools should be more involved. Why? Because, learning related/similar things from a different adult will only emphasize its importance. Also, because the peer pressure has a strong impact on children’ willingness to try new things (” my eat-by-example theory”.) France, where I am from originally, has made school lunches a priority not only to fight obesity but also to educate children about food. Yes, it costs $$$ money but it’s a national priority. Schools tag along the national weeks of “the week of the taste”, have cooking classes, etc.. And it’s not a surprise that Jamie Oliver started his revolution in the public schools in England as well.
If you want to read an American’s reaction to the French lunch program, I encourage you to read the article listed on my blog on US vs France school lunch.
http://whatareyoufeedingyourkidsthesedays.blogspot.com/2010/03/school-lunch-france-vs-us.html

Reply

Fuji Mama (Rachael) March 26, 2010 at 3:33 pm

@Gaelle@whatareyoufeedingyourkidsthesedays.com, Thank you Gaelle! I really appreciate your comment. I’m glad someone weighed in on the school issue from another viewpoint!

Reply

Missy J March 26, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Sounds like that book was written for ME – the girl who once set a pitcher of orange juice on fire! I most definitely need to check this out.

Reply

Meg T March 26, 2010 at 8:33 pm

I am so excited for this recipe! Thanks.

Reply

marla {family fresh cooking} March 26, 2010 at 9:51 pm

I love everything that Jamie Oliver is inspiring through his Food Revolution. I recently posted about his endeavors as well & I signed the petition. I need to get a copy of this book, I have thumbed through it before. I hope that my blog also encourages folks to get into their kitchens…I know you inspire me to keep at it! The curry looks wonderful and your little girl is precious!

Reply

mary c. March 27, 2010 at 8:37 am

Your picture is gorgeous and so is your daughter. :)

Do you think I could substitute cut up boneless, skinless chicken breast?

I am not a tofu lover, per se.

Thanks…

Reply

Ali @ Fat to Fit March 27, 2010 at 10:41 am

Can’t wait to try this recipe….it’s not pork on a spit, but it still looks fabulous :)

Reply

edyB March 27, 2010 at 11:21 am

I’ve been a “Jamie” fan for years and his latest efforts are BIG … we hope he can make a small dent in this huge problem. Hopefully it will be a wakeup call.
Thanks for posting about the Revolution!

Reply

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction March 27, 2010 at 4:56 pm

I have to admit that I’m not much of a curry fan… I have tried it countless times, but it’s just not something I’m into. I am really excited about Jamie’s new show, though… I recorded it last night and still need to watch it! I will definitely have to check out the cookbook… While I don’t yet have kids, I really think that changing the way America eats needs to start with kids and it’s long overdue!

Reply

penny aka jeroxie March 27, 2010 at 11:29 pm

I love Jamie and love what he is doing. I want to do my part too!

Reply

Divina March 27, 2010 at 11:33 pm

Thanks for the recipe. I don’t have his book yet. Still on a budget. I’ve been wanting to sign the petition but I realized I need a US postal code. :) Your daughter is adorable. I have a friend in Vancouver, Canada who is teaching children how to cook healthy meals. She started it about 3 years ago.

Reply

Quyen March 28, 2010 at 1:06 am

Rachel!

It was soooo good to meet you today! Sad we didn’t have that much time to talk. Your blog looks great! I’m watching the Food Revolution too and have signed his petition! What a great cause. Take care and hope to see or talk to you soon!

–quyen

Reply

Sarah, Maison Cupcake March 29, 2010 at 8:15 am

Am watching with interest to see how Jamie is received in the US. There’s no getting away from him over here! Tofu curry looks wonderful, I even have some in the fridge so might try something like this later.

Reply

Gastronomer March 30, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Vernon made this for dinner last night thanks to your recipe! I enjoyed the leftovers for lunch today. We added in bell peppers and sugar snap peas for extra fiber ;-)

Reply

Liz - Meal Makeover Mom March 30, 2010 at 4:53 pm

What a great review of Jamie’s cookbook. I look forward to getting a copy. I watched his show on Friday night and I’m hooked. Between Oliver and Obama, the national conversation is finally turning (in a big way) to finding solutions to childhood obesity. For years, I worked with my local school food service director (and the school administration) to revamp the school lunches, and at first, I was a lone voice (and boy, did I ruffle feathers). This was when my oldest son was in 4th grade — now he’s in 9th grade. Thankfully, the momentum for better school food as well as better meals at home is building. I have always believed that moms and dads have more power than realize. By cooking healthy meals at home, choosing healthy foods at the supermarket, and deciding whether or not to send their kids to school with lunch money, parents have a major influence over what their children eat. Of course, the kids who qualify for free and reduced school lunches have no choice … so the more voices heard re: revamping school meals with more fruits, veggies, whole grains and less processed foods, the better.

Reply

Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite April 4, 2010 at 5:57 am

How funny that you should post this and as I read your post, I have that book open on the floor next to my desk, wondering whether to make a curry or a stirfry with the cooking club next week…

Reply

Kathleen April 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm

This sounds really delicious. I love that you used tofu as your protein. I’m trying to incorporate more low fat proteins that taste great!

Reply

Allison @ Simple Spice April 5, 2010 at 5:56 pm

I just found your blog, and love it! I am a huge believer in Jaime Oliver’s “Food Revolution” and have become a such a fan of his new show. I’ve recently started a blog, and would love to post one his recipes. Do you mind if I give this one a try? Of course, I will site your blog :) Keep up the great work!!!

Reply

Tiffany April 6, 2010 at 5:18 pm

So happy to find this recipe! Exactly what I was craving and so easy! I made mine with Basmati rice…perfect dinner!

Reply

lane September 12, 2010 at 2:00 pm

I just made this and it turned out a bit too runny. I added some a little starch but that didn’t do anything. I was scared to add more as I did not want it to start to taste too starchy. I made it for lunch for the week. I am hoping that as it cools it will thicken.

any ideas as to what I did?

thanks-

Reply

cindy October 2, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Looks great but … what type of curry powder? So many to choose from! Thanks.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: