He cooks with dried brans, grains and rice. A lot. I buy those frozen 3-miunte organic brown rice bags and canned beans.
He features recipes with 10 spices apiece. I cook with salt, peper, garlic, and maybe some cinnamon or cumin if I'm feeling daring.
He pulls out 3 pots or pans for every recipe; I have a tiny little kitchen with a tiny little stovetop. And I hate cleaning.
In other words, I earmarked a bunch of recipes, but never felt like I had time or energy to make them...reading not eating out of my cookbook.
Until I realized that there was no reason I couldn't approach his recipes the same way I do any other: As a guideline. In fact, Bryant encourages that in his book!
I did have a block of tofu and some fresh spinach in the house, so my first recipe was the Saag Tofu.
No, I did not have any mustard seed (or even turmeric) in the house. But once the marinade for the roasted tofu got liquidy, I added actual mustard.
And here's my big confession: I didn't pre-blanch the spinach!! I just tossed it in the skillet raw with the chiles, onion and garlic after they had cooked a bit and cooked it that way.
Does this casual, OK, lazy, approach always work? Well, I do think next time I will cook with unsweetened rice milk, not soy milk (the soy has a more distinct flavor, which wasn't bad, but probably wasn't as authentic as it could have been). And I do intend to go buy some turmeric...one should have some, don't you think?
But my S.O., who always claims not to like cooked spinach, only raw, really really liked this dish. As did I.
Also: The roasted tofu tossed in marinade then roasted on parchment paper for 30 minutes in the over. IT IS TO DIE FOR. Crispy outside, soft inside, and oh so flavorful.
I may just cook a block of tofu every other night with that approach. Truly, WOW.
Here's the picture: