Tuesday, May 5, 2009


No, these wolves aren't having dinner! I just took a break from working on painting these wolves to make this dinner for Boris and me.

Baked Tofu Dinner

This mixture of tastes and textures hits the perfect balance. When you eat it, you'll feel balanced, too!

1/2 cup short grain brown rice
1/2 cup hulled barley (with the bran intact)
Sprinkle of salt
1 1/2 cups water (if you're using a pressure cooker) or
2 cups water (if you're cooking grain by traditional method)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 dried shiitake mushrooms soaked in 1/2 cup hot water for about 15 minutes, sliced (save the
water you used for soaking)
1 cup fresh asparagus, cut up
1 cup fresh dark greens such as kale or collards, chopped
Sprinkle of salt and pepper
8 oz. package teriyaki or other flavor baked tofu
1/2 ripe avocado, sliced
10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Rinse rice/barley mixture and drain. Bring salted water to a boil, cook grain according to your preferred method.
In a skillet with a lid, saute garlic in the olive oil on medium high heat until it just starts to brown at the edges. Add vegetables and water from shiitake mushrooms. Cover skillet and let vegetables cook until tender for about 8 to 12 minutes, adding more water as necessary.
While vegetables cook, place tofu on pan sprayed with Pam or other cooking spray oil and broil until lightly browned.
Put the cooked grain on your plate, with your vegetables and tofu arranged around the sides, top with avocado and tomatoes.

Now you can eat your dinner and get back to work. Yay!


  1. Sounds yummy! I love barley. Your painting is amazing, I can't believe the amount of detail you've gotten into it. Can you tell me what size it is?

  2. Yeah, we love barley, too, especially the unhulled barley. And it's one of the best grains for helping you keep cholesterol levels in check.
    Thanks for the kind words about my painting. It's 18x24 inches.

  3. I just realized that some people call barley with the bran still on it "hulled" instead of "unhulled". Whatever, I'm talking about barley with the bran still on it (rather than pearled barley).

  4. BIG barley fan. Can't wrap my carnivorous head around tofu, though. :-) The wolf piece is jaw dropping, Julie! Nice to actually see some feral emoting as opposed to most "aw, look at the pretty woofy" wildlife paintings. I know the rational is that people who collect wildlife art don't want violent pieces on their walls, but it's nice to know us fantasy types aren't so timid. lol

  5. Julie, what type of olive oil do you use? I generally try to get extra virgin or at least cold-pressed as I don't like to deal with the hexane that they use to extra the oil from non first-pressed olives. Gasoline in my olive oil in any amount seems like a bad thing.

  6. Yeah, gasoline in food sounds bad. Thanks for making the point, Mark!
    And, Joe, thanks for the vote of confidence on the "wolf energy" I'm showing in that painting. We've all got it, might as well paint it! But I'll bet even wolves like tofu.

  7. Wolves lie, Julie. They lie!!!!

  8. Joe, I've been trying to come up with a clever retort (I even asked for Boris' help), but the best we can come up with is "Take it back!"

  9. I would, but every Warner Bros. cartoon ever made backs me up. :-)

  10. Sounds great Julie! I might try some with quorn substituted for the tofu, since soy and I don't always agree with one another.

    And Holy Moley, that wolf painting is gorgeous! I can't even begin to wrap my brain around your technique for painting fur. I swear I can almost feel the soft silky ears of the one in the foreground. Amazing!

    Oh, and Joe; anyone who has ever been owned by a dog knows that members of the family canidae NEVER lie; only we homo sapiens are silly enough to do that! ;-)