A very corn-y joke

September 24, 2012

Why don’t soldiers like to march through cornfields?  Because they might step on a kernel!  (Colonel?  That one really works better spoken instead of read.  Go on, read it out loud.)

My coworker, all too aware that flattery will get her everywhere, sighed recently and said that since I was such a good baker, maybe I’d have a good recipe for gluten-free corn bread.  Normally the answer would have been a resounding no.  I can digest gluten without a problem, and since most gluten-free baking I’ve tried has been on the nasty side, I don’t see much point in trying.  But…I had ripped a recipe out of the newspaper this spring for gluten-free corn muffins that seemed simple enough, so….challenge accepted!

The recipe was really very simple – seven ingredients, no waiting – and only made six muffins, so I wasn’t going to feel too bad if they didn’t turn out.  I mixed, spooned, baked, and waited….

….they looked good.

….they smelled good.

….they released neatly from their papers.

….they tasted good, but whoa, were they crumbly!

They were still more palatable than most store-bought gluten-free baking I’ve tried, so I brought them in for her anyway.  I apologized meekly for the crumbliness (I love it when food comes with disclaimers!) when I presented them, but she told me that tends to be a “thing” with GF baking, and that these were actually really good.  Who knew?

I think I may well stick with glutenous baking in the future, though…I know the territory and tend to stress less!  🙂

…you definitely need to loosen up a bit.

Okay, so my job has a lot going for it.  It has a comprehensive benefits package.  There is room for advancement for motivated employees.  It’s in a well-maintained building that is close to my bank, dentist, favourite restaurants, shopping, foxy former co-workers, etc.  They’re also remarkably understanding and accommodating at office functions re: my strictly voluntary dietary restrictions.  I am deeply grateful for that.

But…they don’t like people eating lunch at their desks.  The girl who trained me explained the philosophy thusly: “Nothing that requires a utensil!  If you’re fiddling with utensils, you’re not working.”  O…kay.  Yet Bake Club members are free to use forks to eat cake at their desks.  Bizarre.

So covert finger-food it was!  I’ve spent the past two years surreptitiously nibbling a PB&J at my desk.  Yes!  I became a walking vegan stereotype, and decided it was high time for a change.  (By now you might be wondering why I don’t just eat in the lunch room.  I tried that for a while, but prefer actually leaving the office to stretch my legs, run errands, etc.  Not unreasonable after a morning in front of the computer.)  I decided that tofu sandwiches were the way to go: whole grain and fibre from the bread, plus protein and calcium from the tofu, with only a fraction of the sugar of a PB&J.

A couple of weeks ago I made the Sweet Chili Lime Tofu from Vegan Yum Yum.  A little mustard, some lettuce, and it was delicious.  Last week, I was lazy and made Southern Fried Shake n’ Bake tofu.  I still had a package of the coating left and could have done it again this week, but I wanted something a little different.

I used the basic bread-and-bake method for the Cornmeal Crusted Chili Lime Tofu from Veganomicon, but made my own coating of panko crumbs and a Roasted Chili and Tamarind/Roasted Garlic and Peppers mix (both by Clubhouse seasonings).  It’s got just the right amount of kick, and a wonderfully crispy finish – and the only way it could be even easier to make is if it breaded and baked itself.  Seriously.

Behold, the healthy-eating rebel!