pssst...can you find the squirrel?
Whenever it snows, my older daughter begins telling everybody what to do. "You can't walk here. Only step there." She wants to preserve the pristine look of gently rolling white.
The other day, as I walked to my secret spot, I understood her urgency in this matter. Every step I took felt like a violation. I so wanted an invisible footprint. Similarly, sometimes, when I lie under the pine tree, I imagine what it would be like to melt into the ivy in total camouflage, with my presence creating only negligible impact.
Of course, this is impossible, both in my yard and in the world in general. For instance, as an American, my "footprint" is rather large compared to what the world can support. As I recall from Radical Simplicity, there are about 4.5 acres for each person alive... that's what it takes to support a life. But the average American footprint is 24 acres. In other words, I am far from being a world chameleon. You might say I'm wearing red neon in the forest.
Still, one way I'm learning to live a little lighter is through my food choices. Some of us do other things like drive a gas-economical car. But food's my thing. It's one small way I'm trying to leave a little snow patch pristine, so to speak.
So here's an earth-light recipe. With the king-of-chameleon as its highlight: tofu. Tofu is bland, yes. That's its star quality. Because it melts into the background, it simply absorbs all the other flavors and showcases them. This makes it a great choice for dishes with rich or spicy flavors.
Saute in olive oil 'til light brown:
Add & saute briefly:
- 2 garlic, minced
- 1 to 1 1/2 TB chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/4 tsp fennel seed
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- optional dash red pepper flakes
Add & simmer about 10 minutes:
- 2 TB shoyu or soy sauce
- 1 package firm or extra firm tofu, mashed
- 1/2 jar of spaghetti sauce
- 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
- pour of olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- chopped cilantro
Serve on wheat buns slathered in olive oil (raw olive oil is always good for us!). Add a side of fried potatoes and something green.
About tofu: HIgh in protein, calcium and iron. Can help control cholesterol.
Squirrel Chameleon photo and Tofu Joes photo by L.L. Barkat.