You know how sometimes everything comes together exactly right, and a recipe that is making no sense at all turns out perfectly wonderful? And you know those times when it doesn't…? I've been cooking, reading recipes, even writing recipes for over 40 years, and consider myself comfortable enough in the kitchen to make adjustments on the fly when necessary, and able to recognize when something in a recipe will work, or not. But still, there are those times when you are caught off guard, and you end up scratching your head, wondering what went wrong. Such was the case with the "Spinach Soufflé" (page 329). The basic recipe is a mixture of sautéed onion and spinach combined in a food processor with firm tofu, to which is added flour, ¾ cup broth, and baking powder (plus some soy sauce for flavor, salt, and pepper). The first thing that didn't seem right was the addition of the broth. The mixture at this point was already like a thin cake batter, and I thought adding any more liquid would make it almost soupy. So, I decided against adding any broth at all. I proceeded with the rest of the instructions, scraping the mixture into a casserole dish and baking for an hour. And the end results were…disappointing. I'm not sure why, exactly. It was a texture thing, partly. Possibly not cooked long enough? It was blandness, partly. It really could have used some pizzazz, maybe with the addition of fresh garlic, or red pepper flakes, or both. It could have been my own alterations to the recipe - I used more spinach than called for, maybe half again as much (although it cooks down to almost nothing so it didn't seem like this would matter); I omitted the broth for reasons mentioned above; I excluded the 3 tablespoons of oil. I also have to say, having never made a non-vegan soufflé, having never made any kind of soufflé, maybe I didn't know quite what to expect? In any case, this recipe turned out to be one of the rare recipes from this book I haven't thoroughly enjoyed, truly the exception.
Keeping it "McDougall Friendly" checklist:
- Omit the oil when sautéing the veggies; instead use a nonstick skillet and/or a little water, broth, or sherry as the sauté liquid.
- Use whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose (white) flour in the soufflé mixture.
- Omit the oil from the tofu-spinach soufflé mixture when preparing in the food processor.