An ‘A’ for Effort: Don’t judge a bowl of beige food by its color

Post image for An ‘A’ for Effort: Don’t judge a bowl of beige food by its color

by JL Fields on April 24, 2012

In high school I made a sun dress in my Home Ec class.  I was proud of it.  The edges were a mess and the hem was uneven, however.  I was never able to bring myself to wear it outside of the house. I slept in it for years.

My homemaking skills did not improve much over time.  One of my post-40 challenges was to take up knitting. I was a loyal student, as I was in high school, but, just as in high school, most of my hand knitted projects ended up with bumps and lumps.  Older and less self-conscious, I have no problem wearing those items in public.

I just don’t have that gene. The gene that many women and men have to be crafty, home artists. Yet I am now, once again, a student.  Of the culinary arts – not formally, mind you. I take public classes at culinary schools and workshops at local venues.  I am a loyal student but not always a good one.

Last night, as I was preparing dinner, I was reminded of those ‘C’ and ‘D’ grades I earned in high school Home Ec.  The instruction, “Your plate should have a variety of colors” came to mind as I set cauliflower, soba noodles and tofu on the counter: white, beige and white.

I recently interviewed a chef who discussed texture and flavor profiles. While the colors of my food choices matched far more than my Home Ec teacher would have liked, I thought that maybe, just maybe, I could find a way to “complicate” the textures enough to overcome the bland color scheme.

Honee-Glazed Tofu with Cauliflower and Soba Noodles

by JL goes Vegan: Food & Fitness with a side of Kale

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • Half a block of tofu, pressed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons tamari sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (I used powder, not flakes. For added B-12 make sure you are using an enriched brand.)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Cauliflower florets
  • 6 ounces soba noodles
  • Avocado oil (or your vegetable oil of choice), optional
  • 1 tablespoon Bee Free Honee
  • Fresh basil, chopped


  1. Cut pressed and drained tofu into cubes, place in a small bowl with tamari sauce, stir and set aside.
  2. In another small bowl, mix the corn starch, nutritional yeast, and cayenne pepper and set aside.
  3. Steam cauliflower (15 minutes in an electric steamer)
  4. Boil water in a large saucepan, add soba noodles and cook for six minutes.
  5. Heat oil in a wok on medium-high heat.
  6. Toss tofu in the dry ingredients and add to the wok.
  7. Cook for three minutes without stirring or turning.
  8. After three minutes, turn the tofu and cook for an additional three minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Add Bee Free Honee and toss to cover all the tofu pieces.
  10. Drain the soba noodles and add to the wok.
  11. Add cauliflower to the wok.
  12. Stir for three minutes, adding tamari, to taste.
  13. Add fresh, chopped basil for one last stir, and serve.
  14. Garnish with fresh basil.

The steamed cauliflower and lightly breaded tofu had a suggestive crunch, which paired well with the soft soba noodles.

I am still a ‘C’ student in much of my homemaking but I do believe, for this meal, I should get an ‘A’ for effort.

  • Sprint2theTable

    As much as I like Indian food, I have no qualms about brown food!  This looks and sounds amazing.  Love the cauliflower!

    • JL

       Thank you! It’s funny, how hot and cold I am with cauliflower – I’m so glad I added it!

  • Bianca-Vegan Crunk

    Well, despite the lack of color, I think that dish looks amazing. You cannot go wrong with tofu and soba. I also suck at sewing. I made a sweatshirt in home ec and managed to serge right through the center of the shirt. Oops. Today, I can’t even sew on a loose button. 

    • JL

       Girl, I take my lost buttons and clothes to the cleaners to have an expert sew them back on!

  • Ree

    Great looking dish. I’d give you an A+

    • JL

       Please be my teacher for everything!

  • Beige or not, this looks fantastic!

    • JL

       Thank you!

Previous post:

Next post: