Steve has a theory that when you have a really intense workout, your brain goes through some beautiful neurochemical reaction and tells you exactly what food, when eaten upon the completion of the workout, will be the most delicious, nutritious, satisfying thing ever.
I think he might be right.
Three words you did not think you would ever see in the same dish: Tofu Cubano Quesadilla.
Let me explain, obviously.
I had a powerful hankerin’ for a Cubano. For those of you who are unfortunate enough to have not experienced the bliss of a cubano, the basic formula is Cuban bread (wonderfully puffy-ish and press-able), spread with mustard, topped with a variety of meats, pickles, and cheese, then cooked and pressed. Absolutely succulent.
So, I didn’t have Cuban bread. But I had my favorite Trader Joe’s tortillas.
Wholesome (ish) ingredients. 130 calories, 5 (!) grams of fiber. But also just good, way better than some cardboardy whole wheat tortillas I’ve had. I really love the whole flaxseeds in it, they make it highly delicious.
So back to this Cubano: I did have cheese and mustard, so I spread one on each side (I used herbed Laughing Cow, which turned out to be an excellent choice).
I made this when it was still Lent, so I didn’t have any meat in the house. I did have tofu, though, so I pressed it and put it on a cooking spray’d griddle to cook til goldenish.
Then I wanted, in a vegetarian way, to impart some meatiness. So I utilized this magnificent sauce:
Also an excellent choice. Shmeared it on top of the tofu, flipped and cooked it til the sweet barbecue-ness got caramelized. Did the same on the other side.
Now: the really tragic part. I had no PICKLES!
I made do with the closest thing I had:
I don’t love sweet pickles on their own, but with the other savory ingredients in this, it was actually really yummy!
I laid out my BBQ tofu on my quesadilla…
Then topped it with some relish and griddle cooked it til the tortilla was blisterlicious and the filling was warm and gooey.
IT WAS SO GOOD! Sweet, savory, a bit spicy, cheesy and comforting, wonderfully filling. Superb.
Served it with a salad of mustard greens and Persian cucumbers, both from the farmer’s market…
… dressed with my current favorite bottled vinaigrette. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, so I am all about the huckleberry. If you haven’t dried it, or a product derived thereof, you are missing out.
Another random wrap!
I had feta and a few more mustard greens, so that seemed like a pretty classic combination (in Greek food it’s all about feta and dark leafy greens- like spanikopita).
But at that point I was really into the sweet and savory thing, so I came up with the brilliant addition of… caramelized apples! Just griddle cooked.
Then quesadilla-ified, once again. SO good.
Sweet, savory, sour, smooth, crunchy, bready, cheesy. SO GOOD!
Plus a hummus and veggie plate.