Tofu pumpkin custard

More delicious than it sounds, I promise.  I’ve served this to tons of people and nobody has been able to guess that tofu is the secret ingredient.  It gives the custard tons of protein, keeps it dairy-free, and makes it extra moist, I think.  We’ve been eating it almost every night…

16 ounces tofu (I use Trader Joe’s brand because it’s the cheapest)
14 ounce can pumpkin (365 brand is the best deal)
2 eggs (or 1/2 cup egg beaters)
1 cup sugar (or other granulated sweetener)
4 teaspoons molasses
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2-1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Blend together all ingredients until very smooth: be sure to scrape down the sides and blend for at least a full minute. Pour custard into 6 8-ounce ramekins and place them in a glass baking dish. Pour water in the dish until it reaches halfway up the ramekins.

Bake custards until they are lightly browned on top and just beginning to crack, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool at room temperature in the water bath, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Indian Spiced Carrot Soup

The simplicity of this soup belies its deliciousness.  I thought I wasn’t a fan of carrot soups, but it turns out I was just a bit bored: this spicy, zesty version is cheap, easy, and impressive. 

Makes 8 1-cup servings

2 teaspoons coriander seeds (or ground coriander)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds (or ground mustard)
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
2 cups chopped onion
1.5 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped
grated zest of 1-2 limes
5 cups (or more) low-salt broth
juice of 1-2 limes
plain yogurt (for garnish)

If using whole spices, grind to a fine powder.

Heat a small amount of oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add spices and sauté for 1 minute. Add ginger, cook for 1 minute more. Add onion, carrot, and lime zest. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add broth, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until the carrots are quite soft, about 30 mintues. Puree until smooth. Add lime juice to taste and season with additional salt and pepper.