The song: “Across the Universe” by Fiona Apple (lyrics)
The foodstuff: Noodle Omelet from American Vegan Kitchen
The connection: Pleasantville.
Fiona Apple’s cover of “Across the Universe” appeared on the soundtrack to Pleasantville – a movie in which a 1950’s “soda fountain” plays a prominent role. And so I thought, hey! Why not pair this one with a classic diner dish? (Because I absolutely adore Fiona Apple and wanted to feature one of her songs this month. And this one? I might actually like it more than the original by The Beatles. BLASPHEMY!
Another aside: Katie at Don’t Eat Off The Sidewalk also did a Pleasantville menu as part of her “Dinner and Movie” theme, for which she chose a No Tuna Melt as the entree. This is super similar to a dish I had on the shortlist for this song – maybe it was a chickpea melt? I forget! – so I’m glad I went with something else.)
Enter: Tami Noyes and American Vegan Kitchen. This book is stuffed full of comfort food, the (nonvegan) likes of which one can find in greasy spoons and assorted family-owned restaurants across the country. With sections like “Rise and Shine,” “Starters,” “Soup of the Day,” and “Sandwich Board,” AVK’s TOC reflects its “down home” roots. (A northerner, I have no idea whether I’m using that phrase correctly – but it feels truthy, down in my gut. Or maybe that’s just the noodles, working their way through my small intestines. It’s anyone’s guess!)
Though it appears under the breakfast category, I decided to try the Tofu Omelet for dinner. My kitchen is open 24/7 and the only rule is that there are no rules, y’all!
The rare veteran vegan who still finds tofu a little sketchy
(probably this dates back to my childhood, when mom mostly prepared dad’s tofu my cubing and frying it – spongy tofu chunks, ew! – but I’ve made a ton of progress lately, yay!; exhibit a: this post)
I wasn’t totally sure I’d like this dish. I was so, so wrong!
The blended tofu base – seasoned with nutritional yeast, tumeric, garlic powder, and other various goodies – constitutes the “egg” portion of the omelet. I love blended tofu (especially when crafted into an egg-like dish); it was the tofu + pasta combo that gave me doubts. No worries – the two play so well together!
This is one seriously delicious (and filling!) dish. You bake it half on the stove and half in the oven (pro tip: you’ll need an oven-safe skillet!), similar to a frittata. In addition to the recommended onions and red bell peppers (I used green), I also tossed in some frozen corn for added volume, and served the omelet with a side of steamed veggies. YUM!
My only complaint is that the “eggs” could use some extra garlic and onion, but I say that about all the foods!
Now that I’ve licked my plate clean – I’ll be over there browsing the Dessert Case if you need me, mkay?