Baked Tofu & Mushrooms for Thelma & Louise

baked tofu with mushrooms

 Prep time 15 minutes, cook time 35 minutes, serves 2-4

I’m meeting my friend Dawn for lunch but, I am anxious. Last week, I found a lump in my left breast. This morning I made myself call my doctor’s office even though I am terrified of what it might mean. It’s small, I tell myself but, I know deep down that this lump is not normal.

As soon as we sit down, I feel an urgency to tell her, it’s just something I have get off my chest (no pun intended). Dawn is calm and optimistic when she tells me that she’s confident it’s benign.

Fast forward to three weeks later and I text Dawn that the core biopsy of my lump came back positive—I have breast cancer. She calls me and I start to cry because I am scared that the time I have left on this earth might be shorter than I want. Dawn listens patiently and gives me the space I need to grieve.

When I stop crying, she tells me that she will be there for me: doctor’s appointments, tests, whatever. This brings on more tears because I am so touched by her support and being single, she is the only person I can really lean on for this because my family lives far away.

Dawn does what she says she’s going to do. I can trust her at her word. She comes with me to every test procedure and doctor’s appointment. For each procedure, I have to gear up for it mentally and emotionally. I feel vulnerable because these aren’t the kind of tests I can study for.  Afterwards, I need to decompress for at least an hour with her because the procedures are invasive and have major ramifications if I don’t pass.

Dawn takes notes during my doctor’s appointments which is so helpful. There is a huge learning curve from learning the medical jargon to navigating the decision tree for treatment. Research shows that when our fight or flight survival mode is activated, we can’t hear very well. Having her notes to refer back to is invaluable.

For one of my doctor’s appointments, she even asked her husband to stay home from work to look after their 1-1/2 year old son because the sitter she lined up fell through! Of course, she didn’t tell me this until after my appointment was over–her way of trying to protect me from any unnecessary stress and worry.

Breast Friends Forever
Breast Friends Forever

The best part in all this is that we get to spend lots of quality time together and connect in deeper more meaningful ways. Going through this crisis together elevates our friendship on par with Thelma and Louise.

mock skydiving
Jenn Alive goes mock sky diving

Recently, to thank her, I got us tickets for mock skydiving—something she’s always wanted to try. Before our outing, I invite her over for lunch. Dawn is vegetarian and I want our meal to be memorable. This is the dish I made for us because she is my Thelma and I am her Louise: Breast Friends Forever.

Tools

Baking sheet, brush

Ingredients

14 ounce firm organic sprouted tofu

8 oz sliced organic mushrooms

1/2 cup of chopped green onions

1/4 cup of grated ginger

1/4 cup of cilantro leaves

1/2 cup of mild white miso

1/4 cup of water

olive oil

black pepper

Directions

Set the oven for 350 degrees. Slice the tofu block into 1/4” thick pieces. Using a brush, coat baking pan with a thin coat of olive oil. I like to use firm tofu so it doesn’t fall apart during handling for this next part. Using a bowl wide enough to hold one slice of tofu, mix the miso with 1/4 cup of water until a smooth consistency. Take each slice of tofu and generously coat both sides and place on the baking sheet. Add the sliced mushrooms.

chopped green onions

Sprinkle the chopped green onions and grated ginger on top. Grind fresh black pepper over the mushrooms.

green onions over mushrooms

Bake for 35 minutes or until tofu is a light golden brown and the edges are slightly crispy. Garnish with cilantro. Low in calories and mouth wateringly good!

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