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important nothings blog

"which of all my important nothings should i tell you first?" – jane austen

Month

June 2014

Adventures in Vegetarianism… Tofurky and Bean Skillet!

First – let me say that I never, ever, in life would ever say anything positive about Tofurky.  Isn’t that supposed to be the punchline of the blog…not the title?

But alas, in an attempt to be more healthy and bring down some cholesterol numbers while supporting sustainability, we have resorted to this:

tofurkey prep

Let me add – Tofurky Italian Sausage doesn’t taste like italian sausage very much.  And texture wise I would put it somewhere between gummy bear and eraser.  But it doesn’t taste bad, and the texture is forgivable…and in this transition to veggie-ism, it will do.

Out of desperation, this recipe was created.  I used to make this with the yummy italian sausage from Publix…but those days sadly are over, and with a few revisions, I think this mixture may work out well.

Here goes.  Please note, to me, cooking is not a science, so these are all approximates.  I used frozen spinach. Next time I may add broccoli or zucchini, perhaps with some tomato. I bet you could use pesto instead of the seasoning.  Maybe add in some mozzarella? …let me know if you try any other combinations and how it works out.

tofurkey skillet

This recipe needs a name – Important Nothing’s Strangely Good Tofurkey Skillet with Beans and Spinach.  That has a good ring to it.

you’ll need:
1/2 onion – diced

1/2 tsp minced garlic (I like a little more actually…)

1 pack of Tofurky Italian Sausage – cut into slices or chunks

4 oz fresh mushrooms, diced

1 can great northern beans, drained

1 1/2 cup veggie broth

1 bag frozen spinach

spices you like –  italian seasoning, salt and pepper, thyme, powdered garlic

parmesan

This is so easy.  Get a big skillet.  Saute your onion in a tbsp or two of olive oil for a few minutes on medium heat.  Add in the mushrooms and saute…then add in the garlic for a few moments.

Next add in the tofurky and cook for a few moments until browed.  Then add in the beans and warm though.  Next up is the veggie broth and whatever seasonings you like.  Tonight I used about 1 tbsp of italian seasoning, some garlic powder, a dash of salt and pepper…you can really throw in whatever you want.

Next – add a bag of frozen spinach – and put a lid on the skillet.  Cook this for 15 minutes or so – keep an eye on it so it doesn’t dry out. Stir, add more seasonings, just generally cook it through. Top with parmesan and you’re good to go.

Enjoy!  Happy healthy eating!

 

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Nashville BYOB — OMNI HUT!

I almost feel like I shouldn’t blog about this – like I’d be giving away an amazing secret. If too many people discover our amazing little treasure, it may be invaded by East Nashville hipsters…

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…but then I realize that Omni Hut has been in the same location, essentially unchanged, since it opened in 1960.  That’s 54 years of being a beacon of happiness on Lowry Street.  So if it hasn’t happened yet, it may be safe to post in a blog.

(Nashvillians, “Lowry” is what people in Smyrna call “Murfreesboro Road”)

So here it goes.

Remember the Brady Bunch episode where the family goes to Hawaii and Bobby finds the ancient tiki god and Greg has the surfing accident and the tarantula comes in the hotel room and the family has to return the tiki to the ancient burial grounds and there is the giant luau (and do I remember that Don Ho may have serenaded someone)?  You get the idea.  Omni Hut is glorious Polynesian kitsch – bamboo, black lights, tikis, light fixtures shaped like seahorses.  It’s a place to relax, to celebrate, and eat an enormous amount of poo poos.

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And, as we like to flaunt on this site, it’s BYOB.

But Omni Hut is BETTER than BYOB – thanks to their ridiculously delicious and addictive Hawaiian Tea.  For $3.50 you can get a bottomless tiki cup full of this magical concoction of fruit juices (I’m not convinced that any tea is involved). When paired with your BYOB addition – vanilla rum being my personal favorite – Omni Hut makes a really fun night out on the town an affordable adventure.

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Onto the food – In my book, you can just stay on the appetizer page. My vote stays with the incredibly yummy “Poo Poos on the Fiery PoPo” which is a flaming appetizer platter filled with deliciousness like rib tid bits (YUM), teriyaki beef stick, won tons, bora bora… it’s so good.  And it’s only $12.25

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Now – the main courses – It’s Polynesian – which has several schools of thought.  Omni Hut leans more toward the region’s Chinese influence so many of their entrees have that sort of flavor and sauce.  I’m not a big fan of Chinese food, so the seafood and kabobs are more my style.  Or just have the appetizers. The portions are more than enough.

If it’s your first time, you really need to splurge and have a luau dinner with your table so you can get a full sampling of many flavors.

All this to say – come find this hidden treasure in the least likely of places.  And if you get the tea and BYOB, you may want to bring a designated driver as well…

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Omni Hut is located at 618 S Lowry Street in Smyrna, TN.  Make a reservation or expect a wait.  But the wait is worth it…

http://www.omnihut.com/

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