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by Sumojo
Rated: E · Non-fiction · Educational · #2295179
A story and recipe.
This is a story of a beautiful, kind and different boy. He is my grandson and very loved.
Even before he came into the world he was silent and still in his mother’s womb. It was as if he was preparing himself to enter a world into which he knew he wouldn’t fit. The fact he was different made him more special as the family learned to love his quirky nature.
His Grandfather made an observation one day, ‘That boy’s on the spectrum.’
‘We’re all on the spectrum somewhere, John. In fact, he’s very much like you.’ I left my husband to ponder on that.
At school this boy proved to be smart, especially when doing something he was particularly interested in. His mother was a little concerned when he would arrive home unannounced, just because he felt like it, leaving school before time.
She decided to have him assessed, purely to convince herself and others there was nothing ‘wrong’ with him.
The report said he was of above average intelligence but didn’t respond to praise. In other words, he couldn’t be persuaded to do anything he didn’t want to just for an accolade or reward.

He’s a man now. 25 years old and the kindest, cleverest and modest person I’ve ever known. He keeps in touch with us, his grandparents, regularly. He still never brags about any successes even though he has a degree in nutrition and is purchasing a home with his gorgeous girlfriend.
He cannot bear to see any cruelty to animals and has attempted to convince his grandfather and I to turn to veganism. He talks about ethical and environmental concerns which worry him and the health benefits of a vegan lifestyle. That’s why he’s chosen to be a vegan for the last six years.
The world would be a better place if we were all so loving and caring as this person who puzzled us all when he was a child. As much as I love visits from my beautiful grandson and enjoy our chats about ‘the meaning of life’ and other topics just as deep, I struggle with feeding him and never seem to have anything in the house he can eat.
I have recently taken an interest in veganism and am beginning to attempt a few easy recipes. This is one of my few successes:

Sweet and Sour Tofu.

For the sweet and sour tofu:
2 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
10 ounces firm tofu cubed
6 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil divided
1 carrot chopped
½ green bell pepper chopped
½ red bell pepper chopped
½ onion chopped
For the sweet and sour sauce:
4 tablespoon sugar I used brown sugar
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari
6 tablespoon water
2 teaspoon cornstarch

Mix the soy sauce or tamari and apple cider vinegar in a bowl until well combined.
Incorporate the tofu cubes and let marinate for at least 5 minutes.
Drain the tofu and transfer ⅓ of the tofu cubes to a freezer bag with 2 tablespoon of cornstarch and toss to coat. Repeat this step with all the remaining tofu and cornstarch. Add more cornstarch if needed.
Heat half of the oil in a skillet and when it’s hot, add the tofu cubes. Cook over medium-high heat until all sides are golden brown. Remove the tofu from the skillet and set it aside.
Heat the other half of the oil in the skillet and when it’s hot, incorporate the veggies (carrot, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and onion). Cook over medium-high heat until golden brown. Set aside.
To make the sauce just mix all the ingredients until well combined.
Pour the sauce into the skillet and cook until it thickens, stirring frequently.
Mix the tofu, veggies, and the sauce in the skillet, stir, and cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Serve your sweet and sour tofu immediately with some sesame seeds on top (optional).
Keep the leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Some people add pineapple to this sweet and sour tofu recipe, but I don’t. If you want to enjoy this dish with pineapple, just sautée it with the veggies.
Feel free to use any type of vinegar, starch, oil, veggies, or sweetener you have on hand.
Tomato paste can be replaced by tomato puree, ketchup, or tomato sauce.
The amount of sodium is not a real measurement because you’d need to marinate the tofu for hours for it to absorb all the soy sauce.

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