Kitchen Spotlight: Drummer shares easy tofu recipe

2013-06-26T00:00:00Z Kitchen Spotlight: Drummer shares easy tofu recipeEloise Marie Valadez, (219) 933-3365

Joe Cosmo Cogen enjoys quick and easy meals.

Cogen, who often doesn't have much time to cook due to a hectic performance schedule, said when he does have time he enjoys putting together varied recipes.

One of his favorite meals is a dish he learned from his mother which mixes rice, mushrooms, onions and tofu.

"It's a good meal to have when you're on the road and you don't have a lot of resources," Cogen said.

"It's as easy as sauteing the vegetables on a stovetop, sauteing the tofu and microwaving the rice. It's a perfect meal to have before a show," he said.

Cogen is the drummer in the touring production of "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story," running through June 30 at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre. FYI: Call (800) 775-2000 or visit

The performer makes sure the meals he consumes are fairly healthy, "nothing too heavy."

Chicken and vegetable recipes are frequently favorites as are salads.

"Moderation is key for me. I always try to incorporate greens in a meal," he said, adding Caesar salad is a frequent meal choice.

Cogen said the cast of "Buddy" is very "sociable" and often looks forward to eating together.

"We all get along great," he said.

If Cogen could have anyone cook for him, he said it would be his mother who regularly cooked the family meals at home.

"If I could have her around to cook for me every day I would," he said. Cogen said his girlfriend is also a fantastic cook.

The following recipe is from Cogen.

 Joe Cosmo Cogen's Favorite On-The-Road Meal:

This great dish is something my mom taught me how to make and is SUPER easy, SUPER quick, SUPER healthy, SUPER filling, and best of all SUPER cheap. You can get all of these ingredients for under $15 at any grocery store.

2 packets of microwavable brown rice (short grain is my favorite)

1 sweet onion

4 to 5 portobello mushrooms

3 to 4 tofu patties

Low-sodium soy sauce

For this dish, all you need are two skillets over a stove top and a microwave. Enjoy!!

DIRECTIONS: If your tofu patties are frozen, make sure to thaw them well before you begin, so that they can evenly cook amongst the other ingredients. Begin by chopping the onion and mushroom into bite-size pieces and sautéing them in one tablespoon of olive oil for 8-10 minutes over medium/high heat until the onions have caramelized, or have become a light golden brown color. (They start smelling really delicious now, too!) While the onions are cooking, follow the directions of the rice packets, adding two extra tablespoons of water. Cube the tofu patties into bite-size pieces. In a separate skillet, add one tablespoon of olive oil, and lightly brown the cubed tofu pieces. This will take approximately 6-8 minutes. Once the tofu has browned, combine rice, onions, and mushrooms in the skillet, and sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Two minutes before you are ready to serve the dish, add two tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce to dish and bring heat to low to have the rice really absorb the added soy flavor. Serves 4-6

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