You’ve heard all kinds of jokes about Jewish Time. It is tacitly assumed that “standard Jewish time” is about thirty minutes later than regular time. For instance, if an invitation is issued for, say, three o’clock in the afternoon, it’s a good idea to clarify whether you are expected there on time or on standard Jewish time, otherwise you risk catching your hosts still putting on finishing touches. King Solomon, the wisest man on Earth, remarked, “That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. There is nothing new under the sun” (Koheles, Chapter 1). Throughout the ages, philosophers of many different cultures interpreted this statement as either the Oedipal vision of fate – what will be, shall be, no matter what we do – or the linear ascent in pursuit of – well, whatever one decides to pursue.
A great Rabbi and brilliant modern times thinker Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, fondly known as The Rav, explained that both concepts are erroneous with relation to Jewish time. Jewish history, he suggested, is neither a circle, nor a straight line; it’s a spiral where “the past is not gone; it is still here. The future is not only anticipated; it is already here, and the present connects the future and the past” (Out of the Whirlwind; Essays on Mourning, Suffering and the Human Condition). It is up to us, then, to choose the direction in which to move on the spiral of time: do we access past experiences to connect with the future and move up, or do we shrink in fear of what the future may hold and slide down?
Moving up the spiral in my humble kitchen, I am cranking the spiralizer to make a main dish. I am using past experience, slicing zucchini on regular pasta setting (please see Zoodles, Part 1 here). However, I am moving up the spiral by combining more flavors: I sear diced garlic and grated ginger first, before adding zoodles and just a bit more olive oil.
To make it a truly filling and nutritious main dish, you need to incorporate protein. I do that by adding cubed extra firm tofu. Again, using the same successful past experience, I mix in diced tomato and a splash of sweet red wine. Then I move up the flavors spiral by using soy sauce instead of salt and Garam Masala instead of pepper.
It only takes a few minutes for Toodles (tofu zoodles) to be ready, with a perfect blend of flavors, but I felt that it needed something else – maybe a crunch?
I sprinkled sesame seeds on top before serving, and that made all the difference! All you need is love and a desire to move up the spiral!
- 3 – 4 small to medium zucchini, spiralized on regular pasta setting or thinly sliced
- 1 package (14 oz) extra firm tofu, pressed, drained, and cubed
- 3 – 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 inch (2,5 cm) ginger, grated
- 1 large soft tomato, diced
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala or more to taste
- Optional cayenne pepper to taste
- A splash of red wine or juice
- White sesame seeds to sprinkle
- Lightly mist deep frying pan, dutch oven, or wok with oil.
- On high heat, sear garlic and ginger. Add spiralized zucchini, stir fry for 2 – 3 minutes. Add cubed tofu, toss, stir fry together.
- Add the rest of ingredients, mix well, stir fry for 3 – 5 minutes, until zucchini is soft and tofu absorbs seasoning flavors.
- Serve immediately, sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.