Update: For more ideas on how to make this meal even more Who-tastic, check out this updated version!
One of the best things about being in a relationship is getting introduced to things you might not have given the time of day otherwise. When one partner is vegan and the other goes vegan second, sometimes outsiders presume that the vegan forced the non-vegan to take on that lifestyle. I seriously doubt that most of the time that’s the case. More often, couples talk to each other, they learn about issues and discover aspects of a lifestyle they might not have realized otherwise, and when they take it on, it’s their own thing. I went vegan first, and a few months later David felt inspired to do the same. While I introduced a plant-based diet to him, there have definitely been no shortage of awesome things that he’s introduced to me too.
After showing me the fabulousness that is Buffy the Vampire Slayer, next came Dr. Who, which was a show David grew up watching on PBS. If you don’t watch Dr. Who something you need to know is that it’s about a Time Lord. Time Lords are an alien race who can travel through space and time. When something happens that should kill the Doctor, instead of dying, he regenerates with a new actor taking the place of the old. (It was a handy workaround created when the first actor playing the Doctor needed to leave the show.) During the course of the show, which is the longest running sci-fi show in the world, he’s regenerated 10 times (and we’re currently on the 11th Doctor). Each time that a new actor comes into the role, he gets new friends, a new outfit, and new personality traits. In some ways it’s sad when an old favorite Doctor leaves the show, but in other ways it breathes new life and vitality, keeping the show fresh.
I haven’t watched too much of the old series that my husband grew up watching, but a re-launched series with a bigger budget came about in 2005, and I’ve been watching since the first episode. While my earlier forays into Dr. Who were a total bust, with the new series it was love at first sonic screwdriver. (That’s the tool the Doctor uses for opening/fixing pretty much anything.) The current Doctor is played by Matt Smith, whose costume includes a suit, suspenders (or braces for you folks across the pond), and a bow tie. (He’s also been known to don a Fez or Stetson if the situation calls for it.)
In honor of the eleventh Doctor, this cold pasta dish is a Who’s Who of all of my favorites – olives, garlic, lemony tofu, chickpeas, and artichoke hearts. (The Doctor actually has two hearts, but I threw in an extra for good measure.) It can be served hot or cold, but you know what the Doctor would prefer… (Bow ties are cool!) In fact, you can even do a mixture of temperatures with hot pasta and chickpeas and cold tofu, olives, tomatoes, and artichokes. It’s your call!
Surprisingly enough, I actually prefer this tofu cold. After pressing and baking, when it cools in the refrigerator overnight, it firms as it sets. It becomes extra chewy & dense, and it’s wonderful on sandwiches or in salads. (Either press the tofu with a press or go old school with the book & weight method. Feel free to bake it in slices instead of cubes for use on sandwiches.) I use dry-cured olives in this dish, because I love their chewy texture, but replace with a different variety of olives if you’d prefer.