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Orange-Ginger Tofu Stir-Fry

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Tonight’s Meatless Monday dinner was meant to get a huge bounty of veggies into our diet because I feel like we’ve been seriously lacking in that department lately. I prepped for dinner by pressing a block of extra-firm tofu and slicing red bell pepper, carrots, onions, broccoli and zucchini.

After cubing the tofu, I browned it in a big skillet with a tablespoon of oil and then removed it with a slotted spoon. Next I threw in all the veggies except the zucchini and sautéed until soft. At that point I tossed in the zucchini, tofu and the stir-fry sauce.

Orange-Ginger Stir-Fry Sauce

  • 1/2 c. orange juice
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 T honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 T ginger, minced
  • 2 T cornstarch

I whisked all the ingredients together, threw it in the skillet and brought it to a bubble. The sauce thickened up after 2 minutes and dinner was ready. I served my portion over 1/2 cup of brown rice.

I really liked this. Brent, not so much. He did not care for the orange flavor apparently. Oh well, can’t win ’em all.

In other news, look at my adorable avocado! I love it. I’m hanging it on the wall connecting the kitchen to the dining room. It makes me very happy.

The artist is Carol Cline out of Grand Rapids, but she has no website or anything. She had a huge variety of produce to choose from. I had a hard time deciding until I saw my beloved avocado. 🙂

A Variety

We’ve actually cooked a few meals at our house lately (except for the super boring pizza we ordered tonight, but oh well). This weekend, with a few overripe bananas on my countertop, I finally found time to do a little bit of baking. I made vegan banana muffins based on the lower-fat banana bread in Veganomicon.

Notice the chunks of ripe banana? These were perfect as snacks to take to class this week.

Next up, some sort of stir-fry with tofu, broccoli, some Chinese cabbage type vegetable and pearl barley. Brent was responsible for making this one, and he did an excellent job. This was actually my first time having pearl barley (I’ve only had the quick cooking kind before), and I really liked it!

I really like “Meal in a Bowl” type meals like these. We made another one this week, a Mexican-themed bowl, based on my loved of the vegetarian fajita burrito bowl at Chipotle. This was brown rice with cilantro and lime juice mixed in, topped with sauteed peppers and onions, crock-pot black beans, and diced avocado.

Delicious. Brent actually poured blue cheese dressing on his! Boys are so gross sometimes.

I was telling Brent that lately I’ve felt so “whatever” about cooking and grocery shopping. It’s a shame. I know some of it is because I just don’t have the time to be super into it anymore, but I think it is also because I haven’t made anything fun and new recently. I think I really need to try to make time once a week to try a new recipe, or a new ingredient. Just something to keep me from forgetting why I like cooking. So if you have an idea for me, let me know!

Blogging is a Wonderful Tool for Procrastination

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Nope. Things haven’t gotten less busy around here. In fact time is flying quicker than ever. I can’t believe I’m hosting Thanksgiving in a month! We’ve eaten pretty well the past week, mostly due to Brent’s help on a few occasions.

Sometime in the midst of last week, I threw together this pasta dish using Trader Joe’s Lemon Pepper Pappardelle (LOVE this pasta), a can of artichoke hearts, olive oil, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese. Tasty, and more importantly, super quick. In the interest of full disclosure, I should admit that I think Brent came up with the idea for this dish, but since it turned out well, I’m willing to take the credit. 🙂

IMG_0423Another dish from last week, that I can take absolutely no credit for is this soba-tofu noodle dish. Brent makes very good Asian dishes and as mentioned previously, he makes good tofu. This had carrots, red bell pepper, scallions, tofu, soba noodles and some sauce created using the Asian condiment shelf in our refrigerator.

IMG_0425I should wrap this up because I only gave myself 15 study-free minutes to blog, but I wanted to mention Brent ran his first race today! We ran the River City Rat Race 10K this afternoon, and Brent very nicely ran with me for the first 5 miles with me at my usual slow pace until I told him to go fast the last 1.2 miles. He finished about 3 minutes ahead of me.

IMG_0431Tall, isn’t he? He enjoyed it, so I think we’ll probably do some more races together in the future. 🙂

Halloween is next weekend and my friends are coming to the Fort!!! I have to get studying now so I’ll be worry-free when they get here!

Nearly Done!

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I finished final number 2, and I got results from my micro final too! I’m feeling pretty good about ending the semester. 🙂 Unfortunately, I also had to go to the dentist today. Blah. So this evening before my test, Brent made dinner (Thanks!) while I was napping off my Novocain. Something Mexican would have been fun, but we had a block of tofu that needed to be used so we had some soba noodles with tofu, sugar snap peas, red bell pepper, and carrots. The sauce was made of, according to Brent, “some Asian condiments.”

hpim3279It was delicious – even if I could only chew with one side of my mouth. After finishing my exam (which went very well) in record time, I stopped at the store to grab some lemons and limes in preparation for a celebratory cocktail. I was feeling particularly dedicated though, so I did head to the gym for a cardio workout first.

Now I am finally on the couch enjoy said celebratory cocktail: a margarita! My recipe for margaritas is super simple, maybe not authentic, and not too strong: 1 part each: lemon juice, lime juice, tequila, triple sec and simple syrup.

hpim3283

I need your help! My work is having a potluck cookout on Friday and they would like me to bring a dessert. I’d like to make something bite-size or at least individually portioned, but I’m kind of cup-caked out, and I’m not sure cookies would be exciting enough. Any suggestions?

Peanutty Noodles

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Got to make this snappy because I’m zonked. Cross-eyed and kooky after an insane exam and 3 hours of staining and microscopic examination. Blah.

Dinner was delicious, and consumed in about 1.816 seconds. That happened for a number of reasons. First, I was starving — I killed myself lifting at the gym (I hate wall sits!) and also, I literally had 4 minutes to eat before I had to leave.

hpim2840SPICY PEANUT NOODLES

  • 6oz whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed, drained and diced
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon sriracha (or red pepper flakes) (adjust to your taste buds)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. When pasta has about 2 minutes left to cook, throw broccoli into the pot with it.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the tofu however you like. You can bake it, or pan-fry it. I tried to pan-fry.
  4. While pasta and tofu cook, in a small saucepan, whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, sriracha, and garlic until smooth. Simmer sauce about 5 minutes. If the sauce is too thick for your liking (mine was pretty thick but I like it that way), you can thin it out a bit with a tablespoon or two of the pasta cooking water.
  5. Drain pasta and broccoli and put in a large bowl.
  6. Add carrots and cooked tofu.
  7. Dump in sauce and mix around until everything is coated.
  8. Enjoy!

I really enjoyed this. Peanut butter and spiciness go so well together. The tofu was pretty lackluster. No crispy crust on it. I don’t think I can really fry things that well. Brent will remain Tofu King in our house. This makes 2 or 3 servings. I think like 2 servings, and then a bitty baby portion that I may eat with lunch tomorrow (assuming Brent did not eat it while I was at class tonight.)

If you haven’t already, check out Meghann’s Blogging Bake Sale! Everything looks great and is going like crazy. The toffee is going for $40!

Tofu Lo Mein

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Tonight’s dinner was another regular around here. It was partly devised as a way to use up some of the red cabbage leftover from last week. Brent makes nearly all our tofu dishes because, for some reason, he is way better at perfectly cooking it than I am. It gets crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. I can’t ever seem to do it quite as well. Although Brent thinks I just use that as an excuse to make him cook. 🙂

hpim2581The tofu was pressed and then marinated in a mixture of hoisin sauce, sriracha, sesame oil, fish sauce, soy sauce and a bit of sugar. The extra marinade was then used to make the sauce for the dish. This was very simple to make (says the girl who didn’t make it): just pan fry the tofu and set aside,  saute some red bell pepper, carrots, and cabbage until softened, boil some pasta and combine everything with the sauce and garnish with some sliced scallions. Very delicious. Brent then further “garnished” his portion with copious amounts of sriracha.

I’m going to try to watch some of the Golden Globes tonight so I can be up on my Oscar buzz. My friends and I always hold a contest for the Oscars, although I generally lose because I just pick what I like. 🙂 Brent and my friend Tessa usually dominate. I hope everyone had a great weekend, and you’re not too snowed in or anything! We have a winter storm warning until Tuesday night!! It’s been crazy so far this winter.

Frittata

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Spinach and Goat Cheese Frittata

This makes a great breakfast because its fast, filling and nutritious. I love an easy way to have veggies for breakfast. I make frittatas fairly often because they’re very useful to for using any leftovers veggies, cheese, or whatever is in the fridge. Today’s mix was frozen spinach, a red potato, onion, and some goat cheese along with 4 eggs and a splash of milk.

Heat oven to 350. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil over med-low heat in a 10″ oven-safe, non-stick skillet. Saute veggies until soft. Meanwhile, beat 4 eggs, a splash of milk, salt and pepper in a bowl. When veggies are soft, pour egg mixture over over veggies and let sit approximately 5 minutes, until sides are slightly starting to set. Place skillet in oven for 5 minutes, until top puffs up.

Cut into wedges and eat.

Tofu Lo Mein

Well I made breakfast, but Brent was in charge of dinner tonight. He wanted to make the Pork Lo Mein from the latest issue of Cook’s Illustrated. Our modifications were using tofu instead of pork (not Brent’s idea), and using carrots, not mushrooms.

Here he is with his sous chef Larry.

Tofu

It was very, very good.