Posts Tagged 'tofu'

Miso Sweet Potatoes with Tofu

I know it’s a little crazy but I actually have TWO recipes to share this week.  HOLD THE PRESSES.  I’m sharing the healthy one first because it seems like it’s been awhile since anything healthy has graced this blog.

Other than the fact that I’ve actually been cooking things, not much is new around here.  Ellie is still obsessed with the headband from her Halloween costume.  I’m still obsessed with watching No Reservations on Netflix.  Good times.

On Sunday night I made these sweet potatoes, only I added some maple syrup and some sauteed tofu (I also used yellow sweet potatoes instead of orange, but they were a little dry, so I think I’d stick with orange).  I served them with oshitashi spinach on the side.  Ellie LOVED the sweet potatoes.  She’s entering a (hopefully extremely brief) phase where she’s really skeptical about anything green, so the spinach was a no go (and then I added mirin, which makes it taste amazing, but has alcohol in it).

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:112]

Laksa

I try to eat at least a couple servings of vegetables every day, and usually I have no problem doing that.  Saturday, however, I realized as I got into bed that the mushrooms in this soup were the only vegetable I had all day.  Oops.

I guess that’s what happens when your first meal of the day is French toast at 11 am, after a leisurely run.

…and then you decide to make chocolate chip cookies with toasted coconut in the middle of the afternoon.

We had laksa for dinner, which I hadn’t had in years.  It’s a delicious Malaysian curry and coconut milk soup that’s incredibly flavorful (and rich! If you use full-fat coconut milk, which you really should).  I adapted three different recipes and made the curry paste from scratch (not as time-consuming as it sounds).  It may not be vegetable-packed, but it is pretty tasty.

I kicked off Sunday with a 10 mile run and came home to find Mike and Ellie watching the England-Italy match.  Technically Ellie wasn’t really watching…

We were both really disappointed England lost.

I wrapped up the week with 46 miles of running (the streak lives on!) and we had a LOT of  vegetables for dinner (quinoa bowls with dragon sauce!).

Another great weekend in the books.

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:87]

Udon with Peanut-Hoisin Sauce


I think I sometimes take for granted how great it is to have a happy, healthy kid.

Ellie was a little bit sick a few days ago and it was pretty much the saddest thing ever. She only had a fever of 101 and it was very short-lived, but for about 24 hours, she was totally not herself.

Our loud, independent girl suddenly morphed into a timid baby who just wanted to be held for hours on end. We were happy to provide her with all the cuddling she needed, but it was a huge relief when her temperature and personality went back to normal.

I got this cookbook a couple weeks ago and have been using it constantly. I’m always on the lookout for fast, healthy meals, particularly those that contain lots of vegetables.

This recipe called for linguine but I think udon makes more sense with the flavors. Plus, peanut sauce is one of my favorite things ever, so I knew I would like this.

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:82]

Sesame Eggplant Stir Fry

So I’m running a marathon on Sunday,  my seventh!  I’m incredibly excited, even though I know there’s pretty much a 0.000032% chance that I’ll PR.  It’s okay, though.  I signed up way back in August when I had no idea what life with a baby would be like, and figured that it was a good goal to have for 7.5 months after having a baby.

On my 5ish mile run yesterday, my legs felt SO fresh and ready to run that it took some serious willpower not to just keep going.  I gotta save it all for the race, though.  I only did one 20-miler this training cycle, so there’s a pretty good chance I’ll crash and burn hard somewhere around mile 22 if I go out even a little bit too fast.

I’ve done a lot of runs on the treadmill lately but the weather has been better the past few days, so I’ve been running outside more.  It’s kind of nice to go from zoning out, staring at a TV playing the news at 5 AM to fresh air and great blue herons in the nice afternoon sun. I’ll take a little more of the latter.

We have a big bag of these little egg noodle nests in the cupboard, which I know are not the healthiest choice, but I love them.  They require a decent amount of oil to avoid turning into a giant yellow clump, so I don’t cook with them too often, but when I do, I try to add a lot of vegetables so there’s at least something  a little healthy going on. We’ve had a bunch of broccoli stalks sitting in the produce drawer for a couple weeks, and I’ve been promising Mike I’d use them and wooohoooo I actually did.  Finally.  I also roasted an eggplant, fried some tofu and sliced up a red pepper, so there was a pretty nice variety of flavors and textures.

Ellie and Mike impatiently watched my pre-dinner photo shoot.

Ellie REALLY wanted to try some of this, but she’s still doing mostly purees at this point.  They’re exciting purees, though! Red lentils with tomato and coriander, carrots with dill, and cauliflower with cumin – and she loves them all.  But she still was very intrigued by our food.

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:71]

Maple-Miso Tofu with Broccoli and Delicata Squash


This has been a pretty perfect week for running. There was that awesome 8K on Sunday, a beautiful morning run on Tuesday (where I took this picture)…

and today Ellie and I conquered 9 miles (9:09 min/mile)! She was alert and smiling the whole time. I think she likes running as much as I do!

It’s never a secret when I like something. I will talk about it a lot, cook with it/listen to it/read it multiple times, and just generally make it perfectly clear to absolutely everyone around me that I found the best thing ever.

Right now the best thing ever is delicata squash.

I just love the pretty half moons I slice it into, and the fact that I don’t have to peel it. It’s been featured in quite a few dinners around here lately, but this one is probably my favorite.

The recipe is from the always amazing Joanne, which she posted on Marcus Samuelson’s site. Quick side note: Joanne is a doctor (or technically in the process of becoming a doctor) and her blog is completely awesome. Two other blogs I love (The Curvy Carrot and Annie’s Eats are also written by doctors. I can barely throw together blog posts with my far less demanding career, so those women are seriously impressive!

Recipe:
(adapted from <a href="http://www.blue-kitchen.com/2009/05/20/borrowing-from-japan-china-and-toronto-maple-miso-grilled-chicken/&quot; via Joanne Bruno for Marcus Samuelsson)

1/4 cup white miso
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 16-oz block extra-firm tofu, pressed and cut into dice
3 small delicata squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
3 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets

Whisk together the miso, maple syrup, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and mirin in a medium bowl. Add the tofu and stir well. Cover and refrigerate for 1-4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Cut the squash into 1/2″-thick slices. Toss with 1 tbsp oil and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes or until tender.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet and add the broccoli. Saute until crisp-tender (you should be able to pierce it with a fork without too much trouble, but it shouldn’t be mushy), about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Heat the last tbsp oil in the skillet and add the tofu (remove it from the marinade with a slotted spoon and reserve the mardinade). Stir-fry until golden brown.

Toss the squash, broccoli, and tofu together in a large bowl and add reserved marinade to taste (I added about half).

Coconut-Cilantro Quinoa Bowls

Welcome to the latest installment of “things to do when your due date is a week away with no baby in sight.”
1. Hit the gym. Be super tempted to stay on the elliptical until you go into labor.

2. Make bagels. Decide that while they’re pretty good, Peter Reinhart’s recipe is better, so they don’t deserve a blog post of their own.

3. Toast said bagels and top with cream cheese, capers, red onion, and heirloom tomatoes. Repeat more times than is probably healthy within a 24 hour period.

4. Practice changing diapers. Or take a picture of your husband while he practices.

5. Go see Our Idiot Brother. (It’s adorable)

6. Make this for dinner.

I hate it when people tell me “you HAVE to make this immediately, it’s SO good!!!!!!!” so I’m not going to do that to you. I will be thinking it very hard, however. It really was one of the best dinners we’ve had in awhile (yeah, I probably say that too often…)

I started with a recipe for swordfish with cilantro-coconut chutney. Obviously I don’t eat swordfish so I used slabs of tofu instead. Then I served it over quinoa, cooked in vegetable broth with a squeeze of lime. With a raw vegetable salad on the side (or mixed in), it’s a complete meal in a single bowl with a great mix of textures and flavors, and a nice amount of protein.

This was the first time I tried dredging the tofu slices in a little flour, corn starch, and salt before pan-frying them. Mike loved it, I wasn’t quite as sold, so that step is optional.

I know the ingredient list looks a little daunting because there are four different components to this meal, but it actually comes together pretty quickly.

Recipe:
(adapted from Ani’s Raw Food Asia and A New Way To Cook)

2 small red bell peppers, julienned
2 Persian cucumbers (or 1 English cucumber), seeded and julienned
1 large carrot, juliened
1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
pinch salt

2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup quinoa
pinch salt
juice of half a lime

a drizzle of vegetable oil
2 tbsp all purpose flour (optional)
1 tbsp corn starch (optional)
pinch or two of salt (optional)
1 lb extra firm tofu, well drained, and cut crosswise into 1/2″ thick slices

about 2 cups fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 serrano chile, roughly chopped
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
2 tbsp unsweetened, dried coconut

Start with the vegetables: Put the julienned vegetables, olive oil, vinegar, and salt in a medium bowl, toss to combine, and set aside.

Bring the broth and a pinch of salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, stir in the quinoa, cover, and cook over low until all the liquid is absorbed, 15-20 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and fluff with a fork.

If you’re using flour, cornstarch and salt for the tofu, place them in a shallow dish and mix well. Dip each slice of tofu in the mixture and brush off any extra. Heat a thin layer of oil in a skillet, and cook the tofu slices until golden brown. Set aside.

To make the sauce, combine the cilantro, chile, cumin seeds, sugar, and lime juice in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the coconut milk and process until nearly smooth. Gently stir in the dried coconut, and adjust lime juice or sugar if necessary.

To assemble each bowl, put quinoa in the bottom, top with some vegetables, a slab or two of tofu, and drizzle with sauce.

South Indian Rice and Tofu Soup

This was originally a Jamie Oliver recipe for seafood and rice soup, using lots of spices and some coconut milk (but also seafood and white rice). Since I don’t eat seafood I added tofu, and I wanted brown rice instead of white. I also wanted to up the vegetable content with some spinach. I just made a few substitutions, and I’m happy to say it worked out really well.

Speaking of substitutions, the long term sub the district found for my maternity leave JUST found out she got a full-time teaching position, so they had to scramble to find another one pretty last-minute (school starts a week from tomorrow!) I am going to meet with her Monday to go over the ins and outs of my classes. I have no idea if she has science/PE/middle school/teaching experience, but I’m hoping for the best!

It’s amazing how much more productive I am when I actually have a reason to get out of bed and do something with my life. I made it to the gym by 5:30 AM the last two mornings and have been feeling fantastic. The workshop has been really awesome and I can’t wait to apply what I learned when I’m finally back to work, even though that feels like an eternity from now.

Recipe
(adapted from Jamie’s Dinners)

3 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp mustard seeds
about 10 fresh curry leaves
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp garam masala
a pinch or two cayenne pepper (or more, to taste)
2 tsp turmeric
a 2″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
5 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 yellow onions, peeled and chopped
1 lb block extra firm nigari tofu, cut into small cubes
1 cup brown basmati rice, soaked for at least an hour, and drained
3 cups vegetable broth
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
2-3 handfuls fresh spinach, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
juice of 1 lime

Heat the oil over medium in a large pot or dutch oven.

Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, cumin seeds, garam masala, cayenne, and turmeric. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes, until the mustard seeds start popping and turn dark brown.

Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until the onions are soft, about five minutes.

Add the tofu and mix well.

Stir in the rice and vegetable broth, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, add the coconut milk and simmer for about 20 minutes (adding a little more broth or some water if soup appears too thick).

Stir in salt to taste and continue simmering until rice is soft. Stir in the spinach and lime juice, and serve.

Udon Soup with Vegetables and Tofu

A few weeks ago, I bought a book of knitting patterns for babies. I am a total novice knitter, so I wasn’t expecting to actually complete anything, but I’ve now made two hats!

I was only planning on making 1, but the first one turned out to be kind of huge, so I went back to the store, bought smaller needles, and adjusted the pattern just a little bit, and it looks like hat #2 will fit a baby head a little better.

My other baby-related updates:
1. I passed the 1-hour glucose test, so no gestational diabetes, YAY!
2. At 28 weeks I finally caved and bought some maternity pants. I got some insanely comfortable full-panel jeans from Gap and I love them.
3. I have not purchased any baby items other than a few books and outfits, because we are still trying to find a bigger apartment (this 1-bedroom is just not going to work!) I’m SO ready to start setting up the nursery…we just have to move first! (I am trying REALLY hard not to stress about the fact that we haven’t found a place yet).

And now I’d like to tell you about noodles.

I LOVE noodles and I really don’t discriminate – all forms of Italian pasta, Thai rice noodles, Korean sweet potato noodles, soba, udon, somen…

I think I ate noodles in some form every single day that we lived in Thailand and I never got tired of them.

When I got the fabulous cookbook Kansha for my birthday, I knew that noodles would be the first thing I made. This recipe doesn’t take long to come together, but it does dirty a LOT of pans! Fortunately, it doesn’t require too many exotic ingredients. The only thing you may be hard to find, depending on where you are, is the hoshi yuba (dried beancurd), but it can be left out with no issues. I skipped the thin fried tofu and daikon (the former because it seemed healthier and easier to just use regular tofu, and the latter because I’m not a huge daikon fan). I also added enoki mushrooms because Mike and I both love them.

I ended up adding a little extra soy sauce to the dish, so I would recommend serving it on the side so you can add as much as suits your taste. The fresh ginger on top is definitely a MUST!

Recipe:
(adapted from Kansha by Elizabeth Andoh)

3 dried shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
3 cups water
2 heads baby bok choy, quartered lengthwise
16 ounces firm tofu, pressed and drained, then cut into thin, bite-size pieces
3 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
6 ounces enoki mushrooms, cut into 1″ lengths
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp sake
1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 sheets hoshi yuba or dried bean curd, broken into small pieces
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp cold water
8 ounces udon noodles
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger

Combine the dried mushrooms and 3 cups water in a bowl and let stand for 1 hour. Squeeze excess liquid out of mushrooms and slice thinly. Reserve the soaking liquid.

Bring a small saucepan full of water to a boil and blanch the bok choy for about 45 seconds, then plunge immediately into ice water. Squeeze out liquid and slice the greens and stems thinly.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a skillet over medium high and cook the tofu pieces until golden on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil to cook the udon according to package directions.

Heat a large saucepan over medium. Add 1 tbsp oil and both kinds of mushrooms. Stir fry for about a minute, then sprinkle with sugar and sake and cook an additional 30 seconds. Add the shiitake soaking liquid and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Add the carrot, tofu, mirin, and soy sauce, and simmer another 3 minutes. Add the hoshi yuba and blanched bok choy and stir well.

Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Stir into the vegetable soup mixture and turn the heat to high. Cook for one minute, stirring, then remove from heat and add the cooked udon. Divide among 4 bowls, topping each with a little of the grated ginger.

Pesto Barley Salad

This was the first weekend in months that did not include a run. I hoped this day wouldn’t come, but I think my running days are over for this pregnancy. The last few runs I went on were really uncomfortable, and my back ended up absolutely killing me.

I can’t believe I ran a marathon 5 weeks ago and now I’m not running anymore, but I think it’s important to listen to my body, and right now my body is saying walks and yoga YES, running NO. And it absolutely makes me feel lazy and a little like I failed because SO MANY OTHER WOMEN run up until hours before giving birth, but I’m just not willing to put myself through the discomfort. So running shoes, I guess we’ll get back together in September. Tear.

Fortunately there were a lot of other good things happening this weekend. Dinner with friends…

Burma Superstar once again!

We finally made it to our local farmers market for the first time. I can’t believe we’ve lived here 10 months and it took us this long!
We did not hold back; Lettuce, potatoes, strawberries, broccoli, asparagus, carrots, and local grass-fed lamb for Mike

All this produce makes healthy eating so easy, which is good, because with the ridiculous appetite I’ve had lately, I need to make sure I’m sticking to the good stuff. This salad has so much going for it – walnut pesto, sundried tomatoes, pupmkin seeds for crunch, chewy scotch barley, and little ribbons of kale. It’s one of those things you can relish every bite of knowing that each ingredient is contributing great nutrition as well as great flavor. Win win!

Recipe:
(adapted from Color Me Vegan)

salad
1 1/2 cups scotch Barley (or substitute pearl barley)
4 cups water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 16 oz block extra firm nigari tofu, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 small bunch kale, thinly sliced into ribbons and cut into 1-2″ lengths
1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (dried, not packed in oil)

pesto
1 1/2 cups (loosely packed) fresh basil
1/4 cup raw walnuts
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2-3 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt

To cook the barley, bring the water to a boil, then add the barley and cook for about 45 minutes, covered, until tender (shorter if using pearl barley – test after about 30 minutes). It should be slightly chewy but not firm.

Drain and set aside.

To make the pesto, combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well mixed. Taste and add salt and lemon juice if needed.

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a wide skillet over medium high. Add the tofu cubes and cook, flipping occasionally, until golden on all sides. Transfer to a large bowl.

Heat the other tbsp of oil in the skillet and add the kale. Cook, stirring often, until slightly wilted and tender. Add to the bowl with the tofu, then toss with the remaining ingredients (barley, sundried tomatoes, pesto, and pumpkin seeds). Taste and adjust salt if necessary.

Eggplant and Tofu in Miso Sauce

I guess I should come clean, since Mike called me out in the comments of the last post, and publicly admit that I went to Bi-Rite Creamery twice in less than 24 hours (and for those keeping count, yes, that’s 4 scoops of ice cream in less than 24 hours. Fortunately we decided that calories don’t count on your birthday weekend.)

Sunday happened to be an awesome event in the Mission called Sunday Streets, which meant that a few blocks of Valencia and 24th Streets were closed to cars. Because we were back in the neighborhood, it just made sense to go to Bi-Rite again. This time I got brown sugar ice cream with ginger caramel swirl, and cinnamon ice cream with pieces of snickerdoodle in it. There are no words.

But about this Sunday Streets business. It was such a cool event!



Apparently about 25,000 people came out to participate, including the mayor of San Francisco!

We also tried a new (to us) and outrageously good coffee shop called Ritual (1026 Valencia, San Francisco). Mike’s co-workers raved about it and it completely lived up to the hype. My decaf latte was PERFECT! It’s kind of overrun with hipsters, but I’ll let that slide…

This weekend (and particularly our dinner at Cha-Ya) really made me want to cook more Japanese vegetarian food. For the most part, it just seems so nice and light and healthy (which is particularly important after going a little overboard on ice cream and cake). I found this recipe in Color Me Vegan, modified the ratios a little bit, and added some tofu. Over brown rice and with a side of cucumber salad, it was a great weeknight meal.

Recipe:
(adapted from Color Me Vegan)

makes 4-6 servings

3 large Japanese eggplants (about 12″ long), cut into french fry-sized strips
2 14 ounce blocks extra firm tofu, drained and pressed to remove excess liquid
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup white miso
6 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp mirin
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Toss the eggplant strips with the sesame oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake for about 6 minutes, or until softened but not falling apart. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Cut the tofu bite-sized pieces about 1/2″ thick.

Heat the vegetable oil in a wide frying pan over medium high. Add the tofu (in batches if necessary) and cook until golden, shaking the pan often. Add the eggplant.

While the tofu is cooking, combine the miso, water, mirin, and sugar in a small saucepan and stir well. Bring to a simmer.

Remove the tofu, eggplant, and miso sauce from the heat and toss together. Serve over brown rice, sprinkled with sesame seeds.



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