Ridiculous

I present to you (without comment) GLITTER UGGS.

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I Needed This

I really did. It’s been a looooong week. And what do I do when I find myself in a tight spot? (Apart from popping open a bottle of wine…) I cook.

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Lucky for me, I had a fridge full of fresh vegetables. Spinach, carrots, zucchini and red onion to be exact.

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I also had a few blocks of Tofu. And the ingredients to make my favorite tofu marinade 🙂

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Yah. About an hour and 1 glass of red wine later I was good to go.

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And for at least the night, my tummy was stress-free

Tofu Veggie Wraps

Ingredients:

  • 1 block’s worth of Braised Garlic Tofu (recipe here)
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 1 zucchini, julienned
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced
  • tortilla wraps of choice
  • goat cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. Prepare tofu according to recipe, remove from pan.
  2. Lower stove temperature to medium heat. Place carrots, zucchini and onion in pan. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir ocassionally.
  3. Add tofu to pan, stir and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. In the microwave, heat up tortillas for about 20 seconds.
  5. Place handful of spinach onto warmed tortilla. Add vegetable and tofu mixture and top with goat cheese.
  6. Enjoy!

Yah. this was delicious. In fact, it’s my favorite dinner for the moment. I’m already looking forward to lunch tomorrow where I’ll be enjoying leftovers.

One last note, for these particular wraps I used brown rice tortillas I picked up on a whim from Trader Joe’s the other day. No, I’m not going gluten-free  or anything, just felt like trying something new. I liked them, they are much tougher and less-pliable than flour tortillas but they were tasty. I’m going to finish the pack before I come to a final decision on them.

So I want to know, what do you do when you’re stressed out?

Hold On A Second

I know. I was just yammering on about my dislike for RAW tomatoes (with exceptions). Yet…

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These tomatoes rocked my world.

Smothered on pieces of toasted baguette, Wasa crackers, or an empty spoon…I don’t care. Bruschetta is always a good thing. (Right Martha?)

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You are HIGH if you don’t immediately make this. (I may or may not be watching Step Brothers as I type this).

Easy Breezy (beautiful) Bruschetta

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • handful of fresh basil, chiffonaded (can simply chop, but I’m fancy)
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a serving bowl, combine tomato, onion, garlic and basil. Mix.
  2. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pinch of salt and pepper. Mix.
  3. Serve with toasted baguette. (Slice and toast.)

Never prepared herbs by the chiffonade technique? It’s super easy! I joke that it’s fancy, but it’s not. All it entails i rolling up the leaves of what you are going to chop à la a fruit rollup and then cutting your “rollup” with a knife so that you end up with ribbons of said leaves.

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Me being fancy. Oh so fancy.

Thank you so much Lauren for the fresh tomatoes! Each and everyone of them were thoroughly enjoyed!

So This Happened.

Then.

Two months old

Now.

WTF???

My Tummy Isn’t Nearly Big Enough

No. I’m not referring to my flat, barely-there stomach (HA!) I’m referring to the inadequacy of my actual stomach to accommodate how much of this I want to eat.

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This was my plate x 3

Essentially just three ingredients. But all three ingredients combine to make an out of this world, easy dinner. Let’s just say I made what I estimated to be 4 servings and I barely have any left for today’s lunch.

This is so flavorful, filling and easy.

If you’ve ever been nervous about trying tofu – this is the recipe that will make you a believer. (I suppose you could substitute the tofu for chicken, but that would be safe…and unoriginal)

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All cut up and ready for a marinade bath

Braised Garlic Tofu and Green Beans

Ingredients:

  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger (or 1 tbsp ground)
  • 1 1/2 TBSP agave syrup (could substitute with brown sugar or honey)
  • 1/3 cup light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil (optional)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups green beans, rinsed and trimmed (estimating – just grab a few handfuls)
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
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I spy with my little eye delicious chunks of garlic!

Directions:

  1. Press and drain your tofu. I do this by placing two paper towels on a plate and laying the tofu on top. I then lay an additional paper towel over the top of the tofu and place a heavy bowl or appliance over the tofu and let sit for 20-3o minutes so that the excess water is allowed to drain. I then pat the tofu dry with a fresh paper towel.
  2. Cut the block of tofu into cubes – about 1″ thick and place in a shallow dish (will be marinating the tofu in this dish).
  3. In a seperate bowl mix the soy sauce, garlic, ginger, agave syrup, sesame oil and pepper flakes.
  4. Pour the mixture over the tofu and combine to cover all the pieces. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours (I was hungry and only marinated for an hour).
  5. In a pan over medium heat (almost medium high) add the olive oil. Place the tofu in the pan. Reserve the extra marinade in your dish (for later.)
  6. Allow to cook 5-6 minutes on each side, stirring occasionally so that the tofu doesn’t stick on the pan. You want to get a nice deep brown color developing.
  7. After the tofu has been cooking 10-12 minutes, add the green beans and cover the entire pan for 3-4 minutes in order to steam the green beans. They should turn a bright green color.
  8. Transfer the contents of the pan into a large serving dish.
  9. Take the reserved/leftover marinade and pour into the pan. Allow to bring to a soft boil in order to reduce.
  10. Serve tofu over brown rice (I prefer short grain) and pour the reduced sauce over the entire place.
  11. Garnish with sesame seeds if desired.
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I love dishes where you can just throw everything into the same pan

I know there seems to be a lot of steps, but it’s really easy. It’s also something that can be tweaked to accomodate whatever is in your pantry/refrigerator – I had some green beans that were on it’s last leg so that’s why I threw those in. I also happen to have a lot of Asian ingredients (ginger, sesame oil, sesame seeds) because I use those ingredients often for different stir frys and salad dressings. They’re very inexpensive and an easy way to add a lot of flavor with few ingredients.

So in sum, the nuttiness of the brown rice, the sweet and garlicy flavor of the tufu, and the crispness of the green beans all combine to make a seriously delicious dinner. I really think you need to give this a try.

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Any tofu lovers out there? What’s your favorite way to prepare it?

A Reversal of Fortune

Sometimes you just have one of those days. And then you come home to this:

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3 new, unread magazines!

And then? Your neighborhood liquor store proprietor throws in that jar of salted, roasted peanuts that you couldn’t resist while walking to the red wine aisle, for FREE.

Suddenly your day is much brighter.

 

It’s That Time of the Week Again

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Back to work…. Hope everyone had a lovely weekend. I know I did. Be back soon with some fun weekend recaps (shark!!!).

This Is What $100 Dollars at Whole Foods Will Get You

I’m just saying…

I love Whole Foods, but I think I’ll stick to my favorite place for the bulk of my shopping.

P.S. If you do like what you see above, head over to Whole Foods – they’re doing a giveaway for that basket of treats this month.

A Quick and Easy 10 HOUR Dinner

Wait, what? 10 hours? Easy? Yes. It is both of those things.

The other night I made my first pot of black beans. I know. I’m a rockstar 😉

But seriously- I can’t believe how great they turned out! They blow canned beans out of the water in both price and taste. Score!

So while the beans took 8 hours – 6 hours of soaking and 2 hours of cooking, the rest of my dinner came together in a snap. And it was delicious!

The steps:

Very important note: that is steam coming from the beans. Hence the “blurriness”…

That would be a mix of spinach, short grain brown rice, black beans, and a hard boiled egg.

I don’t think dinners get much easier or cheaper than this. All of these ingredients were made ahead of time in big batches and stored in the refrigerator. So this took 5 minutes to heat up and mix.

Honestly, I think it would be even better with a few spoonfuls of salsa (or guac!) on top. It didn’t occur to me until afterwards. Instead, I added a tbsp or two of some leftover vinaigrette to add a little extra flavor and moisture.

It was even better for lunch 🙂

Crackers and laughing cow is not mandatory but strongly suggested recommended.

Toe-may-toe Toe-mah-toe

Yuck. Yuck. Yuuuuuck.

All tomatoes ARE not the same for me. I cannot stand tomatoes in raw form. You will never hear me order a burger without requesting “no tomatoe please.” However, in salsa or in a sauce? Sure, why not. I can even stomach a little bit if it’s roasted. It’s worth noting, however, if there isn’t enough lime or onion in the salsa you might find me scraping off most of the tomato chunks.

It’s strange. I know. But it’s what I like. Or rather, dislike.

Other things I don’t like?

This does not do my body good

MILK. It’s not because I’m dairy-free. Good lord no. I consume far too much cheese and icecream to ever consider going dairy free. But the thought of enjoying a glass of milk makes me sick to my stomach. Ask my parents, they will tell you that I used to scrape the cereal off my spoon so as to not accidentally consume a big gulp of milk, and used to call their bluff by sitting at the table for hours, refusing to drink my milk so I could leave. Nope. No milk for me.

Surprisingly, I enjoy almond milk. Though this is a cautious endeavor. I have yet to actually sip it plain. I’m afraid it’ll remind me of actual cow’s milk and I’ll…for lack of a better word…barf.

Lastly, I’m going to call out almond butter. It’s. Not. That. Great.

Thanks, but I'll pass.

I think I just committed a foodblogger crime. Oh well. I don’t like it that much. I don’t really care for peanut butter that much either. (Apart from the occassional PB&J). I think it’s dry. And I think it’s just ‘meh.’ I’ve tried everything from Skippy to Justin’s. It’s just not for me. And I certainly don’t think it’s the magical ingredient that transforms everything it touches. You would think it’s made of unicorn fairy dust the way some people go on about how a spoonful of peanut butter transformed their oatmeal and made it the best thing ever. Please.

I’m sure I could come up with many more, but these are the biggest offenders. I’m not sure why I felt compelled to share all of this today…must be a Monday thing. Also, not trying to offend anyone. If you love peanut/almond butter and it’s ability to make liver and onions the most tastiest, edible thing ever – awesome. 😉

What are some foods that everyone else seems to love that you can’t stand? (Don’t be afraid, this is a safe place…)