Crunchy Coconut Tofu

I used to be so witty.

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I actually glanced through old posts to see what I used to write about to see if it would inspire a spark of wittiness. Nothing. How was I so witty back then?

I think that these days there is so much running through my brain AT ALL TIMES that there isn’t enough room for wittiness. Maybe once I get settled into my new job, I will be able to relax a little and the wittiness will start flowing.

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I feel like I want to spit nutrition facts at you. How boring am I?! The boringest. Yes, that’s a word.

Okay, let’s steer away from the wittiness and onto tofu. For the next post, I’ll try to jot down some material so I can post something more interesting than blabbing about how my brain never stops. Well, except when I binge watched Army Wives. I think it might’ve turned off a couple times. Also, Claudia Joy? Life goals. She’s perfect.

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Tofu. Let’s go. So there’s this magical thing called thai food. Combine peanut butter and coconut and it passes as thai. Right? I don’t actually know but it feels thai to me. Are you supposed to capitalize Thai? All the time or just sometimes? [See, there goes my brain again…]

This recipe is neat because it’s four ingredients. FOUR. That is beautiful. I hate those recipes that drone on and on about a million ingredients, most of which you don’t have and have to substitute and then who the heck knows if your recipe will turn out.

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This one will. Four: tofu, peanut butter, oil, coconut. BAM: meal. Well, protein. Maybe add some veggies next to it.

Crunchy Coconut Tofu
Inspired by Tone It Up’s Nutrition Plan

1 package tofu, cubed
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped coconut flakes (the hard kind, not the sweetened kind)

  1. Cut tofu into medium-sized cubes and press between paper towels and with something heavy on top (like a cutting board and textbook) or a tofu press for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once oil has heated, sauté tofu, turning over every few minutes, until tofu is lightly brownish-tan and slightly crunchy. This may take 10 minutes or so.
  3. Add peanut butter and stir in until melted and the tofu is covered.
  4. Take the tofu off the heat and mix in the coconut flakes.

 

Easy Tofu and Vegetable Taco

This week is madness. All of the weeks are madness at the end of the semester. I am somewhere in between mental breakdown and denial about how much work I have to do. I think we all are.

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Life, especially in times of stress and madness, is all about the little victories. Like when Grey’s Anatomy comes on every Thursday. And when eating 2 tablespoons of yogurt doesn’t hurt my stomach.

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It’s also about listening to your needs. Like a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked while paper writing. No judgment, no shame, no regrets. Also not FODMAP-friendly, but hey. Neither is this much work to do or stress.

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Life is also all about delicious foods. And easy foods. And fuel to keep you going until midnight when you’re writing a major paper. I actually had this taco before I started the FODMAP-diet (and my current status is on and off because date night tomorrow is not going to entail worrying about FODMAP foods). This could easily be FODMAP-ized and is a “throw together” dinner that takes no brain power. Aka, my current mental status.

Easy Tofu and Vegetable Taco

1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 whole wheat tortilla
1/4 package tofu, or about 1/3 c cubed
2 mini bell peppers, cubed
1/4 c diced red onions
1/3 c frozen edamame
Handful of spinach
Pinch of 8th World Wonder Spice
Pinch of ginger

1. Over medium heat, sauté tofu, bell peppers, and onion in olive oil in a sauté pan.
2. Add the lemon juice and spices, and continue to cook (and flip tofu) until the veggies are slightly softened and the tofu is slightly crispy on the outside.
3. When the vegetables are cooked to your liking, add in the spinach and edamame and cook until the spinach is slightly wilted.
4. Pour contents into a tortilla and nom.

Spicy Orange Vegetable and Tofu Stir Fry

I was out of power from Friday morning to Sunday night. And let me just tell you. Power is one of  those things you REALLY don’t appreciate until it’s gone.

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I mean, I seriously take power for granted. Hot showers? Having light in the bathroom? Seeing the time on the microwave? These are luxuries, people. I essentially moved my entire refrigerator to my boyfriend’s apartment. I don’t think it’s ever seen that much food.

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Let’s just say after a few days, I have been itching to cook something hot, fresh, and delicious. I worked a double shift at work today, doing schoolwork on my Spring Break (rage! not..), and all I could think about was this stir fry.

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This isn’t the first time I’ve made this stir fry. For good freaking reason. This chick is genius. Cornstarch (or maple syrup?) gives this sauce a delicious thickness that clings to the contents of this stir fry. Seriously. Favorite Asian sauce ever. If not all-time favorite sauce ever. Yes, it’s that good.

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I urge you to make this. NOW. You can make it with chicken, shrimp, beef… whatever your heart desires. You can also add rice or quinoa to serve as a bed for this delicious concoction. I’m making muffins tonight, so I didn’t want to carbo-load – since my body hasn’t run an inch in years, carbo-loading is a thing of the past. This would also be delicious with mango or pineapple chunks. OR BOTH. Go crazy.

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Spicy Orange Vegetable and Tofu Stir Fry
Adapted from Vegan Richa

4 tsp cornstarch
1/4 c warm water
1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c rice vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup
Zest + juice + pulp from 1 clementine
2 tbsp olive oil
1 package extra firm tofu, cubed and pressed
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 small squash, sliced
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 green onion, thinly sliced
Sesame seeds

1. Whisk together cornstarch and warm water. Then add soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, zest, juice, and pulp from clementine. (For pulp, just take a fork and gently rake out the pulp after you have squeezed the clementine.)
2. Over medium-high heat, sauté the tofu, black pepper, and red pepper flakes in the oil for 6-8 minutes, turning to allow browning on all sides.
3. Turn the heat down to medium, add the garlic, vegetables (except green onion), and sauce. Allow to cook for a few minutes, then turn the heat back up to medium-high and cook until the vegetables are slightly softened and the sauce has thickened.
4. Serve topped with sesame seeds and green onions.

Buttery Herb Zucchini Spaghetti

Remember how I was so determined to finish all 7 Harry Potter books this summer?

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Doesn’t that feel like a long time ago? I am about 3/4 of the way through the 6th one and … well, that being said, I haven’t touched it since August. Until yesterday. And I don’t remember a dang thing that’s going on. I am NOT going to reread all 600 pages that I’ve already accomplished – that’s for sure – so I’m trying to skim random places throughout the book to remember. It’s not exactly working.

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Despite my inability to remember anything (seriously need to work on this as a dietetic student), I feel like zucchini spaghetti would totally be something they would serve at Hogwarts with their dragon milk cheese and pumpkin juice.

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Something about turning a vegetable into a noodle is the COOLEST thing since sliced bread. Literally. It’s practically magical. I mean, the options are endless. The first time I ate it, I actually ate it with marinara. But then I ran out so I decided to whip up a buttery herb sauce. I don’t ever cook with butter but when I do, it is soooo good.

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Do your belly a favor. Eat your vegetables the buttery noodle way.

Buttery Herb Zucchini Spaghetti

1 zucchini, spiralized
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp butter
Feta for taste

1. Saute zucchini noodles and garlic in olive oil over medium-low heat.
2. Add herbs and continue to stir until cooked through and slightly wilted.
3. Add butter and stir until butter has melted and caramelized the noodles slightly.
4. Top with feta.

Copycat PF Chang’s Tofu with Walnuts and Honeydew

My family and I love PF Chang’s.

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Birthday? There. Graduation? You know it. Randomly in Greensboro? Happening. When I ate seafood, I loveloveloved the Shrimp with Candied Walnuts dish. Then I became a strict vegetarian. Thinking my “Shrimp” with Candied Walnut days were over, I took a chance and asked if they could substitute tofu. AND THEY COULD.

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I’ve been in love ever since. Now, sometimes the tofu is good, and sometimes it isn’t. But the sauce, walnuts and honeydew are always good.

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When I went there for graduation, I decided I wanted to try to replicate it. I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the flavor of the sauce at the time, but the sauce in this recipe is still really fabulous. My mom called it “better than PF Chang’s.” That’s a stretch, but I’ll take it.

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These walnuts are not candied. I’ll probably redo this recipe later and candy them, but for now, this is a healthy version of the beloved Shrimp with Candied Walnuts.

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Tofu with Walnuts & Honeydew
Inspired by PF Chang’s

Main Dish:
1/4 block tofu, drained and cubed
2 tsp blood orange olive oil (or any citrusy flavor, or plain)
1/2 c rice
1/3 c honeydew, “cut” in balls
1/4 c walnuts

Sauce:
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp blood orange olive oil
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp spicy brown mustard

1. In a skillet over medium high heat, brown the tofu in the olive oil, flipping to allow each side to brown. Cook until crispy on the outside.
2. Cook rice according to directions.
3. Top rice with tofu, walnuts and honeydew.
4. Combine sauce ingredients with a whisk and pour over rice bowl.