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.

 

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Asian Tofu, Fruit, and Quinoa Bowl

I am 100% diving into Tone It Up world. If you haven’t seen my recent Instagram posts, you may not know what Tone It Up is or how awesome it is.

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It’s basically these two crazy awesome women who started this program called Tone It Up. They have recipes, workouts, motivation tips, and there is a whole community involved in it. It keeps you motivated and you can do “check-ins” every day about what you’ve eaten or what you did for exercise that day. There’s also a 100 by Summer (or 150 by Summer) which means 100 miles by June 21. I am already at 13 miles and pretty proud of myself. It can be hard and time consuming since I can’t run (stinkin’ bulging disc) but it’s forcing me to put the time in and earn the miles, which is good. Also, one of my friends is doing it with me which makes me that much more accountable and it makes it that much more fun.

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Tone It Up is also motivating me to eat well. I even got a kid’s size at Coldstone! Half chocolate and half frozen yogurt! With cookie dough, but still. A kid’s. Normally I get a Like It of Mint Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip with mint and chocolate cake batter yogurt but I refrained.

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And I made this delicious concoction. Sometimes things just come to me. I think about flavor combinations and I get inspired. Normally, I whip up a salad or something easy for dinner but last night I wanted to make something a little special since I was going to be writing papers half the night and I wasn’t working.

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Asian Tofu, Fruit, and Quinoa Bowl
Note: I made all the tofu but only used half in the recipe and saved the other half for later. You can either do what I did, half the tofu recipe, or use the tofu recipe and have a stronger sauce.

For tofu:
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 package tofu, cubed
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp garlic powder

For sauce:
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce

For salad:
1 mango, chopped
1/2 c blueberries
1/2 of tofu
3/4 c quinoa

1. Set oven to 375°F.
2. Combine tofu ingredients, minus tofu.
3. In a bowl, combine tofu with ‘tofu’ ingredients, and stir. Allow to sit for a few minutes, stir again, and sit for a few more minutes.
4. Lay tofu out onto a baking sheet and cook for 45 minutes, flipping after 20 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, combine the sauce ingredients.
6. Once the tofu is done, make the salad ingredients and pour the sauce over. Serve warm.

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.

Sassy Peanut Lettuce Wraps

Yes, I said sassy. Because these are. This is a one-pan, super delicious, high-in-flavor, low-in-calories (under 400!) meal that is great for spring and summer.

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I just made cabbage wraps but lettuce wraps are so.much.easier. There is no steaming or boiling, you just rip off the leaves, stuff them, and enjoy.

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On an unrelated note, I had some chocolate the other day. It’s up for debate if chocolate/cocoa powder is FODMAP-diet approved [I’m 99% sure they just determined it isn’t, which just ruined my whole life], but I gave it a try. Well, my boyfriend got 72% dark chocolate for me and I guess the caffeine got to me because I was wired.

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I “banged out” part of my paper between 8pm and midnight, and I was still rearing to go at 11:59pm. I called it quits due to my 8am, but if you need a chocolate fix AND are pulling a late-nighter? Grab some dark chocolate.

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So back to lettuce wraps. I am loving these. I am all about food you can pick up. It’s just so cute and fun. I also love eating on the floor. I used to hang out on the floor a lot back in the day – listening to music, writing papers, studying – so since this is an Asian dish, and some cultures eat on the floor, I thought I would eat it on the floor. Totally awesome.

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Sassy Asian Lettuce Wraps

1/2 zucchini, finely chopped
1/2 squash, finely chopped
1/4 c finely chopped carrots
1/3 package extra firm tofu, in small cubes
1.5 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tbsp peanut butter
Lettuce leaves

1. Over medium heat in a medium or large skillet, add 1 tsp sesame oil to a pan. Add zucchini, squash, and carrots. Stir and allow to sauté for about 5 minutes.
2. In a small or medium skillet, sauté tofu with the remaining 1/2 tsp sesame oil.
3. In the vegetable skillet, add soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, and peanut butter. Stir to combine.
4. Once tofu has a slightly crunchy exterior, add tofu to vegetable skillet and stir to combine flavors.
5. Cook for a couple more minutes, and then serve on lettuce leaves.

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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.