Day 8 – Surprising Successes (& Tofu!)

10 Jan

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Song of the Post –  Cake by Keepaway 

Hey bloggies!

Are you ready for a whirlwind post full of unconventional ingredients and spectacular results?  I trust you are, and here we go!

Starting in the beginning – breakfast.  I subscribe to the weekly newsletter from PCC Natural Markets (my favorite grocery store in the world), and this last week’s edition featured delicious hot cereal options.  Quinoa, almond milk and a sprinkling of raisins come together to create a warm and cozy breakfast, perfect for frosty winter mornings.  Enjoy and be happy from the inside out!

Hot Quinoa Cereal

  • 1/3 cup whole quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk or nut milk
  • 1 /2 cup filtered water
  • Pinch of unrefined salt
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • Generous pinch of pumpkin pie spice (Trader Joe’s brand)

Place all ingredients in a small pot and soak overnight in the refrigerator.

To cook the cereal, place it on the stovetop, covered, on low heat.  Let it simmer slowly for about 20 minutes (up to 1 hour for the rice cereal), stirring occasionally.  Add extra water if the cereal is too thick.  Mix in raisins and pumpkin pie spice and enjoy warm.

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Now that you’re full and happy from a piping hot breakfast, it’s time for a crisp, refreshing lunch.

Here’s a Lauren original – Cucumber Spinach and Guac Pita.  It was so good that I forgot to take a picture until I was halfway done!  The combination of cool cucumber slices, powerful red onion and creamy avocado makes for a perfect midday meal.  Also, I’m a sucker for onions… so I added extra red onion slices on top.  Yum!

Cucumber Spinach and Guac Pita

  • 3 avocados, mashed
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1 whole wheat pita
Mix avocados, onion, tomato and salt to make the guacamole.  Spread guac on pita bread, add cucumbers and spinach.  Munch and enjoy!

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And now, the main event.  Ladies and gentlemen, I conquered one of the most terrifying and misunderstood vegetarian ingredients of all time – TOFU!  After a few hours of research, I decided that there are two things necessary for creating exceptional tofu – it must be baked and it has to have a lot of flavor.  Peas and Thank You is a lovely cooking website, and I’m convinced they have the best tofu marinade recipe of all time!

My fear of tofu has vanished completely after trying this simple and fantastic dish.  Crisp, spicy and colorful – I am seriously shocked at how delicious it was!  The trick is maple syrup.  It gives the tofu an interesting taste mid-bite!  Anyways, I swear by this recipe and encourage everyone to try it out.  Tofu is my friend, and it wants to be your friend too!  Go for it.

Spicy Baked Tofu

  • 3 T. soy sauce, tamari or Bragg’s Aminos
  • 1 T. maple syrup (or agave)
  • 3 T. water
  • 1 t. chili powder
  • 1/2 t. cumin
  • 1 block of tofu, cut in 1/4 inch thick slices

Prepare your marinade in a large container with a sealable lid by whisking together all ingredients.  Carefully add your tofu. And even more carefully, place the lid on the container and give it a gentle toss.  After at least a couple hours, your tofu should be evenly coated and will have absorbed most of the liquid.

Preheat the broiler and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray or a light mist of oil. Arrange tofu slices on the baking sheet and drizzle any remaining marinade over the top.  Broil the tofu on one side for 5-6 minutes, flip the tofu over and return it to the oven to broil for an additional 5-6 minutes on the opposite side.  Serve as taco filling, on top of salad, or as a meal of its own.

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6 Responses to “Day 8 – Surprising Successes (& Tofu!)”

  1. mollyferree January 11, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    I hate that you’re slowly influencing me to want to try these haha, this looks great. What about the texture of the tofu, does that throw you?

    • ldenslow12 January 11, 2012 at 11:22 am #

      Not really, when tofu is baked it’s a little crispy on the outside and chewy like a mushroom on the inside. Yum yummmm!

  2. ebosman12 January 11, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    Wow! This blog was full of great info.. Not going to lie I am slowly warming up to the idea of tofu 😉

  3. rachelokelley January 11, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

    I’ve always had a beef with tofu (please excuse the very anti-vegan sounding comment, I just couldn’t think of any other way to say it…), but your recipe looks and sounds so yummy. This might be a game changer for me 🙂 Thanks!

  4. stepstosustainability January 12, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    Your recipes always sound so good! I’m definitely trying the quinoa breakfast.

  5. mlocatell13 January 12, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    Loving your recipe for tofu!

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