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Posts Tagged ‘tofu’

It’s been a while since I’ve done a “Day in the life of” post. I really enjoy looking back at my earlier posts because they were more of a journal or diary rather than ‘just recipes.’

I guess a mixture between the two is the way to go for me.

Speaking of mixtures, my dinner tonight was a wonderful mismatch of delicious recipes.

Before getting to dinner, let’s start with breakfast.

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Breakfast was a yogurt bowl using my new favorite Turkish yogurt topped with raw oats, fresh strawberries from my CSA box, ground flaxseed, raw buckwheat and slivered almonds.

Delicious.

My time at school has been very busy lately. Last week the students had to take their standardized tests which means that this week I’m very busy marking the tests. We have also been busy putting together a musical which has been a lot of fun, but a lot of behind-the-scenes stress for me.

My first break today was spent trying to work out some computer kinks with the tech guy at school. After much effort, neither my SD drive nor my scanner were properly working. Boo.

At least I was able to munch on an apple during the so-called-break.

Regular lessons continued after the break and before I knew it, it was lunch.

Although I didn’t snap a photo of my salad, it was identical to the salad I ate yesterday, so here’s a slightly blurry picture of that salad.

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All ingredients, except for the chickpeas and salad dressing came from my CSA box.

Cabbage, red leaf lettuce, zucchini, carrots, red peppers, chickpeas and a dressing made with grape seed oil, white wine vinegar, sweet mustard, salt and pepper.

Lately I’ve recognized that my produce supply is now grocery store free. All of the vegetables in my refrigerator for at least the past 3 weeks have come from my boxed delivery scheme. Really cool to be eating completely locally grown vegetables.

Sadly, I wasn’t able to really enjoy my lunch today as I was too busy arranging microphones and the sound system for my students’ musical.

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My adorable 18 students are putting on a musical performance of The Pied Piper of Hamelin. They have worked so hard to create the set, costumes, props and characterizations.

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The backdrop for the musical turned out really well, if I do say so myself. I sketched a town scene onto two large bed sheets then the kids took it away from there.

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They mixed their paints then painted the entire scene. They worked so well together by organizing themselves into ‘task forces.’ Our classroom assistant and I then went through and outlined everything with black permanent markers.

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The amazing music teacher at our school actually wrote all the music for our musical. I told her what I wanted to do, gave her a few lyrical ideas and she created something amazing.

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Today my class invited the whole school to watch their dress rehearsal. Although they were obviously nervous, they sang their little hearts out and really impressed the students and teachers alike.

I am so so very proud of these kids.

We have another rehearsal tomorrow with a small audience and then the parents’ performance on Wednesday.

Wish them luck!

After school, I went to the gym and took a new class. It was so hard but so good. While taking a shower, I could barely rub the shampoo in my hair- my arms felt like noodles.

Once finished at the gym, I came home to make dinner.

My refrigerator was getting pretty full of food that needed to be used up or thrown out. Although this meal was a real mismatch of unlike food items, the whole package was magical.

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Wild rice, tahini coleslaw, rhubarb chutney and breaded tofu.P5236948

Let’s be honest, I only made the rice to use the rice cooker I inherited yesterday from a leaving teacher. Making the rice was more fun than eating it and all but a couple bites sadly went in the bin.

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I used Mama Pea’s recipe for Tahini Slaw but omitted the peppers. Although I accidently went a little heavy on the dressing, this slaw recipe is a keeper. I love the Asian flavor from the ginger and creaminess of the tahini.

Yummy!

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This past week, a good looking recipe for Crispy Tofu Kabobs with Rhubarb Chutney was posted on one of my favorite recipe blogs, vegalicious.

I knew then and there that these recipes would help me put to use the tofu and rhubarb that were hanging out in my fridge waiting to be used.

Although I didn’t have panko crumbs, normal breadcrumbs worked very well. This is actually the first time I’ve ever fried anything or made a chutney.

While everything (except for the rice) was delicious, the real star of the whole meal was the rhubarb chutney.

Holy Cow!

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Spicy, sweet, warm and flavorful, this chutney rocked my taste buds.

If you have 3 stalks of rhubarb handing around, please make this chutney. It was so simple with outstanding flavor and depth.

Such a yummy, mismatched meal.

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Bok choy.

Pok choy.

Pak choi.

Pack choy.

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I’m not sure which name is actually correct, but I do know that this recipe makes for a delicious lunch.

This gorgeous head of pak choi was delivered in my last organic vegetable box.

P4175809 This recipe was a quick to put together.

First, cook up the pak choi with a bit of ginger.

P4175808 Stir-fry the marinated tofu.

P4175811 Once the tofu is cooked fully and the remaining marinade has reduced to a thick caramelizing sauce, just top the pak choi with the tofu.

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Ginger Tofu with Pak Choi

Adapted from bbcgoodfood

Makes 2 servings

  • 250g fresh firm tofu , drained

  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil

  • 1cm piece ginger, sliced

  • 200g pak choi, leaves separated

  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar

  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes

  • cooked jasmine rice , to serve

For the Marinade

  • 1 tbsp grated ginger

  • 1 tsp tamarind paste

  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

  1. Gently prick a few holes in the tofu with a toothpick (this will help the marinade to soak into it, giving better flavour), then cut into bite-size cubes.
  2. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl and toss in the tofu pieces. Set aside to marinate for 10-15 mins.
  3. Heat a wok over high heat and add half the groundnut oil. When the oil starts to smoke, add the ginger slices and stir-fry for a few secs. Add the pak choy leaves and stir-fry for 1-2 mins. Add a small splash of water to create some steam and cook for 2 mins more. When the leaves have wilted and the stems are cooked but still a little crunchy, season with salt and transfer to a serving dish.
  4. Rinse the wok under cold water, then reheat it and add the remaining oil. When it starts to smoke, add the tofu pieces (retaining the marinade liquid) and stir-fry for 5-10 mins. Take care not to break up the tofu as you toss it to get it browned evenly on all sides. Season with the rice wine and rice vinegar. Add the remaining marinade liquid, bring to the bubble and let the liquid reduce. Sprinkle over the chilli flakes and toss well. Spoon onto the pak choy and serve immediately with jasmine rice, if you like.

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My classroom has the best view in the school. We have a balcony (ok, it’s really an emergency exit) off of our room that overlooks the playground. Right now, the tree outside our door is in full bloom.

P4075107 It was a little windy today. As the wind blew through, the blossoms of the tree drifted away like springtime snow.

Luckily, it’s getting warmer here. Today was another no-jacket day. Yippy!

After school today, I went to the gym then came home to a delicious dinner, ready and waiting for me.

P4075117 This afternoon, Sebastian threw the ingredients for this recipe into the food processor then into our new slow cooker. The only changes he made was to use tofu rather than chicken and not add the cornstarch mixture at the end since the curry was already thick and creamy.

P4075112 I’m thinking about making this for our staff pot-luck next week. It was so tasty and from what I’ve been told, very easy as well. Served with naan and jasmine rice, this is the perfect mid-week meal.

Thanks, Sebastian!

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Autumn Walks

The weather this week has been unbelievable.

Autumn in Germany is usually dreary, damp, dark and dreadful.

This year, it is warm, bright, colorful and delightful.

Sebastian and I have been taking full advantage of the beautiful weather.

PA090056 Weather perfect for long walks.

Yesterday we walked into town for dinner at my favorite falafel place.

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Today I slept in until naturally waking up around 8:30.

First thing on the agenda for the day, breakfast!

PA090027 pumpkin pancakes

After a relaxing morning at home, I went to the gym for Body Balance.

Every time I walk out of that class, I feel better than I did going in.

I feel better physically, mentally and spiritually.

It’s amazing what an hour can do to you.

Add on a relaxing 15 minute sweat session in the sauna and I’m as good as gold!

Once home, I made a fantastic fresh juice.

I can’t seem to kick this cold and am hoping the extra vitamins and nutrients will help.

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purple carrots, ginger, beet root, an orange and lemon

PA090033 this combination makes a delicious and beautiful drink

Sebastian had to work tonight so we went on another walk before parting ways.

PA090060 PA090062 PA090064 I couldn’t figure out how to get the color right on this shot.           Any suggestions?

PA090068PA090070PA090071 Back at home, I made a cake for my colleague who just returned home after a month and a half away after her knee replacement.

PA090136 Keeping with the autumn inspiration, I made her a Layered Cinnamon Apple Spice Cake with Caramel Apple Sauce.

She was so pleased to see me (or was it just the cake?).

We had a nice chat and then it was back to home for me.

Dinner was Kristin’s Sautéed Asian Broccoli Tofu!

PA090148 My photos aren’t the best, but her recipe was quick and tasty.

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The kitchen is clean, the garbage and recycling are out, I’m ready to relax with a book in bed.

Wishing you beautiful weather worthy of elongated autumn walks!

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Last night, Sebastian and I went a roof-top barbecue at my friends Zoe and Jan’s house. Although I told myself before going, “you will take tons of photos to capture this day and your wonderful life abroad,” I didn’t. My camera didn’t even come out of the bag. Such a shame.

Anyways, I do have some photos for you, we’ve got the pre-party food preparation… and the post-party food recuperation.

Let’s start at the very beginning!

Because we were going to a barbecue, marinated veggie kebabs were in order.

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I started out by cutting up chunks of smoked tofu, red pepper, zucchini and onions. Rhythmically skewed, the kebabs were ready for a bath in some ridiculous flavor.

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I then made a marinade out of fresh thyme, fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. All mashed up together, it was kebab bath time.

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Lookin’ good! I love how dainty the thyme leaves are.

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I left the kebabs to sit in the refrigerator for about 2 hours before going to the party. They grilled beautifully over the hot coals.

I also brought along a huge batch of my Worthy Caprese Salad

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This is a 9×13 cake pan with a double layer of tomatoes, mozzarella, basil oil and balsamic vinegar. I was shocked how quickly this whole pan was eaten up. Every last piece of mozzarella was gone. I’m telling you, people love this!

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We had so much fun at the barbecue. The food was good. The view was wonderful. The company made the night. I am so lucky to have such an amazing group of friends over here. Truly blessed, really.

Unfortunately, the good times last night made for hard times this morning.

Now we begin the transition into party-food recuperation.

I sometimes wonder if I am allergic to alcohol. If I drink wine, I’m fine. If I drink two or more glasses of anything else, I’m sick as a dog the next day.

Kate brought a very British alcohol called Pimm’s to the party last night, complete with a buffet of mix-ins like cucumber, lime, lemon and mint. I only had 3 drinks, wasn’t even tipsy, but felt sick as a dog this morning.

Sebastian was also feeling sick this morning… but with good reason.

Nothing settles an upset stomach like a broth-based soup.

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Into the pan went water, vegetable bullion, 2 celery stalks, 1 carrot and alphabet noodles. Once the veggies and noodles were cooked, the bowls were topped with fresh parsley.

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Matching soup with toasted bread for dipping.

I’m feeling much better now!

Have a happy and well Sunday!

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Today was another strange day.

I slept in quite late then woke up only because I was hungry.

Breakfast was simple: oatmeal and orange juice.

P8118359 Oats cooked with water and soy milk, a white peach, ground flax and pumpkin seeds

While in London, I bought Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food.

I can’t put it down; this alone accounts for the fact that I barely moved at all today.

After several hours of reading, I got up to eat again.

Lunch was Moroccan Tomato and Chickpea Salad.

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Moroccan Tomato and Chickpea Salad

1 Serving

Ingredients

  • 1/4 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. flaxseed oil or olive oil
  • 2-4 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • pinch of paprika
  • pinch of cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and set aside for 10 minutes allowing the flavors to infuse. Serve.

This quick improvisation was delicious, I’ll certainly be making it frequently once school starts up again.

Throughout the afternoon, while reading some more and catching up on e-mails, I snacked on grapes and Brazil nuts.

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Believe it or not, the next monumental activity of the day was more eating!

Dinner was leftover green beans and warm aubergine salad from last night alongside pan seared smoked tofu.

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While heating up dinner, I got a call from Kate asking if I wanted to see Inception. Although I’m not much of an action-movie kind of girl, I have really been missing my friends so eagerly agreed to meet up with Kate, Zoe, Kim and Will.

In order to save my health as well as some money, I made my own popcorn and smuggled it along with iced tea into the theatre.

P8118374  Chili popcorn: sprinkle freshly popped corn with chili powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, nutritional yeast and a bit of salt.

Inception.

Let’s just say that when I went into the theater, my finger nails were painted. When I left the theater, there was one little stripe of polish left on my left ring finger. No joke. I mindlessly scraped the polish off of 9.9 finger nails.

Although it was a strange movie, it was really good and I’m glad that I went.

So, after a day of eating, reading, and movie watching, I’m off to bed. Tomorrow, I have to get my body in motion!

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Chocolate Vegan Brownies

I wish I could blink and each and every one of you would be in my apartment this instant.

Why?

Because I have the best brownies to share.

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If you can’t come here, I wish I could at least transport the smell.

Seriously, baking brownies produce the most euphoric smell.

If I can’t bring you here to share and I can’t give you the smell, at least I can share the recipe.

Today I found a new (to me) blog. It was love at first sight. Her photography is particularly impressive. This here brownie recipe is one of them which she found via the edible perspective.

What you see below is the recipe using my substitutions based on the ingredients I had on hand. For example, I can’t find whole wheat pastry flour in Germany, but use a substitution of whole wheat flour and cornstarch to reach similar results.

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Chocolate Vegan Brownies

Ingredients

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 Tbsp. corn starch

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup organic unrefined whole cane sugar

1/4 cup agave nectar, maple syrup, or brown rice syrup

2 tsp vanilla

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius.)

1. Sift together flour, corn starch, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda in small bowl.

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2. In a medium bowl mix applesauce, sugar, agave nectar and vanilla until combined.

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3. Stir in the dry ingredients. The batter reminds me of chocolate mouse. It is so fluffy and airy.

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4. Fill pre-greased 8″ x 8″ pan (or something similar) and bake for 20 minutes or until the edges start separating from the sides of the pan and cracks form on top.

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5. If you have sufficient self control, let the brownies sit for at least 30 minutes to cool before cutting and eating.

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Next time, I’ll add a tsp. of instant coffee granules for an extra flavor kick.

I have always been a middle-piece kind of girl. Growing up, it was always obvious when I got into my mom’s baked treats because the center would be masterfully cut out.

With these brownies, ever slice is soft and fudgy like a middle piece.

Perfect.

In case you’re interested, here’s my dinner.

P8018042 Roasted carrots, wild rice and baked tofu.

I was going to tell you about the tofu… but that was before the brownies.

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Life lesson: chocolate always wins.

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