Burmese Tofu!

I don’t really remember how I got obsessed with making Burmese tofu. I think I was reading about how terrible soy is for women (especially if you have hormonal dysfunctions like I, and so many women, do), and I was looking around for a substitute (probably, sounds like me). I do remember this was several months ago. I have been wanting to make this recipe for a while now. I had the bag of chickpea flour, just waiting in the wings. When I started making mug cakes and waffles with the flour I knew I had to use it for what I originally bought it for (because I would end up making 101 chickpea mug cakes and no tofu). So, here’s how I started…

Ingredients
First time using pano on my phone and it’s for food!

The ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Flour
  • 3 Cups of water
  • Several shakes of turmeric
  • Two shakes of crushed red pepper
  • As much garlic as you can stand in your cooking (I can stand a lot!)
  • About four grinds of Himalayan Pink Salt
  • A few grinds of black pepper

As you can see, I’m really precise (heh). The most important thing is the flour and the water – you can season this however you like. Some people use broth or stock in place of water and, hey, if I had some I’d probably use that too. So, you boil two cups of the water and, in the meantime and in a separate bowl:

  • Blend the flour, and the spices, with the remaining cup of water.

Once the two cups of water have reached a rolling boil, add the flour/spice/water mixture. It’ll look like this:

Mixed Tofu
Glossy…

So, you have to whisk-whisk-whisk away to get rid of any lumps and until the mixture looks glossy (like it goes in the picture). You are now ready to pour the mixture into your prepared pan. To get your pan ready, line it with parchment paper. I used an 8×8 Pyrex pan.

Spread Tofu
Smooth it better than I did! I should’ve used a bigger pan…

Smooth it out in your pan, using a spoon or a spatula.

Then, once it’s spread out in the pan, let it sit until it gets room temperature (so condensation doesn’t form when you put it in the fridge). Which brings us to the next step: put it in the fridge! I let it sit out for about an hour and put it in the fridge for about three hours and I got this:

Refrigerated Tofu

After it firms up in the fridge, you can cut up your tofu in any shape you want for your dishes. I cut mine two ways – in triangles and small rhombuses (yup, I said “rhombuses” – wait, is it “rhombuses” or “rhombi”?).

Stir Fry Pieces
Rhombuses (rhombi), for stir-fry…

Here I am frying the triangles in some olive oil:

Golden Brown
Try not to use too much oil – these are like little sponges…

They are SUPER YUMMY! Take a look at this:

Cooked
Golden brown and delicious!

Crisp on the outside, a little soft on the inside. Seasoned perfectly (if I do say so myself)!

So, I made some meals with it:

Meals

I will most definitely share my stir-fry on Instagram!

So this was an easy, delicious recipe. A success! I can add this one to my repertoire, change it up a bit, make different sides. A great soy substitute!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Sunday Meal Prep: Feeling Productive…

As the title says, yes, today was a very productive day. I did everything that was on my to-do list and even a little more. One of the most important things I did today was prepare my dinners for the week. Yes – meal prepping is key to making life a little easier.

Seriously. One of my favorite meal preppers, WorkWeekLunch, mentioned a few weeks ago that we have so many decisions to make during the day, having our food already prepared eliminates the need to make even more decisions. It’s true. Think about it…I know that if I am at work, and I haven’t made my meals yet, I will wonder “What do I have? What can I make?”. Sometimes the answer is “go get pizza” – which is not good, because I can tend to overdo things (know yourself!)…

So, I have been meal prepping for a fairly long time. A couple of years, at least. When you see the pictures I post of older preps you’ll see that I haven’t always made the cleanest, healthiest choices. Oh well. That’s what I felt like eating at the time and those were times when I was in full-on maintenance mode, when I was comfortable making a little dip into the world of carbs and sugars after dieting for a while. Here are some of my preps, I added an Instagram link for the food listing. I actually have a lot more preps on Instagram, but you really have to scroll down and it was pre-iPhone…

Meal Prep 6
I had just gone to Trader Joe’s
Meal Prep 3
Not too bad
Meal Prep 2
Buffet Style! 
Meal Prep 4
I jacked all of the recipes from Mind Over Munch in this one
Meal Prep 5
A soup and overnight oats phase
Meal Prep
Another buffet style prep! This one looks really appealing right now! 

Below are some recent ones. Since I work from home most of the week, I don’t have to prep all of my meals, just dinner on the days that I actually do have to go into the office.

Meal Prep Recent
Those are not potatoes – it is pureed cauliflower with a little bit of ricotta!
Meal Prep Recent 2
I am in love with frozen meatballs, obviously…

Here is the prep from today. I have a busy week, filled with some exciting stuff! Yay!

Meal Prep Recent - Today
Vegetarian Meal Prep

I added a little something extra to it already. There is not enough red or orange for my taste, so I added some Tomato and Onion Salad

I started by cutting the farmers market tomatoes my grandma gave me today. Seriously, grandmas are the best with the food gifting! I also cut up a little red onion, for flavor…

Tomato & Onion
I decided to do this when it got dark out (bad lighting)…

I seasoned the sliced tomatoes with garlic powder and 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joe’s…

Tomatoes 3
Wax paper on my cutting board, I have been doing this forever. It really helps with clean up!

Then I added a little apple cider vinegar, olive oil and more 21 seasoning salute to the jar, then added the seasoned tomatoes and I shook it up!

Tomatoes 2
Extras for me! (Chef’s treat!)

I didn’t measure, I just wanted enough to coat the tomatoes when I shook the jar!

That should be great for Monday and Tuesday! I’ll have to think of another red or orange for Wednesday and Thursday…

Easy stuff. A little preparation on Sunday, helps you through the entire week!

Enjoy!

 

 

ACV Shots ~ Post-Birthday Detox!

I don’t always go crazy with the food on the weekend. I try to keep the healthy eating going throughout the course of the week, with minimal “cheat meals”. Yesterday though, it was my birthday. I didn’t go too crazy, but I did make a slightly “bad” breakfast, I indulged in a coupla slices of pesto pizza from my favorite pizzeria and I had a celebratory red velvet cupcake (okay, two) from my favorite bakery.  Not too bad, considering the damage I have done in birthdays past (have you ever nearly passed out from eating too many tamales? I have!). But still, since I haven’t had those complex carbs (wheat crust pizza?) in a while, I woke up with an acidy tummy feeling. That’s my very grown up way of saying I had acid reflux this morning. Even though I didn’t eat that much, my body is not used to the carb-sugar overload anymore. Carbs and sugar (over a normal limit), for me = acid reflux. I’ve tried to deny this for years, but those two things are the common denominator.

So, how do I counter this? I’m fighting acid with acid!

Yes! Using natural acid found in lemon juice and apple cider vinegar (ACV) and mixing it with water, neutralizes stomach acid. It helps to drink this acid-water mixture first thing in the morning because it also helps kick start the digestive system. That’s the plan for today – make a couple of ACV shots, in various flavors, for the week.

I decided to make them all in different flavors, all with different health benefits. Apple Pie, Lemon Ginger, Turmeric Lime and Mermaid (hee hee – food trends). Here they are, spices in first…

Spices Down
1/2 teaspoon each – l to r: Cinnamon, Ginger, Turmeric and Spirulina
  • Cinnamon: Helps lower blood pressure
  • Ginger: To soothe/settle the stomach
  • Turmeric: Anti-inflammation
  • Spirulina: Detox and vitamins

I then added a tablespoon of ACV, and about half a teaspoon of my other liquid flavorings.

Acid Additions
Acid Additions…

Here they are with just the ACV and lemon-limeness…

Pure - No Mix
Yeah, not gonna drink this straight!

Some people like to add still water to their ACV shots, but I like seltzer…

Mixed
Sparkly goodness!

I would normally wait until the day I drink these to add the seltzer, but I’m stuntin’ for the camera today!

Today, I am having the Apple Pie…

Apple Pie Shot

Yay! The acid-tummy feeling has subsided and I actually feel more awake (probably because of the acid flavor jolt)…

Try it! Enjoy!

 

Birthday Breakfast!

Today is my Solar Return day! Yay! To celebrate I decided to make a cheat-y breakfast. Peanut Butter Cup Pancakes! Peanut butter is my most favorite sweet thing in the world so I had to get it in somewhere today. These aren’t that bad for me either – not a real “fall-off-the-lifestyle-change-wagon” treat. Once you see the ingredients, you’ll know that it only looks and tastes unhealthy…

Pancake Ingredients
I feel pretty good about this!

See? Not bad, not bad at all…

PB Cup
Nom…

Okay, maybe the Justin’s Peanut Butter Cup. I only used one though!

I made the Kodiak Cakes batter according to the directions and added about two tablespoons of the Crazy Richard’s Pure PB Plus.

Once I got the mix in the pan I topped it with some of the chopped peanut butter cup…

In the Pan
I added more than this!

I only made two pancakes…and I forgot to take a picture until I was 2/3 done!

Pancakes - Eaten
#SorryNotSorry

It was worth every carb and calorie! Happy Birthday to me!

Yogurt Sticks!

 

Yeah, I know how exciting the title sounds. I’m not even going to cheerfully type “But they are exciting!”. They may not be the most exciting things, but they are very useful. Think about the good bacteria! I guess, maybe they can be made to be exciting – I actually got several ideas once I started taking pictures of the process…

Anyway…

Yogurt Sticks. For me they are essential for a good smoothie. They add thickness, almost like adding ice cream or store brought frozen yogurt. That’s what this is like, “breakfast frozen yogurt”. Instead of buying a carton of frozen yogurt and putting scoop after scoop into a once nutritious smoothie, you get to add your own clean, healthy ingredients and control the amount of sugar added.

I usually start the “yogurt stick process” with a huge tub of plain Greek or regular yogurt. Not today. Why? Because yesterday at the grocery store I stumbled upon one of those “Buy these now because the expiration date is coming up soon” deals. It was for Chobani Yogurt and it was 87 cents!

Yogurt
Not too shabby…

I usually don’t buy flavored yogurt. Mainly because the sugar is out of control and for a little carton, it’s not worth it. This yogurt though, it has less sugar and more protein (yay!). Yes, I see there are 14 grams of sugar in one carton. I only use half of the carton in my smoothies though (so there)…

I start by scooping the contents of each container into two separate cups. Then the magic happens (seriously, it takes very little to make me excited)…

Yogurt Mixes
Flavorings…Necessary…

Then, I add different flavorings to each cup (woo hoo)! The yogurt is already vanilla flavored, but why not boost it by adding your own ingredients? Since I usually buy plain yogurt, this step is a must.

In the one on the left, I have cocoa powder and vanilla extract. The one on the right has cinnamon and ginger. These will go well with the the two flavors of protein powder I am using right now. So…stir them up…

Yogurt Mixed
Stirred!

After they are stirred and smoothed out, I add them to plastic “baggies”. I used basic, fold over baggies and not freezer baggies only because I know I am going to use these in 2 to 3 days. If I was saving them longer, I’d use a sturdier baggie.

Yogurt Bags
Get excited!

The good thing about these (cheaper) fold over baggies is that they can be stretched out to have a flat base on your surface, so it’s not such a mess putting the yogurt in them.

As you can see, I divided the mixtures into two so I have four baggies of yogurt. Less sugar, but you still get the good bacteria that yogurt adds to a smoothie. Yay, probiotics! Yay gut health!

I freeze these bad boys, usually overnight, and this is how they look:

Frozen Stick
Frozen yogurt stick!

I add the stick to my blender cup and then add all of my smoothie supplements. With this frozen stick, I don’t have to use as much ice either. Which is great because I usually forget to make ice…

Here’s what I’m talking about, with the corresponding flavors…

Both Smoothies
Natural Whey is THE BOMB! Yes, I just said that…

I use the cinnamon-ginger yogurt stick with the snickerdoodle protein powder and the cocoa with the decadent chocolate.

So, try this. It’s very easy and YAY for more flavor! Doing this just gave me a ton of other ideas…I’ll have to make and share!

Enjoy!

Quickest Meal Prep Ever…

So, it’s Monday. Luckily I am working from home (as I do 60% to 80% of the week) so I can throw together a quick meal prep for when I do have to leave the house this week. I follow a low carb-high(ish) fat meal plan.

I had heard about all of the low carb and no carb variations for years but I was skeptical. I thought “Is this really going to work for me?”. I was so stuck on the “fat makes you fat” rule we were all programmed to follow for weight management. Low fat had worked for me for years BUT I believe that is what put me on an up and down weight roller coaster. I’d do the low fat/low cal thing and then, because it is a deprivation diet, I’d binge when I lost all the weight I wanted, only to gain it back again. I feel like I eat so much now that I am shocked when I look at myself, look at the scale and put on clothes. I am losing weight! I thought I’d gain weight because I have been eating things that were considered “bad”.

This meal prep is not all I eat all day. I have a couple of protein smoothies during the day, a salad of some sort and usually some cheese or lunch meat and “fat bombs” here and there along with this. There aren’t any recipes today, but at least the pictures are colorful and appealing…

It all starts with mason jars and Pyrex…

MasonJars
Mise en place…that applies to storage containers too…

Thanks to Pinterest for putting me on to glass jars all those years ago! I was always a Pyrex fan – because I hate stained, old plastic storage containers. Now, mason jars have taken me to the next level (of perfectionism)…

Nectarines
Nice nectarines, nice…

The nectarines looked good and they were fairly cheap – a great combination. I love random pictures of fruit…with shadows, because it’s pouring outside this morning…

FruitsinJars
Gorgeous fruit…In jars…

Oh, what’s this? Nectarines AND strawberries? Really great produce sales this week, what can I say? Plus they look so nice in the jars (my precious jars)…

So, on to the main course. Dinner is pretty easy as well…

MainCourse
Turkey Meatballs and Broccoli-Cauliflower Mash

These are turkey meatballs that I got from the frozen section. I haven’t found a recipe that I like enough for meal prepping. I’ll have to try and report back here. I just cook these frozen ones in marinara, put some mozzarella on top, pop them in the toaster oven to melt the cheese and I’m done.

I really, really enjoy mashing cruciferous vegetables. Nope, not just cauliflower, but broccoli and even Brussels sprouts (Yes, I know there are more cruciferous veggies. I didn’t want to list them all, but yeah, I’ll mash those too!)…

Here is the completed prep! So small, it fits on my cutting board…

AllTogetherPrep
Added some olives, too…