Happy Tuesday! The worst part about being off for the holidays and then only working 3 days last week is that I feel very OFF. The weekend seemed like it came way too soon and it just doesn’t feel like a Tuesday. Perhaps a Thursday?
Did you have a nice weekend? Thanks to everyone who emailed and/or commented on the new 12 week running series! I am very excited to get this started. Did you use the weekend to start your goal? I went on a nice, long run on Saturday and a much slower one on Sunday, (thanks mostly to the new wine bar that we hit up on Saturday night). I hate feeling rushed in the mornings when I try to run and am always fortunate for leisurely weekends.
Have I mentioned to you that my mother is my BFF? I’m not even embarrassed to admit that I talk to my mom about 5 times a day, wayyy more than I talk to anyone else, especially BL. Does that make me weird?
I think it makes me cool (And maybe just a little bit weird). The best thing about this wonderful, obsessive relationship? Our conversations are 75% about food.
What are we making tonight? What did you eat today? Did you see that new product demo at Whole Foods on Saturday? No food topic goes untouched.
And really, my other relationship thanks me. I try, I really try to get BL to talk food with me. After years of silently and not-so- silent begging, I’ve given up. Why fight it? I have my wonderful, food-loving BFF Momma who thinks my 5th phone call that day about the right way to slice Brussels sprouts is completely normal.
A few weeks ago, while we were discussing curries, Triple D episodes, and Christmas cookies, she turned me on to this soup that she made over the weekend. Creamy, coconut Thai soup filled with vegetables and chicken.
Mmmm, sounds delicious. Bet I can make it healthier & veggie-friendly, which wasn’t too difficult to do.
So, thank you mother, for another fun project. Hope you enjoy my take on it.
Thai Coconut Soup
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 heads baby bok choy, thinly sliced
3 tsp. fresh grated ginger
3 tsp. green curry paste (or more. or less. it really depends on what brand you use and how much curry you like)
2 tsp. lemongrass paste (or 1 stalk finely minced lemongrass)
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. soy sauce
12 oz. cubed firm tofu
1/4 cup thai basil (finely shredded)
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 lime, juiced
2 cups vegetable brown
2 cups lite coconut milk
In a soup pot, heat 1/4 cup vegetable broth over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, garlic, carrots, celery, ginger, lemongrass, and curry paste.
Cook 8-10 minutes until fragrant and vegetables are soft. Add more vegetable broth if needed to prevent sticking.
Add soy sauce and brown sugar to the pot, stir. Add vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Add bok choy, tofu, mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes until vegetables soften.
Reduce heat to low and stir in coconut milk. Taste- does it need more curry paste depending on the brand you used? Does it need more soy sauce? Adjust for taste. Stir in thai basil.
Pour into bowls, preferably over brown rice or noodles. Garnish with cilantro and a big squeeze of fresh lime.
Eat. Now, call you mother and tell her how delicious this soup was and how she needs to make it too. Enjoy the bond : )
Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday! Funny how we look forward to all the goodies that yesterday provided, to quickly tire of after the feast. For me, I am usually over leftovers after lunch on Friday. It’s how I feel about most leftovers actually, I love it the first day, enjoy it the second, and never want to see it again on the third. This weeks roundup features easy, healthy ways to re-purpose all of your leftovers.
The Sprout Slider
(and more Vegetarian Thanksgiving sandwich ideas)
Photo Credit: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times
Photo Credit and Recipe: The Hazel Bloom
Photo and Credit: Happy, Healthy Life
Photo Credit and Recipe: Inside the Kagonoff Kitchen
Photo Credit and Recipe: The Fitnessista
Hope this helps inspire you to recreate new favorites from your leftovers!
I always want to love Chinese food. The few places in the area that serve vegetarian options usually tend to lack the complexity of flavors that is notorious with Chinese food; nothing more than a mix of rice, vegetables, and a sauce. Please girl, I refuse to pay for anything that I can make better at home.
However, I do love the idea of seeing a chinese take-out box in the fridge. What is it about leftover chinese food that makes me wish I was living a Sex & the City kinda life?
Anyways, I was craving some pretend-takeout food a few weeks ago and came up with this, a combination of my two favorite dishes, orange chicken & sesame chicken. Perfectly crisp with a bright orange sauce, healthy Chinese food never tasted so good.
Sesame Orange Tofu
1/4 cup olive oil
12 oz. extra-firm tofu
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
4 tbsp orange marmalade
2 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp unflavored rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
Rinse and pat dry tofu blocks. Cut into cutlets or strips: first cut in 1/2 length wise and then in 1/2 width wise.
In a large shallow bowl, place the sesame seeds. Place cutlet face down into seeds and press firmly to adhere. Flip over and coat the other side.
In a cast-iron or other heavy duty skillet, heat the oil to medium-high. When you sprinkle water on the oil, it should dance. Place the tofu in the pan and cook until crispy, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove and place onto paper towels.
To prepare Orange Sauce: Whisk all ingredients together. Pour into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and let cook another 5 minutes until thick.
To serve: place sesame tofu over rice, cover with orange sauce.
What is your favorite Chinese dish?
If you follow this blog, you know what a big fan I am of tofu. Perfect in appetizers, desserts, fancy dinners, sandwiches and more, tofu is one of the most versatile ingredients in the kitchen. Most people I work with, don’t get tofu. They either don’t know what to do with it or are unsure how to work with the flavor, or lack of flavor. Don’t fear. The beauty of tofu is that it can be pretty much anything you would like it to be: pudding, sauces, ricotta, steaks, think of tofu as the new “chicken”. Besides being less expensive than meat protein, tofu is also lower in calories, cholesterol and saturated fat free.
Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I think it’s appropriate to address the discussion on soy foods and breast cancer. Soyfoods contain large amounts of isoflavones, also referred to as plant estrogens or phytoestrogens. You can find them in a variety of foods, but soy is a very rich source. It’s important to note that isoflavones are not estrogen, though their chemical structure is similar to the hormone estrogen. Both isoflavones in soy and estrogen bind and activate estrogen receptors on cells. Estrogen, the hormone, will bind to any receptor in the body, while isoflavones are more particular and tend to bind to only one type of receptor. The difference in receptors demonstrates how isflavones and estrogen behave differently in the body. This is also why isoflavones are called SERMs, selective estrogen receptor modulators.
There a a multitude of studies that demonstrate the safety of soyfoods, in particular their benefit for those who have breast cancer. A recently published study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that among Chinese breast cancer patients, those who consumed the most soyfoods were about 30% less likely to die from breast cancer or to experience breast cancer recurrence over a four year period compared to patients with the lowest intake of soy. Personally, I favor natural soy foods, those that have been minimally processed: tofu, tempeh, soymilk, edamame, over textured soy protein and the like.
This milkshake is super creamy, thanks to the addition of silken tofu and a frozen banana. I call it a milkshake, but I tend to drink this as a after-run morning smoothie. I usually dislike the chalky taste of protein powder, this milkshake tastes delicious and has the same protein as those other “shakes”.
Chocolate Tofu Milkshake
Ingredients: (makes two milkshakes)
1 cup silken tofu (I like mori-nu brand)
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp. liquid sweetener of choice
1 frozen banana
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 cup ice
Place all ingredients in blender. Blend baby blend until you get a silky, creamy milkshake. About 90 seconds using a high powered blender. Feel free to adjust liquid to make it thicker/thinner to your liking.
Want to win this awesome cookbook, packed with tofu recipes? To enter: follow DK on facebook/twitter. In the comment section below, what is your favorite tofu dish? If you have never tried it before, what dish would you like to try? Contest ends October 20th!
By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by The Soyfoods Council and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.