Friday, February 27, 2009

Home cookin'

I'm a creature of habit and tend to eat the same thing week in and week out. My weekends are usually centered around a long run or two and grocery shopping. I am a perimeter shopper, rarely straying down the middle aisles of Safeway for the tempting goodness of Pop-Tarts (crack), White Chedder Cheez-It (crack on crack), Pringles (low grade crack), or Hint of Lime Tostidos (cracks brother).. to name a few of my vices... and pizza. In addition to shopping, there is food prep to be done for the week - snacks to be parsed out, veggies to be chopped up and divided into separate containers, and main course meals cooked. For the past year, if not more, my lunch consisted of one of the following dishes:

- Skillet tofu (tofu with veggies, tomatoes, chickpeas)
- Tempeh chili (diced tempeh with black beans, tomatoes, spices)
- Soyaki Tofu (tofu, veggies, soyaki sauce from Trader Joe's)
- Sweet and sour tofu or tempeh (tofu or tempeh with veggies with a homemade S&S sauce)
- Tofu and Broccoli gratin (tofu and broccoli and cheese with a wheat germ/bread crumb topping)
- Tofu Parmesan (tofu dipped in egg then a batter of cornmeal and Parmesan cheese and basil and pan fried, .5c pasta, marinara sauce from Trader Joe's).

Every. Day.

Throughout the day I'd have snacks of fruit and vegetables, cheese and tofurky slices, and yogurt and fruit as well as the occasional bowl of soup and some almonds.

We'd usually make 2 of these on the weekend for lunches throughout the week. Dinner was pretty ad hoc and would either be a mini pizza from Trader Joe's or grilled cheese and tomato soup. I don't think I could get tired of either of those, but other days it would be cereal (dinner of champions) or whatever from my lunch bag that I didn't eat. Needless to say, it wasn't very well planned.

I've been on an "I'm sick of what we've been eating day in and day out" kick and started to mix things up again. Lunches have stayed about the same as have the snacks, but it's dinner that's getting the biggest make over. I'm adding more variety and actually cooking something instead of reheating.

I was looking for the store hours of the Yes! Organic Market nearby and started to search their website for tempeh recipes. I stumbled upon this one called Tempeh with Spicy Peanut Sauce and thought I'd give it a shot.

We were hoping to double the recipe to have lunch or dinner for another day, but didn't have another package of tempeh and resorted to using some extra firm tofu.

Here are some additional modifications or notes:

- Used a food processor
- No Serrano chilies; used 2t of red chili pepper flakes instead (for a dbl batch)
- Peanut butter is Trader Joe's creamy, natural
- Used low sodium soy sauce instead of Tamari (it's what's in the cupboard)
- No clue what ginger juice is, and used only 1t of powdered ginger (what's on hand)
- Add at least 1/2c of water to the mix before pureeing it. Add a little more as needed before transferring it to the saucepan.

As the recipe says, keep stirring to prevent it from boiling and burning. I like my sauce a little thicker and didn't add all 4c of water, but thickness is a personal preference.

I thought it was lacking in vegetables, so we steamed up some broccoli. I measured out 1c of brown basmati rice (rice cooker), about 1c of broccoli, half the tofu, and drizzled about .25c of the peanut sauce on top, and voila!

It was a very filling meal and the broccoli was a nice addition. Peanut butter makes everything taste better! Even though we doubled the sauce recipe, I think there's more than enough left over to top a few more dishes. I hope to try it sometime with the tempeh, but it was a winner with tofu.

Give it a try!

**After reheating it for dinner last night, it's probably better to get that sauce a little more watered down than you think since it will solidify in the refrigerator. This picture is taken when I reheated it for dinner last night. MMmm.. tasty!


Post a Comment

<< Home