Tofu Peanut Noodles

Since going veggie, I have tried cooking with a bunch of new things, tofu being

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one of them. I’ve eaten tofu on tons of occasions, but I’ve never worked with it myself, and quite frankly, it intimidated me. On my last trip to Trader Joe’s I decided to take the plunge and bought a package of tofu, with no real idea of what I was going to do with it. It sat in my fridge for about a week, until I got my Rachael Ray magazine in the mail and I was inspired by a recipe.

tofu peanut noodle

5.0 from 1 reviews
Tofu Peanut Noodles
 
Prep time
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Recipe type: vegetarian, vegan
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces firm tofu, cubed
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ½ pound linguine (I used quinoa pasta)
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
Instructions
  1. Bake tofu at 425 degrees on parchment-lined baking sheet for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine peanut butter, liquid aminos and rice vinegar in a small bowl.
  3. Cook noodles according to instructions on box, adding broccoli 5 minutes before noodles are done.
  4. Drain noodles, toss with sauce and tofu.

IMG_3116

I ended up eating these noddles for dinner and as lunch for the next two days. I was sad to see the bottom of the Tupperware, because they were amazing. This is the type of dish you can make and enjoy for days because it reheats great. Happy Eating!

What’s an ingredient that intimidated you until you tried cooking with it?

Black Bean Meatballs

This year for Lent, I have decided to give up meat. I’m going to have another post talking about some decisions that I’ve made regarding my diet, but that’s a story for another day. For the next 40, well about 37 now, I won’t be eating any meat and I will be experimenting with lots of veggies to create meat free recipes.

First up on my to-do list of meatless recipes was to create meatless meatballs. I have been buying the Veggie Patch meatballs for some time now, and I thought that I could totally make my own black bean meatballs. These babies are super simple and have a great flavor with a kick of spice, just the way I like em!

blackbean

Black Bean Meatballs
 
Prep time
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Author:
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Ingredients
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Spray oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. After draining and rinsing the black beans, place them into a large bowl.
  3. With a fork or potato masher, mash the beans until they turn into a paste-like consistency.
  4. Add in the remaining ingredients and mash everything together with your hands.
  5. Form into meatballs and place them onto a cookie sheet
  6. Spray with a bit of oil and bake for 20 minutes.

I served these in a pita with some baby spinach and hummus, but I plan on making them again and giving them a try with some spaghetti sauce. I also love them on top of a huge salad. Who am I kidding, I will eat them with anything because they are that good.

black bean meatballs

 Have you ever tried meatless meatballs? What are your fav meatless recipes?

Chewiest Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tommy has been asking me to make chewy chocolate chip cookies forever, but the cookies that I have made in the past never passed his chewiness test. That is, until Saturday! Let me start off by saying that these cookies are not in any way, shape or form healthy, but they are delicious. In a life of balance, there is always room for a chewy chocolate chip!

Chewiest Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tommy found the New York Times’ Best Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe online and asked me to try it. Since I’m not one for sticking to recipes , I made it my own. I mean, who the heck want to refrigerate cookie dough for 24 hours? That would have been gone before it ever made it to the cookie sheet in my house.

Chewiest Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 3⅓ cups all purose flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1¼ cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 16 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Use an electric mixer to combine the butter and sugars, mixing until the mixture is very light, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the eggs, one at a time.
  4. Add the vanilla.
  5. Reduce the speed to low, add the dry ingredients and, mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  7. Place tablespoon size balls on a cookie sheet, evenly spaced so the cookies don't bake together.
  8. Bake for 9-10 minutes.
  9. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before digging in!

chocolate chip cookies

Theses babies even pass the second and third day tests. Chewy goodness all around! You can thank me later. ;)

What’s you favorite kind of cookie? Chewy or crispy?

 

Paleo Fried Rice

One of the hardest things with following a paleo diet has been the lack of starchy side dishes in meals. Growing up with Polish parents, every meal as a kid had some type of potato, noodle or rice, and those things became comfort foods to me. With paleo, those comfort foods are eliminated, so what better to do than to find some alternatives?

paleo_rice

I found the idea for this dish in the Paleo cookbooks, Everyday Paleo, that I got for Christmas, and have made it twice since Christmas. It’s a big winner among everyone in my house, and just based on it’s appearance, my dad thought it was real rice. That might come in handy for tricking picky eaters! (I don’t condone tricking people into eating foods, but with a three year old who doesn’t want to try new foods, it comes in handy sometimes.)

Paleo Fried Rice
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Cuisine: Paleo
Serves: 5
Ingredients
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 3 minced garlic slices
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Liquid Aminos
  • (You need a food processor to make this recipe)
Instructions
  1. Rinse cauliflower and cut into florets.
  2. Place the florets into the food processor and pulse until finely chopped, with a texture similar to rice.
  3. Saute chopped cauliflower and garlic in coconut oil in a large skillet for 5 minutes.
  4. Add in scallions and Liquid Aminos and saute for another 5 minutes.
  5. Push mixture to the side of the pan and crack eggs into the free space in the pan.
  6. Quickly combine the egg and cauliflower mixture and mix until well incorporated.

 

This recipe comes together much quicker than traditional fried rice. You can also process a whole bunch of cauliflower at one time and freeze it in batches to make the rice at a later time without the most time consuming part

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of the recipe.

paleo fried rice

Hope you enjoy it!

What’s your favorite paleo (or non-paleo) side dish?

Oatmeal Quinoa Breakfast Bake

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, but some mornings I am not conscious enough to make myself something yummy and nutritious to start my day off right. Luckily, I am a creature of habit and can eat the same breakfast for days, even weeks, without getting sick of it. Last week, I enjoyed this Oatmeal Quinoa Breakfast Bake from Monday through Friday, and when it was all gone, I still wanted more. I just couldn’t get enough!

Oatmeal Quinoa
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Breakfast Bake
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1½ tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 and lightly grease your pan.
  2. Mix together oats, quinoa, baking powder and cinnamon.
  3. Pour melted coconut oil over the dry ingredient mixture.
  4. In a separate bowl lightly beat egg and add in milk and vanilla.
  5. Combine wet and dry ingredients and fold in berries.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes.
  7. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt and drizzle of maple syrup (for extra deliciousness)

I kept it covered in the fridge all week and just popped it into the microwave for a minute to reheat in the mornings. Easiest breakfast ever!

And if you need some more quinoa action, head over to Wish & Whimsy where I am guest posting today with more quinoa action!

What’s your favorite quick breakfast?

Quinoa Pizza Bake

I have been craving pizza like nuts lately. It might have something to do with the fact that we ate pizza like three times during hurricane week and my body is in withdrawals. Even though I live just down the block from the best pizzeria in NYC, and maybe the world, I am trying to stay away. There’s actually a new nickname for the weight people have gained by being stuck indoors during the hurricane – “The Sandy 5.” And mine definitely came from pizza.

While wracking my brain for pizza-esque things that weren’t a carb overload, I remembered this yummy recipe that I shared in a guest post this summer over at Eat Pray Tri – Quinoa Pizza Bake. This is comfort food at its finest – cheesy, tomatoey, but packed with protein and will not put you into the dreaded carb coma.


Quinoa Pizza Bake
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 5 fresh basil leaves (plus more for garnish)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine quinoa and vegetable stock in a small pot over high heat.
  2. Bring to a boil, cover and turn down to low and simmer for 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. In a skillet, brown the onions and garlic until onions are translucent.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste, garlic, onions, water and olive oil, and mix well.
  6. Add in oregano and basil and mix before adding the mixture to the quinoa.
  7. Add in half the mozzarella cheese to the quinoa and mix. Once all the ingredients are combined, taste and add salt and pepper, as needed.
  8. Transfer the mixture to the casserole dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and place in the oven for 30-35 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve.

Next time a pizza craving strikes, turn to your good friend quinoa. You won’t regret it!

What’s your favorite comfort food?

Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes

I think this is the longest I’ve even been away from my blog since I started a year and a half ago. Even though I was off from school and work and basically had all the time in the world to cook, bake, workout and blog, none of that seemed right. Now that I’m going back to school and work tomorrow, it’s time to return to normalcy on the blog front too. That being said, if you haven’t yet, check out my last post on how to donate to the relief efforts. Every little bit helps.

After many Facebook convos back and forth regarding whether it was right to go trick or treating, we decided it was a go. I had been hyping up Halloween for Alex for almost a month and I knew that he deserved to have fun and get some candy in the process. But before we set out to get sugar high, we ate a good breakfast – Blender Pumpkin Oat Pancakes. Pancakes are a breakfast that we love, so I always try to starts off exciting days with pancakes. Check out last year’s Halloween pancakes.

I had originally wanted to make Banana Oatmeal Pancakes that I saw in Fitness magazines, but after blending together my milk and oats I realized that we were out of bananas and pumpkin came to the rescue.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes
 
Ingredients
  • 1½-C Skim Milk
  • 1 C Rolled Oats
  • ¾ C Pumpkin Puree
  • ½-C Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 T + 1 t Baking Powder
Instructions
  1. In a blender, puree milk and oats until smooth.
  2. Add pumpkin puree, flour, and baking powder and puree a few seconds more.
  3. Let batter rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Heat a griddle over medium heat. Mist with nonstick cooking spray, then scoop batter into pan in ¼-Cup increments.
  5. Reduce heat to medium low and cook pancakes until air bubbles appear and underside is golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  6. Flip and cook about 5 minutes more.

Later on that evening, we set out for trick or treating.

And at the end of the evening Buzz Lightyear was so tired that he couldn’t fly home…he had to be carried.

Do you have any special holiday breakfasts?

Zucchini Cacao Nib Bread

Last week I posted this beauty on Instagram and promised a recipe…

I took my regular zucchini bread recipe (one of the first things I ever posted on this blog!) and tweaked it a bit to get…Zucchini Cacao Nib Bread. This was moist with the perfect balance of sweetness without being overpowering, thanks to the cacao nibs. Even though they were the Sweet Cacao Nibs, they tasted more like dark chocolate than sweet, and brought a new dimension of flavor to my usual recipe.

Zucchini Cacao Nib Bread

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup apple sauce
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup Nativas Naturals Sweet Cacao Nibs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, applesauce, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini until combined. Fold in Cacao Nibs. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  4. Spoon into lightly greased loaf pans (I sprayed mine with cooking spray) and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  5. Try not to eat the whole loaf in one sitting…it’s not as easy as it looks! ;)

Before I forget to mention, the Cacao Nibs were sent to me by the amazing people of Nativas Naturals, who also sent me Freeze-dried Wheatgrass Powder, which I’ve been using in my smoothies, but more on that later!

This company has an amazing variety of superfoods – chia, goji berry, cacao, hemp, etc and are dedicating to organic agriculture with sustainable, socially responsible relationships with farmers. Win-win if you ask me!!

Mexican Chicken Bake

Why is it that when I’m at work and school all week, the sun shines and the weather is gorgeous, but when I have a day off it rains cats and dogs. I had planned on spending the morning at the park with Munchkin then doing some grocery shopping and trying out a few recipes, but I honestly don’t feel like stepping outdoors into that rain. Hopefully it’ll pass!

Enough complaining about the weather because I have something yummy to share! I was out of ideas as to what to make for dinner last night, until I went to the mailbox that is. I got the latest issue of Everyday with Rachel Ray and while flipping through the pages, I came across a recipe for Mexican chicken and I just happened to have basically everything I needed to make it.

Chicken breast topped with sliced tomatoes, red onions, jalapenos and cheese on a bed of arugula and avocado tossed with lime juice and olive oil. I didn’t really have high expectations for this dish, since the ingredients were so basic, but all the flavors came together perfectly!

Mexican Chicken

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 tomatoes, thinly slices
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, sliced with seeds and ribs removed
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese (I used mozzarella)
  • 2 avocados
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 cups arugula

Preheat over to 450 degrees. Place chicken breasts into a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and rub with spices. Top each chicken breast with alternating slices of tomatoe and onion. Sprinkle jalapeno peppers on top and bake for 20 – 25 minutes. During last 5 minutes of baking, top each chicken breast with cheese.

Meanwhile in a large bowl, combine diced avocado and top with lime juice and salt and peppers. Allow the flavors to marinade for a few minuted before tossing in the arugula and drizzling in olive oil. Plate the arugula and avocado salad and top with a chicken breast. Dig in!


Guest Post: My go-to “on-the-go” breakfast

A big HI to all of Sylvia’s readers!! I absolutely adore Sylvia’s blog…she helps me feed my quinoa addiction. (In addition to lots of other things as well!) I’m so glad I found her (or she might have found me, I don’t really remember) through WIAW! That little party sure does bring people together.

So anyway, my name is Cinnamon and I am the blog mastermind behind eatPRAYtri.com. And when I say blog mastermind, I really mean a wife and stepmother trying really hard yet failing miserably at most things (cooking and working out to name a few), buuuuut loving every minute of life anyway and talking about it all on the internet!

Sylvia guest posted for me a while back while I was away in Mexico and her post got rave reviews. When she asked me to return the favor, I jumped at the chance although I don’t think my post will get quite the reviews as hers did. But a girl can dream right?

I present to you one of my all time favorite recipes:

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See what I mean?

I love blogging for lots of different reasons, but one of the biggest reasons BY FAR is the stuff I learn. Sometimes I seriously wonder how I got anything accomplished before I started reading blogs. That was only about a year ago, so honestly the fact that I have actually made it to 36 is probably a miracle. :)

Seriously though, the things you pick up and learn just by reading other peoples perspectives and opinions is just fantastic. This little go-to breakfast of mine is a combination of two things I learned from reading blogs. I just put them together and viola! I have my new favorite (SUPER EASY) breakfast that I eat MOST days of the week.

The microwave egg sandwich

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I had never really seen or heard of sandwich thins before blogging. Maybe I just didn’t pay attention in the grocery store (I have no idea how long they have been around) but I swear I had no idea these existed. Then I saw bloggers left and right throwing peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter (bloggers love nut butter if you couldn’t tell) and banana or strawberry or whatever else on top of these sandwich thins and having (what seemed to me) the greatest breakfast ever.

I jumped on board right away. And what do you know? They are fantastic. Now we get them at Costco, stick them in the freezer and eat them until our little hearts are content.

THEN, I read about microwaving eggs. Probably doesn’t seem like rocket science to most people, and I guess it doesn’t really seem like that to me either, but I had never once before in my life considered microwaving eggs. I have no idea why. So of course, this idea was brilliant to me. And made me feel incredibly stupid all at the same time.

I love eggs and I think I pretty much always have, but I never wanted to make them because they were messy, dirtied a pan and took longer than a minute to prepare. This does not fly when you have to get out the door because you hit snooze too many times and now you are running late and you still have to drive an hour to work. Its also really hard to eat eggs in the car unless they are hardboiled or solidified in some way between two pieces of bread.

What a minute.

Stop the presses.

Hold on.

Idea time.

How about I microwave an egg in the exact same size dish as the sandwich thin? Slap it in the middle, wrap it up and take it in the car so that I could eat it on the way to work?

And the whole thing takes literally about 1 min 30 seconds to put together?

Yep, that just happened.

So this is what I do. I get all my stuff together

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I put the sandwich thin in the toaster and then I crack the egg into the dish and put in some salt, pepper and a sprinkling of shredded chedda cheese

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Then I scramble it all up and throw it in the microwave for 1 minute

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This is what comes out

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About this time my sandwich thin is done toasting so I slap the egg on there (fits PERFECTLY), wrap it up in a paper towel and put it on top of my coffee mug to take out to the car.

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I mean seriously. It probably took longer to read this post than to make this breakfast. And its good for you.

This is also proof why reading blogs is good for you too! Especially mine.

What is your go-to breakfast?

Did you know about microwaving eggs before you were an adult? Please say no so I feel better.