Tag Archives: tofu

Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree

20 Apr

Picture this: it’s 10 PM and you’re so hungry that your growling stomach is sure to keep you from falling asleep. So you grab some chocolate, or a handful of trail mix, or pretzels. Sound familiar?

But is 10 PM really the right time of day to eat? Most would argue it’s not wise. But do you understand the science behind it?

Today’s guest, Kevin Jones, shares how to determine when you should be eating. The recipe that follows is a great example of what you should be eating – a healthy, high-protein, dairy & gluten free dinner that’s perfect following a workout or simply a busy day at work!

Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Breaking Down the Details on the Best Times of the Day to Eat

About The Guest Author: Kevin Jones writes for a number of sites across the web, sharing his wisdom and expertise in the health and fitness industry. He has written extensively for NordicTrack and ProForm, offering out-of-the-box workout plans and nutritional advice. During his free time, he likes to be very active with his wife and two children, hitting the slopes of Park City, Utah or chasing down Salt Lake City’s Korean food trucks. Connect with him online; LinkedInTwitter.

My grandmother – a very opinionated woman – has always been very vocal about the way you should eat, and when. Her philosophy, passed to me in my formative years, was that you eat heavy in the morning, heavier in the afternoon, and light in the evening. “And none of that silly no-fat nonsense…give me my butter, or lose a hand!”

For a long time I ignored these lessons, eating with the gusto and carefree nature of youth. Now that I am older, and I have to think of weight gain, heart health, and indigestion, I have started wondering if she was right.

We all know that healthy food is good food. But what are the best times to eat it?

Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Erratic Diets and The Harm They Do

Eating irregularly is bad for you. That might seem like a drastic statement, but it has been shown to be true again and again. A study by Harvard University found that just a few days of eating on an opposing schedule could cause serious sugar and insulin spikes where none had been present before.

Another study done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that nighttime eating could cause an increase in weight gain. Still another found that late eating impacted circadian rhythms and disrupted sleep patterns.

So, to recap, eating late at night, or just in a way that is different than your usual pattern of meals, can screw with your blood sugar levels, your sleep, and even make you fat. That seems like a pretty serious thing to me.

Eating Post Workout

Another factor to keep in mind is when working out. Exercise taxes the body, eats up all the food-provided energy in the system, and puts strain and tears within muscles that need to be repaired. Protein rich snacks or meals following intense activity are crucial for the body to function properly.

But did you know dehydration may keep you from getting the nutrients you need? Long distance runners are familiar with runner’s trots. But anyone can experience diarrhea following a workout, often sparked by improper hydration.

Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

What All This Tells Us

We can make a couple of assumptions about diet based on the above facts. First, eating late at night is a no-no. Second, proper hydration is crucial for proper nutrient retention. Third, our bodies are delicate tools that have to be properly balanced.

Eat well, eat often, and don’t eat too late. Oh, and keep drinking water. While the eight glasses a day rhetoric may be a myth, the need for keeping ourselves nice and hydrated is not.

Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

With that in mind, here’s a protein rich meal that’s great for dinner! Tofu’s texture is not for everyone, but when pressed and roasted, it’s much more palatable! Pair this with a simple puree of roasted vegetables, and you’ve got dinner in the bag. Enjoy!

Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 block firm tofu, drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 large stalks of celery, chopped
  • 4 whole cloves garlic
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper – to roast
  • 1/2 C vegetable stock, warmed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Roasted pepitas, to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil and spray with oil.

Wrap the drained tofu block in a clean tea towel and place a heavy object on top of it, like a heavy pan or book. Let this sit while you prep the veggies.

Chop all the veggies – neatness doesn’t count in this recipe! Lay them out on one of the baking sheets with the garlic and tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Stir a bit and make sure the veggies are in a single layer. Roast at 400 for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Slice the pressed tofu into long, thin strips. Place in a single layer on the second baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes, until dry and crispy. It’s best to put the tofu in the oven 10 minutes after the vegetables have been in.

Once the vegetables are roasted, transfer them to a blender, along with the warmed vegetable stock, seasonings, and vinegar. Puree until smooth, taking care to let steam escape from the lid by removing the middle piece and holding a towel loosely over the top. Taste and adjust as desired.

Pour the vegetable puree into four bowls. Top with the roasted tofu strips and garnish with roasted pepitas. Enjoy hot!

Sweet and Spicy Tofu with Roasted Veggies

20 Aug

Tofu can be a scary thing, but it can also be a great protein substitute! And, if you coat it in flour and bake it, then pour spicy sauce over it….well now we’re talking! I only say it’s scary because, well, it has the weirdest texture, color and smell. But that’s what is so great about it – it’ll take the flavor of anything you put it in. While it’s not something I opt for all the time, it IS a nice break from the norm, and is cheap to boot!

This dish is so freaking healthy. Instead of your typical soy sauce, I used my recently-bought liquid aminos to reduce the sodium amount, and increase the health properties. Can’t even taste the difference!

Sweet and Spicy Tofu with Roasted Veggies | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

What’s more: this dish is baked, rather than fried. It cuts out all the added fats, without reducing the flavor. Plus, the whole wheat flour that coats the tofu ups the fiber and protein content even more. This is also rather spicy – something you can adjust to your liking, of course. But the spice is so great!

Impress your loved ones with this dish and prove to them that they CAN enjoy tofu. Trust me 🙂

Sweet and Spicy Tofu with Roasted Veggies | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Sweet and Spicy Tofu with Roasted Veggies, inspired by Energy We Bring

Serves 4

  • 1 C long grain brown rice
  • 1 block firm tofu, drained, rinsed, dried and pressed
  • 1 tbsp liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1/2 C whole wheat flour (can make this gluten free by using a GF flour blend)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
  • 6 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and diced
  • 1/2 C barbecue sauce
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 4 tsp brown sugar

Begin by cooking your rice – I used my rice cooker (I love that thing!) and followed the package directions – took about 40 minutes total.

Preheat oven to 375. Line one baking sheet with foil and spray with olive oil PAM. Spray an 8×8″ glass baking dish as well. Set these aside.

While that cooks, marinate your tofu. Make sure it’s been pressed and dried. Cut into 1″ cubes, place in a shallow dish, pour the liquid aminos over, and marinate for at least 10 minutes.

Dice up all your veggies and mix together in a large bowl. These are what I had on hand, but you can use anything! Carrots, mushrooms, snap peas, corn – anything you like.

In a small bowl, mix together barbecue sauce, hot sauce, vinegar and brown sugar. Taste and make sure it’s to your liking – adjust as necessary. Pour HALF of this sauce over the veggies, stir to coat, and transfer to prepared glass dish. Set aside. Keep the rest of the sauce for later.

In another shallow bowl, mix the flour, salt and pepper. Working with a few cubes at a time, transfer the marinated tofu to the flour bowl and coat lightly. Transfer cubes to prepared baking sheet.

Put both the veggies in the glass dish, and the tofu on the baking sheet into the oven on different racks. Set the timer for 15 minutes. Flip tofu cubes and bake another 15 minutes.

Remove everything from the oven. Your rice will be done by now and should be on the “warm” setting.

Scoop rice into bowls, top with a big spoonful of veggies and the sauce they were baking in, and then top with baked tofu. Drizzle on some of the remaining sauce, and enjoy!

Quinoa & Tofu Veggie Stir Fry

4 Mar

This weekend was my first ever trip to Trader Joe’s.

I. Was. In. Heaven. WHY have I never gone before?! The organic foods, the unprocessed items, the healthy (slightly better-than-thou) clientele…it’s all that I’ve ever wanted in a grocery store. And I LOVE grocery shopping in general, so this was just a wonderful sensory overload. It’s a good thing I didn’t grab a cart upon entering, so that I could only buy that which I could carry. I’m a clever one sometimes.

This trip inspired me to create a healthy dinner. I bought a few blocks of tofu, and found a half-full package of quinoa at home. This called for a healthy stir fry! With a little help and guidance from the Vocal Vegan, I made this delightful meal.

Dinner time! Quinoa & Tofu Veggie Stir Fry

A big bowl full of yum!

Quinoa & Tofu Veggie Stir Fry, adapted from The Vocal Vegan

Serves 4

  • 1 C uncooked quinoa
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 C broccoli, chopped (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 block of extra firm tofu, diced into 1/2″ cubes, or smaller if you prefer (I saved the other half of the block in an airtight container, covered in the tofu juices from the package, to be used later this week)
  • 4- 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger (or use fresh if you have it!)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp high quality olive or peanut oil

Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Or, if you’re a prepare-ahead type, you can use quinoa you’ve already cooked! Work on the rest of the ingredients while this cooks. Set aside until you’re ready to use it.

Prep vegetables, saute in pan with one tbsp oil. You could also steam the veggies, but I’m a fan of sauteing everything 🙂

Prepping ingredients and tofu

I feel like I’m on a cooking show…with all the ingredients in tiny bowls, ready to use!

Combine minced garlic and ginger in one small bowl. Combine soy sauce and olive/peanut oil in another small bowl. It helps to have everything ready, because things move quickly from here.

Once veggies are nearly done to your liking, heat a large skillet over high heat. It’s hot enough when a drop of water disappears off the surface in a second. Add the other tbsp olive oil, and the diced tofu. Fry for a minute or two, until the tofu starts browning. Add the garlic-ginger mixture, and stir fry another minute. Now, add the veggies, and mix everything together well.

Add the cooked quinoa, and stir again, making sure to scoop from the bottom of the pan, so everything gets stir-fried (yeah…..I didn’t really make the connection until now that it’s called “stir fry” based on the method of cooking the dish….learn something new every day!). Finally, add the soy sauce mixture, and stir well…again.

Quinoa & Tofu Veggie Stir Fry

Everything is all stirred and fried…happy in the skillet, together at last 🙂

And that’s it! How easy is that?! Serve up in bowls and eat hot. Between the healthy carbs and proteins of the quinoa, the fiber of the vegetables, and the protein of the tofu, this meal is incredibly filling and satisfying. You get all the flavors of a traditional stir fry, but healthier! And vegan 🙂 The leftovers are also pretty awesome, as the flavors of the garlic and ginger have a chance to intensify over time. This meal came together, from start to finish, in less than 30 minutes, so it’s perfect on a busy weeknight. You can even get your loved ones, kids, or roomies to help prep veggies, stir, and mince!


Dinner time! Quinoa & Tofu Veggie Stir Fry

My lovely sister, Sonja, about to devour dinner.

How should I use the other half block of tofu? Recipe suggestions?

%d bloggers like this: