Thai Tofu Rice Bowl

Thai Tofu Rice Bowl

dressing adapted from Everyday Maven


1/2 cup water

1/8 cup fish sauce

1/8 cup rice vinegar

Juice from 1/2 a lime

3 tablespoons sugar

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes

Quick Pickled Carrots:

Shredded carrots

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Enough rice wine vinegar and water to cover in equal amounts

Rice Bowl:

Brown rice

Baked tofu

Cilantro, torn

Basil, torn

Shredded cabbage

Persian cucumber, peeled and sliced in rounds

avocado, sliced

Bell pepper, cut in strips


Cover shredded carrots with vinegar and water - stir in sugar and sat and let come to a boil.  Boil carrots for 1 minute, stirring, then pour into another bowl and let cool.  Let pickle in fridge for at least 30 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Let them drip dry a bit before using.

To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a jar and shake well.  May be made a couple days ahead (in fact, this lets the flavors mellow and marry).

Lay down a bed of brown rice in a bowl - layer in all the vegetables and tofu.  Pour dressing over the tofu and enjoy.  This is an excellent lunch, but pack your rice separately so you can heat it up before serving with the vegetables.

Apple Oatmeal Waffles

Apple Oatmeal Waffles

adapted from Mr.

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup oats

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 Granny Smith apples grated

Whisk together dry ingredients in large bowl.  Beat eggs in separate bowl; add wet ingredients and sugar, stir.  Fold in grated apple.  Cover and let sit for 1 hour

Preheat waffle iron and use as machine directs you - each waffle should take about 5 minutes.

Weeknight Turkey Tacos

Weeknight Turkey Tacos

Adapted from Cook's Illustrated Beef Tacos

1 1/4 pounds ground turkey

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 diced onion

3 minced garlic cloves

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 cup chicken broth 

2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1 teaspoon brown sugar

Heat up oil in skillet on medium heat.  Add onions and sautee until softened, 5-10 minutes.  In last 30 seconds, add garlic and sautee.  Add ground turkey and break up into pieces, cooking until no longer pink.   Add all spices and cook until fragrant, 30 more seconds.  Stir in tomato paste, broth, vinegar and sugar.  Cook 5-10 minutes more, until thickened to consistency you like.

Serve in tortillas with whatever garnishes you prefer -- salsa, cilantro, cabbage, cheese, guacamole, avocado etc.

Sticky Ginger Tofu

Sticky Ginger Tofu

Adapted from Dinner: A Love Story

1 block extra firm tofu

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup water

1/2 - 1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 large clove grated garlic

3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon sriracha (or to taste)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil

3 green onions

1 lime

Slice the tofu in half and wrap in clean, lint-free dish towels.  Weigh it down with heavy pans, wine bottles, etc.  Let drain for 30 minutes.  While tofu drains, make the sauce.  Mix sauce ingredients (sesame oil through brown sugar) and set aside.  Slice green onions and quarter limes.

Unwrap drained tofu and cut into large cubes.  Toss cubes with cornstarch to coat.  Heat up oil in nonstick skillet on medium high heat.  Sear both sides of tofu until browned, then pour sauce over tofu in skillet.  Let it simmer for 5-10 minutes until thickened.  Garnish tofu with green onions and squeezes of lime.  I like serving this over brown rice and roasted green beans or broccoli.

Butternut Squash Minestrone

I think every fall I adopt a favorite soup recipe and make it over and over until it’s perfect and everyone else is tired of it.  I’ve been making this soup practically weekly since it started getting cold and I’m certainly not bored yet.  It’s a crowd pleaser, what my inlaws call “friendly food” – warming and hearty.  It’s so loaded with vegetables that it’s also very healthy without sacrificing any flavor.  A pot of this soup is enough to feed me lunch all week. 

Oh and it’s worth it to note that this recipe is easily made vegetarian by using vegetable broth – just make sure it’s quality broth, and maybe add some parmesan when serving for some extra richness.  Your call.  Also, all the measurements are extremely flexible.  I like more onion and less carrot, you might like more carrot and less squash.  Whatever you have will work deliciously in this recipe.  Just start chopping before you start cooking – it makes it a lot easier with so many vegetables.

And I found a trick while cooking the pasta!  You don’t have to keep boiling it until it’s done.  Boil it long enough until it’s maybe half cooked, and then take it off the heat and cover.  Since the shapes are small, the residual heat will cook it the rest of the way.  I also usually use far less liquid than when cooking pasta normally, allowing me to skip draining and keeping from diluting the soup.  All the yummy brothy flavor ends up in the pasta, adding more flavor to your end product than just pasta cooked in water.

Butternut Squash Minestrone

adapted from my divine inspiration, Ina Garten

3 tablespoons olive oil or bacon fat if you have it

1 large onion, chopped

3 carrots, diced into coins

3 stalks celery, sliced

3 cups butternut squash, diced small (1/2 inch cube)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 28 oz can whole tomatoes, crushed by hand

4-6 cups (approx.) chicken stock

2 bay leaves

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Salt & pepper to taste

1 can cannellini or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 bunch chard, sliced into ribbons (can sub in any green, frozen spinach is easy and nice)

½ - ¾ cup white wine (I usually use chardonnay)

2-3 tablespoons pesto

8 oz small pasta

Warm the oil or fat over medium heat – add the onion and celery and sautee for 5-10 minutes or until slightly softened.  Add the garlic and thyme and cook for less than a minute, then add the butternut squash.  Sautee for another 5 minutes.  Add the crushed tomatoes and enough chicken stock to cover all the vegetables by at least an inch, along with the bay leaves and red pepper flakes.  Add a little salt & pepper to taste (start with 1 teaspoon of salt) and let come to a boil.  Turn down the heat and let simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, approximately 30 minutes.  If it gets too thick, add more broth to your favorite consistency.

Meanwhile, cook the small pasta in well salted chicken broth until al dente.  Don’t bother draining the pasta – it’s best to store the pasta separately from the soup as it would soak up all the soup if stored together.  Keep it in its own container with broth – I promise it will soak that up too!

Once vegetables are tender, add the wine and pesto to taste.  Add the beans.  Stir in the greens and cover – simmer until cooked.  Serve soup with a good scoop of the hot cooked pasta stirred in to every bowl.