Maple-Cumin Tofu and Farro Stir Fry

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Maple-Cumin Tofu and Farro Stir Fry

Let’s be honest: the combination of cumin and maple syrup sounds like it could be kiiiiinda sketchy. Fortunately for everyone in the Booyahsphere, I went out on a limb and tried this recipe last night so I can accurately report back that it is in fact, amazeballs. Not only amazeballs, but super flavorful and super quick, too. And totally vegan. Oh, and one serving is stuffed full of protein, fiber and Vitamins A & C, and clocks in at under 400 calories. Talk about plant power – hollaaa! The original recipe was posted on POPSUGAR, but I’ve adapted it here for people that stand on their feet for 8 hours a day, and will literally eat all of the Garlic and Lemon Whole Foods olives while standing here chopping so let’s just get this show on the road yes? Lucky for us, it only takes about 40 minutes from start to finish, so you can jam out to Van Morrison and sip a glass of wine while you chop in order to distract your stomach from digesting itself. I’ve added a little more protein, and a touch more flavor with a Booyah twist. πŸ˜‰ I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! πŸ™‚

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Everything you need for the stir fry: Black beans, bell pepper, cumin, garlic powder, ginger, carrots, tofu, veggie broth, broccoli, maple syrup, farro and tamari.

Maple-Cumin Tofu with Farro

Ingredients:

1 cup farro
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 8-ounce block of extra firm tofu, cubed
2 tablespoons tamari
1/2 teaspoon ground Chinese ginger
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon cumin
3 medium-sized carrots
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3- mini rainbow bell peppers, sliced
1 large crown of broccoli, cut into florets

Directions:

Step One: Start your farro. Add the veggie broth and farro to a medium size sauce pan, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover your saucepan and allow the farro to simmer for 30 minutes while you prep all your jazz on the other side of the kitchen. Once your farro is done, stir in the black beans.
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The (mostly) cooked farro with black beans. I added the beans while there was still a little liquid so I could give them a bit of the veggie broth flavor.

Step Two: Prep your tofu. Dice your tofu into bite-sized cubes, and pat dry to remove as much liquid as possible. I placed my diced tofu in a single layer on a dinner plate, covered with a paper towel, and gently patted with a paper towel to remove excess liquid.
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Dice your tofu into bite sized pieces.

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Use a paper towel to pat dry. This picture reminds me how much I need to stop being a hippie and get a manicure.

Step Three: Prep all your veggies. Chop your broccoli, grate your carrots into long ribbons and slice your bell peppers into pretty slices. Since I could not find my vegetable peeler or grater for the carrots, I had a mild freakout until I realized I could attempt to use my Veggetti like Debbie from The Mountain Kitchen (who made a banging Carrot Salad for Meatless Monday). My attempts were met with medium success, so I’d look for your grater before you start your farro. πŸ˜‰
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So….carrots don’t spiralize as well as squash. The Veggetti and I were having a fight.

Step Four: Once all of your veggies are prepped, heat the oil in a large saute pan. Once that oil is piping hot (this is important, it helps to crisp up your tofu so that it doesn’t fall apart), add your diced tofu and drizzle with tamari and spices. Personally, I freestyled this and didn’t measure it out – give your tofu a good coating of spices and tamari – this is where a lot of the flavor comes in, so don’t be shy!
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Give that tofu a good coating of spices and tamari. πŸ™‚

Step Five: Allow your tofu to crisp up along the edges and develop a nice golden brown color. Be sure to stir every few minutes so the tofu doesn’t stick or burn on one side. Allow your tofu to cook for about 15 minutes while you have a dance party in your kitchen.
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Here is the fried tofu after drizzling with maple syrup (next step).

Step Six: Once your tofu is cooked, drizzle maple syrup over the tofu. Add the carrots and bell peppers and cook for about 5 minutes.
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Tofu with grated carrots and bell pepper.

Step Seven: Stir in the broccoli florets and cook for another 10 or so minutes until the broccoli looks vibrantly green and is slightly tender.
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Add the broccoli to the party.

Step Eight: Serve over the farro and bean mixture, with a little Sriracha on the side if you’re a spice lover like me. Enjoy!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€
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Topped with Sriracha! YUM.

IMG_2362This recipe was delicious – I was pleasantly surprised as to how the flavors mingled together. It hit all of my “musts” for a new recipe – flavorful, filling and full of nutrients. I think that you guys will really enjoy it! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

Happy Tuesday, all! πŸ™‚

With warmth,

L

Long Run Prep – 8.6 miles with J on the Charles River

My first half marathon is right around the corner. Lucky for me, I have some amazing friends/running buddies. Tonight I’m running 8.6 miles with my friend J. Once upon a time, we were lab partners in Thermodynamics Lab, now we run along the Charles and talk about life – upgrade! It makes the runs go by that much faster when you have someone to chat with and appreciate the scenery with as you are running along.

Having views like this on my run make me fall in love with Boston all over again <3

Having views like this on my run make me fall in love with Boston all over again ❀

To start my day off on the right foot, I made my overnight oats for breakfast (See recipe here). Today I topped them off with hemp hearts, cinnamon, strawberries, banana, blueberries and almond butter. I felt that extra boost of potassium from the banana and strawberries was very necessary given the fun time I had going out with K last night (http://instagram.com/p/t-RkTUgUb7/).

Pre-run overnight oats

Pre-run overnight oats

I skipped the gym this morning to save my legs for tonight, and I always get extra hungry on non-gym days. I’ve packed myself a bunch of healthy snacks and a multiple choice lunch (I pack a little extra so I have plenty of options):

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Leftover vegan pizza, Best Baked Tofu Ever, Macoun & Honeycrisp apples, plain Greek yog and a banana

It’s a good feeling to be excited about what you have for lunch. πŸ™‚

Every Friday when I go on these long runs, it’s always a bummer to get home at around 8 pm and have nothing fun to eat. I’ve typically been making smoothies and eating toast after these evening runs – nutritious, but not very exciting. This week, that is going to change. I’ll be whipping up some Crock-Pot Vegan Pumpkin Chili tonight. (Spoiler alert: it has black and red kidney beans, peppers, onion, carrots, jalapeno, tomatoes, pumpkin, butternut squash, lime and TONS of spices). After work, I’ll prep my chili in the crock-pot and put it on low to simmer for a few hours while I go for my run. By the time I come in the door, it will be ready to be housed! I’m really excited about this idea, and I look forward to sharing the recipe tonight. I’ll be putting my farm-stand bought pumpkin and butternut squash to good use, and have something warm and delicious to eat after my run. Score! The thought of a bowl of chili waiting for me is enough to help me power through those last few miles.

I hope you all have a great Friday today.

– L

The Best Damn Baked Tofu EVER.

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If you have read yesterday’s post, you would know that I’ve been a veg for over half my life. I’ve eaten my share of tofu. Baked, broiled, grilled, sauteed, crumbled, buffalo – you name it, I’ve probably tried it. HOWEVER, my absolute favorite way is the recipe you will find below. You’re in luck: it’s simple, fast, and friggin’ delicious. It’s even been omnivore approved: my entire family likes it (even my aunt will text me: “honey, what is that tofu recipe again?”), and my friends who previously turned their noses up at my “weird veggie sh*t” will devour the entire baking tray of this tofu. Without further ado, here’s what you do:

The Best Damn Baked Tofu Ever

Ingredients:

1 16 oz package of extra firm tofu, diced

Marinade:

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp minced garlic, or fresh ginger or both

Directions:

1. If you can buy diced tofu, do it – it just makes life simpler. If not, cut up your tofu block into 1″ cubes. Drain well. This is the most important step: the better you drain the tofu, the more the marinade is allowed to soak in. Tofu is like a sponge, it comes packed in water to keep it fresh, but if you want it to taste great, squeezing all the extra water out is a must. I usually make a paper towel sandwich on a dinner plate for the tofu draining process. I place a square or two of paper towel on a plate, place the tofu on the paper towel; then, add another paper towel on top of the tofu, and a second plate. I put a 5 lbs barbell on top of the second plate but you can use whatever is handy: a can of tomatoes, a bottle of vodka, The Origin of Species, whatev.

2. Once the tofu is well drained (you should drain for at least 15 minutes, but I have been known to allow my tofu to drain for an entire episode of Scandal), place it into a seal-able plastic bag (ziploc) or shallow container. Whisk all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl and pour over top of the tofu. If your tofu is in a bag, great! You can “massage” the marinade right into the tofu; if it’s in a container then toss the tofu until it is well coated in the marinade.

3. Allow the tofu to marinade for at least one hour, I almost always allow my tofu to marinade overnight. It tastes better that way.

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4. Once the tofu has soaked up all the goodness, place the diced pieces in single layer on a baking sheet. Try to spread them out as much as possible, it allows the tofu to cook evenly on all sides. Bake at 350 F for 25 – 35 minutes. You want the tofu to appear lightly browned.

5. I’ve personally never done this, but I heard a rumor that you can toss the cubes in cornmeal when they are hot out of the oven for a crispy texture. Once cooled, store in an airtight container and it will keep in the fridge for about a week. Enjoy!

I’m not gonna lie – the bag pictured above is currently sitting in my refrigerator to be baked tonight. Stay tuned for a pic of the final product tomorrow πŸ™‚ I make this recipe weekly, double it, and use the baked tofu to top my salads for an extra protein boost (and to fight off the 3 pm hangry). I eat it right out of the fridge, use it to top sauteed veggies, salads, as a side dish, reheat in the microwave and put on any leftovers I have. It’s so versatile, so easy, and even SO good by itself! It’s the best damn tofu ever.

I hope you agree. Happy baking!

– L