Mi Familia!!

Mi Familia!!
Roscoe, Sophia, & Emily(across top) and then I think you can figure out the rest!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Insomnia, Berries & Last night's Awesome Dinner

First off for those of you who may skim...
go check out Lissaloo's blog for a cool give-away involving huckleberry products from Montana!They look yummy and she's cute, so it's worth the trip! : )

Secondly, I can't sleep... I fell asleep earlier, while putting my son to sleep tonight, because it has been an emotionally draining day, and my not always so thoughtful husband woke me up... he wasn't trying to be mean... he thought I'd want to be up to spend time with him, because normally I would. But tonight I would have rather slept, because right now when I close my eyes all I can see is my friend's poor little sweet son. And it's not a pretty image. I spent the day making her food and then brought it to her and spent some time with her. She is doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances. I think that she is in shock and denial really, but when the shoe drops, I'll be there. She showed me pictures while I was there of her sweet boy, before they took him away, and I wish I hadn't seen them. I followed her lead and felt like I needed to be there for whatever she might need, but if I never see such a thing again.... that would be ok.

So right now I am going to try and distract my brain from it's unpleasant images with a post about my rocking dinner last night. It was good for many reasons.

1. It utilized my new food processor( a birthday gift from my sister....SOOO COOL!!), which meant that it took only a few minutes to prepare instead of the usual hour or so...how sweet is that?
2. It was healthful.
3. The kids loved it!

so here we go!

Baked Tofu & Veggie Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce
Step 1 -the tofu
You will need:
1 block of firm or extra firm tofu
{optional: powdered Kelp & Dulse , Nutritional Yeast}
Bragg's liquid aminos or Soy sauce
Olive oil
Sesame Oil
Cut your tofu into the shape you prefer. I cut it in half, then flip it onto it's side and cut it into 3 equal slices, then flip those back over and cut again into quarters. So that I end up with sort of equal rectangular slices like this:

Put some parchment paper onto a cookie sheet, and place the tofu slices onto it. Sprinkle the tofu with Bragg's or Soy sauce(first to help the other items stick), Kelp, Dulse, Nutritional Yeast and 21 Seasoning Salute (or some other salt-free seasoning).
If you are not using the seaweed or yeast I'd throw some salt and pepper and whatever seasoning you might desire on it. Drizzle with a little olive and sesame oil(you don't need much) and put in a 350 oven. It's done when it has a texture that feels right to you, we like ours kind of crunchy, but here it's done when everything else is! : )

Step 2 - the peanut sauce
You will need:
3/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup HOT water
3 Tbsp Cider Vinegar
3 Tbsp Bragg's Amino Acids or Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp or so of Honey
2 cloves garlic minced or pressed
a shake of cayenne pepper
1 dollop of Sesame Oil ( sorry I don't measure often!... just a tiny hit for flavor)
2 Tbsp Cilantro( I didn't have it this time, it was good without but SO much better with it!)
First off I have to say that this recipe is loosely based on Molly Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook(one of my go to cookbooks of all times, I HIGHLY recommend it to everyone!), but I've changed it here and there over the years. ok...

Measure your peanut butter into a medium sized bowl, add hot water.
Stir...be patient it takes a minute, but it will work, trust me!

Once it starts to incorporate add your other ingredients.
Can you tell I shop at Trader Joe's! : )

Done... how easy, right?

Step 3 - the stir-fry
You will need:
Various Veggies your family enjoys
(we used 3/4 of a cabbage, 2 medium onions, 3 cloves garlic, 3 celery stalks, 3 carrots, 1/2 green pepper, 6 oz mushrooms, & 2 small heads of broccoli)
Pasta Pot
Pasta of your choice
(usually peanut sauce is served over a long pasta like spaghetti, but we were out, so we had penne... eh, it worked but I'd prefer long thin for next time!)

First put your pasta pot on to be ready whenever you are... there's nothing worse than waiting for water to boil when you're ready to go! Cut your veggies into thin strips. If you have a processor you can use it, although truth be told I prefer a wider slice.. the convenience of the processor so wins out.(I bet they have attachments with varying degrees for slicing.. that is my new goal to find out!)

When processing or chopping your veggies put them into separate groups for cooking. I messed up this time and put most of them together... lesson learned.
I would group them 1) onions, cabbage, garlic, celery 2) carrots, mushrooms, green pepper 3) broccoli.
When done prepping veggies, your ready to go. Oh, check on your tofu... but if you don't press it first then it can be awhile... it doesn't take too much babysitting, but use your own judgement.
Get a saute pan heated up...when hot start you first round of veggies. We had so many I had to use two pans until they had cooked down a bit!

This step can take a varying amount of time, depending on how thinly they are sliced and how much you have, and also how done you like your veggies. I like mine pretty vibrant still, tender crisp I guess. This will all depend on personal preference. I like to let the onions and cabbage get soft, then add the second group, and finally add the broccoli at the very last minute. I like my broccoli bright green and not mushy AT ALL! At some point you will want to throw your pasta into the boiling water as well. I didn't time exactly right, so I threw my veggies into a bowl, put the broccoli on top and put a plate over it until my pasta was done... worked great! The residual heat of the veggies steamed my broccoli perfectly!

Pull your tofu out when you are ready for it and plate everything up! In our house everyone likes it a little differently, as far as on the side or on top.

Here are the final products.

Emily's veggies on the side.

Roscoe's Tiny Bowl, all together like me!

Mine all together! : )

Sophia's all separate! : )

Today I am thankful that my kids will eat my creations, and even LOVE them, even when they are full of veggies!! : )


Raoulysgirl said...

You are such a good friend! Thoughts and prayers with all of you!

Lissaloo said...

The dinner looks awesome! It's making me hungry :)

Lissaloo said...

Thanks for posting about my little giveaway! :)

ChristineM said...

My first tofu experience was a tofu in peanut sauce and I think it's the thing that won me over! I'll have to try this one soon!

Who am I? said...

mmmmm, love peanut sauce!