Meatless Monday

I talked to my best friend this weekend about trying out Meatless Monday – a simple idea to just choose vegetarian meals one day a week.

My meatless meals today?

Breakfast: fried egg and provolone sandwich

Lunch: Almond and pumpkin butter sandwich with a banana and birthday cake :)

Dinner: homemade falafel with tzaziki sauce!

I was really excited about having falafel tonight, after my sister gave rave reviews to the Near East boxed mix. Unfortunately, my local Kroger didn’t carry it, so I resorted to tastespotting.com to peruse falafel recipes and ended up with this:

  • 1 medium onion, 2 cloves garlic, big handful of parsley –> food processor
  • add 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed. pulse until mixed (but not pureed)
  • pour into mixing bowl
  • add 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp salt, pepper, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • put in fridge to firm up, 15-30 minutes
  • heat oven to 400 degrees
  • shape falafel into patties (I got 9), dredging in flour/breadcrumb mix
  • bake 20 minutes, turning over halfway through
  • serve with pita, tzaziki sauce and enjoy!

How Young Did you Turn?

Everyone at work today wished me a belated birthday and brought me a chocolate birthday cake. It was very good, and I took half of it home with me. I just hope I can make it last! Maybe I can freeze a couple slices.

Everyone seemed so amazed that I was only 24. I know, I know, I look and act much older. It was fun hearing stories from my coworkers about how they used to be the youngest at work, and now that job falls on my shoulders :)

And the cold weather returns…

Today was still a lovely day in the 50s, but it’s the last of this burst of spring weather. I took the opportunity to vacuum and clean out my car. Unfortunately, my mini shop-vac cannot such up dog hair very well, so the backseat of my car (and surrounding area) is still a war zone. How can I get all the dog hair out?!? I can just see myself out there, with my sticky roller brush, rubbing it allover my car’s interior. hahaha

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Who knew???!

Who knew that you could make croutons out of tofu?? Well, Mark Bittman does apparently. Which is very good news for me (as I sit here munching on my big spinach salad topped with my new protein-rich croutons). Truth be told, I don’t eat salads very often. I’m sure this is a shocker, being a vegetarian and all – people probably think that I eat salads everyday. But I don’t. I think they’re kinda boring, and I never seem to be able to buy the variety of ingredients I want and use them all up by myself before they spoil. Plus…. croutons are my favorite part of the salad, so I end up consuming a lot of bread in that meal. 

So of course I was excited to hear about this recipe that involves baking tofu cubes (seasoned with only olive oil and salt) at 400 degrees until they’re crunchy, just like croutons. Skeptical? Yes, I was. I’ll admit that I haven’t mastered tofu completely yet. I have a few marvelous recipes and a few tried and true preparation methods, but I’m always nervous about trying something new, in case it doesn’t work out. But, here me when I say that these little guys taste just the same as bread croutons! And obviously a great source of protein to add to my salad. So yay! Interested in a recipe?

15 oz block of firm tofu, cut into half inch cubes and pressed/drained
1 Tbsp olive oil
sprinkle of salt

Toss tofu cubes with oil and salt on baking dish and bake at 400 degrees F. Mark says to bake for 60 mins, but I only did about 35 minutes and found that they had already shrunk and gotten nice and crispy. So just keep an eye on them!

 In other food news…. my birthday is this Saturday, and I’ve chosen to make Ina Garten’s Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake. It’s always a huge decision for me to choose a birthday cake recipe. And I know what you’re thinking… “Why on earth is she making her own birthday cake?”… but I hate having just a storebought sheet cake, or box-mix throw together cake for my birthday. I want something special. And unfortunately, I haven’t had a lot of close friends who really knew their way around a kitchen-aid mixer, so I chose to bake it myself. 2 years ago I made a fabulous flourless chocolate hazlenut torte (my favorite flavor combination!) which was divine. This year I went with the chocolate-orange combo, and I think it should turn out a success :)