Tag Archives: Tofu

Do not touch

I have the hardest time leaving my food alone while it’s cooking. Maybe it’s from watching too much Iron Chef.

For some reason, when I put something in a hot pan, I feel the urge to wave the pan around: a circular flourish, flames kissing the bottom of the skillet as I toss its beautifully-browned contents (exotic secret ingredients!) into the air and then effortlessly catch them again.

But of course, I’m no Iron Chef. And there are no flames leaping from my electric stove. And I don’t cook with exotic secret ingredients. And lord knows I cannot catch.

It’s kind of funny how the urge to stir and toss strikes when it’s exactly the opposite that’s needed. Tonight, as I hovered over a pan of cubed tofu, I had to constantly remind myself: Do not touch. Do not move that food. No spatula. No touch, no touch, no touchy touch touch.

The reward was well worth a little patience: perfectly browned cubes that had no problem standing up to a hearty curry sauce.

Recipe: Curry Noodles with Tofu [Adapted from a Food & Wine recipe for Vegetarian Red Curry Noodles, which I would argue is not actually vegetarian because it contains fish sauce…not that I really care, but DERP, F&W, get it right!]

Using pre-crushed garlic, ginger and lemongrass, this dish came together very quickly and was bursting with flavor: more like a spicy stir-fry than a traditional soupy curry.

A crisp white always goes well with spicy food:

This Cottesbrook 2010 Sauvignon Blanc was a good match. Tropical flavors dominated – pineapple, grapefruit, guava – which played nicely with my coconut-based dinner. Very much on the sweeter side of the scale, with a little hint of earthy gravel, and really none of the spicy green pepper that you often get from an SB.

Bottom line: If you don’t mind a sweeter/fruit-forward wine, then get it! (Purchased at Total Wine, $10)

Weather weirdness: today, it was eighty-something degrees. Tomorrow, it will be forty-something degrees.

HEY WEATHER, KNOCK IT OFF.  I don’t need to get sick two weeks before my marathon….

Grill marks make food taste better

So. I’m not the only one jabbing at my eardrums with Q-Tips on a daily basis. This actually makes me feel much better about the habit. Thanks for all of your comments on yesterday’s little slice of self-indulgence!

Also: it would probably help if I got the date of my upcoming marathon right. CIM is on SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4. Not December 3. How awkward would that be if I showed up on Saturday?

Anyway. I am on my own for dinners this week, which usually means cooking and eating all of the things that my husband doesn’t like.

Like, um…tofu:

I know you are thinking: OMG TOFU! What a special, special thing to treat yourself to! Nah. It’s just that it had been sitting in the fridge for a while and needed to be used up.

And it was actually pretty delicious because of MAH GRILL PAN and those little stripes. Seriously. Why is that? Does food actually taste better when it has grill marks – even if they’re semi-fake? Or is is psychosomatic? (Or is it just me?)

Soba noodles, mini sweet peppers (Costco again!) and a delicious easy peanut sauce made this a quick dinner for one. I marinated the tofu slices in a bath of equal parts soy sauce and apple cider vinegar with a little brown sugar and sriracha sauce. Then I combined the leftover marinade with peanut butter to make the sauce.

As a certifiable peanut sauce fanatic, I offer you this tip: the creamy, processed stuff makes way better sauce than the natural stuff.

Much smoother and creamier. Probably the mono- and diglycerides. Mmmmm, delicious.

I popped open a bottle of Chard to enjoy with dinner:

Lately, I’ve been doing my grocery shopping on Sunday evenings. Because this is when the wine distributor reps are getting ready to shut down their sample table and are therefore likely to give extra generous pours. Which happens to make shopping in a gigantic supermarket on a Sunday night much more pleasurable.

A couple of weeks ago, they were pouring a bunch of Penfolds wines. The Australian brand is well-known for churning out decent affordable reds, but I liked their whites, too! So much so that I picked up a bottle of their 2009 Koonunga Hill Chardonnay.

Very light and crisp. No butter in here and just a hint of oak. Very fruit-forward with peaches and apricots and a little touch of both citrus and something a little earthier, like a sweet ripe fig. Definitely an enjoyable bottle, and one I’d happily serve to guests!

Bottom line: Buy it! (Purchased at Harris-Teeter, $10).

Off to do some productive stuff with the rest of my Wednesday. See ya later!

Hard in da paint

First off, I’d like to thank the landscaping guys who were working the area next to the track for blasting Waka Flocka Flame when I arrived for my speed session today.  Because my intervals are totally fueled by f-bombs.  How did they know?

Seriously.

I jogged up to the Big University Which Shall Not Be Named (because, you know, that whole trespassing thing) with 800s on my mind today.  Six of them.  At 5K pace.

Or rather: goal 5K pace.  Lately, I’ve been hanging out right around 7:00 when racing 5Ks.  Which is a little ridiculous considering that I’m cruising through longer tempo runs at 7:10-7:20 no problem.  Those 5K splits need to go on a little diet.

So I set my sights on 3:20-3:25 per 800M.  6:40 to 6:50 mile pace.  Very attainable, and about what I was doing at my peak last summer.  200M recovery, mostly because that would encourage continuous looping of the track while allowing me to alternate starting points.

First 800: 3:19.  Hmm.  That felt easy.  I picked off two more: 3:16, 3:16.  And suddenly I was halfway done.

And then, I started taking some liberties with that jog-between.

For me, enforcing recovery times is probably the single hardest thing about solo speedwork.  I’m pretty good about jumping right in to my recovery shuffle as soon as I finish, but as I approach the line for the next one, I start making feeble excuses.

  • My shoelace is too loose/tight.  Must retie.
  • My boob is chafing.  Must adjust.
  • My keys feel like they’re falling out of my pocket.  Must secure.
  • My…my…uh, I just want a few more seconds.

Seriously, I’m like a stubborn baby bird that has to be pushed out of the comfy recovery nest every single time around.

(Which is why I miss my good old team workouts so much.  Because there was no time to think about how short and crappy that recovery felt.  The group was leaving, and you just jumped in and went for it.)

Anyway.  I got through it tonight.  It’s only three minutes, I told myself.  You can withstand discomfort for three effing minutes.  Just effing go.

Last three repeats: 3:16, 3:14, 3:12.  Well.  That’s faster than 6:40 pace.

Hard. In da M-EFFING paint.

Running back home, I reflected on the workout and was really quite pleased.  It was a tough workout with short recovery and I ran it faster than I’d intended to.  And was only a little bit wiped out at the end.  And that was mentally, more than physically.

It usually pays to give yourself that nudge out of the nest.  Even if it means using some unsavory language as you tumble down.

Today’s EAT: A rematch of sorts.

Last time around, it beat me.  But this time, I brought frying oil.

I don’t know what it is about this stuff, but I’m determined to master it.  Maybe because it’s such a cheap source of protein and I really do enjoy it – more than, say, a boring chicken breast – when it’s cooked well?

With rice, edamame and teriyaki sauce, this was pretty tasty.  Standard batter of whipped egg whites and corn starch.  Pan fried to golden brown in a tablespoon or so of Canola oil before baking it (elevated on a rack, to keep the soggies away) to finish it off.

Fluffy, fried batter for the tofu win.

Today’s DRINK: In the big-girl bottle: Rogue Juniper Pale Ale.

It was alright!  Maybe I’m getting a little too accustomed to high-ABV IPAs, because this pale came across rather mellow tonight.  It had a light and delicate honey flavor – not at all what I expected when I saw “juniper.”  Much smoother and sweeter than some other notable pale ales, like Sierra.  I liked it, overall…it just wasn’t what I’d expected.

Today’s RUN: Total, with warm up and cool down, 8.3 miles.

Today’s QUESTION: Do you ever feel like you have to nudge yourself out of the nest? Even though I love running and racing, I have to admit that it can sometimes be a battle to lace up my shoes and put myself out there when I embark on a hard workout or race.  There’s always something to fear: pain, lack of speed, failure to finish as planned.  It’s always a bit of a head game!