Tag Archives: tofu

chia seeds are like weight training

11 Nov

Hello!

Thanks so much for the sweet comments on my Thailand post from yesterday.  Reminiscing about our time there is near to my heart, so I’m super thankful that you guys enjoy hearing about it. I’m sure there will be more to come:)

Today was rainy and dreary here in Oklahoma, which lent a kind of peacefulness and relaxation to the day.  And laziness I suppose:)

I pretty much rocked it out at the gym though, getting in 4.5 miles on the treadmill and lifting arms, chest, back, legs and abs.  I have to admit, I am so thankful that I can spend more time at the gym these days.  Last year it was a major feat to even make it in the front door, and I’m well aware that this is probably a very small window in my life in which I can spend almost as much time there as I want (within reason of course) – I’m really trying to take advantage of it!

As soon as I walked back in the door of my house, I headed straight to my blender.  Minutes later I was guzzling this:

Chocolate milk!

Actually, it was better than chocolate milk.  I blended one and a quarter cups of unsweetened almond milk, 2 tablespoons of Vega Shake and Go Smoothie powder and some ice.  I have become a huge fan of Vega in my green smoothies, but this was the first time I’d had it just in milk.  I’m telling you, this will become a regular occurrence for post-workout fuel.  It has many of the benefits of Amazing Grass, but also boasts 11 grams of complete protein per serving.  Perfect to repair muscles after an intense workout.  As much as I love my Amazing Grass, I think if my wallet forces me to choose, I’d have to go with Vega at this point.  It truly is the only protein powder I’ve ever actually liked.

Anyway, by the time I got back from the gym, showered and dressed, and caught up on some email, the husband was pulling up outside ready for lunch!

I swiftly got to work making hummus, and it was the most troublesome batch of hummus I’ve ever created.  First, my food processor broke.  As soon as I turned it on it started making this really weird noise like a dying engine and then I started to smell something burning.  Oh-kay!

Time to bring in the reinforcements.

Enter…the Magic Bullet.  My biggest problem with the Magic Bullet is that it is too small.  And the lid gets stuck and won’t come off if you leave it processing for too long.  Which of course happened today.  So, I ended up with a big mess and a bad attitude.

But at least I also came out with a veggie pita.

This pita was super basic, layered with a generous helping of homemade hummus, broccoli slaw, pickles and chia seeds.  mmm.

This was kind of a light lunch, so it wasn’t but a few hours later and I was ready for a snack.

soy yogurt, chias, raw oats and unsalted almonds

More chias!  I told you they’d be back in the picture around here.  Chia seeds are kind of like weight training for me.

I don’t realize how much I miss them until I bring them back!  And once I start, I just can’t stop.

I spent a large portion of the afternoon researching vitamins.  I’ve never been a big vitamin person, aside from B12, because I believe that you can get all the nutrients you need out of a healthy diet.  But I know that sometimes I slack on getting in the right amounts of certain foods, so I’m going to start incorporating some vitamins into my day.  For the most part, it can’t hurt…and it just might help in certain areas!  I especially did a lot of research about vitamins and acne.  Yes, I’m still have problems with my skin. Honestly, it is as bad as ever, and I’ve kind of come to a breaking point.

Anyway, I need to do a little more research, but once I settle into which ones I’m taking, I’ll do an update.

Onto dinner.  I’ve known pretty much all week that I was going to make tofu for dinner tonight, but I hadn’t yet decided how I was going to make it.  I set up the tofu to press around 5, then started looking around for a good marinade or sauce.

And I found this.

Indonesian Tofu with Peanut Butter
original recipe found here


Ingredients

  • 1 block of extra firm tofu, pressed and sliced
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp onion powder

Directions

  • Heat large skillet over medium heat
  • place tofu slices in skillet and press down with spatula until brown.  Flip and repeat on other side.
  • Once tofu is cooked through (browned on both sides and chewy on the inside) pour peanut sauce over tofu and continue to cook for several more minutes.
  • Serve over rice or noodles

I served this tofu over a bed of soba (buckwheat) noodles with a side of broccoli.  While it wasn’t the absolute best tofu I’ve ever tasted, it was pretty dang good and I would definitely make it again.  The husband actually raved and raved about it, so if I don’t make it again, he probably will! We did both go back for seconds, too, if that tells you anything:)

After dinner, the husband had the brilliant idea of making chocolate muffins together.  I don’t know where he gets these crazy schemes, but who am I to complain?  We scrounged around for a recipe and came up with one that sounded decent, but required a quick run to the store.  An hour later we were back home, mixing up some chocolatey goodness.

I used to say this to my students all the time last year…but if you haven’t listened to a word I’ve said so far, hear this:  I will be popping in tomorrow to give you the recipe I used for these muffins.  As soon as I do, you will want to drop everything and head for the kitchen.  They really are that good.  Here’s a little sneak peek for you.

He just couldn’t wait one more second:)

I’ll see you guys tomorrow!  Happy (almost) Friday!

Question: Do you take vitamins regularly?  If so, which ones and why do you take them?

*I was given the Vega powder in my HLS swag bag, but have not been compensated in any way for this review.

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the secret to workout motivation + a giveaway!

26 Oct

Hey guys!

Remember a couple of months ago when I made this?

How about this?

If you remember, I told you that I’d be hosting a giveaway to give one CSM reader their very own spiralizer.

Well the time has come!

CSN stores has offered to give away a $45 giftcard to one of you guys.  If you’re not familiar with CSN, they have hundreds of online stores in which they carry everything from wardrobes to cookware to chic light fixtures.  You could seriously browse for hours! Not that I would know.

So, while I’d love for you to show the spiralizer some love (’cause I know it would love you right back), I also think it’s great to let you guys choose whatever you want!

So here’s the scoop:

  • For one entry leave a comment on this post telling me if you had to pick one food to eat every meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  • For one entry put ChiaSeedMe on your blogroll
  • For one entry mention the giveaway in a blog post and link back to this post
  • For one entry follow me on twitter (@chiaseedme)

You can enter as many ways as you want – just make sure to let me know which ones you did (or already do) in the comments!  Good luck!

The contest will close next Monday at midnight (central time).

**Unfortunately, this giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  Sorry, international friends:(

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

This morning I put in a quick interval workout just like yesterday’s.  My legs felt like lead!  I wanted to stop so badly after about 15 minutes, but I just kept telling myself “you are strong, confident, and you have the ability to have a kick-butt workout!”

I’m not gonna lie though – it felt so good to stop and walk:)  I’m reminded this week of the key to truly motivate myself as far as workouts.  Wanna know the secret?

Workout!

That’s right.  Workout.

Getting to the gym, feeling those endorphins flow, and beginning to feel and see improvements in your health will give you the motivation and drive to keep going each day.  It will work, I promise.

So, I had big plans to tell you guys about the creamiest squash soup you’ll ever taste, but that will have to be postponed now.  Tonight’s dinner was just too good to keep to myself.

Tofu Broccoli Cashew Asian Stir-fry
adapted from Eat Drink and Be Vegan

Ingredients

For tofu:
1 pkg extra firm tofu, cut into rectangles
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp red wine vinegar

For sauce:
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp agave nectar (pure maple syrup would also work I think)
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
.5 tbsp molasses
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp arrowroot powder

For Stir-fry:
1-2 tbsp olive oil
2 heads of broccoli, chopped
2 pinches of sea salt
2 tbsp water
2 red, orange or yellow bell peppers
.5 cup raw cashews

Is this not the most awesome pepper you’ve ever seen?  My step-dad picked it from his garden and gave it to me (after my sister and I fought over it, that is:).  Thanks, Clark! I didn’t want to say good-bye to it, but alas, I needed a second red bell pepper.

Directions

  • Place tofu rectangles in a shallow dish.  Pour soy sauce and vinegar over the top and make sure each piece is covered.  Allow tofu to marinate for 10-15 minutes
  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk sauce ingredients until arrowroot powder is dissolved
  • In a large skillet or wok,  heat about 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Add tofu and saute until all sides are browned (I like mine crispy on the outside!)
  • Remove tofu from pan and set it aside
  • Add a little bit more oil, 2 tbsp water and broccoli to wok/skillet.  Place a lid over it and allow to cook for about 5 minutes
  • Add bell pepper and continue to saute for another several minutes
  • Add tofu, sauce and cashews and toss to coat
  • Continue to cook on medium heat until sauce has thickened

Serve over brown rice, quinoa, bulgur or any other grain!

This was by far the best stir-fry meal I’ve ever made – it tasted like it came straight from an Asian restaurant.  I think the key ingredient is the arrowroot powder. It makes the sauce thick and syrupy, mmmm.

Wel,, that’s it for tonight!  I’ve got to go look over my yoga class for tomorrow night. I didn’t teach last week because we were in DC, so I’m feeling a little rusty.  A few down dogs and sun salutations, and I’ll be back in business methinks.

And by the way, you may notice some changes around these parts over the next few days.  The husband is working out some kinks and getting a little crazy at times, but I’m trying to keep him reigned in.  You give him an inch…

Also, I added a couple of new pages at the top today and revamped some of my old ones!  If you have a second, check out my new “about” page as well as my “moves” page, which also has some info about PiYo.  Let me know what ya think!

Oh, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!!  If you’re not in the market for anything for yourself, you could win someone a Christmas present!

What is your key motivator for working out?  Do you have any tricks for staying consistent when the going gets tough? Please share!

a really, really, really good dinner

25 Aug

Don’t forget to enter the chia seed giveaway!!  Am I sounding like a broken record yet?

Last night I was a bit MIA.

Just a little word of advice for anybody who may be silly enough to go down the same path I did: Do not buy a DSLR camera, and then continue loading every giant sized picture you take onto your poor, unsuspecting little macbook.

I’m in the process of moving all of my photos from iPhoto to Flickr.  My computer has become so slow that I can’t bear to work on it anymore.  I spend way more time staring at that evil little spinning pinwheel (mac people you know what I’m sayin’) than I do working!  So, I’ve transferred my working space to the husband’s desktop temporarily, and my computer is being used solely for the purpose of photo transferring.  Unfortunately, at night the husband also has to work, so that leaves me computerless:(  I should be able to have enough photos moved over by the end of today to be able to resume using it.  Fingers crossed.

Last night that meant I spent my time doing non computer things, which was almost kind of nice:)

First order of business was dinner.

I promise I’m not going to start bombarding you all with tofu recipes every day, but after finally conquering my first tofu recipe the other night – I was itching to go at it again!

Orange Sesame Tofu from Eat Drink and Be Vegan

Ingredients
2 tsp arrowroot powder (cornstarch also works)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
3 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 medium cloves garlic, minced (I used jarred:)
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 pkg extra firm tofu, sliced 1/4 – 1/2 in thick squares
1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced for garnish
1-2 tbsp sesame seeds, for garnish

Directions

  • An hour or so before you’re ready to cook, cut tofu in half to make two thin slabs.  Lay it on a cutting board, cover with a towel and place heavy books on top.  This helps soak up the excess moisture.

time to get creative!

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, combine arrowroot powder with 2 tbsp orange juice and stir until fully dissolved.

  • Into a 9×13 inch baking dish, pour arrowroot and orange juice mixture and then add remaining ingredients except for tofu, green onions and sesame seeds.  Stir to combine.
  • Add tofu and turn to coat both sides.

  • Cover and refrigerate to marinate for 1 hour (highly recommended!) or bake it immediately.
  • To bake, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Turn over tofu, gently stir to cover tofu with sauce and bake again, uncovered, for another 15 minutes, or until sauce thickens and bubbles at the edges (sauce will thicken more as it cools).

  • If you like you’re tofu well done like I do, go ahead and turn on the broiler and broil for another 10 minutes, watching carefully so it doesn’t burn!

**I did not marinate mine and I didn’t broil it long enough.  Next time I will definitely marinate it and broil it for another 5-10 minutes.  I like it crispy!

This meal honestly was delicious. The husband had never eaten tofu before and was pretty skeptical, and he loved it!  One of his favorite Asian dishes is sesame chicken, and he claims that this is a very close replacement.  And he is always brutally honest (which I appreciate!).

I also want to say if you are anything like I used to be you may not have a few of these ingredients on hand.  I used to never want to try new healthy recipes such as this because I didn’t have the ingredients, and I either didn’t know where to find them or didn’t want to spend the money.  Most of these ingredients can be found at your local grocery store, but for those that can’t (arrowroot powder, toasted sesame oil etc), take a trip to your nearest health food store.  It may be a tad pricey the first time, but you really use very little of these ingredients for each recipe, so you’ll have them for weeks/months to come.  I felt so much freedom to explore new meals once I just bit the bullet and accumulated some of the ingredients.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for tonight!  Hope you all had a lovely day:)  G’night!

tofu redemption

20 Aug

So, last night I finally sat down to eat my long awaited tofu dinner at about 9:30pm.  You guys already know – it was not good.

But I’m not the type who gives up easily.

My mom can attest to this story:

When I was a wee four years old, still using a pacifier mind you, I had a bike with training wheels.    I would pedal that bike as fast as my little legs would go, trying to keep up with my big sister at all costs.  Until one fateful day when one of my training wheels bit the dust.

I’m not one to give up easily, though.  Despite my mother’s constant scoldings, I perfected riding the three wheeled bike.  She would constantly be yelling out the door – “Candice, get off that bike!  You’re gonna get hurt!”

I’d stop momentarily…but then I’d be right back at it.

Until the next fateful summer day when the other training wheel gave out on me.

My mom was so relieved.  She sighed “at least now she won’t be able to hurt herself trying to ride that bike with broken training wheels.”

Like I said, though.  I’m not one to give up easily.

Not many days later, my mom glanced outside to check on me, and there was little four-year-old me, flying down the road after my big sister on my two wheeled bike, with pacifier in tow.

To this day, determination is something I don’t take lightly.

As evidenced by this

So, you’re probably wondering what the heck happened right?

After I finished blog venting about my tofu fail last night, I walked back into the kitchen where my tofu was still gloating smugly atop the stove.  In a moment of sheer rage frustration I grabbed the dish, punched the broiler button on the stove, and threw it back into the stove.  Take that!

I honestly figured I’d be trashing those mushy little tofu cubes in less than ten minutes, but I figured “hey, it can’t get any worse, so I might as well make one last ditch effort!”

Ten minutes later I pulled out a sizzling batch of perfectly browned, crispy on the outside, but chewy on the inside tofu.

And that my friends…is how it’s done;)

Apparently it just needed cooked longer, as I would have found out by reading all the awesome comments from last night’s post.  Thanks for all the tips – with the help of them hopefully I’ll be able to get it right the first try next time!

Now I’m off to bake some vegan cookies – don’t wait up for this one;)

Well, I ate it…

19 Aug

…but that doesn’t mean it was good.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1.5-2 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1.5 tbsp tamari
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 2-3 pinches chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pkg firm or extra firm tofu (frozen or fresh) cut in half lengthwise then sliced 1/4 to 1/2 in thick squares, and patted to remove excess moisture
  • 2-3 tbsp raw or pre-roasted pumpkin seeds

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In an 8×12 in baking dish, combine lime juice, agave nectar, tamari, cumin, curry powder, chili powder, and salt and stir to mix.
  • Stir in oil.
  • Add tofu and turn to coat each side
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven to turn tofu over, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds, and return to oven to bake uncovered for another 13-15 minutes, until tofu has soaked up most of marinade.
  • Serve warm, pouring any remaining oil and/or spices over tofu.

recipe adapted from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan

It’s not you, Dreena, it’s me.

Tofu and I have never gotten along.

We have a love/hate relationship.  As in love when we meet at Pei Wei and hate when we meet anywhere else.

Not sure what went wrong to be honest.  The flavor was not bad, but the texture was not good.  Maybe I should have bought extra firm instead of just firm?  Any suggestions?  I need help!

This is not the last you’ll see of me, tofu.  I’ll be back.  And eventually I will win.

That’s all.

weekend in pics

2 May

Friday I took off work so that Jon and I could leave early for the Train concert.  I started my morning off with an ice cold green smoothie and Pilates at the gym.  Bliss.  I miss going to the gym in the morning.  Only four more weeks until I can go everyday!

Later I had some carrots and hummus to hold me over until lunch.

A little while later we packed up, hopped in the car and headed south.  The concert was at a casino about 3 hours away, so we had quite the drive!  It was nice, though, and we arrived just in time to check into our hotel, eat some pizza for dinner (sorry, no pics!) and make it to the concert with plenty of time to spare.

Guys, the concert was awesome!  If you don’t listen to Train, you should, and if you do listen to Train, you MUST hit up one of their concerts.  They put on a great show and played all my favorite songs.  Jon and I sang and danced the night away:)

The concert was over by about 10:30.  We just headed back to our hotel and spent the evening just hanging out.  It was the best night.

Saturday morning we slept in a bit, then hit the road.  We picked up some Starbucks for breakfast – I had the perfect oatmeal made with soymilk.  I added about half the amount of nuts and dried fruit that they gave me.  This was my first time to try Starbuck’s oatmeal, and it was fantastic!  It was the perfect serving size and was so delicious!  I would definitely get this again.

Next, we met up with my MIL and FIL in the city.  My FIL was going to play some golf, so we planned to hang out with my MIL for a couple hours.  Not before joining in on a little family golf and juggling.

I promise there is a ball there:)

Later we hit up PeiWei for lunch.  Yum!  My favorite.  I had a nice ice water with orange…

one vegetable spring roll…

and the Korean Spicy dish which consisted of brown rice, tofu, mushrooms, carrots, long beans, broccoli, sugar snap peas, onions and sesame seeds.  I cannot get enough of this dish!  I ate almost all the vegetables and about half the tofu and rice.

After lunch and some quick shopping, we stopped at my mom’s house to pick up Olive and headed back home.  It was such a great weekend…I totally wish I could go back and re-live it all!

I started off this morning with a bowl of cereal.  I found a new Nature’s Path cereal that has corn flakes, amaranth flakes and quinoa .  It’s awesome!  We found it at Big Lots ( a bargain store) of all places.  So random!  I’ll be doing a real review over it later.

After church, we had lunch at Panera (I had my usual – black bean soup and mediterranean veggie sandwich), then spent the rest of the day taking a nap, watering the flowerbeds, doing laundry, washing the car, cleaning out the fridge and buying groceries!  Such a productive and fun afternoon.

Olive even made a new friend:)

And I ended the afternoon with another energizing green smoothie.  This one had a TON of spinach, Amazing Grass, 1/2 banana, almond milk, a bit of soy yogurt, ice and a sprinkle of granola on top!

Well, that’s it for tonight!  I’ve got to do some work for school still, and I need to be off to bed in about a half hour.  eek!

Pumpkin Protein Waffles

6 Feb

Happy Saturday blog friends! How is the weekend going so far?  Mine is going way too fast.  Today, Jon and I went to OKC so I could go to a baby shower for my friend.  He dropped me off and went to hang out at Barnes and Noble, and I got to hang out with my girlfriends from college!  It was so nice to see them…it had been way too long.

Since I didn’t get a post up yesterday, I want to catch up by highlighting a couple of meals from the last 2 days.

First up is this:

I finally got my Jay Robb!  I’ve been wanting to try this protein powder for so long, and it finally came in the mail.  The morning after I got it, I decided to try it in my green monster.  That was one of the main reasons why I wanted to order it.  So, into the blender went:

1 cup soymilk
2 big handfuls of spinach
1/2 a banana
chia seeds
2 tbsp Jay Robb

Okay, I have to admit that I didn’t love Jay Robb.  I know, I know. It sounds crazy, but I really didn’t like it much.

Pros
24 grams of protein
short ingredient list- whole grain sprouted brown rice protein, natural flavor, stevia
eco-friendly packaging

Cons
a bit chalky
expensive if you have to order it online
flavor seems off

I just did not like the way this protein powder tasted.  I very rarely sweeten things these days, so I think that may have something to do with it.  If you are a person who really likes stevia or uses it a lot, you may like the taste of Jay Robb much better.  I’m not much of a fan, though.  I was a very sad girl, missing my usual green monster all the way to work.

Now, let’s move on from to the more positive side of things.  I vowed to never use this protein powder in my morning smoothie again, BUT that doesn’t mean I’m unwilling to use it in other things.  And with that I present to you my crazy good breakfast from this morning…

Check out the thickness!

Pumpkin Protein Waffles

1 cup oats
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 cup soy milk
1 tsp baking powder
1 heaping tablespoon of Jay Robb

adapted from original recipe from onefitfoodie.com

I threw all the ingredients into the blender and switched it on for about a minute.  Then,  I poured it into the waffle maker and let it cook for the normal amount of time (until the light went off). The batter was so thick I had to scrape it out of the blender with a spatula.  I wondered how the thickness would affect the final product, but it just made it thick and hearty!  The pumpkin flavor was subtle and it mixed so well with the almond butter and banana.  Also, I didn’t miss syrup at all!  The texture of the banana was enough to counter any dryness.  Basically, this was just a warm, thick, soft plate of heaven!   I topped mine with almond butter and sliced banana, but there are endless possibilities!  It was so, so good!  And it held me over for a good four hours or so.  You’ve got to try this recipe.  It will definitely be a good way to still use the Jay Robb because I couldn’t even taste it in the waffles, but it added some much needed protein.

And I’ll leave you with a picture of dinner tonight from Pei Wei.  Pei Wei is one of my favorite restaurants to eat out at.  It’s pretty clean if you choose the right thing, and it’s so delicious!  I ordered the Spicy Korean with vegetables and tofu and brown rice.

I ate about half of this and brought the rest home for leftovers.  The only negative about this meal is the high sodium content, but it’s certainly worth it on occasion!!  Otherwise, the nutrition stats are pretty good.

I hope everyone has a wonderful night!  Until tomorrow…