What I’ve been eating for the last 2 months!

When I work on my blog, I like to experiment with new recipes, try out new products, invent new ways to eat ordinary foods. This worked for me for the last year or so. However, about two months ago, I started craving the same dish. Over and over again. So much in fact, that it’s starting to be a running gag in our house. My boyfriend will come home from work and say things like: “Can’t wait for my quinoa-tofu-broccoli tonight!” Yeah. That’s what I have been craving every day for two months now. Not chocolate cake (although I’ve had my days), not fancy and exotic fruits, not my mom’s food. Nope. Just quinoa, tofu and some kind of grilled veggies (it’s not my fault broccoli is so cheap), or salad greens if I want something fresh.

quinoa-broccoli-tofu

Now, here’s the issue. I have been feeling completely satisfied eating those quinoa bowls every day. There is something reassuring and structuring in preparing big batches of food and just having to plate your daily servings. No fuss, no rush. However, it’s difficult to blog about the exact same bowl you’ve been having. Now that the temperatures have been going up (finally), I’m hoping to crave something else and to hopefully have some variety back in my kitchen. I’m sure grilled broccoli, tofu and quinoa will stay in my heart for long though! Here’s a few tips if you are stuck in the same rut as me.

For your grilled veggies:

  1. I’ve been loving using infused olive oils to add an extra kick of flavour. Try lemon or rosemary infused oils for a fresh taste, or go for the classic chili oil. I usually rub about 1 tbs onto the vegetables before placing them in the oven. Yum!
  2. I’ve also like sprinkling some freshly ground pepper on the baked veggies. I know, it’s nothing groundbreaking (you see what I’ve done here, right?), but it’s a classic for a reason. Why not go crazy and try different types of peppers? I love white pepper for its spiciness, but pink pepper brings a whole different range of flavours. Experiment with kitchen staples!
  3. Add some lemon juice and lemon zest! Fresh lemon zest gives such a nice aroma to the most simple dishes. Plus, it makes me feel like a fancy chef when I zest lemons. You zest have to try it out!

For your tofu:

  1. Vary the type and bite size: I tend to go for extra firm tofu because I like how it crips up when you pan fry it. The smaller the pieces, the crispier they will be. If you feel like having some bacon, you can cut your tofu into small cubes and add a few drops of liquid smoke to your marinade or sauce. Soft tofu can also be a great option to mix things up a little. I love to gently cooking soft tofu in some soy sauce. Very simple, but so good.
  2. If you really don’t feel like cooking, you can simple cube your firm tofu and mix it with the vegetables. Put everything in the oven, and that’s it! Bing, bang, boom.
  3. If you really, really don’t feel like cooking, you can also substitute the tofu for canned beans. Rinse them well, and they are ready to go, but you can also cook them in some tomato sauce or curry spices for something a bit more elaborate.

For your quinoa:

  1. Make sure that you cook it in enough water. I usually use 4.5 cups of water for 2 cups of quinoa. I place everything in a pot on high heat. I then reduce the heat to medium once it starts boiling. I put a lid on the pot and let everything simmer for 15 minutes. Then, turn off the heat and let it sit until you are ready to eat. The result: light and fluffy quinoa! Yum.
  2. Add some stuff: I like adding some corn, chopped carrots or peas to the quinoa as it is cooking. It adds some bite to it and makes it extra yummy. Plus it adds a touch of colour to the mix.
  3. Make sure that you don’t add salt to the cooking water as it will harden the quinoa.

That’s it! This is perfect for meal prepping because you can prepare big quantities of everything and save your food in the fridge. It’s so quick to plate up and makes for great lunches to bring at work. Plus, you can add fresh veggies or sauces according to your daily cravings. So, yeah, that’s what has been going on in my kitchen lately. And guess what? I’m now heating up some quinoa, broccoli and tofu for lunch. Cannot wait!

Sunday Planning Time!

For a few months now I have used Sunday as a buffer day for the rest of the week. I sit down with my cookbooks, bullet journal, markers, and try to figure out what my week will be like. Doing this has really made weeknights a breeze with more time available for fun stuff and the mornings a grab-and-go routine. It also really helps with food waste and reduces our grocery bill. Here are a few tips on how I do this:

IMG_2950.JPG

Of course, sometimes you just have to take a cat break while planning.

  1. Think on what things you need to organize or be done with before the week starts. In my case, I like to make big batches of food so that all the lunches and breakfasts are done for the week. I also like to keep notes on my yoga practice, as well as on my teaching. I use my bullet journal to write down these categories: meal preps, yoga practice, teaching reflections. Then, during the week I can quickly take notes and keep track of things.
  2. Take out your cookbooks and post-it away! I like to select one per week and choose one or two recipes that I’ll be able to either batch-cook or make quickly on a week-night. I really like doing this because 1. it justifies the number of cookbooks I have and keep on buying; 2. it changes things up because I’m not going back again and again to the same recipes.
  3. Make a grocery list. Write down the ingredients that you need for your weekly recipes and stick to these things. Also make sure you only buy the quantity that you’ll need for the week. This makes grocery shopping super efficient and cheaper while also reducing the amount of food we waste drastically.
  4. Cook, cook, cook! This step might seem daunting, but it actually saves so much time! Imagine this: no lunches to prepare for the entire week! I usually go for soups because they’re so easy to prepare in bigger quantities and make for great lunches. Also, I like to cut up all the vegetables and fruits for snacks or salads. Finally, I prepare some granola or roasted nuts so that we have easy snacks for the whole week.

I hope these tips can help you out! Let me know what are some of your organization tips!

 

 

Simple Fruit Leather

I really hate to throw away food. When I see that the produce I bought is getting old and will go bad soon, I try to transform it to extend its life to avoid waste. I have to say, however, that meal planing reduces and often eliminates waste as you are only buying what you need. Still, sometimes, fruits or vegetables get forgotten in a corner. This is what happened to two wonderful prunes this week.

IMG_2876

I few hours later, my two wrinkled prunes were transformed into a magnificent fruit leather that is eaten and not wasted. Cheers to that!

Here is what you need:

  • 2 prunes (or any other fruit that is getting old or very ripe: pears, bananas, apples, oranges, etc..)
  • 2 tbs ground almonds (optional but makes it more filling; use one table spoon per cup of fruit)
  • 2 tbs lemon juice (optional but helps reduce browning)

Here is what you do:

  1. Peel and pit your fruit. This makes your fruit leather smoother.
  2. In a food processor or blender, puree your fruit and ground almonds until smooth. If you are using fruits that have the tendency to brown (bananas, apples, pears for example) you can add a few tablespoons of lemon juice.
  3. On a lined cookie sheet or on your dehydrator mat covered with silicone paper, spread the pureed fruit evenly. Tap a few times to remove bubbles.
  4. If you are using a dehydrator, set to 145F or 60C and let sit for 4 to 8 hours depending on the thickness. If you are using your regular oven, set on the lowest temperature and keep the oven door open for 4 to 6 hours, checking often to avoid burning.
  5. Once dried up, cut the leather into strips, roll and store in an air-tight container.

IMG_2878

This is really super simple and so delicious! It makes for a great healthy, sugar-free snack that can easily be taken with you anywhere. You can also make it your own by adding nuts or seeds to the mix, or by combining different fruits. the texture of this is similar to fruit roll-ups without being overly sweet or filled with artificial coloring. And really, the hardest part of this recipe is to wait for it to be ready!

Let me know what you favourite fruit is for this or what you do with your not-so-fresh-anymore produce to avoid waste. And if you are looking for a dehydrator, I bought an Excalibur a few years ago, and it’s perfect! If you are in Canada, you can check out Upaya Naturals: that’s where I got mine, and the shipping was super quick.

 

Save