Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Healthy, Homemade Take-Out: Veggies and Tofu

Flavio is a far better cook than I am. He's one of those natural chefs that experimentally throws random things in a pot and (usually) makes a great meal out of them. I am not instinctively a great cook (I'd much rather bake, obviously) and I definitely need the structure of a recipe. But every once in a while, I surprise myself and create something semi-improvised, delicious, and in this case, quick to make.

This is a busy week. I'm trying to wrap up a ton of grading and lesson planning so we can go out of town this weekend without any worries. When I'm stressed, I fall into a gross cycle of frozen pizzas and take-out, so I wanted to challenge myself to create something quick and semi-homemade, a la Sandra Lee -- but without the hideous tablescapes and bad food. Leave it to Trader Joe's to help me make a healthy Chinese take-out meal at home in no time.
Here's how.  I cooked up a bag of Trader Ming's Asian Vegetable Stir-Fry, and added a bag of broccoli and cauliflower to the mix because they give you so much sauce. Meanwhile, I followed this totally delicious and fast recipe for Mongolian Tofu but reduced the sugar. I plated it all up and topped the veggies and tofu with few peanuts for crunch, scallions and a squeeze of lime.

Seriously, it took all of 20 minutes, was healthy, and tasted amazing.

By the way, tofu was a tough sell on Flavio, but he totally loved this dinner and went back for seconds. I'll be adding this to my quick-dinner repertoire. I was a little wary about cooking with tofu, with all the soy GMO controversy and whatnot, but Trader Joe's doesn't carry GMO products and I bought the organic tofu, so I think we're good. Bonus: tofu is crazy cheap.

Can you tell I'm trying to detox after an indulgent weekend?  I've been eating more bacon and ice cream and drinking more sparkling wine than is justified and I need to re-balance the scales this week. CrossFit, infused water and veggie/protein packed meals it is.

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