Red Curry Noodles

Happy finals week everyone! Clearly my motivation for studying is at an all-time high, since I’ve been playing ultimate frisbee all weekend and taking a few breaks to attempt to study… But regardless, spring quarter is almost over here at UW, and I am way too excited to go home to California for a little bit once finals are over, before we come back for summer classes.

I made these curry noodles for dinner earlier this week, and they turned out even better than I expected! I wanted to try making curry noodles without have the noodles swimming in soup, so I experimented by cooking fresh noodles in a curry sauce of coconut milk and curry paste, and the noodles absorbed most of the liquid, resulting in soft, flavorful noodles that could be eaten off a plate! We just had an H-mart open up near campus, so I got a few of my ingredients from there. I can’t remember exactly what kind of noodles I used, but they were some kind of fresh noodles, flour-based, and the package contained 3 servings, so here’s my best guess at the recipe!

Red Curry Noodles

Makes 5-6 servings

4 green onions, sliced

3 slices fresh ginger

1 tbsp minced garlic

2 tsp olive oil

9 shiitake mushrooms (I used dried), sliced

5 heads baby bok choy, stalks sliced and leaves intact

2 tsp canola oil

1 16oz block of firm tofu, drained and cubed

1 14oz can coconut milk

2 tbsp red curry paste

1 tsp fish sauce

1 tsp lime juice

16-20 oz flour noodles, flat variety (or use whatever noodles look good to you, about 3 servings worth)

Directions

In a large saucepan or wok, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the green onions and garlic until fragrant, then add the mushrooms and bok choy stems and allow to cook until they begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Push the vegetables to the sides of the pan and heat the canola oil in the center. Add the tofu and cook for a couple minutes on each side, allowing to brown slightly. While the veggies are cooking, whisk together the coconut milk, curry paste, fish sauce, and lime juice.

Remove the veggies and tofu from the pan and pour in the curry sauce. Add the noodles to the pot and stir to separate the noodles. Cover the pan and allow the noodle to cook for a couple minutes and absorb the liquid. Add the veggies and tofu back into the pan and stir to combine. Serve warm. Enjoy!

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Panko Breaded Tofu

Ok guys, I think it’s actually fall now. The weather is cooling down, the skies are no longer clear 100% of the time, and I even saw some red and orange leaves on the ground outside work the other day! Exciting times.

Anyway, I have a delicious recipe, perfect for fall weather! My mom used to make panko-breaded chicken when I was younger, but since I don’t eat chicken anymore, I decided to switch it out for tofu. Surprisingly, it tasted very similar to the chicken as I remember it. Yay meat substitutions! The panko breadcrumbs have a surprisingly characteristic taste, so I think that’s probably why it tasted so familiar. In this panko crust, I combined crispy panko breadcrumbs with nutritional yeast and garlic for a slightly cheesy flavor. It turned out to be a pretty good combination!

This is a quick and easy recipe to pull together, since the tofu just needs to be heated through, and the panko crust crisps up fairly quickly in the pan. I paired the tofu with some roasted vegetables for a healthy, filling fall meal. Here’s the recipe!

Panko Breaded Tofu

Ingredients

1 14oz block of extra firm tofu

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 egg

Oil, for the pan

Directions

Drain the tofu and place on paper towels to dry for 15-20 minutes.

In a shallow bowl, toss together the garlic, nutritional yeast, and panko.

In another shallow dish, beat the egg.

Slice the block of tofu into rectangles( I made 12).

Toss the tofu blocks in the egg to coat, then roll in the panko coating.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Pan fry the tofu for a few minutes on each side, until crispy and golden brown. Place on the plate and serve warm. Enjoy!

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Breading ingredients

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Crispy and golden and ready to eat!

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Looks (and almost tastes) like chicken!

Sesame Honey Tofu

I’m alive! I know it’s been a while, but it’s midterm week! Except it was also midterm week last week, and the week before that, and it will continue to be midterm week until I get out for break in December. Sigh. Quarter system. Anyway, I have a couple go-to dishes that are quick and easy to make, particularly my Ginger Tofu, but I wanted to try something new. I love sesame taste, and I wanted to make a sort of crispy tofu, so I made up this recipe to incorporate those elements. This really doesn’t take all that long to make, except for the marinating part. I prepared the tofu and let it sit in the marinade while I went to work for a few hours, then when I came back this dish came together in less than half an hour. Easy! It also tastes delicious. The tofu has a delicately crispy exterior, with plenty of sesame soy flavor from the sauce. I will definitely be making this (or a variation) again!

Sesame Honey Tofu

Ingredients

Tofu:

1 14oz box firm tofu

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 tbsp vegetable oil

4 green onions, chopped

1 tbsp minced garlic

Sauce:

1/4 cup honey

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp sesame seeds

1 tsp ginger powder

Directions

Whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce. Cut the tofu into flat squares about 1/2 inch thick with 1 inch sides. Set the tofu in a dish with the sauce and allow to marinate for at least half an hour (I let mine sit for about 4 hours). Once the tofu has marinated, dip each piece in the beaten egg, then coat with cornstarch. Keep the marinade, since this will be the sauce. Heat a saucepan over medium high heat, then heat the oil. Cook the onions and garlic until slightly browned and aromatic. Fry the tofu until crispy, a few minutes on each side. Once the tofu is done cooking, remove the tofu and place in a serving dish. Add the sauce to the saucepan and allow to cook for about a minute, then pour over the tofu. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

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Lightly browned on each side and this tofu is ready to go!

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The sauce is necessary for the flavor, but if not eaten relatively soon, it will soak into the tofu and then the tofu will no longer be crispy. It will, however, still taste delicious, so I was perfectly content having leftovers for lunch all week.

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DSCN1781I served my tofu with a side of bok choy.

 

Curry Tofu with Broccoli and a Swim Workout

Dream team! After the tournament this weekend, the volleyball team is undefeated. Granted, there were only three games, but it’s still cause for excitement! I mean, after working a 16 hour day, I needed something to be excited about. I was exhausted after working all week, then working all day yesterday on top of that. I was planning to sleep till noon today, but that was not to be. On the bus ride home yesterday around 10pm, I found out we had to work this morning. Sundays are supposed to be a day of rest, right? Yeah… that didn’t happen. Oh well, it’ll just be something to get used to. After leaving work this morning (I was done by 11!) I went for a swim, then came back to my apartment, only to shortly thereafter be exiled from the apartment for four hours. We had to de-flea our apartment, since the dog that’s living here got fleas. So that’s what that bite on my leg was this morning… Starting the flea foggers was kind of fun, since it’s basically a toxic chemical spray, we had to set them off them immediately get out of the house. We got everything set up, then ran around the apartment pushing the trigger on the cans in each room. The spray shoots out the top, so you have to press it down, keep your head down, and run out of the room. It was a bit like setting off a grenade. There’s even a risk of explosion! After we had set off all the foggers and run outside, we realized that we had left one of the second story windows open. Whoops. Let’s just say closing that window involved a little bit of balcony hopping and screen punching. It was quite an adventure overall. But it’s done! Yay! I was a little nervous about turning on the gas stove, even a couple hours after it was supposedly safe, but the apartment didn’t explode when I turned the knob, so that was nice. Anyway, onto the food!

After such an eventful day, I just wanted to make something quick and easy. So I threw some rice in the rice cooker and whipped up this super easy curry tofu and broccoli dish, made with canned curry sauce. I know, it seems like cheating, and it is, but it saves me a lot of time and dishes and it tastes wonderful, so who am I to complain?

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This lovely little jar saves a lot of time and tastes delicious!

Curry Tofu with Broccoli

Ingredients

3 green onions, chopped

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tbsp olive oil

2 small heads of broccoli, crowns and stems chopped

1/2 cup water

1 12 oz package firm tofu, cubed (you can also use silken, but it probably falls apart more easily)

3 tbsp curry sauce of your choice

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a wok and cook the onions and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add in the broccoli and saute for a couple minutes, then add the water, cover, and turn down the heat to medium-low. Allow the broccoli to steam-cook until almost all the water has been absorbed. Add the tofu and curry sauce and allow the sauce to bubble. Cook the whole mixture for a few minutes, until the tofu is heated through, then serve over rice. Enjoy!

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As usual, the lighting was gone by the time I made this meal, so cue the yellow lighting!

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As with most Chinese dishes, this was perfect served over brown rice!

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Look at the pretty flowers one of my friends brought over!

 Now onto today’s swim! I received an unpleasant surprise when I got to the pool. It is a short course pool, but they moved the bulkhead so that is was 25 meters instead of yards. Sigh. Also, the water was a little warm for my liking. Oh well, had to make do with what I had, so I carried on with my swim set! In high school, we didn’t practice on Sundays, but since I probably won’t get to the pool tomorrow, I did Energy System Sunday.

Energy System Sunday

200 SKIP (swim kick pull swim)

4×50 @1:00 rotating IM (fly/back, back/breast, breast/free, free/fly)

20×100, 4 rounds of 5

1) 4×100 @1:50, kick/swim by 25, 1 easy @2:00

2) 4×100 @1:45 IM, 1 easy @2:00

3) 4×100 @1:40 fast free, 1 easy @2:00

4) 4×100 @1:40 fly/free by 25, 1 easy @2:00

6×200 @3:10 pull, descend 1-3, 4-6

200 easy choice

Total: 4400 m

Time: 1 hr, 25 min

Vegetarian Lasagna, a Swim Workout, and a Dryland Circuit

My roommate and I have been wanting to make vegetable lasagna for a while, and since my mom made it with tofu growing up, I decided to incorporate that as well, for a wonderfully tasty vegetarian meal! I had several ultimate frisbee friends over for dinner, and they all loved the lasagna, even the meat-eaters. I apologize for the yellow-y pictures, since by the time we sat down for dinner, any natural light was gone so I had to make do with the lighting in the kitchen.

One thing that’s nice about this lasagna is that you don’t have to pre-cook the noodles, you add water to the sauce instead, which soaks into the noodles during baking. Not having to work with slippery, soft noodles during the layering process makes things easier, and as an added bonus, it means one less pot to wash! This lasagna, while it does take some time to go through the process of making it, is well worth the time and effort. It is delicious, incredibly filling, and a much healthier alternative to traditional lasagna with oodles of meat and cheese. Here’s the recipe!

Vegetarian Lasagna

Makes 15 servings

Ingredients

1 12 oz package of firm tofu

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp Italian herb seasoning

Salt and Pepper

1 24 oz jar of pasta sauce of your choice

3 cups water

1 package of shredded mozzarella

3 zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise

2-3 cups baby spinach leaves

10-15 fresh basil leaves

Parmesan cheese, for topping.

1 package lasagna noodles

Directions

Drain the tofu and crumble with a fork in a bowl. Mix in the Italian herb seasoning, salt, and pepper, or any other herbs you wish. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, and lightly brown the garlic, then add the tofu and toss to coat with oil. Lightly brown the tofu. Add the jar of pasta sauce and wait for bubbles to form. Turn down the heat, then add the water and stir to combine. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat for 5-8 minutes. Add the basil leaves and allow to wilt.

In a 9×13 pan, place a layer of lasagna noodles (usually there are 18 noodles in a box, so I do two layers of four noodles and two layers of five noodles). Ladle some sauce over it and layer with half the zucchini and a quarter of the mozzarella. Place another layer of noodles over that layer and spread the spinach leaves. Ladle sauce over the spinach, then layer more mozzarella on top. Repeat with one more layer of noodles, zucchini, sauce, and mozzarella. Top with a final layer of noodles, sauce, and mozzarella, then sprinkle Parmesan on top. Cover with foil, making sure to tent the foil so it doesn’t touch the cheese, and allow to sit on the counter or in the fridge for at least one hour, to allow the water to soak into the noodles.

Heat the oven to 350˚F and bake for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, check to see how much water has been absorbed. If it is still watery(mine was), bake another 15-20 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the cheese is bubbly. Remove the foil and bake for the last 5-10 minutes. Don’t bake it too long uncovered or the noodles will get hard. Enjoy!

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Shared on Cast Party Wednesday at Lady Behind the Curtain

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First, put down a layer of noodles.

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Ladle 2-3 ladles of sauce mixture over the noodles.

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Layer half the zucchini over the sauce. You could also layer the zucchini first then pour sauce over it.

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Sprinkle some mozzarella over the zucchini.

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Add another layer of noodles, then spread the spinach leaves over those.

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Ladle the sauce over the spinach leaves to help weigh them down, then sprinkle more mozzarella over that.

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Repeat with another layer of noodles, zucchini, sauce, and mozzarella.

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For the last layer, put down the noodles, ladle the remaining sauce over them, then top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

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Here’s how it looks coming out of the oven! I had to put a baking pan underneath mine because the sauce started bubbling and a little bit spilled over the side when I checked it at 40 minutes.

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Yay friends and food!

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Baked to perfection! Melty cheese, but the noodles are still soft.

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Ahh… Look at all those beautiful layers! This is lasagna at its finest.

Now onto the workout portion of today! I had the day off work again, so I went for a swim this morning, came home and prepared the lasagna, tortilla chips, and snickerdoodles (post to come soon!) that I was serving at dinner. While the lasagna was sitting and soaking in the water, I went to the track and did a dryland circuit.

Starting with the swim, it’s Threshold Thursday! Threshold sets are always hard, and todays was a bit of a distance threshold set, so it was quite a challenge. I always feel good after these kind of workouts though. Tired, but a good tired. It was another beautiful day today, so I was happy to get in the pool! Although I will, say, my goggle tan is becoming quite exquisite… A hazard of the sport 😛

Threshold Thursday

(200 free, 100 IM)x2

3×100 free @1:30, descend 1-3

4×75 fly/back/breast @1:20

6×50 free @:55 (sprint 1st 15m, sprint middle 15m, sprint last 15m)x2

Main set:

4×200 threshold free @2:40 (threshold interval)

2×50 @1:00 fast fly/easy free

3×200 threshold free @2:40

2×50 @1:00 fast back/easy free

2×200 threshold free @2:40

2×50 @1:00 fast breast/easy free

200 threshold free @2:40

2×50 @1:00 fast free/easy free

200 easy choice

Total: 4100 yards

Time: 1 hr, 5 min

Now for the dryland circuit, I did mostly legs and back at the gym on Tuesday, so today I did a lot of pushups, as well as some leg exercises taken from P90X. Here’s the circuit I did, and with a warmup it took about 50 minutes.

Warmup jog and dynamic stretches and movement prep exercises

(10 pushups, 20 jumping lunges, 30 crunches, 10 pushups, 20 single-leg squats, 10 on each leg, 30 bicycle crunches)x2

(10 dips, 20 single-leg RDLS, 10 each leg, 30 deadbugs)x2

(10 stacked foot staggered hands pushups, 20 jumping lunges, 30 side crunches, 10 stacked foot staggered hands pushups, 20 skaters, 30 v-ups, 15 each side)x2

(10 dips, 20 side-lying hip abduction leg raises on each side, 30 supermans)x2

(10 pushups, 20 leg lifts, 30 80-20 squats)x2, second round switch legs for the 80-20 squats

(10 dips, 20 straight leg raises on back on each leg, 20 alternating arm and leg supermans)x2

Cool down and stretch

Total: Approx 1 hr

Chinese Ginger Tofu and Broccoli and a Swim Workout

My mom made this tofu dish this summer a lot, something like a couple times a week. Now I understand why. It’s so easy. It probably took me about 15 minutes to prepare, and it is a classic Chinese home-cooked comfort food. I love it. This isn’t the greasy, oily, deep-fried food you find in Chinese restaurants. This is the real deal, and it is infinitely better. We eat it with rice, of course, since what would a Chinese meal be without rice?

It was day 2 of living in an apartment, and since I didn’t start work till this morning and had time to kill, I decided to make dinner for me and a couple of the other girls living in my apartment last night, so I used the entire block of tofu, and it was just enough for the three of us. I also made some broccoli to go along with it, and put some brown rice in the rice cooker. Unfortunately, I’ve never actually made rice before, since my mom always takes care of it at home, so I had no idea how long it was going to take. It ended up taking over an hour, and I wasn’t sure if it was going to work, so ended up calling my mom for advice. Brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice, but she wasn’t sure if the rice cooker was too old to handle the amount of brown rice I had put in, since it seemed to be taking too long, so she suggested that I make some on the stove as well, using a smaller amount of rice. I used about one third of the amount I put in the rice cooker, and that worked on the stovetop in about half an hour, by which time the rice in the rice cooker was also finished. Lesson of the day: rice needs to be made in advance. Oh well, everything still turned out great, and my apartment-mates loved it! An added bonus of the rice fiasco: we now have lots of leftover rice, so we plan on making fried rice tonight!

Chinese Ginger Tofu with Broccoli

Ingredients

Tofu:

1 tbsp olive oil, chopped

1 green onion

1 14 oz block firm tofu, cubed

1 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp hoisin sauce

1 tsp brown sugar

½ tsp ground ginger, or 1 slice fresh ginger

¼-½ cup water

Broccoli:

1 medium head broccoli

1 tsp olive oil

½ tsp minced ginger

1/4-1/2 cup water

Directions

Tofu:

In a wok or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the green onion and cook for about a minute. Add the tofu, toss to coat with olive oil, and heat through for a minute or so. Add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, and ginger and stir to combine the sauce ingredients. If you like more sauce to soak into the rice, add about ¼ to ½ cup of water, and let simmer down to the desired amount of sauce. Serve over rice.

Broccoli:

Chop the broccoli head into small florets, and chop the stem into about 1/2 inch cubes. In a pan with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat, and drop in the garlic. Cook until the garlic is lightly browned, then add the broccoli pieces. Toss to coat the broccoli with the olive oil and cook for about a minute. Pour in 1/4 cup water and cover with the lid. Allow to steam-cook for a few minutes, until the water is absorbed. If you like softer broccoli, add more water and allow to steam for longer, but if you like crispier broccoli, you’re done! Serve alongside the tofu and rice for a delicious Chinese meal. Enjoy!

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All the ingredients for the tofu

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If you like a lot of sauce, leave it like this, although the sauce will be a bit thin. Otherwise, let it cook off for a while until it reaches the desired amount.

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This is how my tofu looked. I prefer a little more sauce than this, but that’s an easy fix: just add a little more water.

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Uncooked broccoli…

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…cooked broccoli!

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Three happy apartment-mates!

Edit on 9/27/13: This can also be made into Ginger Tofu Chicken. Just use one block of tofu and one package of 6 chicken thighs or 2-3 chicken breasts, and add the chicken first, before adding the tofu and sauce. This is not vegetarian but it’s an old favorite of mine. My grandma used to make it when we went over to their house, and I would literally eat the entire dish by myself. This is when I was about seven or eight years old, so it was no small feat. It just tasted so good I couldn’t stop eating it!

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Tofu Chicken was my favorite dish during my childhood. I have other favorites now, but this one remains a classic comfort food for me.

Now, for the workout part of today. This morning I had my first meeting with my boss for work, and after I only had about 45 minutes before the pool closed. By the time I got there and got in the water, I only had about 40 minutes. In keeping with my high school tradition, I decided to do an abbreviated Threshold Thursday. Threshold is defined as the speed you can maintain for at least 10 100s, pushing pretty hard. When I do threshold sets, I have the intervals such that I get about 5 seconds of rest. For me, that interval is a 1:20 when I’m in shape, 1:25 when I’m not. Here’s the set I did today.

Quick Threshold Thursday

Warm up: 100 free, 100 IM, twice through

Warm up set: 4×75 50 build free, 25 sprint kick

Main set: 3 rounds of the following, the stroke goes fly for the first round, back for the second, breast for the third

3×100 threshold free @1:20

2×50 fast stroke @1:00

Warm down: 200 easy choice

Total: 2100 yards

Time: 35 min