Weekend Update/Life Update (My Next Step)

Hey there! I haven’t written a post like this in a while so I figured it was time. I thought I’d share my weekend and what I’m up to next!

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This weekend I was actually supposed to be in Denver, but life was too hectic with a move coming up this week (eeeeep) and with zero packing done and no apartment yet I decided I’ll go to Denver in January instead. My anxiety hasn’t been serving me well these days. Sometimes it does, other times it’s a messy butthole that gets in the way. Right now it’s the later. #anyways #movingon

Friday:

Friday I took my brand new MacBook Pro to the Apple Store because after shelling out a boat load of money for it, it came with a broken “D” key. How irritating. The guy was also totally not nice about it and didn’t believe it came that way (he kept saying Apple Care would cover the damage this time…and I’m like this isn’t damage….it came messed up). Anyways, now I don’t have a computer I can use Adobe on until Friday which is SUPER annoying because I was in the middle of editing several videos. Ugh!

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Also on Friday, it was announced that Millie’s photo in the TJ’s contest won us a $500 giftcard. I AM SO GRATEFUL AND HAPPY. Thanks to all who supported us! Here’s the photo from Millie’s Insta:

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I actually found out about this on Thursday and took Millie out to dinner and froyo at Panera to thank her for her cuteness lol.

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She got the chicken that would have come on my salad.

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Can we be real for a moment? I frickin’ love Panera. Like I know it’s nothing phenomenal but it’s consistently good. I just love their salads and soups and bagels! Tho their bread is kinda meh IMO. Bring back the actually yummy sourdough roll days!

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Saturday:

Saturday I made peanut butter cookies (because I love to bake when I’m stressed; recipe coming soon), sort of packed, took Millie to the park, and was in a meh mood for most of the day.

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At the park, Millie made friends with a bee! Curious nugget.

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I met an old co-worker for dinner at Odd Duck. If you ever find yourself in MKE, go to Odd Duck. It’s small plates, different menu almost every time you go, and more often than not, very yum yum.

I got a quinoa salad (yes this photo is AWFUL, the lighting was dim) with greens, quinoa, apples, onions, golden raisins and a cumin vinaigrette. The golden raisins in it were MONEY. The cumin dressing could have used a hint more acid/salt to be a slam dunk IMO, but I tend to like very acidic/salty things so perhaps I’m biased.

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I also got this grilled cauliflower dish. It came with hunks of grilled Cauliflower (obvi) Guajillo Purée, Plantain Chips, Fingerling Potatoes, Poblano Jelly, Chili Oil “Powder”, Nopal Aioli. This was MONEY.

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After that I stopped by a friend’s in Bayview since I was nearby, did an errand, and headed home for sleeps.

Sunday:

Sunday I hit up Trader Joe’s bright and early to get in on some of their deals for their 50th anniversary. I got avocados and organic French baguettes for $0.50, and $93 of other stuff. I utilized the avos + baguette for an epic $1 lunch (with some everything bagel salt, of course).

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I also went to a barre class that morning, and ran another errand or 8. I also got stressed about my computer issues preventing me from getting work done so I made more cookies.

Levain Bakery Style Vegan Cookies

While I was baking I looked up and saw two wild turkeys and two deer in the backyard. Gotta love Wisco (political policies here aside)!

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Sunday evening I met my aunt for dinner at Beans & Barley, which is a Milwaukee health food institution that’s old school and charming in the best way.

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This was one of the first healthy diner type places around here, and it was nice to visit it since I haven’t been in a while. I love how old school certain things about it are. Like they put whole cherry tomatoes and alfalfa spreads in salad and serve everything with these cute tiny rolls and a pad of butter.

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Dinner was chips and guac with 3 kinds of salsa, a large greens salad (with all of the veggies, sunflower seeds, cashews, etc) with balsamic marinated tofu (yum), and of course, a wee little roll. Their balsamic dressing, BTW, is money.

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We also got dessert. German chocolate cake for her and vegan peanut butter chocolate cake for me. Yummo. Their cakes are good because they are not too sweet! #bless

It was a nice evening. I really enjoyed spending time with my aunt. She’s pretty awesome. After that I headed up, chilled with the weiner, and headed to bed.

What’s Next:

In an attempt to be more open about my life on my blog and not just post recipes, I’m going to share that I’m moving back to NYC for more school (yup). I’m starting at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health in the Environmental Health Sciences department, with a focus on Climate & Health. My goal is to focus on how climate change is impacted nutrition/food systems.

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Yes, I’m a mega-nerd. If you know me IRL closely, you’ll know this year was kinda tough for me. I moved cross-country and started something that I knew in my gut just wasn’t right. Lesson learned: ALWAYS trust you your gut, not your logical brain or what anyone else tells you should do.

Anyways, after realizing what I definitely DON’T want to do, I revisited an urge to enter this program. I took classes in this department while at IHN of Columbia, and was blown away by them. I felt so moved, and motivated. Also throughout that entire program, I realized my strength is not in basic lab science. I can do it, but I truly excel at social sciences and public health.

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I actually didn’t want to do this program since I’m wary about moving back to NYC after being there for so long and really enjoying a break from it, but accepted students day sold me. Hard. The department I’m in seems so awesome. The professors are amazeballs and very caring. And it seems like the students do such neat things!

I want to help communicate public health messages to the public and be an advocate. Eventually, I think, I want to be a professor. I have taught at U of MN and at Marquette, and really enjoy it! I’m excited to share my journey of life in NYC, public health, nutrition, and climate health. I hope you’ll join me; I’m legit VERY excited about this curriculum! And plan to NOT do what I did last time I was in school and stop blogging. No no. This is happening. HOLD ME TO IT.

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Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way, especially in this last weird/icky/bumpin’ my head around the world year. I feel truly humbled and blessed for this upcoming opportunity.

Thanks for reading!!! Comment about your weekend; I love hearing from readers!

Fun Things From the Weekend

I seem to be randomly sharing my weekends lately. It’s kinda fun, so I’m going to keep doing it. I love reading these blog posts and I am finding it fun to share them, as well.

Thursday:

My weekend started Thursday night when I picked up Jenn from the airport at 11:55pm. She came to town for a minute for a friend’s bridal shower. I brought Millie to grab her from the airport. Millie was VERY excited to see her Auntie Jenn.

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We got home around 12:45am and it was bed time for all of us (once Millie calmed down from the Auntie Jenn excitement).

Friday:

Friday I woke up early (shocking I know), went to barre, and made buckwheat and oatmeal waffles. Because waffles. I had mine with sunflower seed butter + bananas + other fruit.

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Jenn and I went downtown so she could visit her friend who has a newborn and a toddler. I would post pics, but I feel weird posting pics of a baby that isn’t mine without asking. I should ask. Anyways, he was super cute!! Also, god bless all mothers everywhere. Motherhood seems incredibly stressful and exhausting. I’m good with just fur babies for the foreseeable future.

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Then we went to Anodyne Coffee (the best coffee in MKE IMO) and walked around the lake front for a while. Milwaukee is so underrated. #hiddengem

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After that, it was back home. Jenn left shortly after to meet some friends for lunch. I was feeling anxious about getting some stuff done so I opted to stay home and #werk. Millie sat outside with me and modeled an awesome new sticker I got from Made Wild.

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She also modeled her new Civil Liberties Watchdog tee from ACLU 🙂

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Around 4:30, Jenn came and picked me up and we headed to TJs to buy some stuff for a cake she was making for a bridal shower.

We came back and got crackin’ on the cake. We made two layers vanilla and two layers banana. While cakes were baking, I made us some dinner with random things we had around the house. Going out seemed stressful because we were pretty tied to the cakes.

I made us a build-a-bowl sort of thing with my favorite marinated tempeh, black rice, cauliflower rice, baby kale, avocado, cilantro, green onions, roasted Japanese sweet potatoes, cashews, pineapple, and a spicy peanut sauce. We ate around 8:15pm with my mom and the meal turned out to be really yummy and totally hit the spot.

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Have you had Oriental/Japanese sweet potatoes before btw? They are AMAZING. They’re purple on the outside and white on the inside. They taste like chestnuts and I’m pretty sure they are what the potato emoji is representing. I like to bake them whole and gobble them up. For the bowls I sliced and tossed them in turmeric, cumin, and cayenne and roasted them up. YUM.

After dinner, we set the cakes out to cool, and started getting ready for bed (we were tired) and it was lights out by 10:00pm. #partyanimals

Saturday:

Saturday I got up at 5:30am (classic me) and got Jenn up at 7:00am (per her request) to finish the cakes. We whipped up some cream cheese frosting and nutella buttercream. Millie got caught in a powdered sugar shower and ate a bunch of the floor. Then we assembled the cake.

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Jenn decorated it all fancy to make it look like a birch tree, which was the theme of the shower.

Around 9:30am she left for the shower and then I ran a bunch of errands, ate bowl leftovers for lunch, and laid down (I wasn’t feeling too well) for several hours.

That night, we headed to a bonfire/BBQ at a friends house for a birthday celebration of sorts. It was a good old time with warm weather, lots of laughs, and lovely people.

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Around 12:30am we headed home (eep) and it was straight to bed!

Sunday:

Just a few short hours later at 4:00am, it was time to leave for the airport. I dropped Jenn off and was back home by around 5:30am. I napped for another two hours (until around 7:30am) and then took Millie to the park. I snapped this photo as she happened to turn around and sniff her butt. My dog is the weirdest. Like does anyone else’s dog do this? Anyways, eventually I went to a barre class to finish out the morning.

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After lunch, I did some work. Then, I headed out to Panera with my mom. It was quite an event. A tire blew when we were getting gas before dinner and we ended up walking to Panera.

Panera literally messes up my order every single time. I double checked to make sure they had my order right and went up the the prep counter like a frickin’ crazy person to verbally verify they were going to give me a salad without chicken.

Then, my salad came with chicken. Like it does every time. In fact, a girl working said something like, “I feel like every time I’ve seen you here they mess up your order.” And I was like “yeah.”

And then I’m in this awkward position where my order is covered with chicken and it’s all mixed in and they have to make me a new one and I feel like a whiny bitch. But like also, I don’t eat chicken and don’t like chicken shreds touching every inch of my salad.

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They then always give you the option to take home the salad or have them throw it away. Let’s just say my dog has eaten a lot of chicken salads this summer. Oh, Panera. I love you but get your sh*t together. Thanks so much.

Then we Uber’d home since the car was not going to make it. By that point, it was somehow like 8:30pm, so I enjoyed some ice cream and an early bed time.

And in case you care…

I’m happy to report the car is now all better with shiny new tires.

Also! I’m exciting to announce I’ll be starting a content internship with The Global Foodbanking Network this summer and continuing it for the rest of the calendar year :). Stay tuned.

Fun week ahead! I have 2 recipe posts planned, and a trip to Chicago in the works!

Ginger Miso Soba Noodle Soup with Wasabi Tofu

All aboard the hot mess express! Choo-choo we’re chuggin’ along. What mess, you ask? Well, let’s see. I move across the country in 5 days with zero help, I haven’t packed (but I did do some laundry! – #win), I don’t have an apartment to move into when I get there, AND I have about a million things to do before I leave, including work on Saturday. Heyyyyy reality, it’s really nice to ignore you.

Ginger Miso Soba Noodle Soup with Wasabi Tofu-Vegan

Also, a massive wrench was just thrown into my life and everything is more complicated now. People keep asking me “What are you going to do?” to which I respond, “Go get an iced coffee and chill.” And that’s about all I can handle right now. Hi, adulthood, you scare me.

Ginger Miso Soba Noodle Soup with Wasabi Soy Tofu - Vegan

Anyways, when it comes to crazy times, nothing comforts me more than baking, and/or making a nice home-cooked meal. Home-cooked meals = comfort x 20. Even when you cook it yourself. It can’t be beat.

So the Recipe Redux challenge for August was, “Back to the Table,” and asked contributors to share a recipe that was either an old family favorite or a current family favorite – just something that brought or brings your family together as school and fall and reality sink back in. Speaking of school, hellooo graduate school at Columbia University, I’ll see you Monday! And hopefully maybe I’ll have an apartment by then…

Ginger Miso Soba Noodle Soup with Wasabi Tofu - Vegan .

Anyways, my mom used to make the most amazing home cooked meals ever! Favorites were always her pastas and soups (she kicks BUTT at those), and other dishes full of perfectly cooked or roasted vegetables nd homemade salads with homemade dressing and berry crisps for dessert. Yum. You raised me well, mama. Thanks.

Life is much different now than back when I could sit with a family of four and eat. Lots has changed. And family meals have taken on a new meaning. I did actually live with my mom this year, and we actually did share a lot of dinners. But now-a-days with a different family structure and just the two of us, “family dinner,” has a much different meaning.

Ginger Miso Soba Noodle Soup with Wasabi Tofu - Vegan

My mom isn’t really  able to cook much anymore, so we made a lot of simple things and/or went out to sushi. Every Monday and Tuesday is half-price sushi and hibachi and ramen and noodle bowls an excellent Japanese place nearby. So right now, to me, family meals mean Japanese.

No complaints; I love Japanese food. It’s simple, clean, and allows flavors to speak for themselves. The weekly-Japanese dinners inspired this meal, as now I associate Japanese food as mommy time.

Miso Ginger Broth

So here is a big bowl of delicious soba noodles in an umami ginger miso broth. I bought mine at Trader Joe’s. I then added some marinated Wasabi Baked Tofu because marinated baked tofu is delicious and I just found wasabi paste on clearance at Target for $0.84 and felt like I won the lottery. WHOO! I love wasabi. #feeltheburn.

This dish probably is not in anyway authentic Japanese cuisine (just like chicken parmesan is faux-Italian), but hey – it’s inspired by Japanese flavors and my current definition of a family dinner. Hope you enjoy! And if you like Japenese-ish things, check out this Miso Ginger Baked Tofu, this Miso Hummus,  or these Soba Noodle Asian Kale Salad with Soy Ginger Dressing. Yums.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30-45 minutes
Level: Easy

serves 2-3 as entree, 4 as side

Ingredients – Ginger Miso Soba NoodleSoup:

  • 32 ounces (1 box) Ginger Miso Broth (from Trader Joe’s – you can substitute other miso broth and add additional ginger) with 1/2 cup reserved for tofu marinade.
  • 4-ounces soba noodles
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 scallion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (can substitute dried ground ginger)
  • 3/4 cup mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup sugar snap peas or broccoli (or both!)
  • 1/2 cup diced green onions

Ingredients – Wasabi Tofu:

  • 1/2 cup Ginger Miso Broth
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2-4 teaspoons wasabi paste, (depending on desired level of spice ~ I tend to like things really hot)
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice (can substitute one tablespoon sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1-2 tablespoons Sriracha (optional)

Directions:

  1. Drain as much liquid from the tofu as possible by pressing gently with a paper towel. Prepare marinade by combining Ginger Miso Broth, Soy Sauce, wasabi paste, freshly grated ginger, orange juice, and Sriracha. Whisk well.
  2. Slice tofu into bite-sized pieces and place in a low baking dish (a 9×9-inch or similar baking tray should work). Pour marinade over tofu. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator, at least 30 minutes (ideally 2-3 hours)
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 F. Prepare soba noodles according to directions on package, drain and rinse in cold water and set aside.
  4. Place tofu in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until firm, browned, and crispy around the edges, flipping halfway through if desired. When finished, remove from oven and allow to cool. While it’s baking, you can prepare the broth, below.
  5. Dice scallions and garlic. Dice green onions and set aside. If using broccoli, wash and cut into bite sized pieces. Wash and dice mushrooms.
  6. In a large skillet pan over medium heat, warm oil with scallions and garlic and allow to simmer until scallions become translucent. Add freshly grated ginger and allow to simmer. Add broccoli and/or snap peas and mushrooms and cook until vegetables become slightly tender, 4-6 minutes. Add broth and allow to warm and simmer, about 15 minutes.
  7. Add soba noodles to broth and warm for an addition 2-3 minutes.
  8. Serve in bowls and top with tofu and green onions, and Sriracha if desired. Serve with this Asian Kale Salad.

For more Recipe Redux Back to The Table Meals, click around below:

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Sweet Potato Hummus Vegan Grilled “Cheese” Panini

Do you ever just want a big crusty sandwich with good toasty crunchy edges? I do.

Sweet Potato Hummus Grilled Cheese Sweet Potato Vegan

Do you ever want something that’s warm and filling that gives you energy instead of making you feel icky? Then we have something in common.

Sweet Potato Hummus Grilled Cheese  Sweet Potato Vegan

And have you ever had hummus warmed up and realized it’s the best thing ever? I have. And if you have not, it would be my great honor to share with you this simple pleasure.

Sweet  Potato Hummus Vegan   Grilled Cheese

If a sandwich isn’t for you today, you could also try warm hummus in this Hummus Barley Bowl with Sweet Potatoes & Kale. Yes I did just try to subtly self-promote another post of mine within this post. Why not, right? It’s my blog and I #dowhatiwant. Like make sandwiches out of plants and call it grilled cheese. Can I get a kale yeah?

Sweet Potato Hummus Grilled Cheese Sweet   Potato Vegan

*crickets* Anyways terrible puns aside, this sandwich is dank monies. It’s creamy, warm, filling, crusty, crunchy, and oh so luscious. Kind of like Aaron Paul. Except better because it’s a sandwich.

Sweet Potato Hummus Grilled Cheese Sweet Potato Vegan

I grilled mine in a panini press. I really enjoyed this life choice. I forgot about my panini press. But hot damn I’m happy I rediscovered it. Time to rekindle my love for pressed sammies. All dem crispy edges <3.

Vegan Sweet Potato Grilled Cheese Panini

If you don’t have a panini press, feel free to use your stovetop and a shallow skillet or frying pan.

Sweet  Potato Hummus Vegan   Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices bread of choice (I used Multigrain Sourdough from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, baked or microwaved (about 1/2 cup mashed)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon almond (or other non-dairy) milk
  • 1/4 cup hummus (I used Trader Joe’s Horseradish Hummus; this Miso Hummus works great, as well)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Optional (recommended) add-ins:
    • sun dried tomatoes
    • fresh tomatoes
    • roasted red peppers
    • roasted onions

Directions:

1. Cook sweet potato until tender, either in the oven at 425 degrees for 40-50 minutes, or in the microwave for 6-10 minutes.

2. Scrape the insides of the sweet potato into a bowl. Add nutritional yeast, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and salt and pepper into a small bowl and mash together. Add almond milk to thin, if desired, and mix well again.

Sweet  Potato Hummus   Vegan Grilled Cheese

3. Spread a layer of sweet potato mash over one slice of bread, and a layer of hummus over the other. Add additional toppings, if desired. I recommend sun dried tomatoes.

4. If using a panini press, bring to medium-high heat and toast until insides have melted and warmed and bread is toasted, about 4-5 minutes. If you are toasting in a skillet on the stove-top, warm and melt about a teaspoon of non-dairy spread or coconut oil over medium heat. Gently place sandwich and allow to toast until browned, about 2-3 minutes, then flip to the other side and repeat on other side of sandwich until both slices of bread are browned, crispy, and delicious. Enjoy. 🙂

More Hummus:

Miso Hummus

Dude I love hummus. It’s been a lifelong infatuation that started at a young age. I have distinct memories of being a kindergardener and bringing hummus to school on a bagel with tomato slices on it and having two kids at my lunch table be all like “Ewwww what is that?” while peering over their basic ham & cheese sandwiches and ho-hos. And I’d be like, “Back off bitches, it’s hummus.” Vegan Miso Hummus Well, not really. But I did stand up for hummus since I was a wee one. And now everyone likes hummus. Hummus is cool. Always has been, always will be. Those lil homies just hadn’t experienced its magical wonders yet.

Vegan Miso Hummus

Another thing I’m into lately is Miso paste. I bought it at work one day (PSA: an 8oz container of White Miso Paste is $1.69 at Trader Joe’s) with no idea what to do with it but I was intrigued.

Miso Hummus

I’ve found things to do with it since! Like make this Ginger Miso Baked Tofu. Man that was good. I’ve also been adding it to rice, vegetable, and noodle dishes for a lil festive umami flair.

Homemade Miso Hummus Dip

Homemade Miso Hummus !

Before I knew it, I was hooked. I’d crave miso. I was eating it straight out of the container with carrots, as if it were actually hummus. And then, it hit me: Miso Hummus. And ever since that epiphany hit, I knew I had to make it. I believe during this epiphany I was texting with my friend/food styling idol, Becky (hi, BH!) and mentioned it to her and she sounded as excited as I felt. And since then I’ve been on a Miso Hummus mission.

Miso Hummus - Vegan

Well, after a little experimenting, I must say, mission accomplished. This miso hummus is boss. It’s all the legume-y umami creamy dreamy luscious yummus hummus foodstuff I dream about. Yes, I dream in hummus. Be jealous.

Vegan Miso Hummus. Easy & Delicious !

I ate this hummus in the morning. Did you know that’s actually traditional in parts of the world? With pickles. Seriously. Pickles + hummus = best breakfast (or snack) combo ever. Anyways, you can make it and eat it however and whenever you’d like. Or not. You do you.

Vegan Miso Hummus

Happy hummus, friends 🙂 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 0 minutes Level: easy makes about 1.5 cups hummus Ingredients:

  • 1 15 or 16 ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed with water from chickpea can reserved and set aside
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 clove garlic depending on how garlick-y you like hummus (totally optional, can be omitted)
  • 3 tablespoons miso paste (I got mine at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons liquid reserved from chickpea can
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Drain liquid out of chickpea can and set liquid aside. Do not throw it away. This liquid is a very helpful component in achieving good hummus texture. Trust me.I learned it in food science. They taught us important stuff at NYU.

2. Rinse chickpeas and place in a food processor or blender. Juice 1/2 a lemon and add to food processor. Mince garlic and add. Add olive oil and 2 tablespoons liquid from chickpeas.

3. Grind chickpea mixture in food processor until desired consistency is achieved. You may have to mix it a few times with a spatula or spoon. Personally I like my hummus a little chunky, but if you like it super smooth, blend away!

4. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with vegetables, pita bread, pita chips, crackers, or add to sandwiches.

More Hummus-y Goodness:

Ginger Miso Baked Tofu

I have been on a several-year-long quest to make drop-dead delicious tofu. You know, tofu that has that perfect texture with the crispier outside and chewy inside, and that’s full of flavor that would even leave even a vegetarian-hating-carnivore begging for more.

Miso Ginger   Tofu Vegan

Over the 15 years of my vegetarianism, I have had myself quite a bit of tofu. Baked, fried, made into pudding, in salads, stirfrys, noodle dishes, etc etc etc. I like tofu. Heck, I’d even say I love the stuff. I even eat it plain and cold and straight from the fridge from time to time. Some people turn their nose up to it without ever giving it a shot. Major bummer/loss for them, because as many vegetarains, vegans, and meat-eaters know, the stuff can be crazy delicious.

Ginger Miso  Baked Tofu Vegan

I’ve read all sorts of things about how to make to-die-for tofu happen. After years of experimenting, I think I finally a method that makes me sing. This is a multi-step process, but if you’re crunched for time or lazy, you can easily skip parts and your tofu will still turn out okay. Honestly, I think one of the most critical steps is freezing the tofu before reheating. It sounds strange, but the tofu seems to adapt a new texture and chewiness as a result. It’s nom-tastic.

Ginger Miso Baked Tofu Vegan

The whole freezing/reheating thing was actually something I discovered by accident while in college. I used to buy myself a block of tofu, and would often eat only half. As I’m a paranoid freak about food safety, I felt uneasy leaving it the fridge for a few days, so I’d pop it in the freezer. After a while, I came to the conclusion that I actually liked it better reheated out of the freezer. Googling lead me to find that this wasn’t just in my head, but an uncommonly known method that people sometimes use to achieve chewy-texture-tofu.

Ginger Miso Tofu Vegan

One of the great things about tofu is that not only can you manipulate the texture to suit your palate, it’s also a blank canvas for flavor. When presented with the Recipe Redux April challenge – “Spring Cleaning” – to go through your pantries and use something you haven’t used in a while, I saw a perfect opportunity to make use of the White Miso Paste I bought at Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago, but haven’t yet played around with.

Miso Ginger Tofu Vegan

I’ve also been on a super sushi-and-Asian-flavored-kick lately, which has resulted in me dragging my mom to half-price sushi on a weekly basis. We even went for Easter dinner b/c we’re so #fancy. No matter what night of the week it is, I always order a couple rolls and a house salad. The house salad comes with this amazing Carrot Ginger Miso dressing stuff dumped all over it, and it has been infatuation from the first bite. I always lick up every last drop. I hoard the freakin’ bowl when the waitress tries to politely collect it when all the lettuce is gone, so I can use it as a dipping sauce for my sushi. I’m insane. Go ahead and judge.

Ginger Miso Baked Tofu Vegan

Anyways, such a flavor inspired me to glaze my tofu in a miso-ginger marinade of sorts. Ginger Miso Baked Tofu resulted. I was extremely pleased with the results. A lovely umami and subtly spicy flavor and a to-die-for hearty chewy texture, this recipe is a keeper for me, and I hope you’ll give it a whirl and find it to be the same. You can cut the tofu into whatever sized pieces you fancy; I made little nuggets and found them perfect for topping salads, stir-fries, and dipping straight into Sriracha as a snack. No matter how you slice it, it’s gonna be delish. Happy tofu-eating!

Miso Ginger Tofu  Vegan

 

Prep Time: 1-8 hours (depending on how long you let the tofu drain and/or marinate)
Bake Time: 30-40 minutes
Level: easy

Ingredients:

  • 1 14-ounce package Extra Firm Tofu
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey ??
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice or water

Directions:

1. Drain excess water out of tofu by removing from package, and wrapping in a paper towel, and pressing gently on block of tofu to squeeze out liquid. For best results, place a weight (like a book or block) on top of covered tofu and allow to press out liquid for a few hours or overnight.

2. Meanwhile, prepare marinade by combining miso paste, soy sauce, brownu sugar/honey, freshly grated ginger, garlic and OJ or water in a small dish and whisk with a fork to combine.

3. Slice tofu into cubes or large rectangles, depending on your preference. Lay flat in a baking dish. Pour marinade over tofu, cover, and allow to marinade for 1-3 hours.

4. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cover a baking sheet in parchment paper. Transfer tofu from the baking dish to parchment paper. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Flip tofu halfway through cook time if desired. Allow to cool and enjoy! 🙂

Ginger Miso Baked Tofu Vegan

For more recipes inspired by the April Spring Cleaning Recipe Redux Challenge, click around below: 🙂

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Dinner Rolls

Carbs. Carbs. Carbs. Give me all the carbs. Make it rain whole grains. Take me to bagel land. Burry me in sweet potatoes and bananas. Shove a cake in my face. Any way you carb me up, I’ll probably be a happy camper.

Oatmeal Whole  Wheat Dinner  Rolls Vegan

The other morning was Easter morning. To celebrate I asked my sister and her husband if they’d enjoy going on a little outting with all our pups. Millie loves to visit her cousins and Auntie Jenn and Uncle Tyler, and as I rarely have Sundays off I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for a Sunday stroll.

Oatmeal Whole Wheat Dinner  Rolls Vegan

Imagine my delight and aw when I arrived to the Jackson residence to the smell of fermenting yeast and baking carbs. That’s right – Tyler was making homemade bagels. Win.

Vegan Oatmeal Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

I had brought fruit because we were planning to have a mini brunch of sorts, but I was not expecting homemade whole wheat bagels. What a treat! Better than a fancy overpriced Easter brunch that requires pants, in my humble opinion.

Dinner Rolls Oatmeal Whole Wheat Vegan

Besides the fact that deciding we NEEDED peanut butter for our bagels and my sister and I going on a 30 minute mission to get some which ended with us analyzing why Piggly Wiggly makes so uncomfortable, the Easter morning mini brunch thang was a simple, stress-free epic success. Which was followed by a lovely beach-front stroll with the pups. 🙂 Happy times.

Dinner Rolls Oatmeal Whole Wheat Vegan

Homemade bagels had me wanting more homemade carbs. After finishing off a 12-pack of Angelic Bakery dinner rolls by myself in 72 hours, I decided I wanted more rolls. Inspired by the rolls and Tyler’s bagels, I created these Whole Wheat Oatmeal Rolls, with whole wheat flour and oat flour.They are the perfect hearty yet fluffy, curnchy-outside-soft-inside roll to eat alongside soup or salad, with butter, nut butter and jelly, or to enjoy just as they are, as homemade bread has a way of being outstanding in its own simple right.

Dinner Rolls  Oatmeal Whole Wheat Vegan

Easy to make and even easier to eat, these little rolls will brighten your day and make your house smell yum tastic. Just be careful you don’t end up like and eat 3/4ths of the pan in one sitting. D’OH!

Oatmeal Whole  Wheat Dinner Rolls Vegan

Prep Time: 90 minutes
Bake Time: 20-30 minutes
Level: easy

makes 12 rolls 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 package dry active yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or non-dairy butter
  • 1 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons  ground flax
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats for garnish (optional)

Directions:

1. Warm water to 110-115 °F. Add package of yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes, until yeast is foamy and fragrant.

2. In a stand mixer, add water/yeast mixture, oat flour, flax, remaining sugar, salt, and oil. Mix with stand mixer until well combine. If you do not have a stand mixer, you can get a good arm workout by doing this in a bowl with a wooden spoon.

3. Add whole wheat flour 1/4 cup at a time, mixing as you go, until a ball of dough forms. The dough should not be sticky. If it is, add more flour a few tablespoons at a time.

4. Once ball of dough has formed, cover and allow to rise for about an hour.

5. Punch down dough and knead a few times. Cut dough into 12 even pieces. This can be done with a dough cuter or a large sharp knife. Grease a rough 9″ cake pan and arrange dough balls in a circle in pan. If desired, add rolled oats for garnish (you can also add them after baking by first brushing with a bit of melted non-dairy butter). Allow to rise for an addition 30-60 minutes.

Oatmeal Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls Vegan

6. Preheat oven to 400 °F. Once preheated, bake rolls for 20-30 minutes until browned, fragrant, and hollow-sounding upon tapping with finger. Remove from oven and EAT with butter substitute, coconut butter, almond butter, peanut butter, jelly, jam, to mop up soup, etc etc etc~! Enjoy!

Oatmeal Whole  Wheat Dinner Rolls Vegan