Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tofu Success!

B and I made Tofu Stir fry last night and it was really great! We've been wanting to incorporate a little more tofu into the rotation but really don't know how to cook with it. We tried grilled tofu last summer and that was no good at all. But my ex-roommate gave us some of her tofu stir fry a year and a half ago and it was awesome. So we tried it last night but it was a total shot in the dark because we had no recipe, never made stir fry before, hadn't just watched a Food Network show about it for inspiration, etc. We literally just hunted through cabinets and grabbed things that looked like they could be in the dish... at one point I looked at B laughing and said "I couldn't have any less of an idea what I'm doing!"

We made it in two parts - stir fry and sauce. Into the hot pan with olive oil went broccoli, onions, green onions, about 9 water chestnuts that we had in the freezer, the marinated tofu, crushed up cashews, and some pineapple. The sauce was coconut milk, natural peanut butter, yellow curry powder, cayenne pepper, soy sauce, and the pineapple juice from the pineapple can. Stir-stir-stir...combine...done! I seriously can't believe it tasted so good, it's officially in the food rotation now. At least we have one tofu dish we like!

Also yesterday was another private pilates session. And it occurred to me in the middle of it how mental of a workout it is. Just about every exercise they have you do can be accomplished easily if you're using the wrong muscles (using your hamstrings to lift your legs instead of your obliques, etc), but the whole point is to do your movements with your proper muscles. It's also interesting for my hypermobility problem. Because of my increased flexibility, there are a lot of movements I can do by relying on the flexibility of my spine, but the whole point is to find the tiny spinal muscles deep under your abdominals and use those. All very interesting... They say that "you'll feel different after 10 sessions and you'll look different after 30" so I still have a ways to go (I'm at 4!).

I'll leave you with the "Bonus Cookie" from the 12 Days of Cookies...

Coconut Peanut Marias

Versions of these cookies — named for a Grand Duchess of Russia after her wedding — are popular all over the world, but especially so throughout Spain as well as South and Central America. Packaged versions tend to be more biscuit-like; ours is nutty and textured: easy, kid-friendly, delicious and perfect for the holidays or any other time.
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup flaked or shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup chopped unsalted roasted, skinless peanuts
Position 2 racks in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (If you only have 1 baking sheet, let it cool completely between batches.) Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl.
Melt the butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the brown sugar with a wooden spoon. (The sugar will get soft and saucy, but there may still be a layer of butter on top; don't worry, the mixture comes together as you add the rest of the ingredients.) Stir in the egg, then the flour mixture, taking care not to overmix. Stir in the coconut, oats and nuts to make a textured cookie dough. Set aside until it gets to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Using a tablespoon-sized ice cream scoop (#60), scoop balls of the dough onto the prepared pans, arranging them about 2 1/2 inches apart. Bake until the cookies are golden brown with toasted edges, about 12 minutes.
Cool cookies in the pans for a couple minutes. Then transfer with a spatula to racks to cool. Serve.
Busy baker's tips: You can store unshaped dough for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Store the cookies in airtight containers for up to a week. Freeze for 1 month for longer storage.

1 comment:

jaynes ave said...

Yeah for tofu! Man, that stir-fry sounds great. I think you guys are naturals! I love using tofu, but it has always been hit or miss. I have actually done better cooking tofu dishes when I haven't followed a recipe. Maybe I just always choose the "wrong" recipe to try... So glad those pilates sessions are working out. What a science!

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