Friday, December 17, 2010

Snowy Thursday and One Delicious Tofu Salad

Once again it is downright freezing here. Actually it is below freezing (24 degrees at noon) and predicted to stay that way all day. I seem to be getting more intolerant of the cold the older I get. When are we going to get back to normal temperatures? *shivers*  At least the snow was pretty from inside the house. ;-)

In keeping with the wonky holiday schedule the gym didn’t open today until 11am. That is far too late for us. Additionally Dan had an early appointment at the Dentist’s office this morning so no early morning workout for us.

Dan and I both had green smoothies today for breakfast. His version contains more banana and more walnuts for extra calories. My version contained: 1 frozen banana, 2 cups chopped kale, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds, 6 walnut halves, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger, pinch of stevia (to taste) and water and ice to process.

After Dan went out the door I got busy writing the post from yesterday and trying to get caught up reading your posts. I have been swamped here lately and can’t seem to keep up with blogging and reading blogs like I normally do. Being behind is very frustrating since I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist. ;-) Don’t even mention my email that is also behind again. As much as I love Christmas it does seem to take up a lot of my time at the moment.

There were also plenty of other life administration tasks to be tackled like cleaning, cooking and finishing the Xmas decorating. I also need to finalize my Xmas menu which sadly hasn’t much more than a fleeting thought so far. This may be the most behind I have been any other Christmas at this same time of the year.

Lunch today was fantastic and it was a very simple salad. I thought I should write this down before I forgot what I did, LOL. Here it is:

Asian Fusion Tofu Salad
Serves 1


½ recipe Fusion Tofu cold from the refrigerator
4 cups mesclun greens (preferable organic)
1 teaspoon white miso
1 tablespoon of mirin (or rice wine vinegar and stevia)
water may be necessary to thin the dressing
¼ English cucumber thinly sliced
a teaspoon of sesame seeds, I used white and black seeds which also have dried ginger bits


Cut the tofu into bite sized cubes and set aside.

Whisk the miso and mirin together. If the dressing is too thick add a little water to thin it out. Toss the cucumber slices in the dressing.

To serve plate the greens first and then top with the cucumbers and pour any remaining dressing over the greens. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and top with the tofu cubes.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 271.08
Calories From Fat (42%) - 113.58

Total Fat - 15.03g
Saturated Fat - 1.53g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 453.53mg
Potassium - 894.76mg
Total Carbohydrates - 22.7g
Fiber - 5.54g
Sugar - 2.92g
Protein - 24.57g


This is a really good salad. In the future I may add ¼ of an avocado and some cilantro leaves but it really doesn’t need it. However they would take it over the top and you know I like that. ;-) This was what I tossed together for me lunch. I can honestly say that I love cold baked tofu on salad. I need to keep baked tofu on hand more often for salads. Dan had something similar in his lunch and he enjoyed the tofu as well.

Since I was in a cranky mood today I didn’t focus on dinner. In fact I opted to spend time talking on the phone with a girlfriend instead of being productive. Sometimes you need to talk things out with a friend. Dinner became one of those toss it together things from what I had on hand.

First I made a warm Asian flavored slaw that was a slightly spicy. The veggies in the slaw included onion, garlic, fresh minced ginger, shredded cabbage, thinly sliced carrot and sliced reconstituted dried wood ear mushrooms. The sauce was vegetarian oyster sauce. I finished it with fresh cilantro and more white and black sesame seeds with dried ginger. Simple tasty, light, filling and ready in a few minutes.

To cleanse our palates we had orange segments.

The next course was an under 5 minute dish. While I defrosted baked falafel in the microwave I sliced an avocado, filled it with salsa. I also topped drained marinated artichokes with salsa and fresh cilantro. Voila.

I don’t think I spent 20 minutes on dinner tonight and we were both full. It really isn’t difficult to eat this way it just takes a little creativity. When we were new to this type of eating I spent too long over thinking everything. In the end it just comes down to eat your veggies add a little fat in the form or nuts or seeds and some fruit. Sometimes I am in a starch mood and sometimes I am not. With all the whole wheat pizza we have been having recently didn’t feel like we needed a grain tonight.

It was really surprisingly how full we both were after the meal. I am sure it was the volume of food and the amount of fiber. I love knowing that everything we ate tonight was packed with nutrition. That really is the premise behind nutritarian eating. You fill up on foods that have a beneficial impact on your overall well-being leaving little or no room for the less nutritious stuff.

Finding Your Nutritional Path:

I was trying to catch up on my blog reading Thursday since I am woefully behind and came across a post at Ricki’s blog Diet, Dessert and Blogs. She did an excellent job of explaining her food philosophy which I think all food bloggers should do, myself included. However the part that resonated with me was this:

“ I believe each of us must make our own informed choices about the food we put in our mouths. If my approach doesn’t resonate with you, that’s fine; there are many other approaches out there to pursue.”

I think Ricki hit the nail on the head with this one. We should all make informed choices not follow some fad or blindly do what works for someone else. Food is a bit like religion to most people. Everyone has their own notion of what constitutes a healthy diet. However unless you have done your homework are you sure you know? Case in point I am Italian-American and was adamant that extra virgin olive oil was healthy and even required. However after reading all the research I no longer believe that to be true, sadly.  :-(

However what works for me won’t necessarily work for everyone. Do I think our diet is healthy? Well yes it is as healthy as I can make it today. Does that mean there aren’t things I think we could do to improve it? Not exactly. I am constantly (literally everyday) reading about nutrition and making tweaks to our diet and that may never stop. But I am open to information and willing to make changes no matter how initially unpleasant.

Does that mean I believe all of you think the same way? Absolutely not! In fact I assume that most of you have no desire to eat like we do. Why? It isn’t easy to socialize or eat out; it takes a lot of planning initially as well as a good bit of cooking. I have always assumed that people were reading the blog of our food life to get recipes or meal ideas not to necessarily eat like us all the time.

In my opinion it is very difficult to be healthy in an unhealthy world. If I can give you hope that it is possible that is wonderful. Like I have said many times changing your life/health and nutrition is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight for most people. However if you keep making one change at a time in the end the results you experience will be enormous.

I would love to hear from you about why you read the blog. Is it the recipes, the meal ideas, the health information links or something completely different? Knowing why you read will help guide what I write. Quite often the blog becomes whatever thought is dancing through my head at the time I sit down to write.

Happy Thoughts:

Thursday was one of those days where nothing seemed to be quite right. I was in “a mood” and was just a little out of sorts most of the day. Since I couldn’t put my finger on the problem I suspect there were some fluctuating hormones involved. That does not mean there weren’t things to be happy about though. Here are my happy thoughts:

• Even though I would have preferred to start my morning at the gym it was very nice to be able to stay inside my nice warm house yesterday morning and sip hot tea inside of braving the elements.

• The snow we got yesterday was enough to be beautiful but not enough to completely mess up traffic. It is nice to have some white stuff on the ground for Christmas. Quite often we get what I can a gray or brown Christmas here.

• That tofu salad I made for lunch was awesome. I love it when something I whip together like that works so well. LOL

• Thank goodness for baked falafel in the freezer. Those always come in so handy for a quick yet delicious meal.

• Dan and I had a nice relaxing evening. He got a chance to catch up on the sci fi he had DVR’d while I was chatting (on-line) with a few friends. I know this doesn’t sound like much togetherness but we do these things in the same room and chat on and off while we do other things. I guess that is what it is like to be an old married couple. LOL

Signing out:

Today is Friday so most of you know what that means. It is time for me to run errands, check on my elderly parents, and do a little light cleaning at their house. Then it will be time to do a few things here to get ready for the weekend. Oddly we don’t have any definitive plans this weekend. It might be nice to just stay home and lounge around. I think I could use a little lazy weekend time.

I hope everyone is having a happy and healthy Friday. Talk to you all again soon.


  1. Hi! I love this blog because of the recipes you post. I also like that you talk about health topics. I'm hopefully getting a Vitamix soon and cannot wait to make the strawberry banana soft serve! :)

  2. I read because of the recipes, the health informaton, and of course because of YOU! Your personality shines through your posts, and I enjoy your writing. Thanks for mentioning the "Way I Eat" post, too. :D I loved your point that "it is very difficult to be healthy in an unhealthy world." How true! We are swimming against the tide on this one most of the time. . . though I think the tide is turning (to wear out the analogy!). ;)

  3. What initially caught my attention about your blog was the integration of nutrition facts into your recipes. Since then, I'm a regular reader because you continually show how easy it is to eat healthy and how certain staples are the basis for such a diverse group of recipes.

  4. Brrrrr.... That salad looks great. I read your blog for the recipes and because I consider you a friend!

  5. Lindsey,

    Thanks for you input I really appreciate it. I love to talk about health but worry that I am boring everyone to tears with it. I only need a little encouragement to go down that path. LOL

    I think you will love a Vitamix. I use mine every day frequently multiple times per day. Seriously I would be lost without it. Dan loves the strawberry banana soft serve. I know he will be curious to hear what you think. It may be his favorite food.

    Stay warm,

  6. Ricki,

    You are very sweet. I wish I was as funny as you are. Your posts always make me smile and frequently they make me LOL.

    A good friend of mine told me to write the blog like I would talk to her. That is where "my writing style" came from. I try not to edit it but just let it flow. Sometimes that can be good or bad. ;-)

    I loved your post and wanted others to read it. I need to do something similar but don't have time at the moment. Maybe after Christmas I will. I think everyone needs to decide what is right for them given their situation. Like you and I have discussed it is odd how illness or disease in the end causes more healthy habits.

    Love the tide analogy, ;-)

  7. Jill,

    Hi there girlie. I have had others comment on how I integrate what I have learned into the recipes. That is something I try to do right away before I forget what I read. I seem to be a visual person so doing things makes them stick in my head if that makes any sense.

    One of the reasons my recipes are diverse is that I get bored quickly. Dan could eat the same thing every day. Example strawberry banana soft serve. I need to shake things up a little. I am making something with black beans tonight. Not sure what yet but the beans are cooking now. Maybe a black bean soup. Don't actually know yet. Nothing like planning right?

    stay warm in Buffalo,

  8. Heather,

    It was darn cold. I actually thought it was too cold to snow yesterday. Goes to show what I know. LOL

    You are a recipe collector like I am. I love to read recipes to get ideas. It is a blessing and curse. The curse are the cookbooks, binders and electronic files. I am sure you know what I mean. The blessing is a wide variety of dishes and tastes.

    I consider you a friend too. I love your blog for the exercise inspiration. When I don't feel like working out I think "What would Heather do/say". Even Dan now uses that phrase. You come up in our conversations often at the gym. Do your ears burn early in the morning? Just kidding. LOL

    big hugs,

  9. Hi Ali,
    Stay warm and cozy! Can't believe the weather you're having. It's pretty mild here-and the sun is out.I really like the looks of your Fusion Tofu recipe and that slaw looks delicious as well.
    Stay healthy!

  10. I really enjoyed Ricki's post, too. I have not quite figured out what my food philosophy is other than vegan. It is pretty easy to justify poor food choices because it is vegan! At the moment I am settled on moderation with the more unhealthy vegan foods, though that is a slippery slope.

    I read your blog for the recipes and for you! Even if we didn't interact in the comments or by email, your writing would still make me feel like I know you personally. Top notch vegan blog!! :)

  11. Hello....It is me!
    I read your blog because I find it terribly interesting, also you are knowledgable about food and nutrition, I like your pictures and the way you word things. Anyone can follow your recipes, and you are very open and honest and I admire that in a person!

  12. Aimee,

    Our weather is much colder than it should be this time of year.

    The salad was really good. I liked the warm slaw too but I am a big fan of cabbage.

    enjoy your weekend,

  13. Sarah,

    I understand the problem with defining your food philosophy. I struggled with that for a while too. Great point about moderation being a slippery slope.

    Thanks for your kinds words. I try to write like I am speak. It is good to know that comes across.

    enjoy your weekend,

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Brandi,

    Thank you so much. I try to make my recipes easy to follow. For some reason I still remember when I was learning to cook how daunting it was. I wanted to quit a few times after failures. If I can help others avoid cooking disasters that is a good thing. :-)

    Each day I am never quite certain what to write. When I start typing I think I have nothing to say and then the words pop into my head. Odd isn't it? *rolls eyes*

    enjoy your evening,

  16. I love the sprinkling of black and white sesame seeds - it looks really classy and I love the subtle taste of sesame.

  17. Foodfeud,

    I mostly added the sesame seeds for visual reasons and a little for the texture. You must be reading my mind. LOL



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