Spicy Peanut Tofu with Bok Choy

Hey ya’ll! I have a total case of the Mondays. Actually I’m pretty wide awake since I got a total of 12 hours of sleep (yes I was in recovery from my birthday). I more have a case of the Mondays because it is Columbus day, but I have school. WHAT IS THIS COLUMBIA? I need this day off to recuperate and study for my first graduate school midterm. Oh well, luckily I’m a champion and will survive (even though I have my two most boring classes today). On to the good stuff though. RECIPE! Peanut tofu served with bok choy. Um yes. This was one delicious recipe, so lets get to sharing it!

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Spicy Peanut Tofu with Bok Choy

1/2 package of firm tofu
Bok Choy
Broccoli
1-2 tsp of olive oil
Green onion
3 T of Soy Sauce
2 T of prepared PB2
3 T of Rice Vinegar
1 T of Agave
2 T of Water
1-2 T of Sriracha

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1. Place olive oil in pan, turn on medium high heat, and toss in chopped up tofu.

2. Cook until crispy on most sides of the tofu. Then remove and place on a paper towel placed on a plate.

3. Add the rest of the olive oil, the bok choy, and broccoli. Cook until the bok choy has become wilted and has become crisp.

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4. Whisk together the peanut butter, rice vinegar, water, soy sauce, and agave. Once it is thoroughly mixed, add in the sriracha. If you want it spicier, keep adding sriracha until you have the taste you want.

5. Place the tofu in the pan with the broccoli, turn the heat to low-medium, and add in the sauce. Cook for 1-2 minutes until sauce has thickened and thoroughly covered all of the tofu and vegetables. Then remove and it is ready to serve. Top with chopped up green onion.

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This dish is amazing. Not only is is extremely healthy for you, but it is packed with a ton of flavor. The spicy peanut sauce packs a kick, but has a subtle sweet flavor from the peanut butter. The green onion gives a nice addition to the sauce too. Bok choy and broccoli are definitely the best vegetables to go with this Asian inspired stir-fry. This makes a ton of food too depending on the amount of vegetables you add in. Of course ya’ll know I love vegetables, so I probably had way too much food. I ended up using this as my go to school packed dinner a couple of times because it was easy to pack in plastic ware and could be heated up in the graduate school microwave. Success. Everyone was always staring at me in class because the dish smelled so good. Definitely made a few people drool.

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Tofu is a good source of protein for those of you that don’t want to eat meat or just want an alternative source of protein a few days a week. Bok Choy is a very good vegetable to consume in your diet. It contains a wide variety of antioxidants, which protect against cancer and heart disease. It has a good amount of Vitamin C in it, which helps with immune function (I totally could use some of that right now – cold weather problems). Also it is a good source of folic acid, which is a really important nutrient in regards to pregnancy. You definitely aren’t losing out when you consume bok choy and broccoli since both are from the same family, it is as if you are getting a double dose of these healthy nutrients!

I hope ya’ll are having a great Monday! Enjoy my recipe.

What is your favorite tofu dish?
Do you eat a lot of peanut sauce on things?

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Eggplant Pizza

Hey ya’ll! It is Friday. Wooohooo. This has no meaning to me since I only have class two days a week, which is amazing. It can be a little exhausting because my classes are all in a row on Monday from 3-9, but I can deal with it. Nothing too bad. Plus it allows me to explore the city a bit right now while I still have somewhat of free time apart from reading my books and making notecards. Plus I get to go to Boston next week! I’m so excited. I’m going Thursday-Monday (don’t worry I get back way before class starts)! Today I have an awesome recipe for ya’ll. One of my more recent favorite vegetables has to be eggplant. You can make all kinds of dishes with it. Italian or Asian or really any type of cuisine. I went with a more Italian style of preparation on this dish and made eggplant pizza.

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Eggplant Pizza

1 large eggplant
1/2 c of shredded cheese
1 can of diced tomatoes (edit: 2 cans of diced tomatoes)
1 garlic (or only half – depending on how garlicky you want this)
1/2 c of chopped basil
salt
garlic powder
oregano

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1. Preheat the oven to 375. First you want to slice your eggplant into 1/2 inch slices (maybe a little more, depending on how thick you want the pieces to be).

2. Place them on paper towels and salt both sides. This is to help make the eggplants “sweat” and get the water to start coming out. While this process is occurring, about 30 minutes, you can start the sauce.

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3. Chop up the garlic pieces. Place a small amount of olive oil in a pan and add in the garlic. Start cooking the garlic until you can smell it strongly in the kitchen. Beware, so that you don’t let it brown too much.

4. At this point, you need to start chopping up your basil and getting all of your spices ready.

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5. Once the garlic is cooked enough, you want to add in your cans of diced tomatoes. I made the mistake of only adding one can, but you definitely need to have two cans to cover the amount of eggplant you will have. Then you want to add in some basil, oregano, and garlic powder. Stir well. As the sauce may lose some juice, you may need to add a tbsp or 2 of water every now and again. You want to try to smash the diced tomatoes too as the sauce is cooking.

6. Once the 30 minutes has passed for the eggplant, and the sauce is cooked to your liking, you can place the sauce on top of the eggplant slices on a baking sheet. Then proceed to top with cheese and the leftover chopped basil (or you may chop more if you like basil).

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7. Then place in the oven to cook for about 25-30 minutes. Just keep an eye on it, so the eggplant doesn’t turn into complete mush and that the cheese doesn’t brown. You want it to just be melted to perfection so it spreads across the eggplant.

8. ENJOY!

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I know, I know. It looks like a pile of mush. It is not a very visually appealing dish. It is packed with a ton of flavor though and is definitely worth making. The basil gives it such a nice herby taste. The eggplant is soft, but not too cooked. I hate when it becomes actual mush. That is just not a tasty meal to eat when that happens. The sauce had to many flavors packed into it from the garlic, garlic powder, oregano, and basil. Of course you know the cheese is one of my favorite parts. It melted perfectly, for like the first time ever. SUCCESS. Cheese makes anything ten times better. I made so much of this from one eggplant that I had leftovers for three days. Now that is my kind of dish!

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Healthy and delicious. That is definitely my kind of recipe. I have a rule that I only eat out one day a week, which is Saturday for me, so I have been trying to cook all kinds of recipes to keep things creative and so I have delicious things to share with ya’ll on the blog. I am going to have some awesome foodie posts this weekend. I have a dessert recipe planned for tomorrow, I am going out on Saturday to some foodie places, and on Sunday I’m going to this event called Smorgusburg, which is like pure foodie heaven. I’m excited to go wild there. Plus its Yom Kippur starting tonight for all my Jews. I unfortunately won’t be fasting this year, but I believe in always asking for forgiveness for the not so nice things I’ve done this past year. I like that part of the holiday. Starving myself, not so much. Have an awesome weekend ya’ll!

What is your favorite recipe with eggplant?
Do you have a favorite vegetable?

Sweet Potato Nachos

Hey ya’ll! I have a delicious recipe in store for you. Now that I live in New York City, I’m pretty far away from my delicious Mexican food (although I live in a Dominican neighborhood, so I’m at least getting some Spanish food in my life). I decided that I wanted to make something Mexican inspired in honor of my home. However Mexican food is full of fat, calories, and food items that are not so healthy for you. That gave me the idea to “healthify” one of my favorite dishes: Nachos! I could have made tortilla chips from baking corn tortillas, but that is the easy way out. I ended up making my base or chips from baked sweet potatoes.

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Sweet Potato Nachos

2 small sweet potatoes
1-2 tsp of olive oil
1 pinch of garlic powder
any other spices or seasonings you want to add
Cheese of choice (I used fat free Mexican Blend)

Topping ideas:

Cilantro
Tomatoes
Jalapenos
Onions
Black Beans
Banana Peppers
Chives
Chicken/Beef

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1. Preheat oven to 350. Wash your sweet potatoes and peel them until there is no skin left.

2. Then slice both potatoes in thin round slices.

3. Place in a small container, pour in olive oil, and mix well.

4. Place slices on a baking sheet and sprinkle with garlic powder. If you have added other spices, sprinkle them on at this point.

5. Place in the oven and bake for 35 minutes.

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6. Take it out of the oven, but leave the oven on. Then sprinkle on cheese. Depending on personal preference you can either add on the rest of the toppings now or wait until all the cheese is melted. Personally I put the toppings on then put the cheese on top because it made the toppings cheesier (ya’ll know I love cheese). Then place in the oven to monitor until the cheese is melted.

7. Enjoy!

This was the perfect dish. I wish I would have had more things to place on as toppings, but I had forgotten things such as avocado at the supermarket. Next time I will definitely be having black beans and avocado on top of my nachos. It would have been creamy and delicious. Plus including more protein would help you stay fuller. I added Greek yogurt on top of mine instead of sour cream. It was a much better option that putting sour cream on it. Sweet potatoes are a much better option than regular tortilla chips for a variety of reasons. Sweet potatoes are extremely high in vitamin B6, which helps reduce homocysteine in our bodies. Homocysteine has been connected to a variety of diseases and has even shown a role in heart attacks, so eating more sweet potatoes is definitely a good move for those that are heart health conscious. Other nutrients that sweet potatoes contain are Vitamin C, Vitamin D, iron, magnesium, and potassium. While that is a long list, one of the most important and well known compounds that sweet potatoes contain is carotenoids. More specifically, sweet potatoes are packed with beta-carotene, which helps with eye function and to boost our immune systems. Besides the many health benefits of sweet potatoes, they are extremely versatile to cook with. Just look at my recipe! You can make sweet potato chips. How awesome is that?!

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I just look at these and it makes my mouth salivate. Thank god I bought 2 lbs of sweet potatoes at Trader Joe’s! But actually I wont be making these anytime soon because I have a ton of different sweet potato recipes for ya’ll coming up sometime soon. I hope everyone had an awesome Sunday! Mine has been extra special since the University of Texas Longhorns won against no. 2 Stanford today in volleyball (not to mention that they also beat number 1 Penn State the day before). Hook em! Ya’ll know how much I love my volleyball. It has been hard not being able to go to the games, especially since they were extremely exciting this weekend. My mom and brother went, so at least they were sending me the scores, videos, and hilarious quotes from the crazy people in the audience!

See ya’ll tomorrow!

What do you like to do with sweet potatoes?
Do you eat other foods with carotenoids and Vitamin A in them?

WIAW the Art of the Party

Hey ya’ll! We are halfway through the week. Exciting. Today is the first day I woke up and was not sore. Success. I’m on my 4th day of Insanity and 2nd day of Hip Hop Abs. Shaun T does both of these workouts and it is quite funny to see the difference between him in both of them. In Hip Hop Abs he is super cheesy and hilarious while in Insanity he is super intense and motivating. I gotta love those workout videos. I think I like them because I can do them on my time and get an intense workout. I really hate the whole idea of driving to the gym, etc etc. Anyways today is my favorite day of the week, What I ate Wednesday. Thanks Jenn for hosting such a fantastic day every single week! Today mine has a special theme, ART. I love art and Austin is surrounded by art as you will see throughout my post.

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In Austin there is this really cool place called Hope Garden (although the name may have been changed) where graffiti artists can come and express themselves on the walls of this place. There is this huge castle behind all the walls too, so I think the name may have something to do with a castle. This was one of my favorite pieces at the place. I took my best friend when she was in town from Boston and it was cool seeing so much artwork in one space. I love graffiti to be honest. I really don’t think it should be illegal if it is like this or Banksy style.

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For breakfast I had chocolate blueberry flourless pancakes. These were delicious. I made a blueberry compote for the topping. Such a good idea. I will definitely be sharing this recipe with you tomorrow. I ended up making two servings of it. That was probably because I used egg whites this time instead of just a regular egg. I probably would have had even more if I used a 1/4 c to scoop out the batter, but last minute I was like why not use a 1/3 cup. I made 8 pancakes total. I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow!

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Healthy snack alert! I made kale chips. I am obsessed with kale chips. Usually my roommate makes them and they are so crispy and delicious, so I thought why not create my own. I think I put too much kale on one pan, but they still came out crispy. I topped mine with nutritional yeast, Parmesan, and olive oil. Such a winning combination. Kale is really good for you, so I definitely recommend making these or making a salad of kale in order to get a large amount of nutrients.

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I was walking town lake in Austin when I saw this one. We were just about to go across a bridge to walk the other side of the lake when I noticed this. I love shoes, so obviously I had to snap a picture of this. I love that small little things like this are just hidden all around the city waiting for someone to discover it. I think it just makes us more unique. Keeping Austin weird.

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You know I had to throw a salad into the mix. This one has spinach leaves, veggie patch falafel, and slices of mushrooms that I stole from my brother. He wasn’t using them anymore, so I thought why not throw them in my salad. These falafel balls are amazing. They are from the same company that made the meatballs I used in my meatball sub recipe, so you should definitely check out all the products they have to offer. I swear vegetarians get the best frozen food products. Noms.

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My favorite banana truck has been open for a little while now for the new season, so I obviously had to go get me one of these bad boys. I just got a plain one. It had dark chocolate and was rolled in sprinkles. I follow them on instagram and they have specials occasionally, which I’ve been really wanting. One of them was called an Almond Joy. It had chocolate, caramel, coconut, and chopped almonds. It looked like a banana heaven on a stick. I can’t wait to check out what this week’s special is.

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This is what I am probably obsessed with most in life. Cauliflower crust pizza. Ever since I made it for the blog, I have been eating it non-stop. This has honey bbq sauce, sliced ham, pineapple, and low moisture mozzarella. It is so good. I think I cooked the crust perfectly this time. It was crisp and browned just the way it should be. The honey bbq may be the best sauce to put on the pizza. It is sweet yet tangy. It goes well with the citrus flavor of the pineapple and the saltiness of the sliced ham. This recipe is my best friend.

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This is an iconic graffiti in Austin besides the I love you sign. It says never give up and has pacman next to it. This is on town lake too. I think it is super cute and motivational especially for the runners and bikers that always go past it on the trail.

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Since summer is upon us, my mom and I decided to get some fresh fish. Halibut is our favorite and it was on sale at Central Market, so we were like why not? We also ended up buying a spicy soy glaze for the fish. It wasn’t spicy at all and had just the right amount of flavor. The halibut was meaty and cooked perfectly. The meat just flaked off as you dug your fork into it. I made a side of green beans for it. Yep, canned green beans. Can’t live without them.

I hope you all have a fantastic WIAW!

What do you think of graffiti? Is there a lot around you?
What is your favorite kind of art?

Eggplant Parmesan Gets Healthified

Hey ya’ll! Hope everyone is having a good Saturday. I swear I am getting so forgetful these days. I just remembered that I had a paper due at midnight tonight in my online philosophy class. It is not a fun assignment either. Boo to doing work. Luckily my mom and I are working on a delicious baked good hat I will definitely be sharing with ya’ll in a couple of days. Until then I’m going to have to share another delicious recipe with ya’ll: Eggplant parmesan. Eggplant parm can pack in a ton of unnecessary calories, but if you follow this recipe then you will be able to lose weight while eating great!

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Healthified Eggplant Parmesan
1 eggplant
1-2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 fresh tomato
1/2 c. of tomato sauce
6-8  thin slices of mozzarella
1 tbsp of Italian seasoned bread crumbs
pinch of salt

photo(5)1. Preheat oven to 375. Slice eggplant lengthwise into slices and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle salt on top of the slices and drizzle a little bit of olive oil on each piece.

2. Cook in the oven for around 20 minutes or until the eggplant appears slightly brown.

3. Then place a small amount of sauce on each slice of eggplant (I had around four slices of eggplant, so it didn’t take that much sauce to cover lightly). Then add on 2-3 slices of tomato on each piece of eggplant. Next you add 1-2 slices of the mozzarella cheese (make sure that each slice of cheese is pretty thin that way you won’t be consuming a ton of calories and you will get the great meltability that you want). Finally sprinkle on some breadcrumbs and place into the oven.

photo(4)4. Cook in the oven at 400 degrees until the cheese is completely melted. Then remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes until warm enough to take off the pan.

photo(1)I am in love with this dish. A great thing to serve along with it would be spaghetti squash (just another vegetable that I’m obsessed with). The cheese, when it melts, provides a nice creamy flavor to the crunch of the crisped breadcrumbs. The eggplant is soft from being cooked, yet it is crisp on the outside. It provides a nice contrast in your mouth. Also by only having a thin amount of sauce, there is not a ton of mess from this fantastic dish.

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Italian food is one of the best good genres in my opinion, well besides Asian of course. However Italian food comes along with tons of empty calories and high fattening foods, so it is important to either modify the recipe or make smart choices when you are eating out! I hope ya’ll like this recipe because I know I did. Have an awesome rest of the night. I’m going back into the nerd world of writing papers. The things I do to make it to graduation.