Don’t Kung With the ‘Fu!

Fact: I am a creature of habit.

Those who know me well are probably laughing right now, as that is a gross understatement.

What can I say?  I like routines.  I like familiarity.  I like my stuff and my space and my habits.  I like knowing what’s next and being able to do what I want when I want.  Don’t get me wrong–I’m up for a spontaneous adventure or two from time to time.  As long as it doesn’t interfere with my routine.  Kidding.  Kinda.

Routines are comforting and reassuring; they keep my anxiety at bay.

Yes, I like routines.

There are a couple of exceptions to this.

  1. Workouts—variety is a must. Otherwise, I get bored rather quickly, which is why I’m always trying something new or signing up for a race. Pole dancing, weight training, running, yoga . . . Variety in workouts is the spice of life!
  2. Work—I like to mix it up.  I could never do a job where I do the same thing day after day after day.  I loved the freedom of my job last year, where I was able to set up my days however I liked.  I could prioritize different tasks based on my mood, travel from time to time, and interact with people whenever I wanted.  It was great.  There was some routine to it, but I got to mix it up a lot.  Oh, and I could eat lunch whenever I felt like it.  That was awesome.

Despite these exceptions, I crave the regular day to day routines of my daily life and that just means being at home.

Needless to say, I was slightly anxious to get back today after spending a weekend somewhere else .  My routine was waiting for me!  I already feel 10, 000 times better!  It’s good to be home! Open-mouthed smile

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This afternoon, I rocked out my Monday usual workout, which felt exceptionally great today!

I also added a little something new to my routine!  The horror!  But, I think it might actually work.

Saturday mornings, I always have things I have to do.  You know, grown up things. Cleaning the bathroom.  Vacuuming.  Laundry.  Dusting.  (<—I hate dusting).  Every Saturday, I wake up thinking about my things. Not exactly how I want to start my weekend, ya know?

My friend Will and his wife have a great little routine that he’s been singing the praises of for months.  You see, they each have “jobs,” if you will, that they do on different nights of the week.  Monday is vacuuming.  Tuesday is cleaning the bathroom.  Wednesday is laundry.  Etc.  Then, when the weekend comes, all of their things are done!  Saturday mornings are freed up for drinking coffee and watching Food Network.  OK, that’s what I would do on my Saturday mornings, but you get the idea.

This is extremely appealing today, so this week, I’m trying the new routine.  Mondays will now include the dreaded dusting chore as well as vacuuming.  Tonight, it went pretty well if I do say so myself.  We’ll see if I can keep up the momentum and still feel up for doing a chore on say, Wednesday.  I’ll keep you posted!

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This week, I’m working on some pantry meals for Party of One.  My grocery budget is light this week, and I have plenty on hand that I’d like to use up, so why not, right?  First up, a lil’ fu!

Tofu, that is! Open-mouthed smile

Tofu Stir Fry 003

This has been hanging out in my fridge for a couple of weeks, so I knew this was the week to give it a little lovin’.  I decided to whip up some delicious stir fry!  It was fast.  It was easy.  It was yumtastic!

Tofu Stir Fry

Serves 1

6 oz. tofu, pressed and cubed

1 T. rice wine vinegar

1 T. soy sauce

1 1/2 T. minced garlic, divided

1/2 tsp. + 1 T. sesame oil

1/2 tsp. honey

1 tsp. cornstarch

1 cup frozen mixed veggies

1 serving rice

crushed peanuts

wine (optional, but I can’t think of a good reason to skip it! Winking smile )

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Wine should be mandatory on Mondays.  Just saying.

Start by pressing your tofu to get all the liquid out.  I’m gangsta, so my tofu press looks like this:

Tofu Stir Fry 005

Word.

But if you have a fancy tofu press, by all means, press away!

Check out the before and after press-age!

BeforeAfter!

I pressed it for about an hour (while I worked out).

Once it’s sufficiently squeezed, cut it up into 5 slices.  I used 2 slices (or 6 oz.) for this recipe.

Cube up the tofu and put it into the marinade of rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, 1/2 tsp. sesame oil, and 1/2 T. garlic, drizzling the honey on top.

Don't kung with the 'fu!

Let it marinate for about 15 minutes (<—insert dusting and vacuuming here, if you like to multi-task!).

Then, put the tofu on a foil lined, sprayed baking sheet and pop it into a 375* oven for 20 minutes.  Get your rice going at the same time.  Add cornstarch to remaining marinade and whisk until dissolved.  Set aside.

When there are about 6 minutes left on your timer, start the veggies.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil over high heat and dump in the frozen veggies.  Stir fry them for about 3 minutes until they have defrosted and heated up.  Reduce the heat to medium high, add in remaining garlic and stir fry for a minute or so.

Tofu Stir Fry 015

Then, add in the marinade and simmer for 2 minutes until sauce thickens.

Tofu Stir Fry 017

Your tofu should be ready by now, so add it in and mix everything together to coat with the sauce.

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How good does that look???

Put everything onto a bed of rice, and top with a handful of these bad boys.

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Look look look! (I get excited for dinner!)

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O.M.G.  No words.

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Be-YOND delicious!

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Somehow, I always forget how delicious tofu is!  Check out this crust!

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For the love of God, please make this!  Given that I have all the ingredients already, I might even need to make it again later this week!  Yep, just made that decision.  It’s just too good!

Don’t be afraid of tofu!  If you’ve never tried it, I promise promise promise it’s super yummy!  (You would like it this way, Dad!)

Time to check out some Dancing with the Stars!

What’s your favorite “pantry” meal?

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6 thoughts on “Don’t Kung With the ‘Fu!

  1. Kira says:

    So, two things…investing in a cleaning lady this year was one of the best investments I’ve made in a long time! Second, I’ve never tried tofu, but this looks delicious! I’m loving all the inspiration you’re giving me to cook new stuff…oops, that’s three things. Sorry. :)

  2. Danielle Byard says:

    yum! I must try that tofu dish! I also must try the week-long cleaning thing…sounds way better than spending four hours doing it all at once!
    (miss you tons! Going through withdrawl!)

  3. Renee Byard says:

    I am DEFINITELY going to try this. Not sure the hubby will like it, I’ll make it when he’s out of town. Then decide if I can trick him into eating it! :)

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