Spiced Tofu with Wilted Spinach and Yogurt

I picked up Meatless during our move with some credits I had from the used book store but didn’t have a chance to cook from it until now.  I  was excited for it since it seemed to be really flavorful recipes and things that looked just yummy.  And it actually was good – so I have a new recipe to share!  I have made some serious dud recipes lately – so getting a winner, finally, was a good feeling.

So on to the recipe, which is Spiced Tofu with Wilted Spinach and Yogurt, which serves 4.  It is a delicious vegetarian dish inspired by saag paneer.  You could easily make it vegan if you have a good vegan plain yogurt to sub in as that is the only ingredient that makes it vegetarian instead of vegan.

Ingredients

  • oil
  • 12 oz firm tofu drained and pressed
  • 1 onion diced
  • minced garlic
  • fresh ginger grated
  • ground cumin
  • ground mustard
  • ground coriander
  • crush red pepper flakes
  • 1.5 lbs fresh spinach stemmed and chopped
  • 1 cup plan yogurt
  • brown rice

Okay before I begin the directions…let me tell you the budget facts.  It’s still Operation Pantry Clean out month.  I had everything for this dish already at home except for the spinach and yogurt, so this dish was VERY easy on this week’s food budget, which is one reason I picked it out.

Okay so step one is to press the tofu.  I didn’t take any pictures because I forgot, but basically, just rinse it off, put it on paper towel on a plate, put more paper towel on top with another plate, put 4 cans of beans on top and let it sit for 20-30 minutes.

While it is sitting, grab your spinach and start de-stemming and cutting.  I took the mega lazy way out – hello kitchen shears.

Once you are done with that, check your tofu time.  Once it’s done (or you are just too hungry to wait anymore) put a skillet on the stove to heat with a tbsp of oil.  While that is heating, cut your tofu into 1 inch cubes.  I never know what that means…I can’t cut cubes very well.  But I ended up with oddly shaped boxes of tofu that looked good enough for me.  Then throw them in the oil

Cook them until they look like golden brown nuggets of tofu, about 7 minutes, turning as necessary.  They are about half way done in the picture below.

Once they are all golden brown and pretty, put them on a plate and salt.

Next, heat a tablespoon of oil in a pot.  Throw in your onion and garlic (approx 3 cloves minced, but have fun) and cook until golden brown.  The book says tender, but we all know that slightly burned onions have more flavor so go for it.  Then add the ginger (approx 1 tsp…but I definitely put in more) and the other spices (aprox 1/2 teaspoon each).  I have approx because I didn’t measure anything.  I definitely put in more coriander and mustard and less cumin because my husband doesn’t like cumin much.  Have fun and play with the spices here!  You won’t mess this up, promise.  Stir the spices for about 1 minute.

Next, add the spinach and cook by stirring until wilted.  I just added a little and stirred until wilted, then added more until all the spinach was in the pot.  Once it’s all in the pot and wilted, remove from the heat and add the yogurt.  Another secret, I didn’t use a cup.  I just used that whole little container, which was about 3/4 cup.  I didn’t want to buy a $4 container of yogurt with 4 cups that would end up being wasted when that little $0.86 was close enough for me.

Add a little more salt and the tofu and stir.  Serve over brown rice.

I really really LOVED this recipe!  It was flavorful and the tofu was actually really good.  I have never actually cooked tofu before, so this was a good intro to tofu recipe.  I would definitely make it again.  It’s also fairly inexpensive if you have a well stocked pantry, which is a plus.  Pick up some tofu, spinach, and yogurt and you have dinner.  Let me know if you make it!

Insanity Relapse

I have mentioned a zillion times how I have just not gotten my groove back since moving.  Part of it I know is that with this being a smaller place I don’t have my little Kim-den to go workout (re: by myself without an audience) in when we both are home.  I have had to really tell myself that I just have to get over it and sometimes I’ll be working out in the living room and he will be at the computer and oh well.  That has helped me with consistency these last few days.  I also have started mixing it up on days I have no desire to do anything.  The last 2 days I went back to old faithful – INSANITY.  I am so glad I did, I feel more invigorated and ready to go than I have in weeks.  I love TurboFire and I think Les Mills Pump is growing on me.  But neither of those bring the pain like INSANITY does and I’m realizing that is what I need to jump me into a routine again.  I haven’t been this sore in a while and I missed that feeling.  Now that I have it I am so ready to get back into a routine again.  A big part of this journey is about learning how you operate.  How you tick and what gets you moving…then using that information to help you along the way.

I will share the two workouts I did – they were the two INSANITY workout that I didn’t do before, the deluxe package ones.

First up was Max Interval Sports Training which is 55 minutes long.  First I will say that there really aren’t any intervals.  This workout really reminds me of Core Cardio and Balance (CCB)  in it’s format.  Not the usual interval warmup, but it again mimics CCB with a slow warmup.  I really like this warmup because it actually helps me go from cold to warm without being out of breath immediately.  Next you go through drills from 4 sports – football, basketball, gymnastics, and track and field.  I’m pretty sure Shaun T meant to save the “this ish is bananas” for this workout.  I was sweating buckets by the end of the football drill section.  Each section is on it’s own a pretty good workout so adding them together is mega intense.  Expect abs, cardio, and strength as you move through this one.  I really liked it and definitely would do this again.

Next I did the Upper Body Weight Training workout.  This one is basically all weight training with a little bit of cardio in each section to boost your heart rate up.  This workout is full of very basic exercises that every person can do regardless of fitness level.  Shaun T doesn’t show any modifications as usual, but you can make some up if you need them.  There are some lower body and abs included, but it is pretty much all upper body focus.  The only thing I will say to you is that you need to lift heavy here.  Not light.  The ladders go down, so if you go too light you will not get the benefit of the workout.  Go heavy and if you can and your equipment allows go heavier on the last set.  You can pair this with either Fast and Furious or a Turbo Fire HIIT workout and get a solid hour or so of weights plus cardio.

At this point, the only INSANITY workout I haven’t done is Insane Abs.  Considering I can barely get through Cardio Abs, I probably won’t do Insane Abs for a while.  I’m seriously considering doing another round of INSANITY this summer after I finish the Ultimate Reset 🙂  I’m back in the Insane Ward I guess, lol!  I think I am at a fitness level that maybe another round of INSANITY I might be able to try Asylum…who knows.

31

Today I turn 31.  I know most people are anti-birthday after they reach a certain age….but I’m not.  I’m healthier, happier, and stronger than I have been at any other birthday.  I’ve worked my butt off (literally) over the last year or so especially, because I want to be better and healthier every year.  The last few months have been really really rough and I’ve been up and down and not really doing as well as I know I could do because I’ve had to really deal with some stress.  It’s in general just been a really hard 2013 so far.  I have maintained…which I’m really happy with because usually this stuff makes me gain weight like crazy.  But I am over maintaining and ready to really push forward.  And a birthday is a FANTASTIC day to kind of reset my goals and reset my brain.

So, a few of my teammates have some big weight goals for this year and we are working together to try to get to our goals this year.  My goal is to lose the rest of the weight (I’m guessing 40-60 lbs….but really it’s going to be a visual check + a maintainable lifestyle) and to get back into a routine and by the time I hit 32 be happily at goal and maintaining.

I also want to hit emerald in my beachbody coaching business.  I have realized that I LOVE talking to people about health and fitness.  I LOVE helping people reach their goals and working on my own.  I want to be in a position to have more options with my coaching business and advancing will help me get there.  I want to use my beachbody income to pay for a nutrition certification so I can really help my team get the best results possible.  I’m saving all my income towards that goal, then towards a personal trainer certification.  I have BIG dreams and while part of the goals have to do with getting myself in shape the rest have to do with helping others and being in a position to help others.

More than anything I want to spend my year of being 31 really living. I always put things off to the future because I’m too big or I’m too scared or I’m not ready.  I know some of the decisions I’ve made have been the right ones for me but I don’t necessarily want to make decisions out of fear – I want to make decisions out of really knowing it’s the right decision for me and being confident in that decision.  I want to try new things and do more things and reach out to more people and try new things.  I want 31 to be the BEST year I have ever lived.  I want every day to be lived to the fullest.  I want to live a life free from fear.  I am so ready for you 31.  So ready.

Operation Pantry Cook Down

As I’ve mentioned on IG or Twitter, I’m on a mission to cut down my pantry.  Our new place has a smaller pantry even though there are more cabinets in general, there is less room for food (by about half) in the actual pantry.  So that has resulted in some serious kitchen sprawl….

There is literally NO room in the inn.  So in an effort to contain the food sprawl and to help contain the budget this month I’m engaging in Operation Pantry Cook Down (and pantry is a relative term – it’s also a fridge/freezer cook down).  I have a few weeks until we start the Ultimate Reset (which will require some serious shopping anyway) so my goal is to cook from the pantry instead of shopping so much.  My goal is to spend no more than $75/week on groceries (we usually spend like $160) to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, milk/almond milk and if there are some things we run out of over the next 3 weeks.

Last night I made my first meal – spaghetti with a seitan-tomato sauce with coleslaw on the side.  I was pretty pleased with myself when I just opened the cabinets and threw this together.  Cooking this meal got rid of 5 containers out of the house, which was pretty cool.  The spaghetti was pretty easy – I took 8 oz of seitan and sauteed it in a little EVOO for about 5 minutes.  I added some basil, parsley, and oregano while I was cooking it.  After it was nice and browned, I added a jar of Trader Joe’s marinara sauce and a spoon of minced garlic and a few dashes of pepper and let that simmer for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile I let the spaghetti cook.  I don’t like a saucy spaghetti, so after the spaghetti was done, I added it to the sauce until it was just the right consistency and served with a dash of Parmesan on top and a little pepper.

There was enough for leftovers so I will eat them tonight (unless my hubby destroyed them for lunch, lol).  That was the easiest meal I have to make, lol.  I am really excited to stretch my cooking creativity to make some new creations.  Hopefully they are delish and I will share them if they work out!  Hopefully I can get through most of April with only spending about half I usually do in the grocery store and end up ready for the reset with a clean pantry 🙂

April Goals

April is going to be a transitional month.  The first 20 days are going to be about getting over this post-move funk I’ve been in lately.  I have REALLY struggled after moving with getting into any kind of rhythm.  I am planning this month as a month where I get back to that hardcore place I was in.  So my goal for the first 20 days:

Repeat my Turbo Pump challenge I gave myself back in October.  I got AWESOME results with this calendar and more than that – I really enjoyed the combo.  I updated the calendar for where I am with fitness now and here it is!  It’s more intense then the original Turbo Pump because the last time I did this it was coming out of the Reset (and 21 days of no exercise).  This time I’m going IN to the reset, so I can do the workouts I just fine with no need to keep it basic.

I am going to do Shakeology daily.   Which I was doing, but I’ve kind of fallen off during the move and as my routine is off in general, I just have been a mess.  Back on this every day at least one shake….two if I need it.  I have a bag in the hole so to speak, so I can have a few extra shakes w/o being off.  Especially since during the reset I definitely will not have a shake daily.

Get on schedule.  Seriously.  I am having a really hard time getting up on time (which is making my exercise and food prep in the morning a mess….) because I’m not going to bed on time.  It’s a horrible circle.  The problem has been that since I’m closer to work I am allowing myself to get up later.  But somehow I am allowing a 30 minute shift in my wake up time to be an hour – hour and a half shift in my go to bedtime.  Right…that math is so wrong.  So I need to just start going to bed no later than 10:30 pm – end of discussion on the days I need to workout before work (which will be all of them since Sunday will be my rest days for the next 3 weeks).

So that’s my 21 day plan to get my life back on track.  I haven’t gained any weight as of my last weigh in, so that’s how I know my move wasn’t completely off track as I usually gain weight by thinking about food.  But I do feel like I am not as in shape as I was – which is worse to me.  I don’t care what the scale says if I feel great.  I don’t feel great.

So then on the 21st, the Ultimate Reset starts.  I’m going to follow that book 100% like I did before.  No excuses. I will add in the walking and the yoga this time…at least I hope I will.  I think I am much better prepared to go into the reset as far as how to prep the food to make the food prep more efficient, so I should have more time to do this.  But if I ever do have to choose – it’s food prep and rest.  One thing about the reset is that last time I got SO much sleep…it was amazing.  I slept like a baby most days and got 8-10 hours a night.  I could go for that again.

The reset takes me into May.  I haven’t decided what exercise program I will pick up post reset yet.  I have about 6 weeks to decide that.  But trust you will be the first to know 🙂  I am doing a “get to goal” challenge with one of my fellow Team Tenacity coaches right now that I’m excited about.  I’m really excited for the challenge because it’s coming at exactly the right time.  Time to shake off this moving funk and really get myself back on the road.  There is no reason I shouldn’t be at my goal by December 31st 🙂

Foodie Pen Pals : March

I decided to sign up for the Foodie Pen Pals program for March.  It was the first time that I had ever signed up for it and I have to admit – I was kind of scared, lol.  It’s scary because it’s someone you don’t really know shopping for you and hopefully finding things that you like.  But I was also excited!  When I have traveled I’ve found all kinds of cool things in other states that I can’t find here.  So I was looking forward to trying out some goodies.

I got paired up with Jenny, who doesn’t have a blog and lives out in Kansas.  The first thing you do with the pal you are paired up with is that you tell them your likes and dislikes.  This is cool because if you HATE something, you can tell your buddy.  I mentioned to Jenny that I travel a bit, so finding healthy travel friendly…especially TSA friendly…snacks is something I’ve struggled with.  Jenny did an AWESOME job finding me some yummy treats!  I’m not sure they will make it until my next trip 🙂

So here are the goods:

I hadn’t had a single thing before, so I was pretty psyched about that.  I have already eaten the Odwalla white chocolate macadamia bar (um, yum…I have been looking for this one and can’t find it here at all!), the Odwalla blueberry swirl (not bad) and the Plantars NUT-rition mix (also awesome).  I’m sure I’ll try the rest out very soon…I have some road trips coming up that these bars would be great for.

I’m already signed up for the April box…I’ll be putting out there that I’m looking for vegan treats since April is reset month 🙂  For more info on the Foodie Pen Pals program, click here!