Tofu Stir Fry

Tofu Stir Fry

stir-fry

Today’s recipe is all about the wonderful health benefits of Tofu! Tofu is such a versatile ingredient because it takes on the flavors of what it is seasoned with. In the past, I have shared how to make Tofu Croutons (go under Meatless Monday or Vegetables).

 

I love tofu! It is a great source of protein and it contains all eight amino acids. Amino acids are important because 20 percent of our bodies are made of protein. Amino acids carry out important functions in your body. They play a huge part in carrying the transport and storing of nutrients, help repair tissues and muscles, and helps remove excess waste from our metabolism.

 

stir-fry-1

What You Need:

Brown Rice (I used Rice in a Bag that I cooked)

Firm Tofu (1/2 package)

Mushrooms (chopped)

Frozen Stir Fry Vegetables (1/2 bag)

1/3 Cup Liquid Aminos

1/4 Cup Rice Vinegar

1/4 Cup + some for cooking Sesame Seed Oil

1 Teaspoon Chopped Dry Garlic

1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Dry Ginger

1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper (less if you would like)

Salt and Pepper

Tofu Spice Rub:

1/8 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder, Dry Ginger, Crushed Red Pepper, Salt, and Pepper

What To Do:

After chopping the mushrooms, add them to a sauté pan with a drizzle of sesame seed oil. Add some salt and pepper.

stir-fry-2

While the mushrooms are cooking, drain the tofu and wrap in a bunch of paper towels. You want to try to get out as much moisture as possible. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes.

stir-fry-3

Unwrap the tofu and carefully slice in chucks. Rub the Tofu with the Spice Rub and let it sit until it is time to add it to the stir-fry.

stir-fry-5

When the mushrooms are done cooking, put them in a bowl, and cook the stir-fry vegetables (since they are frozen, you won’t need to add any oil). When they are cooked, transfer them to the plate with the mushrooms.

stir-fry-6

Let your sauté pan heat up and add your cooked rice. IT WILL STEAM! Don’t worry. You want the rice to “fry”. Add some salt and pepper to the rice. In the middle of your pan, push the rice to the sides, and add the tofu. Let the tofu start to brown and mix with the rice.

stir-fry-7

Add the rest of your vegetables and mix. In a bowl, stir all the liquids and spices together and add to the stir-fry. Let the flavors cook together for a few minutes. Taste the stir-fry and add spices/liquids accordingly to your taste.

stir-fry-8

Enjoy xoxo

Advertisements

Turkey Chili

Turkey Chili

chili-7

As the weather starts to transition into Fall, along with the wacky weather in MA, I wanted to make a more comforting meal. I was never a huge chili fan but for some reason, I really wanted to make it.

chili-1

What You Need:

1 lb. Turkey Meat (I used dark meat but you could use either)

1/2 Red Onion, chopped

Olive Oil

4 Cloves of Garlic

1 Jalapeno, diced (for an extra kick, leave the seeds in)

1 Can Red Kidney Beans, drained

1 Can Black Beans, drained

1 Large Can Diced Tomatoes

8 oz of Gluten Free Beer

Chicken Stock (as needed)

1Tablespoon Cumin Powder

2 Tablespoons of Chili Powder

1 Teaspoon of Red Pepper Powder

Salt and Pepper

Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Plain Greek Yogurt

What To Do:

In a saucepot, add a bit of olive oil to the pan with the onions. Sauté until the onions are soft.

chili-2

Add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add in the turkey meat, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper, and 1 teaspoon of chili powder and cook until the turkey meat is no longer pink. Make sure to stir the mixture to avoid burning.

chili-3

Add in the jalapeno, beans, and tomatoes. Stir and add in the cumin, chili, and red pepper.

chili-4

chili-5

Bring the mixture to a boil and add in the gluten free beer. Bring to a boil again and cook for 2 hours, stirring often.

chili-6

If the chili is too thick, you can add in some chicken stock. Make sure you also taste the chili as it cooks. You can always add in more salt but you can’t take it out.

Top the chili with cheese and Greek yogurt. Super Tasty!

chili-7

Celiac Awareness Day!

image

When you look at this picture, do you see someone who is fighting a chronic illness and an autoimmune disease (multiple autoimmune diseases)? I don’t but I am.
.
.

Today is National Celiac Awareness Day. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder where when gluten is ingested, it leads to damage in the small intestine. Your body thinks that there is a foreign invader in your intestine, so the villi gets attacked and damaged. Your body in response eventually struggles to absorb nutrients. Not only does it affect your intestines, Celiac Disease can encourage other autoimmune diseases to appear and other damaging problems. Anything from various cancers to thyroid problems to neurological manifestations.

.
.

Researchers have found that Celiac Disease is hereditary and it affects 1 in 100 people worldwide. 2 1/2 million people live everyday with undiagnosed Celiac Disease. Without the proper tools, people who go too long without a diagnosis are putting themselves in extreme danger.

.
.

When I was finally diagnosed (it used to take years to get a diagnosis) with Celiac Disease seven years ago, I didn’t take it seriously. I thought I just didn’t have to eat wheat. I would participate in happy hour after work and drink beer or eat gluten containing food because it was a holiday. I was naive and uneducated. I would often feel sick afterwards and sometimes that would last for days. My first major health episode came when I nearly died from an infected gallbladder. A few years after that, my appendix needed to come out. While the doctors were in there, they noticed that I had scar tissue wrapped around my stomach and my intestines. The scar tissue was removed but not without other complications. After that surgery, I began to do some research. I would have weird symptoms that never made sense like my hair and eyelashes would fall out, my joints hurt, I had brain fog, my stomach always felt bad, I always had a headache, and I overall felt like shit. I soon realized my “random symptoms” were really a part of having Celiac Disease. I found a book, Jennifer’s Way, by Jennifer Esposito that chronicled her life with her diagnosis with Celiac. After reading it, it changed my outlook on life. I didn’t know that ingesting gluten was actually killing me. I was doing irreversible damage to my body.

image

I had the chance last year to meet Jennifer and thanked her for saving my life. I did a 360 in my life and cut gluten completely out. I am not going to lie and say it has been all peachy since then. I have suffered from multiple hospitalizations, new autoimmune disease diagnosis, and other health complications. But I am far better off health wise than I was seven years ago. And even though I sometimes struggle to get out of bed because I had a flare up, I know that I am trying my best to feed my body the medicine it needs through food. That’s the thing with an “invisible illness”. The person looks fine on the outside but is dealing with many debilitating things on the inside.

So if you take away anything from this, know that we are all fighting a battle that people don’t know about. Someone might “look fine” on the outside but is sick on the inside. So be kind to each other. Listen when someone says that they feel a certain way. You never know what battle they might be facing.

To find out more information on Celiac Disease, visit https://celiac.org.

Italian Style Pasta Salad

Italian Style Pasta Salad

pasta salad 2

Happy Labor Day! Hope everyone is having a relaxing and fun weekend!

When you have food allergies or Celiac Disease, going to parties or cookouts can be a scary thing. You’re not sure who made what, if food was cross-contaminated, or if it contains secret allergy additives. Typically when I go to a cookout, I will bring a dish I know that I can eat and I will ask what is being served. If you have a question about something, don’t eat it! It is not worth it! This quick and easy Italian Style Pasta Salad is a great dish to bring anywhere.

What You Need:

Gluten Free Pasta

Orange Pepper, chopped (you can use any color)

Grape Tomatoes, diced

Can of Gluten Free, BPA Olives, sliced

Mozzarella Mini Balls

Fresh Basil, chopped

Italian Seasoning (I used Trader Joes 21 Mix and an Italian Season Grinder)

Olive Oil

Apple Cider Vinegar (I ran out of red wine vinegar)

Liquid Amino Acids

What To Do:

Cook the pasta according to the directions. I slightly over cook the pasta (not so it is a gooey mess) but so that the pasta stays soft. Sometimes with gluten free pasta, the noodles when cold do not stay soft like regular pasta does.

When the pasta is done cooking and cooled, put the pasta in a bowl. Add all veggies and olives. Drizzle the olive oil on top and mix until the pasta is coated. Mix in about 1/8 cup of apple cider vinegar. Remember that this vinegar has a sweeter taste so add 2 teaspoons of liquid amino acids to balance the sweetness. Depending on how seasoned you like your pasta salad; add in seasoning and taste as you go! Add the mozzarella balls and fresh basil. Let the pasta salad sit for about an hour to let all the flavors incorporate.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. I was going to use red wine vinegar but I ran out. I also had run out of balsamic so I used apple cider (clearly I need to go shopping).  Knowing that it is a sweeter vinegar, I had to balance the flavors with something a bit saltier. You can use any mixture of vegetables in your pasta salad and try different combos of spices.  Cooking is fun so don’t be scared to try different things.  If it doesn’t come out the way you wanted it, then you know for next time! Enjoy! xoxo

pasta salad 1