Thursday, October 14, 2010

Quick Food

Heya, chickadees! Thanks so much for your feedback on yesterday's post about my stressful junior year. The consensus seems to be that while school does not get any easier, we seem to learn how to balance everything better and put things in perspective as time goes on. Maybe I need to turn "later" into "now" and just relax a bit. Good thing cooking is like therapy for me!

However, when I am in a rush, sometimes nothing beats quick, whole-some food. Today I am so excited to share with you the meal that made my crazy week so much easier.

No, not that. But America is known for being a fast food nation. McDonald's, Burger King, Arby's, Sonic...---you name it, we have it! These names are not typically known for being the picture of good health, but they are sure are one thing: fast. Conversely, healthy eating is usually associated with being long and laborious. Well I am here to show you that healthy eating can be quick and delicious.

Now that's more like it!

Naturally the first component of quick food is the amount of time it takes to prepare. The nice thing about this meal is that you can make things ahead or just pop them in the oven while you shower, work, etc.

Baking a winter squash or a few sweet potato ahead of time is totally encouraged. However, if you are unable to do so, popping the sweet potato in the microwave for about 2 minutes before placing it in the oven really speeds things up. Just make sure to prick it with a fork all over so it can release moisture.

Now for the protein. My time-saver came with a little help from the awesome people at Tofu Xpress. (Thanks, Richard!) They sent me one to try out a little while back and I have been a convert ever since.

While I was at yoga, I placed a block of tofu in my Tofu Xpress and put it in the refrigerator. This product is seriously the time-saver of all time-savers. Whether you put the tofu in for hours or just for a few minutes, it does its job, and it does it like better than I ever could. The fact that the creators of Tofu Xpress even found a way to press tofu without making a mess is a miracle.

If you have ever tried to press your own tofu (or ate it without pressing for lack of time or knowing how---ick!), you know that it is a complete pain. Soggy paper towels and puddles of tofu water everywhere does not equal a good time. Just skip the confusion and let the Tofu Express do all the work; we are going for quick here, remember?

[Please note: I honestly would not be telling you about this if I did not believe in the product. I think it is so important that bloggers be truthful. After all, I want to know someone's completely unbiased opinion so I am able to make more informed decisions. Actually, I would have bought this anyway because of all the great things I have heard of it. I may even buy one for my grandmother who is tofu-curious.]

When I got home, my tofu had released more water than I knew possible. The amazing thing is that I have tried using it with different amounts of time and it never fails. Sure, it gets SUPER pressed if I leave it in longer, but no matter, it comes out better than I could do with any length of time.

So once your tofu is pressed, you can crisp it in the oven or on the stove. My method of choice differs depending on what I am making, but lately I have really been loving the stove. This is especially helpful if your sweet potato/winter squash is already cooked because then you do not even have to wait for the oven.

Simply heat a greased pan (with either cooking spray or oil of your choice) on medium-high heat and place cubes of tofu on until they are golden, turning to achieve desired effect. I cut my tofu into little cubes for maximum crisp, and crispy it was! I sprinkled a little smoked paprika on top and made smears of spicy mustard for dipping. Quick and simple.

I always like to serve some fresh veggies with my meal as well. I steamed a mix of my favorites one night and made kale chips the other. Frozen veggies are always good to have on hand for even more ease.

Well there you have it: a quick meal that is both satisfying and delicious. I liked it so much I made variations of it 3 days in a row. It left me feeling satisfied and energized, perfect for studying.

What is your favorite go-to meal or quick food?

Have a lovely day!



  1. Yumm I would prefer your tofu and veg over McD's any day! My favorite go-to mela is a sweet potato and veggie burger.

  2. My favorite go-to meal is a microwaved sweet potato. I prefer them when they're baked in the oven but it just takes SO long if you want to bake them whole.

    I need to get my hands on one of those tofu presser things! Right now I just buy the extra firm tofu that's already pressed but I'd like to be able to do it myself.