Orange Tofu Stir-Fry

It was one of those “what random stuff can I throw together for dinner/I need to go grocery shopping, but don’t want to” sort of days. I peered into the fridge to take inventory and discovered some extra firm tofu. I have no idea what I bought this for originally, but it’s what worked for this meal in particular! I grabbed the tofu, some veggies, rice and an unopened orange sauce. Voila! I shall create an Orange Tofu Stir-Fry!

• 1 14oz package of extra firm tofu
• 1 broccoli head
• 1 handful of baby carrots sliced up
• 1tbs of sesame oil
• 1 cup of dried white rice
• Orange sauce (or teriyaki, if you prefer!)
• Salt n’ Pepper to taste (optional)

Preheat your oven to 400F.

While your oven is heating up, remove the tofu from the package, wrap it up in a clean dish cloth or thick paper towel and weigh it down with a book or heavy pan. This will help dry up the tofu a bit.

Now that the oven is at 400F, slice up the tofu into cubes or strips.

Place the cubes or strips onto a cookie sheet with parchment paper and then bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, turning once half way through baking. This will further dry out the tofu. Drying the tofu makes it more porous, which will make soaking up flavor easier.

Once the tofu is finished baking, set it aside to cool, while you get to cookin’ on the other goodies.

Cook your rice as directed on the packaging.

Then heat your sesame oil over medium heat.

While the oil is heating up, chop up your broccoli head and carrots.

Toss the broccoli and carrots into the oiled up pan, sprinkle with salt n’ pepper (if you want) and cook for a good 5-7 minutes.

Now throw the tofu into the same pan and mix everything well.

Pour the desired amount of orange sauce into the pan and make sure everything is evenly coated and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

By the time you’re finished cooking the veggies, tofu and sauce, your rice should be done. Place your rice and tofu stir-fry into a bowl or on a plate and enjoy!

Salsa Verde Crockpot Chicken

Salsa Verde Crockpot Chicken is a staple meal in my household. I first got the idea from an old friend of mine that came to work one day with some leftovers. As soon as she reheated it in the microwave, I had to ask “what is this glorious smell?!?!” She went into detail about the ingredients that she threw together in her saute pan and I knew immediately that I wanted to create it at home; however, I’ve done some tweaking over the past couple years and I have now perfected the recipe to my taste.

What’s even better about this recipe is that it is quite healthy and versatile! I typically serve this meal as a bowl, which includes quinoa and lettuce. But again, you can switch it up to your liking, it’s great on it’s own, in a wrap, with rice or in a salad.

Ingredients (4 servings):
• Two boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• Your favorite jar of salsa verde
• Ground cumin
• Cayenne pepper
• 2-3 Garlic cloves, minced
• Oregano
• 1 cup of plain greek yogurt or sour cream (I used greek yogurt)
• 1 15oz can of beans of your choice (I typically go with black beans or great northern beans)
• Fresh cilantro
• Lime

To get started, bring out the ol’ crockpot, place the chicken breasts into the crockpot and pour the salsa verde over top until the chicken is covered (leave some leftover salsa verde to drizzle on top in the end!). Now sprinkle your desired amount of cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic and oregano on top of the salsa verde dressed chicken.

Turn the temperature on high for 3.5 hours or on low for 6 hours.

This is when your house starts smelling incredibly good.

Now that the chicken is cooked through, open up the crockpot and use two forks to shred the chicken.

Mix in the greek yogurt (or sour cream) and the can of beans (drained and cleaned). Stir everything up nicely and then place the lid back on the crockpot to cook on low for another 15-30 minutes. Use this time to prepare the other parts of your meal (this is when I cooked my quinoa, washed the lettuce, etc.)

Once the salsa verde chicken is ready to go, I placed the deliciousness into a bowl along with freshly cooked quinoa, lettuce, fresh cilantro and freshly squeezed lime juice.

This recipe also makes great leftovers that will last in the fridge for about 3-4 days in tightly closed tupperware. Enjoy!

Lasagna Rollups With Meat Sauce

The beauty of cooking is experimentation. Grabbing ingredients you know/think/hope will work together in a perfect, harmonious dish is my favorite part about cooking! Sometimes you create a masterpiece that will be dubbed a new household staple or the dish that you always have to bring to special occasions. There are also plenty of times that the experimentation did not go as planned, but it was just in good fun and you learned a thing or two.

Yeah, sometimes I just don’t want to do any of that… Whenever I want to try something new, without having to think too hard or waste ingredients for the sake of experimenting, I check out my cookbooks and Pinterest. This was the case for this weeks dinner! I took a gander at my “Stuff For My Belly” board and came across some Spinach Lasagna Rollups. I hit the jackpot. I made this a few months back and they were so simple and delicious, but I wanted to mix it up a bit this time. This was a great vegetarian recipe, but I wanted to beef it up a bit…. get it? Beef!

I started off by preparing my homemade marinara meat sauce and then I got the roll up ingredients together.

The Ingredients:
1 lb. lasagna noodles
15 oz. ricotta
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 large egg
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F.

Cook the lasagna noodles as directed on the box.

Once the noodles are cooked and you’ve strained them, the faster you get the noodles lying flat, the less likely you’ll be stuck with funky/creased noodles. I laid my noodles onto some paper towels to help them from sticking to the countertop.

I axed the spinach for the rollups all together. I combined the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan and 1 large egg in a bowl, then evenly and thinly spread the mixture on each cooked lasagna noodle.

Then you simply roll them up, seam facing down. Then I sprayed my glass baking dish with some Pam and plopped the rollups onto the dish.

I evenly coated all of the rollups with my sauce. Make sure to cover all of the rollups, including the edges, as this will ensure the noodles stay soft while they bake.

Place the dish into the preheated oven and cook for 30 minutes. Serve them hot and they keep up very nicely in the fridge for a few days!