Meal Planning: Week Of April 23

I liked Carrot’s N’ Cake’s meal planning idea for the week. I’ve always done it but I am reinforcing it more now because these next few weeks are filled with torturous exams and finals. I’m going to need some healthy handy for my sanity.

As I was planning my meals out for the week last night, I realized I had a ton of half done meals in the freezer. I needed to get rid of them because 1. I have no containers left and 2. I should eat what I have first before buying anything else (unless it is absolutely necessary for the meal).

After a yummy “faux” apple pie breakfast, I got to work for an hour and change and prepared my meals for the week. You will notice there is a lot of spinach. Yeah. I got a huge bag.

The first ball up (hehe, oh lotto) is tomato basil soup with a mozzarella and spinach melt. It’s going to be raining all week and what better thing to eat than some warm and hearty soup!Next is my take (again) on Eating Well’s orecchiette with broccoli rabe and chickpeas. I made it with fusilli pasta, added basil and added butter instead of the red wine vinegar. Spinach with be served on the side along with a slice of basil mozzarella flatbread.Then we have brown rice and black beans with a mashed up spinach chickpea tofu burger. I’ll probably have it with a side of extra spinach and baked plantains.I also made some “healthy” fried rice mixed with sugar snap peas, carrots, broccoli and tofu scramble. This is one of my go to meals as I like to always have at least one frozen because everything is included; protein, carbs and veggies!And last we have garlic baked tofu with mashed potatoes and a sugar snap pea, carrot and cauliflower medley. I might eat it with some plantain chips. I haven’t decided yet but I had some last time with the tofu and it was delish!For dessert? I made a few servings of chocolate mousse and some even with coconut flakes. You must give me a break this week. It is that “time” and I want sweets and chocolate galore. To tame it I make little treats to satisfy my raging cravings.Here is an overview of my options for this week eats!

Breakfast:

  1. Honey & Nut Morning O’s w/ So Delicious Coconut Milk & Orange
  2. Van’s GF Blueberry Waffles w/ Cashew Butter, Blueberries & Maple Syrup Drizzle
  3. “Faux” Apple Pie w/ Extra “Baked” Apple Topping

Lunch:

  1. Spinach, Basil & Mozerella Wraps w/ Kettle Cooked Chips
  2. Brown Rice, Black Beans, Spinach Chickpea Tofu Burger w/ Baked Plantains
  3. Tomato Basil Soup w/ Spinach & Mozzarella Melt

Dinner:

  1. Stir Fried Rice w/ Sugar Snap Peas, Carrots, Broccoli & Tofu Scramble
  2. Garlic Baked Tofu w/ Veggies & Plantain Chips
  3. My Take on Eating Well’s Orecchiette w/ Broccoli Rabe & Chickpeas

Snacks:

  1. Cashews & 1/2 Clif White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Bar
  2. Cascadian Farm’s Almond Butter Crunchy Granola Bar
  3. Almonds & Apple Slices
  4. Banana
  5. Yogurt

Question: Do you plan your meals for the week?

I love doing it! It sames time and money, whoo-hoo!

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Garlic Baked Tofu With Veggies

I am absolutely in love with tofu. I can’t believe how versatile and delicious it actually is. Like when I used it to replace the egg whites in my stir fried rice. Or when I made Chocolate Covered Katie’s Chocolate Mousse.I was in the mood for something baked and something comforting. Anything made in the oven screams comfort food to me; cupcakes, pizza, homemade mac n’ cheese. Since I had a little bit of tofu left and I just went grocery shopping for veggies I concluded there was no time like the present to attempt to bake tofu like my mom’s chicken in the oven!Ingredients (Serves Two)

1/2 Package of Light Tofu (Pressed and Drained)
One Garlic Clove, Minced
2 tsps of Olive Oil
2 Tbsps of Water
1 tsp of Parsley Flakes
1/2 tsp of Onion Powder
Dash of Sea Salt and Pepper

(The Night Before!) Press and drain your tofu of excess water. I like to cut the tofu into “slices” and place paper towels (or you can use a clean towel) underneath and on top. I then put three plates over it so the excess water can drain.While you wait for the tofu, prepare your garlicky marinade with the ingredients above. Feel free to use your favorite herbs and spices!Then place the tofu (and veggies if you want extra flavor) into a bag with the marinade and let it sit overnight. If your pressed for time, you can marinade it for thirty minutes to an hour. Just note that the flavor won’t be as strong.Yummy baby carrots and broccoli!Cooking Time! Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.Remove your tofu slices from the marinade and place them onto a large oven pan or cookie sheet drizzled with olive oil. You can put the veggies in now but I suggest waiting until the tofu is halfway cooked. I just like my veggies well roasted.Leave for about 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven, until top of tofu is a light golden brown color. Turn them over and continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes. At this point, you can add the veggies you want to roast.Once your tofu is a nicely baked light golden brown color, remove, serve and eat. Each tofu serving has about 115 calories, 6 grams of fat and 9 grams of protein!Question: Do you like tofu? Have you ever even tried tofu (lol)? What’s your favorite way to eat it?

So far this is my favorite way to eat tofu. It reminds me of chicken in the oven, but way better. Looks like my mom has some competition. I’m only kidding, you can never compete with a mother’s cooking.

Peace, Cupcakes and Tofu?

Yesterday was such a beautiful today. Today, not so much. I can’t believe tomorrow is going to be almost 80 degrees! It was nice to relax on the green at my school during my break between classes. Peace and serenity.During my lab class, I found Manganese in my unknown solution. It was pretty much the only fun I had in lab. Seeing this cool purple color appear and identifying an element in an unknown solution was a blast.This morning I wanted a “muffin top” but I also was craving Chocolate Covered Katie’s Hot Apple Pie Pancakes. I ended up combining both ideas and added the apples into the “muffin top.” Basically it was my “faux” apple pie blended together. It was delicious, but the “faux” apple pie definitely has a taste of its own.After breakfast, I did the ab segment from the 15 Minutes Solution Yoga DVD and then headed off to help my mom out with her Science Fair. I made about 90 cupcakes for her sale and they smelled amazing.It was so hard not to just gobble them up, although the kiddies helped me out in that department. They were all gone within a few hours! I even was all dressed for the part. Don’t I look cute with a lab coat?When I got back from helping my mom, I was in the mood to make “Mojo” chicken. I remembered I bought a new tofu package. Why not use the tofu to replace the chicken?I made sure to press the tofu of excess water and poured the marinade over the tofu and some sweet peas. I then let it marinate for about two hours and then cooked in on a pan drizzled with olive oil. The result? I was surprised that the taste was pretty darn close to chicken.

I will definitely make this again and now that’s one less meat recipe I won’t miss. It’s funny because I still have the pepperoni pizza in the freezer that I designated as my “March meat.” And do you know what? I really don’t care for it and I’m not craving it like mad. Amazing huh?

Question: What brings you peace? Warm weather? A lovely yoga practice? Hanging out with a loved one?

For me, if all three were combined that would be peace perfection!

Oh, What To Do With You Mr. Tofu?

Like my earlier study session atmosphere? I really don’t like to study. I am more of the study the morning before the test kind of person. So I pretended I was relaxing and reading. Sort of worked. I think.Today, as you can see from above, I tried out the kid’s Chobani in honey-nana. It didn’t have that thick texture of your average Greek yogurt and tasted yummy. For 100 calories and 8 grams of protein? I’m sold!

I’ve been looking up other recipes for tofu and found a few cool ones I want to try. The two savory ones are from Eating Well, which are a Spinach & Sundried Tomato Stuffed Pizza and the other is Tofu Parmigiana. Love that site!

The other one is a chocolate mousse dessert from Chocolate Covered Katie. You know I had to try this one out. It was pure decadence! I’m totally in love. I just made a slight modification. Where she says to use 3/4 cup of melted chocolate, I actually put 2 servings of my dark chocolate mousse instead. It made it super creamy and chocolatey. I also use two packets of Stevia. Tofu is officially my new best friend.Here are my meals for day eight of the Veg Challenge. Do you remember when I mentioned that I made a stir fry using tofu? I actually just got around to trying it. Primarily because I was addicted to the black bean burger. The result? Delicious and I didn’t even notice the tofu in it!

I also finally used the kale and I decided to put it into the Spinach Chickpea Turkey Burgers. Instead of the turkey, since I am not eating meat of course, I used crumbled Tofu instead. Obviously it now becomes a Kale Chickpea Tofu Burger. It tasted no differentfrom the original burger. I love it and Tofu is definitely going to become a new staple of mine for sure!

- Day Eight -

Breakfast: Cinna-Crunch “Muffin Top” w/ Maple Syrup Drizzle & Banana
Lunch: Kale Chickpea Tofu Burger (see above) w/ Baked FriesSnack: Grapes & Chobani (kid’s) Greek Yogurt
Dinner: Veggie Stir-Fry w/ Sugar snap peas, broccoli, carrots, DAMY’s cauliflower “rice,” brown rice & tofu (marinated in olive oil, onion, garlic, salt & pepper).Dessert: Chocolate Covered Katie’s Mousse, Combined w/ Mine <3

Question: Have you tried out anything new recently that you love?

Vegetarian(ish) Grocery Shopping

Do you think somebody wanted me to get up at 7:30am on a Sunday? Oh well, he had no choice.Sunday always includes the grocery shopping ritual. I wanted to get a few things to up my protein and B12 intake. There are three things you need to be careful of when eating vegetarian; iron, protein and B12. Iron is not too much of an issue for me but I do want to be mindful of protein and especially B12 since I won’t be eating any meat.

Items that I have at home with B12 mixed in are Silk soy milk, Luna protein bar and Clif Kid’s bars. On this grocery trip I got some of my usual staples; bananas, black beans, oats, brown rice and kettle cooked chips. I got baby carrots and mandarins to snack on and pumpkin! I also wanted to remake the Tomato Basil Soup, hence the diced tomatoes.While looking for Nature’s Path Love Crunch (and being unsuccessful), I found this Pomegran Cherry Granola. It sounded delicious, so I had to buy it. More chickpeas to make delicious chickpea burgers too, sans meat of course! I’ve also been on a tomato kick too and my mom spotted this sun-dried tomato pesto. It just sounded really yummy. I already love basil pesto on pizzas. Hmm, idea?And since I am not eating meat, I really wanted to find a way to get some more protein in my diet besides from soy milk, beans and nuts. I found this honey-banana flavored Chobani kid’s Greek yogurt and I cannot wait to try it out. And since it’s for kids, I’m sure they made it taste yummy!Oh yes, and TOFU! I have never tried it before and I am super excited to experiment with it. It has 5 servings and it was $2.99. Not too terrible! I mixed some into a stir fry, since I didn’t have enough eggs. It even looked like scrambled eggs and smelled no different!In this stir-fry mix? Sugar snap peas, broccoli, shredded carrots, DAMY’s cauliflower “rice,” brown rice, and tofu (marinated in olive oil, onion, garlic, salt and pepper). This is going to be for dinner later today. I’ll tweet how it came out.

Here is a recap for Day Five of the 28 Day Challenge (Day One & Two, Day Three). You may notice there is no veggies for Sunday’s lunch. Well, it’s my tradition to have breakfast and then breakfast for lunch on Sundays. It’s always been that way. I just like it, like that!

Breakfast: Protein Pancake w/ Maple Syrup Drizzle & Banana
Lunch: Hard-boiled Egg on 1/2 Millet & Flax Bagel w/ Red Roasted PotatoesSnack: Grapes, Almonds & Light Babybel Cheese
Dinner: Veg Time’s Black Bean Burger & Yogurt (I subbed Chopped Cauliflower for Quinoa & Added 2 Tbsps Flour)
Dessert: Chocolate Covered Katie’s Vanilla Ice Milk (Using Soy milk) & Whip

I’m excited to think of new things to make with the tofu. Maybe add it to the black bean burgers? Pizzas? Oh the ideas that are jumbling in my mind!

Do you like tofu? What’s your favorite recipe?!