Hibachi Veggies with Quinoa, Pan Seared Tofu and Toasted Cashews.

Bennett and I prepared another yummy vegetarian meal tonight- and even ventured out by trying tofu for the first time! If you had told me two years ago, even two months ago that I would actually be eating tofu and enjoying it I would have laughed and then asked for a steak please.

We both really love Asian flavors, as you can probably tell as this is the second Asian inspired recipe in a row. We’ll delve into some other flavors soon I am sure, but until then I hope you enjoy! The quinoa in this recipe is a much healthier substitute for white and brown rice, and the tofu takes the place of your meat. Super yummy!

Ingredients:

1 Block of Tofu (firm or extra firm)

2 Squash, chopped

1 Onion, chopped

1/2 cup of Quinoa (makes a full cup prepared).

1/2 cup of cashews

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

3 tablespoons of hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon sriracha

2 tablespoons of peanut oil (or vegetable oil)

Garlic Seasoning, sesame seeds, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste.

Directions:

1.Unwrap the tofu. Drain. Cut into cubes (or rectangles as mine turned out, ha!). Place on heavy duty paper towels then place a heavy pot on top to help drain out the excess liquid.

2. Prepare quinoa per directions on package.

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3. Coat a sauté pan with 1-2 tablespoons of peanut oil. Heat up to medium/high heat. Distribute tofu evenly on pan and cook for about 15 minutes, making sure to flip the pieces until brown and crispy on both sides. Season with garlic, salt, pepper, sesame seeds and onion powder.

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4. Coat a sauté pan with 1-2 tablespoons of peanut oil. Heat up to medium heat. Saute onions and squash until soft (approx. 10 minutes), and then add in the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and sriracha. Stir in cooked quinoa.

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5. Once tofu is complete, transfer to paper towel to drain excess oil. Throw cashews into the same pan for approx. 30 seconds to get them nice and toasted. Turn off heat and transfer tofu back to the pain with the cashews. Spoon a nice helping of the quinoa and veggies as well as the tofu and cashews onto your plate! Bennett and I both loved eating this meal with the traditional Japanese hibachi style ‘white sauce’ or ‘yum yum sauce.

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Asian Style Chickpeas and Veggies

I thought I would share with you all some of the vegetarian recipes Bennett and I have been trying out lately. Bennett has been such a good sport with this lifestyle change for me, and he has even stated that he now wants to eat vegetarian due to the positive health changes I have already experienced in just three weeks. Plus, viewing Forks over Knives helped him decided that as well!

One of the great benefits of becoming vegetarian is that I love to cook more! Before when I cooked- I was so consumed with how many calories was in what I was cooking and most of my ingredients were processed foods that it just wasn’t enjoyable-I felt almost guilty for cooking it because I knew it wasn’t good for my body. Yes, you can very much eat unhealthy within a vegetarian diet but as long as you make a conscience choice to use lots of vegetables, fruits, legumes, beans, etc. and not sugary and fatty items it’s pretty hard to go wrong. I have also noticed that I am so much more creative in the kitchen as there is such a wide variety of produce to experiment with.

Lastly, Bennett and I have enjoyed coming home from work and spending time in the kitchen cooking and discussing our days. It has now become one of my favorite things to do for quality time with Bennett.

So, without further ramblings…here is a meal that I kind of made up with the help of combining several recipes I saw online-we will just called it Asian Style Chickpeas and Veggies!

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(*this picture shows a beautiful avocado, but I am such a novice still in cooking that it wasn’t ripe enough at allllll and we ended up taking it off the final product. But I promise the rest is yummy! 🙂 )

Ingredients:

1 can of chickpeas (also known as garbonzo beans)

1 large onion

2 bell peppers, any color

Peanut oil (or whatever oil you have on hand) to coat the pan (about a tablespoon each)

1 tablespoon of garlic powder

1 tablespoon of onion powder

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

4 tablespoons of Hoisin Sauce

Dash of Sriracha

2 soft wheat tortillas

1. Preheat oven to around 250 degrees and place tortillas in oven to warm for approx. 5-7 minutes.

2. Drain chickpeas and pat dry with paper towel. Heat up sauté pan to medium/high and coat pan with 1-2 tablespoons of peanut oil. Saute for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
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3. Cut up onion and bell peppers into pieces. Heat up another sauté pan to medium/high and coat pan with 1 tablespoon of peanut oil. Saute vegetables until caramelized (approx. 10 minutes).
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4. Remove chickpeas from pan with a slotted spoon and place on paper towel to soak up excess oil. Place back into the same pan and add garlic powder, onion powder, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and sriracha. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to cook for 2-3 more minutes.

5. Combine veggies in with the chickpeas to coat the veggies with the same spices and sauces.

6. Place a nice spoonful on each wheat tortilla. You now have yourself a delicious meat free taco or fajita of sorts. The chickpeas and veggies can also be eaten by themselves they are so good!
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The Latest Happenings…

Hello dear people who still occasionally check my blog- even though I am awful at consistently posting! Life has been busy, but in a wonderful way. Bennett and I are thoroughly plugged in and enjoying our church-we have a great group of young adults that we love hanging out with and Bennett is working with the youth this summer which he loves. Crouton is still being an adorable, mischievous puppy and we think he has finally stopped growing at a strong 11lbs. He is the best cuddle buddy! Bennett is still working at a dental claims company (or something like that–I really have no idea what he does. Oops, does that make me a bad wife?) and I am still working part time at our local CSB and I love it!

 

This past year has been a time of great healing and spiritual restoration for me and Bennett. Struggling with vaginismus and having a miscarriage took its toll on me-to the point where I wasn’t sure if God was good or if He was even there- but He has lovingly held me by the right hand and restored the joy that I had lost during those difficult times. He has blessed me to be able to understand why I lost our baby and it has strengthened my trust in Him. I also bounced back from my small setback with vaginismus. It was a time where God renewed my desire to connect with women who are enduring this struggle and reminded me that this issue is not want to be hidden and pushed under the rug- which is exactly what Satan wants us to do! I am blessed to weekly receive emails from women who have come across my blog who are struggling with vaginismus. As much as going through trials are difficult- the purpose of them is so worth it!

I have also switched over to a complete vegetarian diet. No meat, poultry, seafood and minimal dairy. I may eventually switch to vegan which is NO dairy or eggs but I am taking it a step at a time 😉 Due to some annoying health issues the doctor recommended this lifestyle change and I have never felt better! Who knew that meat could tear up your body so bad? If you are not convinced, watch Forks Over Knives on Netflix- a documentary about the health benefits of a plant based diet and the detriments of a meat based diet-the results are astounding! I have also enjoyed some great new food such as quinoa and a wide variety of veggies that I had never tried before.

As for this summer- Bennett and I are excited to go to the beach with his family and then on a cruise later in the summer. We are both so ready for vacation and a time of relaxation! Just pray that our cruise doesn’t lose power and fill with sewer water- even though Bennett said it wouldn’t be that bad as we would get our money back and free cruise vouchers, but somehow I don’t know if its worth it! 😉