Friday, August 19, 2011

Doggy Demento, Tofu, and a Question for Moms

When I was in high school I got it into my head that I needed a new breed of pet. Hamsters were cute and all, but I was running out of small boxes and spots to bury them in the back yard. So out of the blue I opted for a parakeet. I named him Hermes and trained him more or less well, albeit the fact that most of his training involved trial and error with the windows. Nevertheless, after a few months my younger brother decided that he also wanted a parakeet. And that's how Tofu came into our family. You may be wondering what this amigurumi dog has to do with a small, blue bird. Well, the demented look on the dog's face (you know, the one that says, "I hunt the mice around the house by bashing my head into the wall!"), was the same one plastered to Tofu's that made him annoying beyond all reason yet strangely cute. 

The Tofu with wings managed to get himself stuck in our chandelier, inside a dresser drawer, and briefly, inside a toilet paper tube. He was also obsessed with defeating the other bird in the bathroom mirror, and frequently moved the battle to the reflections in the windows and to those of the spoons on the dining room table. They must have had differing political views because often times the spoons would go flying off the table edge with a satisfied and vengeful looking bird glaring down at them.

The following tofu has no wings, and gets along fairly well with spoons. Also, my amigurumi dog will be up for sale shortly, as will the pattern. Isn't train of thought fun? Ooh! Trains!
Cooking Adventure: Lime Curry Tofu Stir-fry
The Bellydance Soundtrack: Slavgnostik by Unkle Ho
Prep Time: 10-15 min.
Cook Time: 15-20 min.

I made this extremely delicious veggie meal after a full day of babysitting my nieces. I gave my four year-old niece the job of choosing lunch and she picked Kraft mac n' cheese, wafer cookies, and blueberries (the blueberries were so we could "be healthy"). While I seem to have lost my taste for powdered cheese a bit, I will say that it made making lunch for the girls really easy. As I was cutting up the veggies for this meal I had to wonder: How do you moms DO this? How to moms find time to make healthy meals for their kids? Especially since the easiest & quickest things to pick up from the store and whip together are not always the healthiest? I'd be very interested to know how those of you who are moms manage this, and if some of you could share your easy recipes with the rest of us. That, and do you have one arm that is ungodly muscular? I carried around the one year-old all day, and cuteness doesn't necessarily correlate with a decrease in weight. People kept passing me in the grocery store saying, "Aw! She's adorable!" I felt like saying, "Really? That's so nice of you to say! Would you like to carry her around for an hour while the feeling comes back into my arm?" Don't get me wrong. I love my nieces, but once they become accessories attached to me for too long the cuteness starts to wear off a bit.

Okay. I'm breathing. I feel better now. :) Onto the food!

 - 2 tablespoons peanut oil
 - 1 (16 ounce) package extra-firm tofu, cut
into bite-sized cubes
 - 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
 - 2 tablespoons red curry paste
 - 1 pound zucchini, diced
 - 1 red bell pepper, diced
 - 3 tablespoons lime juice
 - 3 tablespoons fish sauce (The original recipe calls for soy sauce. Don't use that. Use fish sauce. Smells really funky on it's own. Tastes amazing when blended with other stuff.)
 - 2 tablespoons maple syrup
 - 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
 - 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1. Heat the peanut oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the tofu and stir-fry until golden brown. Remove the tofu and set aside, leaving the remaining oil in the wok. 
2. Stir the ginger and curry paste into the hot oil for a few seconds until the curry paste is fragrant and the ginger begins to turn golden. Add the zucchini and bell pepper; cook and stir for 1 minute. Pour in the lime juice, fish sauce, maple syrup, coconut milk, and tofu. Bring the coconut milk to a simmer, and cook a few minutes until the vegetables are tender and the tofu is hot. Stir in the chopped basil just before serving. 
**Serve over rice. I used basmati & that works fairly well.


Anonymous said...

One day at a time, that is how this mother does it. Also, klonopin. She is my bff.

Wizardess said...

I am just loving tofu in all its forms in your post.

It's been a little while since I had food dependent children, but basically it's relentless preparation. And the Taco Bell drive-through because there are sort of veggies included. And sometimes bacon sandwiches. Which now turns my stomach!!

Wizardess said...

And that little fucker sure is cute. ;)

mzkynd said...

Oh my Goddess that tofu dish looks delish!! and I have tofu in the fridge lucky me ;)