• Personally speaking….

    Just the thoughts and cookings of a software engineer that likes to make foodstuffs from time to time in the bay area of California.
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Quick Tofu Fried Rice

Tofu fried rice

I saw Tofu vegetable fried rice today through foodgawker and it inspired dinner!

Quick Tofu Fried Rice

1 block firm tofu, drained, pressed, cubed
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cups (ish?) leftover brown rice
1 cup (ish?) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1/3 cup (ish?) low-sodium soy sauce
freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon (ish?) vegetable oil

I drained the tofu, wrapped it in one paper towel, then wrapped that with a kitchen towel. I then put a heavy cast iron pan on it and let that sit while I chopped up the onion and thawed the vegetables.

I sliced the tofu lengthwise then cubed it so that they were small-ish cubes.

Heat some vegetable oil in a skillet over medium. When it’s hot, add the tofu cubes. I flipped them around to get as much of the sides browned as possible. Cook for about 5 minutes. Remove and save.

Add some vegetable oil to the skillet. Once it’s hot, add the onion and vegetables. Stir-fry for about 5 minutes. Add rice. I cooked for about 5 minutes. If the rice is too cold, I would heat it up so that the vegetables don’t get overcooked.

Add soy sauce, pepper, then the tofu. I add enough pepper so that I see it. That’s how I know it’s the flavor I like. That’s up to preference, much like the soy sauce. Heat for about 2 minutes.

Tofu fried rice vegetables Tofu fried rice tofu

In the past, I’ve added egg to fried rice. To do that, I push the rice to the side and add a little wetness like butter to a corner of the pan. The egg fries up quickly, then gets folded into the rice. Also, I’ve done cornstarch on the tofu before but wanted to try without this time. I didn’t miss it.

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Laptop Lunch #4

Laptop Lunch #4

Clockwise, starting top-left: Fat-free yogurt with cherries and grapes. I cut the fresh cherries in half to get the pit out. Then though that that looked keen so added some halved grapes. Pretty tasty. The cherries fresh are a little tart, so is the yogurt, but the grapes helped calm everyone down. We then have more grapes– can you tell I love grapes? And under those grapes are some leftover apple bits. And the next container has — surprise — more grapes and some apple slices. I put the skin side up and didn’t add anything to it to see how badly it’d turn brown. Didn’t do badly at all! That’s an organic Fuji apple. Num! Last, but not least, we have left-over brown fried rice with a sprinkle of parsley on top cause I was feeling cheeky. I did microwave the rice for about one minute but it was fine cold. Tasted better at least at room temperature, though.

This is a WW Core meal.

Laptop Lunch #2

Leftover homemade chicken fried rice (brown rice), cherries, grapes, carrots, celery and Laughing Cow light wedge. Tried to be mostly WW Core but the cheese isn’t.

Didn’t finish the carrots. Not a fan.

Laptop Lunch #2

In case you’re curious how I transport my laptop lunch, here it is. Some use the insulated bag that they sell, and some just use any sort of bag. I use this crocheted recycled plastic bag bag that I got in a “worst present” exchange. I got the better deal out of all the people.

The bottom expands to hold the box in a horizontal state and keeps it snug so it doesn’t move.

Laptop Lunch Carrier

Chinese Roasted Chicken, Eggplant with Raw Garlic, Easy Garlic Rice

Local Honey Nom! The muttermutter card reader crapped out again in the middle of import. It then wouldn’t work for the rest of the evening. Muttermutter. I’m buying a new one this weekend, hopefully. Apologies for no photo of the meal but enjoy an older photo of local honey instead!

Overall, the meal looked ok. The chicken was a brownish with some darker bits of caramelization. This was one of the .49/lb whole chickens that I cut up. Also on the plate were two other new recipes. The parsley rice was beautiful in white and green flecks and tasted good. Eggplant was not colored like I thought it would be and ended up darker than I hoped even with the parsley sprinkled on top. The plate needed something more colorful. Basically, the plate was brown-ish, brown with green and white bits, and white with green bits. Ah well 🙂

Another note for future self: don’t try to save the garlic. I wanted to use up the sprouting garlic so opened up all the cloves and took out the sprouts. I don’t think I got all of them though because the garlic was bitter. Each of these dishes were new to me but I’m pretty sure it was the garlic that put one “off.”

Dinner: May 20, 2008

  • Chinese Roasted Chicken
    Nom nom! I have a few honey/soy sauce combo chicken recipes in my notebook. I liked this one too. I doubt I could actually taste the five spice since I think that jar had been in my pantry for a few years and the apartment for a few years before that. I’ll have to try this again with a fresh jar! Fantastic dish. I didn’t marinade for 2 hours because that would have put dinner even later than I ended up eating (8:30p.m.) so I cut the soaking time to about 1 hour. Longer would be better, I think. Maybe do it overnight to be quicker? Hmm. The sauce was great. Chicken took longer to cook than written which was frustrating. Maybe I’ll try it at 350 next time for the same time.
  • Eggplant with Raw Garlic
    Here’s the puppy that really shouted “Bad garlic! Bad!” I love garlic but it was hard. I had a lot of eggplant so poured the sauce on half the dish and left the other half sauce free in case I didn’t like it. Good thing too. I didn’t like parsley on eggplant either. I want to try fixing eggplant again though but won’t do this sauce.
  • Easy Garlic Rice
    Another nom nom! I used the last of some plain white rice and eyed longingly the Jasmine bag. I want to try it with Jasmine next time. Or maybe I’ll go for the Basmati brown. Brown rice: mo’ betta for ya. The color combo was pretty with the white and green contrast. I got tired of finely chopping onion and garlic though. I ended up just walking the knife around and around and around…. No, I don’t do the fancy food processor stuff. Usually not a big deal. Like the parsley? I just put some in a measuring cup and used kitchen shears to snip inside of it.

Not a bad meal considering I gathered up the recipes right before starting it. I have a homemade bag of romaine in the fridge that needs to get in my bellah! Grocery store circular came out today. The .49/lb chicken deal is over but I got two rainchecks. I also want to try making some more fresh fish. Sounds like I should be planning out my meals again, eh? Yes. I know. Planning makes things so much easier!

Time to panic? Food Shortage

Food prices have risen 40 percent on average since mid-2007, and have led to riots in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. – Seattle PI

image by litherland on flickr

image courtesy litherland

Seriously? I know it’s gone up but 40% in a year?

The price of rice has more than doubled in the past five weeks, she said. The World Bank estimates food prices have risen by 83 percent in three years. – Seattle PI

Rice. The article goes on to talk about the staples being snatched up like bread when the news talks about snow around here. (For those not around here, snow is maybe max of an inch. We are not New York. We just panic a wee bit.) Alright, fine, I’ll go with an increase in food prices. I’ve seen it though didn’t document it. I’ve only been doing that price sheet for a little while now. But if people buy lots of rice and flour and oil, what’s that do? Rice and flour goes bad after a while. I’m surprised there’s not a huge shortage of canned goods. That, I thought, lasts longer than rice. Maybe if the rice were sealed in smaller containers? It would make storage easier. Just. Odd.

But if there is a shortage coming on flour, rice and oil, then I should be fine here. I don’t cook rice that often. Flour is the Devil. And the oil I most prefer is olive oil. If I didn’t have that, then I would be a sad panda but I know oil will go rancid. I’m only cooking for one or two. I won’t use it quickly enough to do a run on Costco. I do not like the idea of those in poverty being even worse off. If staples are going to be too expensive to buy then what about silly things like vitamins or vegetables? Sigh.

This does poke the part of my brain that’s been churning the “I need to try a garden again” idea. I even saw in a recent article by the local paper about container fruit trees. My backyard isn’t ready for permanent trees yet. It still needs a new storage building and fencing.