Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tofu Hot Diggity Dogs!

Sometimes vegetarians just want a damn hot dog.

So here you go, I've helped you get your fix. Pigs not included. It's a tofu hot dog with lots of flavor, great texture and even some protein, you protein freaks! I have seen this marinated carrot hot dog around the interwebs which sounds weirdly good but tofu is where it's at for me in this recipe. I like the tofu because when it's browned in the pan it created the kind of tension that a hot dog gives when it's bitten. Does that make sense to all you hot dog eaters?
Let's get to how we make this treat before I get myself into trouble. The best thing about Tofu is that it's the chameleon of the veggie protein world. It needs a coat of many colors to get it to taste like anything worth chewing. So in comes my fiesta of flavor in the form of a marinade (recipe at the end of this post).

Hello tofu, you look extra cardboard-y today. Let's have Marc cut you all up while I photograph your mutilation.

 We're looking for a hot dog shaped cut, so this block will equal 8 Tofu dogs. Cut into 4ths and cut each again,  thus making 8! Viola!

Just in case my words are confusing here are some more tofu chopping pictures...

Riveting. You can't find this on anyone else's blog folks.  Also Marc asks for you to forgive his mechanic hands, they're clean (I swear!).

After making your dogs, place them in some sort of device that will keep them covered in the marinade. We used two plastic sandwich bags. I had originally thought a shallow pan but I want these to be completely covered in the marinade on both sides, so no shallow pan. No. Just do what I say!

Ooo, pour, pour, pour.

Soak. Soak. Soak.

After marinating, sauté in a frying pan with cooking spray until all sides are browned. We want that texture of a hot dog, so make sure it's a nice super firm tofu!

Tofu Hot Diggity Dogs
16 oz Super Firm Tofu, cut into 8 rectangular pieces
cooking spray
 whole wheat hot dog buns
desired hot dog toppings
1/4 cup low sodium Soy Sauce
1/4 cup water
1.5 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 TBSP olive oil
 dash liquid smoke
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp dried ginger
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp granulated onion powder

Marinade cut tofu into sauce mixture. Allow to soak up flavor for 1 hour, up to 24 hours. Spray frying pan with cooking spray and cook marinated tofu on medium heat until all sides of tofu are browned. Place on buns and add toppings of choice.
Hot diggity, you've made a tofu dog!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

In Sickness and Health

this should about cover it folks. I was super sick this past week, and now I'm super stressed. Trying to find a happy medium but I've come to what I'm going to call "blog marriage testing". I want to keep you updated, but do I have the time to do so everyday? No. RIGHT NOW I SHOULD BE STUDYING FOR AN EXAM THAT'S GOING TO PILLAGE THE COUNTRY I CALL MY SANITY.

For now, I must test the limits of our bond. I have to try and reconfigure how often I can post and still feel like I haven't lost the connection to you, and my Three Squares. I've been taking pictures of meals but not having the time to upload and discuss. !?



Friday, September 12, 2014

Three Squares: Friday Escapades

Fridays are my work days, where I nanny a 4 year old. I start my day taking the older brother to kindergarten, make sure they eat breakfast and brush teeth. After that chaos is over it's like a "normal' play day at home with my youngest friend!

Here's my breakfast after chaos... hopefully you'll judge me on this meal instead of my dinner.... ok let's just say no judging at all haha!

Cashews, eggs, tomato breakfast

After breakfast it's keep little one busy so she doesn't ask for TV time, minimal TV on Czesia time. So we played "hide toys" and then...

Hide and seek! Here I am hiding behind a red curtain. I know you could see my pink socks-but she couldn't find me! I ended up laughing and then she found me with a "gotcha"!

Here she is hiding under the fabric lining of the couch haha! She's so funny! You can kind of see the outline of her pink pants.

Lunch was a waffle with peanut butter and walnuts, a delicious pear as well.

Dinner was a treat from my love. I didn't eat the donut, it was stale. The coffee is half caf for studying purposes. Normal DD Nummies.

Other news, I lost 5 pounds this week. I know, I know :) and I'm off to go study so I can ACE this test on Monday.
Nighty night!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Three Squares: "Deez Nutz"

Marc picked the blog title... He's really mature.

I'm writing this while snuggling cozily on the couch watching TV that requires no brain power. My day at the hospital was amazing, I learned so much. Especially from my last patient who was undergoing so many complicated problems. I'm just so grateful for my health right now.

Breakfast was on the run, half this container of cashews. By the way, Marc packed all my food day. I'm a lucky lady.

Lunch was one of the best ones I've had. I want to eat this every day. Yellow pepper, celery with peanut butter and dried cherries, hard boiled eggs with smoke paprika and pepper and those leftover cashews.

It's pizza night! Yay! Onion, green pepper and jalapeño. I'm pretty sure a glass of wine is calling my name now.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Three Squares: Quitting the Blog

Hello Faithful blog readers! I love it when you come out of the woods, so to speak, and announce yourselves. I really do in fact, one of my elementary school friends (yes we keep in contact!) told me she looks forward to the blog every day! YAY! Made my whole night, morning, afternoon and look I'm still talking about it. I would just be sitting here babbling to myself if it weren't for you. Thank you for dropping in.

School is ramping up. Poo. Today I woke up at 5 am to work on a large project, and have spent over six hours on it. I'm proud to say I just turned it in.... it's only a rough draft though, ouch. I'm going to be in pain when the full one is due next week. Anyway, I've digressed. With school ramping up means I have less tome to devote to the blog but this semester I am not going on hiatus. No. I refuse to quit. You will see why a little later. Ooo Foreshadowing?

Breakfast: Eggs, veggie breakfast sausage, kale, spinach and cheddar. So good! I love eggs, I want to eat them every day.

Lunch SUCKED, SO NOT GOOD. I think it was because I was just grabbing stuff in the fridge and pulling it out all "creatively".

..ooo this is good in salad, ooo this is also good in salad...

Baby Kale, tomato, mozzarella, kidney beans, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, sage, rosemary, avocado and strawberry vinaigrette. I'm blaming this weird kitchen sink mix on my fried brain last night when I made this.

After school I saw a hawk kill a squirrel! Can you see him try to pick him up?

The hawk is sitting on his prey, he's saying-  "my squirrel"!
Lately, with all of life's stress I want to try to remember that I'm not the only one who is experiencing my crazy life, schedule and work load. Marc is always there to cheer me on, so I wanted to do something for him "just because". So I went to the grocery store before picking him up from work (we carpool), and I bought popcorn, chocolate, dark lager and a card. Some of his favorites, there is nothing better than seeing his surprised smile! I have to remember to do things lake this more often. Everyone enjoys a surprise!
He shared with me!

After the popcorn, I really wanted a second bowl. Without thinking about it I poured myself one and Marc said, you have to take a picture of that for your blog and I paused. I didn't want to admit to you that I had a second bowl SO I DIDN'T EAT THE SECOND BOWL, I POURED IT BACK IN THE BAG! I'm proud of myself! Go me! I didn't need more popcorn, I didn't need more snacks. This was supposed to be a treat, especially for Marc! This is why my blog is so important for me to maintain, so I stay honest, and I am not quitting.
Marc made dinner! Love our agreement! He made the tofu hot dog recipe, radish and cottage cheese salad with green onion and mustard on the side. I swear the recipe is coming for the tofu hot dogs! I have all the pictures done! Hopefully this weekend.

I took this picture to show you what I look at when I write my blog posts, and do my homework. This is why I moved my desk to the window. I'm thankful and blessed to have a neighbor with gardening love.

I'm off to print out some work for school tomorrow and relax for the night, phew! See you all tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Three Squares: Zucchini Lasagna

Today was long, overwhelming at times and frankly, I was in a bad mood most of the day... for no good reason! At least my food was delicious! Breakfast: Hardboiled eggs, avocado and salsa. I loved this breakfast, and it kept me full all morning.

Lunch was when I was in my worst mood. I believe that unless you have a mental condition, it is important to remember that happiness is a choice- but today I chose not to try and be happy. I didn't want to, I wanted to wallow in it. Silly, but why stifle yourself if you're not hurting someone? It's a tricky slope but I think it's healthy to be in touch with your emotions, good or bad. 
I forgot to take a picture of my peppers and olives but I devoured it before I remembered! Those orange peppers were sweet and super crunchy.

The rest of my lunch was string cheese and nuts.

Marc made dinner!!!!! Spinach with strawberry vinaigrette and zucchini lasagna. The lasagna was made with zucchini instead of noodles and soy protein plus mushroom instead of beef. Duh, we're vegetarians lol.

Off to do more homework. Damn it.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Three Squares: "Not So" Manic Monday

Today was a pretty even keel day, not typical for the stereotypical Monday. I'll take it though! I got to be the passenger on the way to school today, which gave me the chance to watch the scenery and leisurely eat my breakfast.

This morning was cottage cheese and strawberries. I know a lot of people hate cottage cheese, I hated it until I got married! Marc loves it, so I gave it another try. It's pretty good!

My breakfast continued into class with some cashews. The picture is blurry because how weird is it to take pictures of your food when you're listening to a lecture?

After a walk, Ashleigh and I had lunch together. I forgot my phone and she let me use hers. I have to say I'm a bit jealous of the photo quality and I'm thankful for her technology on hand to show you lunch!

Today was exceptionally good. Green peppers, eggs with smoked paprika and pepper, and a nod to a cypress salad- tomato with mozzarella and rosemary.

Dinner was made by me... even though it's a Marc dinner night. I am trying to eat a little better and I just didn't want him to feel like he had to really cook. Plus he was feeling really sick today. He's not sick often so I take him seriously when he says he feels badly.
I made mustard crusted tofu (marinade is mustard, apple cider vinegar and maple syrup.... so good!), cucumber and mashed pumpkin with parmesan.

Chunk of 70% chocolate for dessert! Mmmhmm!

Off to watch Doomsday Preppers with Marc, snuggle time!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Three Squares: Rollercoaster Weekend

Don't you just love the weekend? I try really hard to love each day, no matter what my tasks are, but having that freedom of schedule is so nice. However, too much freedom of schedule can mess with my ability to make good decisions. It's a balance isn't it?

My weekend was a rollercoaster- of emotion, of busy-ness, of everything. However, I can say I'm really proud of my food choices and am so happy to be consistent with Three Squares.
Saturday morning breakfast consisted of plan Greek yogurt and blueberries (probably the last fresh of the season for me), eggs with sharp cheddar and salsa, and my "always" black iced coffee.
I have a class every other Saturday morning, it's about detective fiction (fun!), so after school I was hungrypants. I decided to COOK! How funny to allow yourself time to get down and dirty in the kitchen? I made the best stuffed green peppers of my life! Hands down! My peppers had soy protein, eggplant, mushroom, fresh tomato, garlic, mozzarella and marinara. I want to make these everyday!

So since they were the best damn stuffed peppers ever, I ate one for dinner as well.

Breakfast this morning was more yogurt, berries and some spicy peanuts. Black iced coffee is of course here as well.

Are you surprised to see another pepper, haha?! I couldn't help myself. I also had some scrambled egg with spinach, cheddar and salsa.

Dinner was had while we were out and about. I desperately wanted a desk that we could multi-purpose into a small dining table. So we searched a bazillion stores for one, as well as visited with family. We got pretty hungry so we stopped to eat dinner at Jimmy Johns. Their veggie sammie is good, but I wish they had some hummus to throw on it.  I had some salt and vinegar chips and a quarter of a cookie. I wanted more cookie but Marc ate only a quarter of the cookie in solidarity, so I could easily watch him throw it out. It made me tear up a bit to see him in my corner that way.

Here's my new desk set up (where I'm writing this now). I love it!!!!! It's the little things in life right?

Never in my life did I think I would like a glass anything.... but this is nice because my place is so small it doesn't take up too much room, or visual space. It's also the most PERFECT HEIGHT for my chair. I just need an inch under my feet to reach the floor (constant Czesia problem)

This is a good shot of my desk with Marc's desk. We can be "office" buddies now.

Off to see it there is some homework I can get my hands into.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Iced Coffee

I can't lie and say I'm not on the Pumpkin Spice bandwagon. I love pumpkin, I love spice, I love fall and everything that comes with it.
What don't I like? Chemically laden pumpkin coffees that won't do anything good for you, except give you a marginal caffeine buzz.
So without further ado, I give you true, unadulterated Pumpkin Spice Iced Coffee

Here are the ingredients for this simple treat that gives you a half serving of vegetables in an incredibly easy way! Don't worry, the recipe is on the bottom of this post!

Pure pumpkin, almond milk, pumpkin pie spices, vanilla and maple syrup get whirled up with an immersion blender. It creates a creamy base for your iced coffee.

Add your cooled coffee and blend, blend, blend.

Add your ice, a straw and enjoy your sipping experience. Finally a drink to feel good about!

Pumpkin Spice Iced Coffee
Serves 2
1/4 cup pure pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 cup almond milk
1/8th teaspoon each nutmeg & ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon maple syrup*
1 & 1/2 cup cooled black coffee
Iced cubes
Add the pumpkin, almond milk, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla and maple syrup and blend it to a creamy consistency.
Add the coffee and blend until incorporated. Pour over ice for you and a friend.
* Marc said this wasn't enough for his sugar tooth, I like strong coffee but add more at your discretion if you like sweeter drinks.