In addition to trying to declutter the house in 2015, I’m also really trying to get out of my meal rut. For real. I know I’m tired of hearing myself say, ‘But NOW I’m REALLY going to cook more!’, so you probably are too. In the past few years, the only way I’ve been able to keep myself from falling back into the pattern of eating the same junk day after day has been to make meal plans. And now that I’ve got less time and focus for creating meals on the fly (THANKS A LOT, beautiful and perfect baby M), it just helps to have it written down, especially for the shopping side of things.
Right now, I have two full week plans, which I intend to alternate between, although I think I’ll make a third, just to space out how often meals get repeated. It’s just lunch and dinner that tend to stump me (as long as there’s SOMEthing I like for breakfast, I don’t really care what it is). M also winds up eating a lot of repetitive meals, and they’re not usually the same thing that I’m having, since I make healthier choices for her than for myself. But the meals I’ve come up with are mostly things she can eat, too. I keep waiting for the spell to break, but at the moment, she’s still pretty open to eating whatever I give her. (She’s a light eater, but not picky.)
There’s not much point in my posting the meal plan (it’s not interesting, and I don’t have actual recipes for any of it), but here are some of the meals from this week: tofu scramble, pasta bake, tomato soup with tortellini, veggie chili, salad with black beans and sweet potatoes, and then easy weekend stuff (grilled cheese, pizza, eggs and hashbrowns, tacos). Today, we had tofu scramble for lunch (with leftovers for tomorrow) and pasta for dinner (with leftovers to freeze). M’s pasta bake has sauteed bell pepper and grated carrot and cottage cheese mixed in with the sauce. Mine is just grated cheese and sauce.
I posted about tofu scramble on Facebook last week (I hadn’t thought about it in ages, and it turned out M loved it), and I got a couple of friends interested in how I make mine. I don’t usually measure stuff, but I kept track this time around. I pressed the tofu (one pack extra firm) in a cloth, in the fridge, overnight, although doing it earlier the same day is fine, too. About an hour before cooking, I mashed the tofu with a potato masher (so much easier than with a fork) and added:
– 2 Tbsp soy sauce
– 1.5 Tbsp nutritional yeast
– 1/2 tsp cumin
– 1/2 tsp chili powder
– 1/2 tsp onion powder
– 1/4 tsp turmeric
The turmeric makes the tofu yellow when it cooks. Tofu scramble is often meant to be a substitute for eggs (hence the ‘scramble’), and even though I don’t think of it that way at all, I still like adding the turmeric. I always cook my vegetables first. This time I used bell pepper, yellow zucchini, grated carrot, frozen corn, and black olives. I season and salt them as they cook. Cooking them first gets rid of extra water in the veggies, so your scramble won’t be soggy. Once the vegetables are done, I add the tofu and stir it all together in the pan. Then I let it sit for a bit without stirring, so it can brown a little bit on the bottom. I stir and repeat a few times, until the tofu is nicely cooked. This veggie combo made the scramble a little sweet in addition to being savory, but it was pretty good! I usually eat tofu scramble as-is, but it’s also really good in a tortilla with BBQ sauce (or probably any other condiment).
p.s. — M usually has a fruit/veggie pouch as an appetizer before lunch and dinner. For lunch, she ate all of the pouch, half her scramble, almost all the mandarin oranges, and three crackers. For dinner, she had another pouch and pretty much all the pasta I had put on her plate.
p.p.s. — Here is a before and after of our oven mitt / foil / etc. drawer. I didn’t have to take much out — just straightened it all a bit.