Thursday, March 28, 2013

Eating Clean - Italian Style Tofu

Good Evening Kittens!

As you've probably ascertained, the Birthday Extravaganza Month of March deterred me significantly from the clean eating of the previous month and a half.  I thought I'd established some enviable eating habits...and I had (emphasis on the past tense).  Unfortunately, there was far too much fun being had and it all went by the wayside as those habits weren't nearly as deeply ingrained as I thought they were.  So...the continuous celebrations are over and it's time to get back to business!

This week, I adopted those healthy habits once again.  I don't foresee any reason as to why I can't make them stick this time!  And the difference in how I felt while NOT eating well is more than enough incentive for me to not allow myself to fall from grace any time soon.  On Monday, I wanted to use the produce in my fridge that I was going to have to toss soon...which meant Egg Bake!  It's such a great way to use up produce.  And tonight I made one of my favorites - my Italian Style Tofu.  I created this recipe a few years back when I was doing a liver detox that a friend of mine recommended to me.  The restrictions of this detox are pretty standard - no white flour, no white sugar, no caffeine, no dairy, no red meat, no alcohol.  In essence...how we should all be eating regularly.  I've been striving to establish habits that are a combination of these guidelines and The Mediterranean/Sonoma Diet as much as possible and the recipe below was my first foray into creating an actual dish that was detox friendly.

Now, you can only do so much...and while I've removed most processed items from my diet, there will always be something that can be pointed out that you are not doing perfectly.  I know in this case we can point to the canned tomatoes.  I am starting to hear more and more about canned items with a high acid content (tomatoes most definitely fall into this category) and how undesirable it is to consume them (some say in large quantities and others say in ANY quantity).  Unfortunately, unless you are ordering online or going to specialty stores, the boxed or jarred tomatoes are hard to come by and can be quite expensive, so I'm choosing to use my canned tomatoes as quickly as possible after purchase to avoid them sitting in the can for too long.  I was disgusted when I learned that most brands of canned tomatoes are peeled using lye and other chemicals, so I feel that I'm at least avoiding that by buying the Hunts brand as they are preservative-free and are peeled using steam.  It really is daunting when you start to research all the shit that's in your food...everything that's hiding from you.  Also, tofu itself has come under scrutiny, so make sure to purchase organic and avoid consuming too frequently.  So essentially, you just need to start making small changes and do your best.

Alright...now onto dinner!

INGREDIENTS:
-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-1 large onion, chopped
-1 tablespoon minced garlic
-2 14-ounce cans basil, garlic, and oregano diced tomatoes
-1 package organic extra-firm tofu, cubed (I prefer to buy a block and cube it myself)
-garlic salt
-Italian seasoning


1. In a large pan, place the oil and onions.  Cook over medium-low heat until softened and add garlic.


2.  Add tofu and season liberally with garlic salt.


3.  Continue to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the tofu has absorbed the flavor of the onion and garlic and begins to brown slightly.  I have found that the organic tofu is less dense than non-organic, so be careful not to decimate the cubes.


4.  Add the tomatoes - do not drain, you want the juice.  Simmer at least 10 minutes so that the tofu also absorbs more flavor.  (I have this dish with brown rice and it's at this point in the process that I put the rice on.  I cook the tofu until the rice is ready.)


5.  Season with garlic salt and Italian seasoning.


I LOVE this with steamed broccoli, most likely because of the crunch it provides to the plate.  This meal is delicious, simple, and fits within the detox guidelines.

Bon App├ętit, Kittens!
XOXO!!

2 comments:

  1. This is PERFECT! I have all these ingredients in my fridge right now and I was wondering what the heck I was going to cook for dinner tonight.

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    Replies
    1. Fantastic! Let me know what you think. The key here is cooking long enough that your tofu becomes as flavorful as possible. Cook low and slow as long as your patience allows.
      XOXO

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