Something for Everyone Salad

This tofu salad is one of our “go-to” meals.  I know what you’re thinking: Tofu?  Ew.  Salad?  For dinner?  It won’t fill me up.  Tofu AND salad?  My toddler won’t touch it.  But I am going to try and dispel these myths!

The goat cheese makes it filling.  The nuts and cooked tofu are cooked in a way that makes them very palatable, even for a non-tofu lover.  Julian loves this salad – actually, he invented it.  This is a guy who once threw up when I put tofu in a smoothie for him. And even though I still can’t get P to eat “leaves”, he does dig out enough nuts, goat cheese and tofu to fill himself up. M likes tofu too – and what’s not to like really? It absorbs flavour from elsewhere and it’s a nice way to go protein into a baby who doesn’t yet eat much meat. Plus, despite the non-leaf eating, I’m convinced that repeated exposure will eventually lead to him eating some.

So you’ll need:

Mixed greens
Walnuts (or pecans, or any other nut you like)
a tiny bit of butter (a teaspoon maybe?)
1 tbsp Brown sugar
One package of extra firm tofu
1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
A small log of goat cheese (herbed if you like!)
Olive Oil

Cut the tofu into bite size pieces. Soak them in a small bowl with olive oil and vinegar – about a tablespoon of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of olive oil should be sufficient. Make sure all the pieces are coated and then stirfry them over the stove on medium heat until they’re a bit crispy – I find it takes about 10 minutes. At the same time, cook the nuts in a pan with a little bit of butter and brown sugar to caramelize them; use low heat and just a few minutes should be enough. Watch them carefully as nuts can burn easily.

Allow the ingredients to cool for a few minutes and then throw them into your salad. Crumble the goat cheese in as well and mix it up all up well. Presto, finito – serve.

Super Easy Tomato Sauce

Now that my return to work is imminent, I am starting to think about meal-planning.  I’ve so enjoyed having time to cook lots of meals while I’ve been on maternity leave.  While pregnant, I suffered from evening sickness for most of the pregnancy, so J did the lion’s share of the cooking.  But during the last eight months I’ve really gotten to “know” the kitchen again.  Last night I had a nice meal planned, but realised I’d forgotten to buy a key ingredient.  I happened to notice a tomato sauce recipe on Smitten Kitchen. The ingredient list was so simple that even I, in my grocery delinquency, had all ingredients on hand.  It’s a perfect weeknight recipe, when you’re also dashing out of the kitchen to fold laundry or tend to a snotty baby.

Time needed: 45 minutes

You need:
Spaghetti (or other pasta)
28-oz tin of whole plum tomatoes
5 tbsp of butter
one onion
parmesan cheese (optional, but recommended)

Put the tin of tomatoes and butter in a pan.  Slice the onion in half and peel it, and throw it in.  Let the mixture simmer away, stirring occasonally to break up the tomatoes.  When you only have 15 or 20 minutes left, begin making the
pasta and grating the cheese.  Once the sauce has simmered for 45 minutes, remove the onion and serve the sauce over the pasta.
Sprinkle some cheese on top if desired.  Salt to taste.  That’s it!

I was skeptical, but even J, who loves his seasonings, really liked it and was astonished there was nothing else in it.

In my quest to eat something green or something orange every night, I also served it with some lightly steamed broccoli and carrots on the side.