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Thursday, September 23, 2010

First recipe!


Back by popular demand! Our sesame honey butter tops our all natural chicken breasts marinated in a scrumptious blend of sweet sesame, ginger and garlic for a punch of flavor. This moist golden brown chicken is ready in just 15 minutes and is bursting with flavor.

So, when you get through the fancy terms you see sesame honey butter on top of chicken breast that was marinaded in a sesame, ginger and garlic sauce. Pshaw, easy!

Here is a recipe for the chicken.

4 boneless & skinless chicken breasts
3 garlic cloves peeled & crushed
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 Tbsp fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
4 medium green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
4-6 sprigs fresh cilantro, rinsed and dried
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Combine the soy sauce, garlic, vinegar, honey, ginger, onions, sesame oil and optional sesame seeds to make a marinade. Pour the marinade into a large plastic zipper baggie. Add the chicken breasts to the baggie, squeeze out the excess air and seal. Transfer the baggie to the refrigerator and allow the chicken to marinate for 3 to 4 hours.

Prepare a grill or grill pan by spraying with a bit of canola cooking spray, then get it very hot. Pick the cilantro leaves off the stems and set aside. Remove chicken from the marinade. Broil or grill 3 to 4 minutes per side, until it is tender and fully cooked. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve.

Here is the recipe for the butter.

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil*
3 teaspoons lightly toasted sesame seeds† (or a mix of black and white sesame seeds)
*Use toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds to bump up the sesame flavor.

†To toast sesame seeds, place seeds in a single layer on an ungreased, shallow pan. Bake at 350°F for 5 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to cool.


Place the butter in a medium mixing bowl and, with an electric mixer (fitted with the paddle) or wooden spoon, beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides.
Add the honey, sesame oil and sesame seeds and beat to incorporate, scraping down the sides. Taste for salt.
Scrape into a small bowl, serving crock or butter molds and cover tightly; or shape into a long roll in grease-proof paper (plastic, wax or parchment) for storing and slicing as needed.

Ok, don't let the times listed on the sites freak you out. If you're planning your menu for the week and doing prep ahead of time, you can prepare the marinade and put it in a baggie with the chicken ahead of time. It can hang out in the marinade in the freezer and then when it's thawing. The butter is super easy to make, but if you're going for a lighter dish, you can easily leave it off. I'm going to be trying this in the next few days to test out the recipes.

A thought on where to take the blog

A friend of mine had told me that this local business that supplies food for dinner was a great value. I trusted her opinion and we placed an order for carne asada and something they called "Pacific Rim chicken". We paid $40 for it and when I saw how much we got, I was upset. It was barely enough for dinner and a lunch leftover in both bags. The beef was sliced, making it hard to grill (even though that was the method of cooking they recommended), they were really heavy handed with the cilantro and the tortillas they provided were awful. The fact that the beef was sliced in the manner it was told me that the beef they used was a cheaper cut of meat, so they cut it for their customers to make sure no one cut it wrong (because cutting skirt steak, flank steak, and cuts of that nature the wrong way makes it really chewy.) It was $20 for just marinaded meat and bad tortillas. I was peeved to say the least.

I gave them one last chance with the Pacific Rim chicken. Pacific Rim chicken is not good! It tasted like teriyaki chicken, which to be quite honest is a breeze to make simply (Kikkoman teriyaki, the runny kind, in a baggie with chicken for 30 minutes, then cook, all done!) The sugar content in the marinade was through the roof, and to cook the chicken until it was done (ie, so it was safe for consumption!) it burned the crap out of a nonstick skillet I had. Notice, I said HAD! After a week of soaking, scrubbing, and bitching, I finally threw it away.

Needless to say, I'm not going back to this place. I can get marinaded meat anywhere around town for a fraction of the cost of what I paid at this place. A lot of places offer free marinades for meat you buy, and it's really not that hard to whip up a marinade. Maybe it was my fault for picking 2 things that were seriously simple to make, but if you can't do simple properly, then you have issues.

I've looked at the different menus of businesses that are of the same model (come pick up premade freezer meals and/or make them yourself) and I have to say that a lot of the dishes are super simple to make, or would take a few minutes on google to find a good recipe that would work for you. I've made copies of these menus for myself (not naming any names!) and I'm going to share recipes on how to make them yourself. Save yourself some money! Get comfortable in the kitchen!

Red snapper baked Alaska style and Vichy carrots

Here is the recipe for the snapper.

2 tablespoons butter
2 pounds red snapper fillets
salt and white pepper to taste
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
3 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Spread butter into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange fish fillets in a single layer over the bottom of the pan, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake for about 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Meanwhile, whip egg whites in a clean dry bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold in the parsley, mustard and tarragon. Spread the egg white mixture over the fish in a layer about 1 inch thick. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top.

Return to the oven, and bake for about 6 more minutes, or until meringue is golden, and fish flakes with a fork.

Here is the recipe for the carrots.

2 pounds carrots
4 tablespoons butter
Kosher salt
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar
Handful chopped fresh parsley sprigs

Slice the carrots into coins. Put them in a saute pan with the butter, salt, sugar, and 1 cup water. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the carrots are tender and the liquid has reduced to a glaze. Scatter over the parsley, and serve.

Ok, where do I begin in this review? Well, the carrots, basically, waste of butter. Seriously. The recipe just wasn't good and it left a residue on my plate that was unappealing. The fish was interesting, but Kevin hated the meringue on top. The girls were stealing it, so it might be a fun way to make eggs for the girls in the future, but I won't be trotting out this dish again.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Update time!

I didn't get a picture on Sunday but I'm down almost 3 lbs, so yay! I've been going to the gym and working out on the elliptical every day this week for an hour, except for today. I was just feeling blah and didn't want to do much of anything. Oddly enough, last week I felt the same way on Thursday. Hopefully next Thursday I won't be feeling blah too.

Last night I made a very tasty spiced shrimp recipe which was so simple! The recipe also had a papaya salsa that went with it, but Emily is the only one in our family that likes papaya, and she wouldn't be eating spicy shrimp anyway, so it seemed like a waste of money to make that part of the recipe. I got the recipe from an old Weight Watchers recipe book, but I figured even if things had changed, it's still a good recipe because it's shrimp and spices, nothing else (except some Pam.)

Here's the recipe:

1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried thyme (I used ground because that's what I have)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne (I used 1/4 tsp chipotle peppers and it was spicy!)
1 1/4 lbs large shrimp, peeled (tails left on) and deveined (I took the tails off)
(I left this out, but I'm including it in case it sounds tasty to you!)
2 cubes cubed papaya
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 lime, peeled and diced

Spray a grill basket or the broiler rack with canola oil nonstick spray; prepare the grill or preheat the broiler. Combine the paprika, thyme, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a zip-close plastic bag; add the shrimp. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag; shake to coat the shrimp.

Meanwhile, combine the papaya, scallions, and lime in a small bowl; set aside.

Grill the shrimp in the basket or broil the shrimp 6 inches from the heat until just opaque in the center, about 3 minutes on each side. Serve with salsa on the side.

I didn't use my broiler, I just did it in a frying pan. I was using cooked shrimp, so 2 minutes in the skillet was enough. I served it with rice, peas, and a salad. The shrimp was a 2 pound bag, so I split it and made some with garlic salt for the girls, they are very anti spicy!

Best of all, there's leftovers!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Amazing tip I just got from Daisy Cooks!

When making things with clams, put them in salt water with some corn meal in it. She said that the clams will eat the corn meal and spit out the sand, so you don't have sand in your dish. This is a pet peeve of mine, so I'm definitely going to try this in the future!

Moroccan chicken

I love trying new dishes (obviously!) and this one seemed like a nice stewed chicken dish with lots of sauce to put over tasty couscous. If you haven't tried couscous yet, it's super simple to make. You can buy it by the ounce at Sprouts for very cheap, and it's quick to make. You use 1 part couscous and 2 parts of water/stock/broth. You bring boil the liquid, add the couscous, make sure it's all in the liquid, turn off the heat, put the cover on, and leave it alone for 5 minutes. You can then fluff it with a fork and it's good to go. It's great for a quick snack or a side dish when you realize that you forgot to make something (or the kids are still hungry!) It's one of the best grain dishes to use, containing protein and more vitamins than pasta and rice.

Here is the recipe.

4 chicken leg quarters, skinned
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into chunks
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
2 medium carrots, cut into chunks
1 cup canned chick-peas, drained
1/2 cup golden raisin
2 cinnamon sticks
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
5 cups water
2 medium zucchini, cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups couscous

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, place olive oil over high heat. Add chicken and cook about 10 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.

Stir in onion, garlic, ginger, carrots, chickpeas, raisins, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, and water. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cook about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile make couscous according to directions on package and divide among 4 serving bowls and set aside.

Stir in zucchini to the chicken in the pot, and cook about 10 minutes more. Remove cinnamon sticks and add salt and pepper. Serve chicken over the couscous with sauce spooned over.

I made some changes to this dish. I knew my husband wouldn't eat it if it had raisins in it, so those weren't added. The chicken leg quarters didn't thaw in time, so we ran to the store and got some chicken thighs to use instead (because we couldn't find chicken leg quarters.) I pretty much did the rest of the recipe as it's written, using my vegetable bouillon to make the couscous (seriously, make the bouillon, there are so many applications for it, and it's nice to have in the freezer when you need stock or broth and realize you have none!)

Here is a picture of it:

The changes that I would make in the future would be to leave the zucchini and chickpeas out (per the hubby's request), and use boneless skinless chicken breast, so that we don't have to worry about skin sticking to my pan! Other than that, it's a tasty dish. My 5 year old loved it, and my 2 year old ate it without complaining, so win for me!

Tasty steak marinade

At the beginning of September I went to a bunch of the stores having meat sales and stocked up. I think I spent about $150 and got a month's worth of meat hanging out in my chest freezer (which is full, yay!) I was looking for different ways to make the meat, even though the hubby would love it if we just grilled it with some spices and served it with rice and a vegetable. I'm not down with that! I found this recipe and I used it on a ribeye (because Kevin didn't want to dig around to get the sirloin!) He was worried he wouldn't like the steak, so he took out 2 and asked me to only marinade one. Sure, no problem, but you're seasoning the other steak. I followed this recipe for the marinade and it was super tasty.

1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
2 (5 ounce) boneless beef sirloin steaks
3 green onions, sliced

In a blender, combine the honey, soy sauce, oil, vinegar, garlic and pepper; cover and process until blended. Pour 1/3 cup marinade into a large resealable plastic bag; add steaks and onions. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade for basting.

Coat grill rack with nonstick cooking spray before starting the grill. Drain and discard marinade. Grill steaks until they're done to your liking.

I used my indoor grill for this, and it doesn't have a cover, so I couldn't follow the recipe exactly, and I didn't baste it, but that wasn't an issue because it was juicy and flavorful!

Here's a picture of the steaks. Top is not marinaded, bottom is.

The best part is that Kevin liked the marinade! The simple seasoned and grilled steak was forgotten, poor thing. He ate it for lunch later in the week (as did we, we're really trying to focus on our portion sizes, so most of the time a single steak will be a meal for the 4 of us.) The marinade really helped get those lovely grill marks that people look for, more so than the simple seasoned one.

Tomato Curry Lentil Stew

Every week I try to make a soup. It's a nice quick lunch when we're busy, it's something Kevin can take to work if we don't have leftovers from the night before, and they're filling and generally inexpensive. I actually made this recipe when I made the masoor dal, in case it wasn't filling enough. No one else ate it but me that night, and in the days since I can say that this is definitely a make ahead dish. It has gotten MUCH better while hanging out in my fridge!

Here is the recipe.

1-1/2 cups dry lentils
3 cups water
15 ounces stewed tomatoes
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons chopped onion
6 stalks celery, chopped, with leaves
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
9 cloves garlic, minced
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

Combine lentils and water, bring to a boil.
Lower heat to simmer, add tomatoes, onion, and celery. Cover and let simmer 45 minutes. Check every 15 minutes to stir, and add water if necessary. Add spices last 15 minutes to taste. Taste and re-spice if necessary before serving.

I like because they have the option of changing the number of servings and they give you an altered recipe. It really takes the guess work out of it, which is fantastic. I made this recipe with 6 servings, so that I could buy a 15 oz can of stewed tomatoes (I hate recipes that only call for 1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste when the smallest can you can buy is 4 or 6 ounces!) Anyway, I probably wouldn't use stewed tomatoes again, they're basically whole tomatoes that have been stewed, so you have some really big unwieldy blobs of tomato hanging out in your soup. I'm not a fan of needing to cut your soup (unless it's matzo ball soup!) so I'd probably substitute a can of diced tomatoes. I added about a cup of water at the 15 and 30 minute mark as well.

This is a tasty soup, and with the few changes I've mentioned, I think it's a real winner for a make ahead soup. The recipe was really cheap to make, and for those on WIC, this is a great way to use the dried beans you get (and the beauty of lentils are that they don't need to be soaked overnight!)

Masoor Dal

A friend of mine was telling me that incorporating a vegetarian meal at least once a week into her menu has helped cut her grocery costs. I think that's awesome, and I'd heard of "Meatless Monday" in the past. I love Indian food, and it's hard to get the family on board when we're looking for somewhere to go out to eat (they NEVER want to go!) so I decided to take matters into my own hands and make some at home. My husband likes lentil soup, so I figured this would be a fantastic recipe to try because there's nothing in it that he doesn't like (except for ginger, but tumeric is a heavy spice, so I figured it would blend in.)

I went to Sprouts and got the tumeric and cumin seeds by the ounce. I think it cost me like 30 cents for the spices, and I had much more than I needed.

Here is the recipe.

1 cup red lentils
1 slice ginger, 1 inch piece, peeled
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 teaspoons dried minced onion
1 teaspoon cumin seeds

Rinse lentils thoroughly and place in a medium saucepan along with ginger, turmeric, salt and cayenne pepper. Cover with about 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam that forms on top of the lentils. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender and soupy.

Meanwhile, in a microwave safe dish combine oil, dried onion and cumin seeds. Microwave on high for 45 seconds to 1 minute; be sure to brown, but not burn, onions. Stir into lentil mixture.

Again, I did a variation on the recipe. Looking at the reviews, someone said it's better to use fresh onion (I wasn't about to buy dried onion just for this, even though I could get it by the ounce) and I'd NEVER heard of anything browning properly in the microwave, so I browned the onion and garlic in the oil on the stove while the lentils were doing their thing. The recipe had great flavor and only my 2 year old refused to eat it (she just wanted to eat rice.) My 5 year old LOVED it, and my husband liked it, so I call it a win. The lentils can be bought by the ounce as well, and I think it was only $2 for the lentils I needed for the recipe (note, the recipe yields only 4 small servings, but can be altered on the page, they do all the work for you, yay! I highly recommend making more, it was very tasty.)

Obviously I served it over rice. It doesn't look like much, but it packs a lot of flavor. The great thing about lentils is that they're one of the highest vegetarian forms of iron, and when paired with rice, they make a complete protein dish. In short, this dish is tasty, easy on the wallet, AND good for you!

Jalapeno poppers!

I found this recipe for yellow peppers stuffed with quinoa, corn, and feta cheese and wanted to try it. While grocery shopping at Fresh & Easy, I saw they only had a big bag of jalapenos as opposed to selling them by the piece. I grabbed the bag and some neufchatel cheese, and figured I'd make baked jalapeno poppers. We had some that were lackluster from Buffalo Wings and Rings the night before, and I figured I couldn't do much worse! My husband talks about these poppers that the wife of a coworker from a previous unit (5+ years ago!) made, and I was a little jealous to be honest. If he's going to be talking about someone's poppers, I want them to be mine, dang it! I tried 2 different recipes, one mixing cheddar cheese, cream cheese, garlic, and paprika, and the other just straight cream cheese. Both are wrapped in delicious bacon, I highly recommend getting nitrate free bacon, this way you can feel super good about your choice to nosh on deliciousness.

Recipe #1

5 large jalapenos (or more if they're smaller)
1/2 c cream cheese
1 c shredded cheddar
1 t salt
pinch of pepper
3/4 t smoked paprika
1 clove garlic, crushed
5 slices bacon

So, I don't think I ever really follow recipes exactly. Between a picky husband and kids, and my love of garlic, I'm always making changes. In this one, I used neufchatel cheese in place of cream cheese (in a fruitless attempt to make them better for me, heh!) and used about 5 cloves of garlic. Don't worry, it's not too much! Basically, this puppy is easy, I cut the tops off the jalapenos, slit it down the middle, and scraped out the membranes and seeds. I mixed the cream cheese, shredded cheese, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic all together, then stuffed those bad boys. I would recommend you not stuff them too much, a lot of it ended up on my baking sheet, which really sucked, even though I tried hard not to stuff them too much. You wrap them in bacon, and keep it in place with a toothpick.

I took this picture while Kevin was taking them off the roaster (so the bacon fat would have somewhere to go!) I followed the recipe's guidelines, and it wasn't enough time. It was all pale and not so tasty, the bacon was stretchy and blech. We popped them back in the oven for another 10 minutes at 375, I would say a MINIMUM of 30 minutes in the oven.

Recipe #2

Now, this recipe is super simple. Cut the jalapenos in half, scoop out it's guts, fill with cream cheese and wrap with 1/3 of a strip of bacon then secure with a toothpick. Again, we followed the directions on the recipe for cooking time, and they came out much better.

Excuse the messy plate, but as you can see the bacon is much crisper looking. This was tasty, but we were missing the flavor of the first one.

Side by side pic


I would follow recipe # 1, but use a longer cooking time, and add way more than the 4 garlic cloves that I added (but then again, I love garlic!) If you're doing it for a game day situation, I'd do the recipe #2 situation (1/2 a pepper wrapped in 1/3 slice of bacon) to help stretch ingredients, but still use the filling recipe from recipe #1.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tomatillo Avocado Salsa

I'm planning on having a jewelry party sometime in November and like a total food minded person, I'm already scanning my magazines for tasty noms for the party! Last time I had Wheat Thins Tuscan Herb flatbread crackers (OH MY GOSH! So tasty and NO HFCS or hydrogenated oils, only problem is the commissary stopped carrying them!), some alouette brand spinach and artichoke cheese spread, sliced cucumber and carrots, homemade mango salsa (don't ask for the recipe, my friend made it and she's not sharing it unfortunately) and tortilla chips and salsa from the local Mexican market. The spread cost less than $20, and everyone loved everything. This time I wanted to make more of it myself since we won't have guests this time around and I can devote a little more time to cooking or preparing food.

Anyway, I got this recipe from Diet & Nutrition magazine, which is a pretty amazing magazine if you've never heard of it. I made a half batch of this recipe and gobbled it down all by myself. I didn't use the cilantro or the cumin seeds, though next time I make it I'll have to give it a shot!

8 oz tomatillos, papery husks removed, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 1/2 avocados, pitted, peeled, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
3 scallions, white and light green parts only, minced
1 jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded if you wish (a must if you don't like it too spicy), and minced
3 tbsp minced cilantro leaves
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground toasted cumin seeds (optional)
1 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil

To make the salsa, combine all the ingredients except the vinegar and oil in a bowl. Mix well but gently, taking care not to mash the avocado. Whisk together the vinegar and oil until emulsified, and add just enough of this to the salsa to moisten it. Reserve any leftover vinaigrette to use in other salad dressings.

Here is a picture of the finished product:

Now, on to the menu. I'm thinking of getting tortilla chips from the Mexican market, serving this, mango quesadillas, and chicken tortilla soup. Any thoughts on the menu?


The Thrifty Mama is giving away 4 copies of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred! If you want instant gratification, it is on sale on Amazon for $8.49, it's eligible for Super Saver shipping, and if you order it now, you can get it in time to join in the fun of the 30 day shred going on with other bloggers.

I haven't been the best blogger, but this month I'm going to try to join in on the blogging fun, so starting Monday I will be definitely posting more often!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

So, it's been awhile

Summer has been pretty busy for us. My husband has basically been working nonstop, which means little break for moi. Food has been pretty rudimentary, simple grilled protein, rice, and veggies for the most part. I have had a chance to try a few new recipes and I'm very eager to share them with you :)

First, we have cashew noodles with tofu and broccoli. I got this recipe from a Whole Foods "The whole deal" coupon book. I don't go to Whole Foods all that often, but I do know that they have some fantastic recipes in them, and I wish I had found out sooner that they have budget friendly recipes online. Click here for the link. Here's the recipe:

Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 large head organic broccoli, stemmed and cut into small florets
3/4 lb 365 Everyday Value Wide or Extra Wide Enriched Egg Noodles
3 tbsp 365 Everyday Value Organic Ginger Soy Vinaigrette, divided
3/4 c roasted, unsalted cashews
1 8-oz pkg Thai or Teriyaki baked tofu, cut into 1" cubes

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add broccoli and cook until al dente, 3-4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer broccoli to a large plate; set aside. Return water to a boil; add noodles and cook until al dente, 7-8 minutes; drain well. Meanwhile, put vinaigrette, cashews and 1/2 cup water into a blender and puree until smooth. Return hot noodles to pot along with cashew mixture, broccoli and tofu and cook over medium heat, tossing gently, until heated through, 1-2 minutes more; transfer to bowls and serve.

Serves 4, $2.77 per serving.

Ok, I'm going to confess right off the bat, I didn't follow the recipe exactly. First of all, I didn't drive all the way across town to get their specific noodles and vinaigrette. I got Drew's brand soy ginger dressing and marinade. I baked my own tofu because I couldn't find it. Sometimes I get myself into situations where I don't think something is too hard and then find myself up to my eyeballs in trouble. This wasn't the case, luckily. I took a pound of extra firm tofu, cut it into slices, and marinaded it in a mixture of 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tsp yellow mustard, 1 tbsp minced garlic, 1 tsp ginger (I used the dried powdered ginger from the spice aisle, would probably taste awesome with fresh!) for 30 minutes, flipping it over at 15 minutes. I baked it at 350 for about 80 minutes, flipping it every 20 minutes until it got to the texture I liked. This is subjective, and I recommend doing a test batch, but I love baked tofu and will definitely be making this more often.

I didn't like that the recipe has you basically discard the stems of the broccoli. I like to peel it with a potato peeler and slice it into coins, I also peel the stems of the florets, it takes away the tough texture and makes the broccoli a nice soft texture. In a practical area as well, I find it greatly diminishes the likelihood of broccoli farts. I did this while the tofu was baking.

Anywho, I boiled the broccoli, then the noodles. I added the broccoli to the noodles in the big pot I boiled the noodles in. I added the dressing to taste, and when the tofu was done I cut it up into smaller bits and added it. The cashews I sprinkled on top as I wanted (seriously, why get the blender dirty too?) The kids didn't like it very much, and the hubby refused to eat it. For once I was happy with their pickiness, more for me! Here's a picture of the finished product:

There are some more recipes that I've tried that I'll be sharing with you very shortly, but time is short right now, so I've got to go!