Root Pots & Maple-Glazed Tofu

What an incredible three-day weekend!  I’m so grateful to have a small break, and I’m only two weeks into the master’s program!

Yesterday I had planned to hike Haleakala crater with Ben and our good friend Zak, but as it turns out mother nature had other things planned for me.  Open to something different, I had my usual breakfast of steel cut oats and chocolate protein powder [+ some almond butter]… yum.  I’m a huge steel cut oats fan and make about 4 servings at a time so I have them on hand when I want them.  A great source of fiber, protein and carbs, I like to eat them before I teach my TurboKick classes.

As Ben and I sat at breakfast on the deck we realized that it needed a little extra lovin’.  My sister-in-law told me about these great “smart pots” while we were in Seattle, so we went to our local grow shop (Eco-Island Supply) to get a few.  These things are amazing!  They’re made from recycled material and allow for plants to grow without getting root-bound.  I mean seriously, my sister-in-law’s tomato plants grew to about 6-feet tall in a 15-gallon pot.  We left with six 8-gallon Root Pots which coincidentally come from Eugene :).

Just to show you what root-binding looks like (and our reasons for NEEDING these root pots):

Our mango tree and pineapple plant now have so much room for growth!

[This is how pineapple grows–although typically in fields.  Eventually a bulb will pop out from the center of the plant.  I know, I know… it doesn’t look like a pine tree or an apple tree.]

We also got some great new soil and got to plant more stuff up on the deck.  We still have our larger garden with chard, tomatoes, peppers, squash and broccoli at the bottom of our property, but truth be told it’s in serious need of lovin’.  I figure that with such a busy schedule it’ll be easier for me to handle a smaller garden up on our deck.

We’ve got lots of strawberries, kale, cilantro, basil, carrots, manoa lettuce, mesculin lettuce, eggplant and a few ornamental plants happily growing!

We got the house feeling really good and organized, ran a few errands, and then it was time to get ready for our social night.  First, my cousin and his family were visiting from ‘O’ahu so the family planned an early dinner together.  Later, we’d be going to a barbecue at the home of one of my best friends.  We haven’t seen anyone in a while since we’ve been off-island and I was so excited!

The hard part about going to dinner is that no one really knows what to feed me.  I consider myself pescatarian/selective omnivore but it would honestly be easier to explain myself as a vegetarian (it takes forever to explain just what I mean by ‘selective omnivore’).  I promised both parties I’d bring a dish so that (1) they–and I–didn’t have to worry about Ben and I being fed and (2) I could add some vegetables to the table.  I put together two dishes of maple-glazed tofu/shrimp with sauteed veggies and brown rice

.

I put on my newly-made earrings, and we were off!

We had a great time both with family and wonderful friends.  There’s nothing like being with loved ones to rekindle my inner flame!

Ben and I got home and decided that the night was just too perfect not to get on the hammock in a sleeping bag and watch the stars together.

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Maple-Glazed Tofu

Ingredients

1 12-ounce package firm tofu (drained and cut into slices)

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp hot sauce

1 tsp mustard (german or deli)

1 Tbsp maple syrup

To prep tofu : Place tofu slices between thick towel (or paper towels) and place a heavy skillet on top to press out liquid.  Let sit for at least 45 minutes in the fridge.  Cut each slice into small cubes.

Combine all ingredients and let the mixture settle into tofu for at least 5 minutes (ideally 25).

Heat frying pan on medium heat and spray a small amount of olive oil to lightly coat the bottom.

Place tofu evenly on frying pan in one layer.  Wait five minutes then flip them over until all sides are brown.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts [one serving]

Calories 83 • Fat 3g Sodium 42mg • Carbs 7g • Fiber 2g • Sugar 3g • Protein 13g

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