If I’m going to fall off the face of the earth for a bit, I might as well come back with a bang! This recipe is exactly that “bang” quality, but I’ll get to that in a minute. In the last post, I alluded to having been a wee bit busy in the last few weeks, yet at the same time I feel like I’ve had more crazy going on in my life at once that I have recently. However, there’s been a lot of time spent away from home and from cooking, so it’s wonderful to feel grounded back into a routine of some variety. Will started classes last week and really went into full swing on Sept. 1, which has allowed us to actually set some sort of schedule again. All of my work activities are about to kick off with the return of students and the beginning of the academic year, and life will truly be in full swing, particularly between now and mid-October, when the Homecoming storm hits. Preemptive apologies for disappearing the first few weeks of October – I’ll try to prep well.
In our time away, we mentioned previously that we traveled to Floyd, VA to attend a music festival called FloydFest with Will’s parents. Well we headed back down to their property again this weekend so I could attend one day of Floyd Yoga Jam. I ran into some dear friends from my yoga teacher training session and got to spend some time soaking in all the good vibes in the appropriately named “Blissland.” I spent about 13 hours on the site of the Yoga Jam, but I could have easily stayed in that joyful place for a much much longer period of time. I attended asana workshops, meditation/presence practices, new yoga styles, watched some hoops, and ended the day with the most invigorating yin practice I’ve had, due to the music bleeding over from Jamland. I got to practice and share moments with one of my friends, practicing a level of trust and vulnerability that only a safe space like a yoga community could offer. I left the day feeling cleansed of all the negativity happening in my life and ready to tackle whatever comes my way with an open heart. Call it hippy-dippy bullshit if you may, but I challenge you to do a full day of yoga practice (asana and non-asana) and not come away feeling totally high on the beauty of life.
The next morning, we woke up to a light rainfall on the property and drove into town for a good ol’ down-home breakfast, to prepare for the days activities. We then drove up to the Blue Ridge Parkway and started off on a six-hour, 11-mile strenuous hike through the mountains. We encountered challenging rocky terrain, steep inclines and still managed to beat the thunderstorm that began precisely at 4 PM, just as we were in sight of our car. Though exhausted and in a fair amount of physical pain, I am happy to say that I joined Will in accomplishing that trail for my first time and his third. We then downed a huge Mexican dinner before hitting the road home.
You would think the adventure would end there, but nooooo. While at a rest stop near Charlottesville, we planned to switch off drivers. Unfortunately for Will, I spotted a beautiful pure-white cat wandering around the parking lot. After very calmly trying to approach and entice it, a fellow crazy cat lady who works at the SPCA in Richmond came to my assistance in trying to lure this kitty out of the very weedy bushes. Her boyfriend and Will did their best to indulge us in trying to catch this cat and Will and I even tromped through 5′ high weeds (I know because they were about my height…) to try to capture this poor baby. After calling VDOT and the state troopers (who promised) to come, after an hour the four of us just couldn’t wait any longer. We had lost sight of the cat in the bushes and decided it did not want to be found, despite looking fairly clean, young and healthy for a random cat at a pretty desolate rest area. It’s on my list to follow up with a local animal control/shelter in that area to see if anyone ever did come catch the cat. It just broke my heart to leave that baby behind in the bushes, but if a cat doesn’t want to be found, it won’t let you find it.
Needless to say, it was a wonderfully eventful weekend and I was happy to have Monday off to play some catch up, including working on the blog! I discovered I had not yet blogged about this recipe, which is a great tragedy to the world because it is one of the better things I have ever made. I made this recipe, as evidenced by this (—>) text message to Will about how to make brown rice. Yes, I really don’t remember how long to cook rice. And yes, I forget that I write a blog that would be useful to reference when I can’t remember things like how long brown rice cooks. We don’t judge on this blog. Anywho, if you’re not a tofu person, this may be the best way to try it out and introduce yourself to the meat-substitute. The sauce crisps the tofu absolutely perfectly and the crunch of the veggies is pretty hard to beat. We ate this for days and I would happily eat it over and over again.
Cooking Notes: I used green beans instead of asparagus and included extra green beans. I only had regular rice vinegar, while the recipe calls for rice wine vinegar. I also elected not to use the wok, even though it is listed as an optional suggestion.
Honey Ginger Tofu Stirfry (serves 6-8)
1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
2 tbsp canola oil
14 oz. extra firm tofu
3 cups chopped green beans
2 cups shredded carrots
3 green onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp fresh ginger
2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
Begin by removing tofu from packaging place on a plate lined with a paper towel. Place another small plate on top of the tofu and place something heavy on top, to press all of the excess liquid out. Allow to sit for 30 minutes and let the liquid collect on the bottom plate.
Begin to cook the brown rice according to package directions (40 minutes-ish!!). Once tofu is done being pressed, cut the tofu into small cubes. Heat the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the oil is shiny, add the tofu and 1/4 cup of the stir fry sauce, watching for the sauce to splatter (be careful). Pan-fry the tofu until golden brown. Remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel lined plate.
Return the pat to heat and add the green beans with 1/4 cup stir fry sauce. Once the green beans turn bright green and begin to crisp, add the carrots and green onions and toss, sauteing for another 1-2 minutes. Arrange the veggies and tofu over the cooked rice and cover with more sauce, to taste. Sprinkle with more green onions and enjoy!