Posted by Megan | Budget, Dinner, Global, Quick

We attempted to take our kitty, Emma, for a walk for the first time the other night. On several occasions, we have dressed her up in her harness and even put her on a leash, but she has stubbornly wandered off or not desired to go past the front doorjamb. However, her recent behavior when we get home from work is to greet us and the door and try to casually wander outside if we don’t close it quick enough, causing me to reevaluate whether or not I can leash-train her. So in an effort to do so, on a day where she was feeling particularly energetic, I got her in her harness, strapped on the leash and her collar, and carried her outside. I am very pleased to report that we made it all the way to the sidewalk before she started howling as if she’d been kidnapped! We turned around and right at the edge of our building, I put her down to let her explore. Pretty soon, her howling stopped and her fluff-tail went away and while she was definitely still scared, her curiosity began to take over. She cautiously wander over rocks and sniffed the building, before we eventually were able to guide her back to our apartment door without having to drag her. And once we were inside, she already seemed ready to be “brave” and go back out, so I’m excited to see what kind of progress we can make! I am bound and determined to have a leash-trained cat; the dual-benefit of this could be to satiate my desire to have a dog to walk as well as to use up some of Emma’s unstoppable amounts of energy.

Unrelated to leash-training cats, I present you with (admittedly, another) miso/tofu/veggie combo. But before you roll your eyes, this is the one that inspired the rest! It just happened to make it onto the blog last. In our earlier efforts to learn the best practices for making tofu, we stumbled upon the miso-tofu combo and have not looked back ever since. This crispy tofu recipe makes it more attractive if you’re (still) nervous about trying the soy-based product. If you haven’t tried our other miso-tofu recipes yet, give THIS one a try!

Tahini-Miso Tofu Bowls (serves 4)
1 cup brown rice
6 oz. baby spinach
16-oz extra firm tofu
1 tbsp cornstarch, for crispiness (optional)
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp water
1/3 cup tahini
1 tbsp white miso
1 tsp lemon juice

Begin by pressing the tofu to remove excess water. Allow to sit for about 20-30 minutes, under a heavy object on a plate lined with paper towels. While tofu presses, prepare your marinade and dressing.

For the marinade, combine the toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar and water in a small bowl, whisking until well combined. Set aside. For the dressing, place the tahini, miso and lemon juice in another small bowl, whisking until creamy. Cover and refrigerate until 5 minutes before you’re ready to use.

Begin to boil 1 3/4 cups water for brown rice. Pour 1 cup of brown rice into boiling water, stirring, then reducing to a simmer for 40-50 minutes, until all water is absorbed. Allow to cool for 7-10 minutes before serving.

Once tofu is finished pressing, cut into cubes. Pour marinade into a shallow lipped dish, like a 9×13 casserole dish. Place the tofu in the marinade, tossing until coated. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow tofu to absorb flavor. After the tofu has finished marinating, begin to preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats and prepare a shallow dish with 1 tbsp cornstarch, keeping more nearby as needed. Using a slotted spoon, toss the tofu in the cornstarch until coated, then remove and line on baking sheet. Repeat until all tofu has made its way to the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 35-40 minutes until tofu is golden (the length of baking will depend on whether or not you used cornstarch and how big your pieces are). Toss every 10 minutes or so, to make sure pieces bake evenly.

While tofu bakes, rinse the spinach and place in skillet over medium heat – sauté for a 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until wilted. Set aside until tofu and rice are done.

Serve brown rice, with spinach and tofu on top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy!

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