Deconstructed Sushi (Bowl)

So this is one of those “bastardized” Asian meals I mentioned the other day. But it’s super flavorful, healthy, and has enough Asian standards to keep it interesting (e.g., soy sauce, citrus notes, veggies, no animal fats). Plus, it’s pretty simple to pull together. The recipe is also from a cookbook I let linger on my pantry shelf far too long: “Super Natural Cooking” by Heidi Swanson, the founder of 101cookbooks.com (a great site to keep on heavy rotation if you’re looking for natural, healthier alternatives to your standard fare).
I omitted the seaweed and green onions and subbed in equal parts honey for the sugar. I also added vegetables (carrots and cauliflower here). At first glance, it looks like a lot of separate pieces, but you can multitask some pans and saute veggies on one side of a large pan while you saute the tofu on the other side. And yes, there is tofu in this. A meatier protein could easily be subbed in here, especially chicken or fish. But really, tofu is worth trying out in this recipe. Sauteeing tofu lends it a better texture than the usual mushiness sometimes attributed to it. The tofu isn’t initially seasoned, but it becomes so when stirred in with a brown rice that is flavored perfectly with soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, citrus, and a touch of sweetness. Just trust me on this one; if you’re already bloated by those rich (but delicious) holiday foods, this is a great palate cleanser. Plus, there’s enough left over (if you’re feeding two) for lunch the next day (the beautiful/odd thing about tofu is that it keeps its shape for days to come, so reheating in the microwave does the trick). Feel free to add or sub in desired veggies such as mushrooms (especially if you want a meatier texture without the meat), cabbage, broccoli, etc. This dish lends itself well to personalization.
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Excuses, Round 1

It’s not that I’ve been lazy. I was training for my first marathon. You guys, I ran 26.2 miles. I did it. And now I’m lazy. Well, now I’m not supposed to train as much to give my body some recovery time. Which means I feel terribly lazy and not quite sure of what to do with myself since I can pretty much go home after work and hang out. It’s an odd, disconcerting feeling after being driven week after week by a training schedule. I miss that schedule. One thing’s for sure: I haven’t been blogging about food. I’ve eaten plenty of food, and I’ve cooked plenty of meals, but in the days leading up to a race that amounted to a tug-of-war between my brain and legs, the food got pretty bland. There are certain ways you want to make sure you end a race, and finishing relatively clean other than the expected sweat is right up there on the list, if you catch my drift. So, I consumed lots of baked chicken, potatoes, rice, cooked vegetables, bread…it’s a food cycle my body doesn’t enjoy. Technically, it’s called a low-residue (low-fiber) diet. It’s not fun. Which means there wasn’t much to say here.
 
But, the marathon is behind me. Ahead of me are more marathons, but not for another four months. So, the food options have opened back up, hallelujah. Which means I’ve had the chance to literally feed my growing obsession with Thai food. That’s probably what you’ll see a lot of on this site during the days and weeks to come. While others indulge in the usual pumpkin-and-spice of the upcoming holidays (foods that I admit are still my downfalls), I’ll be exploring the ginger-and-spice-and-coconut-milk-and-lemongrass-and-Thai-chili-and-fish-sauce foods that are starting to scream “comfort” to me when laden with fresh chilies/heat.
 
So, this is just a way of saying, “Hey, I’m back” and a chance to provide a sneak peek into the meals that will likely make their way onto the site. They probably aren’t all technically Thai foods; some I’m quite sure are just bastardized versions. Regardless, they have an Asian flair to them, and they provide a great respite from the animal fats of milk and butter that weigh down the holiday table. Just hang in there, and I’ll get back into the swing of things in a day or so!