In This Issue...
Didn’t cook as much this week since I went back to Waterloo for the weekend, where I ate out for every meal. Lots of misses in the kitchen in this week’s food diary, but there are some success stories in here too!!
★ My weekly Food Diaries are a way of tracking what I cook, buy, and eat every day. They provide insight into my eating preferences, allow me to analyze patterns in my spending, and help improve my cooking. And I always share my recipes! ★
Actually, I made this on Friday, but with all the Banh Mi Boys and birthday cakes going around last weekend, I forgot to talk about this humble soup! This is a navy bean soup that’s very warming and gives me chicken soup vibes, even though it’s chicken-free (because I ran out of chicken stock…).
After my successful lentil soup recipe two weeks ago, I felt encouraged to make another slow cooker soup. They’re so easy, so healthy and so tasty.
This recipe is from Mom, What’s For Dinner? and is another set-it-and-forget-it meal.
Thin Mint Overnight Oats
This is my second go with Chocolate Covered Katie’s Thin Mint Overnight Oats recipe. The first time, I thought maybe I didn’t add enough cocoa powder so it tasted kind of off. This time, I tried following the recipe exactly, except I swapped yogurt with cottage cheese. VERY DISAPPOINTING. It’s very runny and doesn’t taste like a thin mint at all. I’m going to throw my hat in for this one.
Spinach gnocchi: another disappointing recipe! I followed a recipe from Caroline’s Cooking. No matter how much flour I added (over a cup more than what the recipe called for), the mixture was still relentlessly sticky and too difficult to handle. I tried to shape them as best I could, but it was so time consuming that I ended up throwing a third of it out. This is coming from someone who hates wasting food.
Also, I added literally the tiniest pinch of nutmeg, as per recipe, and that ended up making the whole thing taste so strange. I couldn’t get rid of the pumpkin spice smell profile that the nutmeg evoked and it was honestly too disgusting.
While recovering from the spinach gnocchi catastrophe, I did pull off one successful maneuver tonight, which was making another batch of vegetable stock. I have to say, I’m pretty good at this now. My freezer generally always has one full bag of veggie scraps, which I throw in the Instant Pot with eight cups of water and pressure cook @ HIGH for 30 minutes. Then I either quick release immediately, or wait ten minutes. (Depends on how I’m feeling; doesn’t make a noticeable difference, imo).
I pour it through a strainer into a freezer bag (if I’m freezing) or a mason jar (if I plan to use it soon) and then I always have vegetable stock ready to go whenever I need it!
Tofu Avocado Mousse
Tonight is a tofu kinda night!! First we have a chocolate tofu avocado mousse. Almost all dessert tofu recipes call for silken tofu, but I used regular fresh tofu. It worked really well. This recipe comes from Plant-Based Cooking, and I can’t recommend it enough.
I made the recipe the night before and brought it in for work. I was afraid the avocado’s taste might change from being oxidized overnight, but I couldn’t tell at all. A refreshing change from my overnight oats routine.
Strangely, it left me starving after just a couple of hours, even though avocados are high in fat and tofu is high in protein. I thought it was nutritious enough to keep me feeling full for longer.
Tofu Grilled Cheese
After work, I whipped up a quick tofu “grilled cheese” in my waffle maker using firm tofu and a few slices from a jalapeno cheddar cheese block, roughly following a recipe from Aloha Tofu.
Folks, I’ve got an announcement to make. Tofu does not taste good in everything. I love tofu and I love grilled cheese, but I think they go better separately.
I can’t describe what I find so off putting about this flavour combo, but there may be a reason you don’t see many cheesy tofu dishes. I prefer the pure “soyful” taste of the tofu to remain unadulterated by the overpowering cheese.
Peanut Butter Oats
I got hungry again a couple hours before bed, but I was too tired to cook anything, so I threw together two of my staple ingredients to create this peanut butter oats bowl.
SO UNHEALTHY BUT SO YUMMY!!! This is literally the epitome of late-night snack: quick oats + crunchy peanut butter stirred together into a calorifically delicious bowl of fat and carbs. The human brain comes up with amazing ideas when it’s hungry. I will say that this much peanut butter this late at night makes me feel bloated the next day, so overall this was not a good idea. 🙁
These days, I’m trying to fight my peanut butter addiction, but trying to avoid pb just seems to lead back to consuming ungodly amounts at one time. I tried swapping in some PB&Me Powdered Peanut Butter, which is supposed to be healthier, but it tastes nothing like the real thing. So for now I haven’t found any meaningful solution to this.
Matcha Overnight Oats
For breakfast on Thursday, I brought a matcha overnight oats recipe from rachLmansfield to the office. It’s so cool because it has no sugar, but it almost tricks you into thinking otherwise!! The matcha and cinnamon satisfied my dessert craving enough that I didn’t miss the sweetness, and the chia seeds gave it a gelatinous, pudding-like texture. I will be making this more often from now on, because I love chia and I love matcha.
I made a smaller portion than normal, because for lunch we’re eating on the company card today! 😉
The Modern Bowl at Cactus Club
Our office held a little social for the co-ops this term, which included grabbing lunch at the Cactus Club near our building. I ordered the only vegetarian option on the menu (it was a set menu so very few selections), which was this amazing yummy salad bowl with half a grilled avocado. The avo was the best part, of course.
I was sooo stuffed after this, and not in a good way… my fitted dress pants were a little uncomfortably tight the rest of the day. The plate was mostly full of veggies, but believe it or not, it ended up being a lot of food. Maybe the fries that I stole from my coworkers’ plates contributed to how full I felt too.
I went back to Waterloo this weekend, so this week’s food diary is getting cut short. I did no cooking at all and ate out a lot, but forgot to take pics. I promise I’m trying to get better at that!