Didn’t cook as much this week since I went back to Waterloo for the weekend and went out for every meal. Lots of misses in the kitchen this week, but there are some success stories in here too!!
- Friday: Visiting Waterloo
Navy Bean Soup
Actually, I made this on Friday, but with the Banh Mi Boys fast food 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 “soy” 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!! 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 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.
Friday: Visiting Waterloo
I went back to Waterloo this weekend, so this week’s foodventures journal 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!