Monday, March 30, 2015

Tofu Scramble Breakfast Burritos

The early season New England Revolution home games at Gillette Stadium are often scheduled to kickoff in the afternoon instead of the evening. Presumably, this is in effort to maximize the possibility that the game will be played in temperatures suitable for humans to stand around outside for prolonged periods. In Saturday's case, the three o'clock kickoff did little to help the fact that the wind was whipping wet, sideways snow in my hair and eyeballs.

On the plus side, an early kickoff meant that tailgating would start at noon. This seemed like obvious encouragement to serve tailgate brunch. Given the discomfort associated with cold, wet hands and cold, wet ingredients, I didn't want to spend much time actually doing prep work at the tailgate. So I opted for tofu scramble breakfast burritos, which could be prepared entirely ahead of time and quickly heated in tinfoil on the grill. Chris is not a huge "tofu scramble" fan and prefers a good old-fashioned egg scramble, but I happen to really enjoy the taste and texture of a tofu scramble. There are many, many variations of tofu scrambles out there. Here's a recipe for my version of breakfast burritos.

Tofu Scramble Breakfast Burritos
Makes 4 burritos


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 a zucchini, diced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 block firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup refried beans
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 2 cups spinach or other leafy green
  • optional toppings: cilantro, salsa, chopped green onions, hot sauce
  1. Drain water from tofu. Wrap in a few layers of paper towel and place between two plates. Weigh down top plate with some cookbooks or a heavy skillet to press out excess water for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant (1 minute). Add cumin, turmeric, and smoked paprika, stirring to combine. Lower heat slightly and add mushrooms, jalapeno, bell pepper, zucchini. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Using your hands, crumble in tofu. Add nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and stir gently to combine. Saute for an additional 5 minutes, or until heated through. 
  4. Spread a spoonful of refried beans, a few slices of avocado and a handful of spinach on a tortilla. Top with about 3/4 cup tofu and veggie mixture and top with your favorite burrito toppings. Carefully fold up tortilla.
  5. If you're not eating it right away (as in, perhaps you are taking your burrito to eat at a tailgate later), wrap the burrito in tinfoil and refrigerate. When you're ready to go, you can toss it on the grill to heat up quickly. 
After stuffing my burritos, I had a considerable amount of leftover tofu veggie filling. If you use larger tortillas you may be able to squeeze in some more filling to each burrito...though you should know that the extra filling was delicious eaten straight out of the skillet with a fork and a splash of hot sauce. I served my burritos with grilled sweet potato wedges, which I parboiled for two minutes at home before tossing with some cumin, chili powder, paprika, oregano and garlic powder and packing in a glass container. I was able to drop the wedges directly on the hot grill to get some nice crispy grill marks before serving.

We wolfed down our burritos with numb fingers and then hunkered in the car with the heat blasting in attempt to regain sensation before trudging in to the stadium. In what appeared to be an attempt at a cruel joke, the Beach Boys Kokomo was drifting over the PA system as we found our way to our seats. And then: Miracle of miracles! Chris called in a favor, and our ticket rep/hero Kyle showed up with club level tickets. 

Meaning I got to watch the game from inside a heated room, standing behind a glass wall. I didn't even care that popcorn-smeared, unattended children were crawling around my feet, treating the club like some sort of McDonald's Play Place.

And the Revs finally won, by a score of 2-1. Please ignore the sad emptiness of the stadium.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

16 miles + A Post Run Recovery Smoothie Recipe

Folks, we have officially entered uncharted territory. Before (foolishly?) deciding to sign up for my first marathon, the farthest I had ever run was 14 miles. Now, 8 weeks into marathon training, I have just officially completed my first 16 miler.

16.38 miles at 8:05 minutes per mile, to be exact. And it wouldn't be a long run without some snow, so we had a bit of that. I elected to follow the marathon route for a good stretch of my run, both so that I could get some practice with mid-run hills and because I knew that this morning loads of Boston Marathoners would be out getting in the Last Long Run before the race. It was incredibly energizing to be surrounded (at 7 am on a Saturday in the March snow) by hundreds of other runners. As I gritted my teeth and pumped my legs up Heartbreak Hill, a pair of runners shouted across the street, "You got this!"

Thanks, running guys. That really made me feel good.

I was inexact in my route plan mileage calculation, so when I hit 16 miles I was still a half mile from home. At first, I kept running (hence the .38). And then, I had this moment:

So I walked the rest of the way home.

Recovery after a long run is a serious deal to me.
In this morning's case, recovery = Legs up the wall. Ice on the foot. International soccer on TV. Bagelsuarus and carrot turmeric protein smoothie in my belly.

Duncan joined me for a bit of relaxing.

If you are a) puzzled by or b) scoffing at my "carrot turmeric protein smoothie", I take no offense to your skepticism. I am not a nutritionist, nor will I claim to have conducted exhaustive research on efficacy of various recovery foods/drinks/supplements.

I do know that turmeric has long been used in Ayudervic and Chinese medicines to treat pain (among other ailments). And that many papers have been written about the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a component in the turmeric root.

I did not arrive at the decision to add a protein supplement to my diet overnight, and I will not suggest that it is the right choice for anyone but myself. If you want to know more about how and why I came to start adding protein powder (or to tell me reasons why I shouldn't take a supplement) feel free to ask me about it. For today, I'll just share that I do take a protein powder as part of my post-workout nutrition. After testing out many types and brands of both plant-based and whey protein sources, I've landed on Vega Sport Performance Protein. Of those I've experimented with, it has by far the best taste and texture and I like that it's a multi-source, plant-based powder with 25 grams of protein per serving. In this smoothie, you can swap in your protein supplement of choice or omit it all together if protein powder is not your jam. It's still a delicious smoothie.

Carrot Turmeric Protein Smoothie
(adapted from Vega)
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 cup coconut water (Harmless Harvest is my fave)
  • 1 scoop Vega Sport Performance Protein Vanilla (totally optional - see note)
  1. Blend it all up
  2. Enjoy 45-60 minutes post workout
I'm off to Gillette Stadium to watch the Revs take on the San Jose Earthquakes, in the snow!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

DIY Miso Ginger Veggie Pot Noodles

Last Saturday, the New England Revolution played their MLS home opener against the Montreal Impact. Technically, it is now Spring. This is what a Saturday morning "Spring" run looked like in Boston:

Yup. As of March 21st, we've piled up 110.3 inches of snow in Boston this winter, with absolutely no sign of Spring in sight. 

Needless to say, a warm, belly-filling meal was a must for our first shivery afternoon of the 2015 season in the parking lot of Gillette Stadium. I've been eyeing DIY Pot Noodles since a friend gifted me Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage Veg over a year ago. If you're in the market for a vegetarian cookbook, it's a great one.

The concept of instant pot noodles is so simple, I can't believe I haven't tried it before: Pile up your soup ingredients in a jar, omitting any liquid. When you're ready to serve, pour boiling water into the jar, seal it for three minutes, and Ta-Da! Hot fresh soup! In the case of the wayward tailgater, all this took was boiling a tea kettle filled with water on my grill. All the convenience of instant Cup Noodles, except with infinitely better ingredients and flavor. 

Note: I recommend using very thin, quick-cooking noodles. I went with Annie Chun's Maifun Brown Rice Noodles. They were fully cooked after resting in the hot water for only 3 minutes. 

This recipe is based on a variation from the River Cottage Veg recipe created by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt at Serious Eats. I followed the recipe almost exactly, making only two additions. I added a block of lite firm tofu (pressed and diced) to make the soup more filling and was considerably more generous with my vegetable portions than suggested. Because I love spinach. 

On to the recipe!

DIY Miso Ginger Veggie Pot Noodles

Recipe by adapted, slightly, from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt at Serious Eats
Yield: 4 servings

  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 8 tsp miso paste
  • 8 tsp vegetable base, such as Better Than Bouillon
  • 4 Tbsp tahini
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 4 oz shitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups roughly torn fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1 14 oz block firm tofu
  • 4 oz quick cooking rice noodles (see note in original post)
  • 1 cup fresh green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pickled ginger (optional)
Cooking Directions
  1. Drain tofu. Wrap it in a few layers of paper towel and place between two plates. Lay 1 or 2 heavy cookbooks on top of plates to press liquid from tofu for at least 15 minutes. (Alternatively, if you own a tofu press, go ahead and use that.) Dice the tofu.
  2. Divide grated ginger, miso paste, vegetable base, tahini, sesame seeds, soy sauce, carrots, mushrooms, spinach, tofu and noodles evenly between 4 resealable glass jars. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Divide green onions and pickled ginger between 4 small zipper-lock bags and seal bags, squeezing out all of the air. Tuck a bag into the top of each jar and seal lids. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
  4. When you're ready to serve your pot noodles, remove green onion/ginger packet and add boiling water the jar until noodles are fully covered. Seal the jar and let sit 2-3 minutes. Open jar, stir in scallions and ginger, and serve.

Let me know if you decide to try the recipe or discover any delicious variations. Here's to hoping this weekend I don't need to keep hand warmers in my pockets during the Revs match!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

720 days later.

Well, hello.

720 days have passed since I last posted on this blog.
3 days ago, Google auto-renewed my payment for the domain registration, which I lazily neglected to cancel when I stopped updating the blog.
1 day ago, the New England Revolution played to a scoreless draw with the Montreal Impact in their 2015 MLS home opener at Gillette Stadium.

Is it a coincidence that today, for the first time in two years, I am inspired by the urge to start things up again? Probably not.

I quit posting back in 2013 because keeping a blog was starting to feel less like a fun hobby and more like a bothersome chore. Plus, I just couldn't seem to think of anything worth writing. But yesterday I woke up suddenly filled to the brim with things I want to say to the infinite internet! So, why not?

Stuff has happened in my life since I posted here way back in 2013.

I got married.

I followed the New England Revolution all the way to the 2014 MLS Cup Final in Los Angeles...

...And I kept making and sharing vegetarian tailgate fare along the way.

I won a fitness competition at my local YMCA, and grew some muscles in the process.

But I still love cake sometimes.

I went from begrudgingly running just to Beat the Blerch to gleefully running because it makes me feel fast, strong and free. I knocked over five minutes off my 5K personal record and finished three half marathons.

I have one last date count: There are 62 days until I attempt my very first marathon. 
Let's be honest. My close family and friends are pretty tired of hearing me yammer on about marathon training, and fitness, and cooking, and soccer. But the internet? You will listen! Well, I won't be able to see you rolling your eyes from behind my computer screen, anyway.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...