I'm doing it. I'm really doing it. I'm attempting to go one month living a vegetarian lifestyle. It's something that has interested me for a long time. I'm curious about how it will make me feel, and if it will help me to lose any weight. I considered trying to go vegan, but there's no way I'm giving up cheese or ice cream!
I started on May 1st, so today is day 6 of my experiment. I might go really crazy and try a fruit/veggie cleanse or even a juice fast while I'm on this bandwagon. Both the vegetarian lifestyle and a cleanse are things on my 30 Things Before 30 list... of which I have been rather neglectful. I'm trying to step it up since I'm down to four years until I turn 30 (yikes....).
I know it's only been six days, but so far giving up meat hasn't been difficult. It's a little hard at work because the employee cafeterias don't have many healthy vegetarian options. The past couple of days, I've made do with a salad and some fries. I'm probably going to start packing a lunch more often. This is where learning to cook without meat comes in (or, you know, lots of PB&J's). I sought out tofu at the grocery store and decided to try to make something with it. I came up with the idea of stir-frying, and it seemed easy and something I knew I would like.
Now, this wasn't as homemade as I would have liked, but I had just gotten off of work and I was tired and lazy, so I bought a frozen stir-fry veggie mix (sugar snap peas, carrots, onions, peppers, broccoli, celery, water chestnuts, and green beans), and a jar of stir-fry sauce. Someday, I'll try the sauce from scratch, but the frozen mixed veggies are just so easy. No washing, no dicing/chopping/julienne-ing, no wait time for it to cook.... So nice.
This is the perfect recipe for those nights when you just don't want to put a lot of effort into a healthy dinner, but still want something satisfying and impressive. It's fast, easy, and delicious!
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic - minced
7 oz. Extra Firm Tofu - cubed
1 bag Frozen Mixed Vegetables - thawed (Any variety you like.)
2 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
1/8 tsp. Ground Cloves
1/2 C. Stir-Fry Sauce (I used La Choy brand.)
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over med-high heat. Add in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, until it softens and starts to brown. Add the tofu and cook until golden.
- Stir in the veggies, crushed red pepper, and cloves, until all incorporated. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are heated through.
-Stir in the sauce so that everything is coated, and let cook for about a minute, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and let stand a minute or two before serving, to let the sauce set and the flavors come together.
I served mine with brown rice. It'd be great by itself, too, or with something like Quinoa or Couscous. If you want to get really fancy, you could go the Lo Mein route, but that's a whole other dish to prepare!
The whole recipe (not including the rice) has about 760 calories in it, and I got two meals out of it, so 380 calories for a serving is amazing! Let's say half a cup of brown rice has about 110 calories in it, that's only 490 calories for the whole meal! Of course, I enjoyed a Yuengling Lager with my meal for another 135 calories... oops!
Please comment with some of your favorite vegetarian/tofu recipes that I can try out!