Bean’s the Word

We still have leftover beans in the fridge (I made a big batch Sunday), so I decided to make a mashed bean sandwich for lunch. I never would have thought to use beans as a sandwich filling, but I eat veggie bean burgers all the time, so how much different could it be?

The sandwich consisted of about 1/4 cup of mashed northern beans, two sliced black olives, half an ounce of cream cheese mixed with about a tsp of pesto (a dangerously good combo), and a couple slices of romaine lettuce to protect my multigrain toast from getting soggy. We keep most of our sliced bread in the freezer (leftover from Dave’s days at Breadsmith), so I always toast it to get it back to my personal edibility standards.

It was so chilly today that the idea of a cold sandwich wasn’t appealing, so I heated it in the microwave for thirty seconds, just enough for the cheese to get warm but not enough that the lettuce got mushy. The sandwich was delicious! The cream cheese pesto combo melted and oozed around the beans perfectly. Great combination of flavors.

On the side I had carrot and celery sticks dipped in black bean hummus and a few Mozzarella Marinara Multigrain (hello, alliteration) chips from Target’s Archer Farms brand. I like crunchy things with lunch.

While I ate, I started the much-talked-about The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I’m only about twenty pages in, but I’m already hooked.  It was very nice to have a hand-knit cover to keep my Kindle in today; I felt so much safer with it in my large carry-all bag.

I will always love the feeling of holding a real book, but I have two shelves of books already; moving gets more difficult with each novel I add to my collection. I’m already looking forward to reading more Hunger Games when I get home tonight!

*****

I came home still freezing, although the wind died down a bit which was nice. Note to self: once you start losing your protective layer of fat, you need to start keeping warmer clothes handy! I couldn’t believe I had to wear a camisole, a turtleneck sweater, and a shawl cardigan to keep warm today while some people wore short sleeves and had fans at their desks! I am definitely ready for summer. I am truly a creature of the heat.

I was so cold I wanted something spicy for dinner to warm me up, and I knew exactly what I wanted to make: a Thai Peanut Stir-Fry. I’ve been meaning to use my tofu and try out my powdered peanut butter to make a peanut sauce, and I decided tonight was perfect since leftovers are minimal.

Thai Tofu Peanut Stir Fry (3-4 servings)

  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup prepared brown rice
  • 1 block tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 4 tbsp. powdered peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup peanuts (optional)

Prepare rice per package directions.To prepare tofu: place a block of opened extra firm tofu in between two plates lined with paper toweling. Place a heavy object on top of the top plate (like a can of soup, etc) and let excess water drain about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, for the sauce, combine powdered peanut butter, wet ingredients, and spices in a small bowl on the side.

Saute veggies and tofu in separate frying pans over medium-high heat in olive oil or non-stick cooking spray for approximately 10 minutes or until veggies are crisp-tender and tofu is golden. Remove from heat, add together, and carefully stir in peanut sauce. Serve over brown rice and top with peanuts and additional red pepper flakes, if desired.

Since I was once again cooking for one, I quartered the recipe and still ended up with plenty of food.

Mmm….I know I didn’t always love veggies this much, but I’m so glad I do now! The trick is to find new ways to cook with vegetables, even if you think you hate them. If you learn to love them, your body will certainly thank you for the favor.

I think I’m finally getting the hang of cooking with tofu. I remember a time when my sister Emily and I tried to grill tofu and veggie kebabs…what a mess. I think I would have better luck now that I know what I’m doing.

Oh my gosh, this was amazing. The photo certainly does not do it justice.  The sauce was absolutely perfect–I would like to test this out with regular peanut butter and see if it’s still as good. I ate this very slowly (against my natural instincts) to savor the flavor as much as I could. I’m going to have to make this again soon and see if Dave likes it as much as I did.

Off to do some dishes, then read some more of The Hunger Games!

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