Tofu Larb

Happy Monday! I hope it was nice weekend in your neck of the woods.
I’m sharing this recipe because it’s always a hit. From my meat loving husband to 4 1/2 year old daughter to my 20 month old son, everyone in the family loves it, so I think it’s worth sharing!

I use frozen defrosted Tofu for this, which I have to leave in the fridge for a couple of days to completely thaw out, but I’m sure you can use fresh firm tofu that’s been pat dry. I’ve never tried it fresh, but I’m sure you can use it. Once the tofu has been defrosted and thawed out, it takes on a spongy texture that makes it more meaty. Like most tofu dishes, you just have to make sure you remove as much water as you can from the tofu before cooking. Fortunately, with thawed out tofu, it’s really easy to just squeeze out the water.

Tofu was previously frozen then thawed out.

This recipe is very simple but I think it does require all the ingredients listed to really bring the dish to life. 1 necessary ingredient most people may not have on hand is toasted rice powder. No worries though! It’s very simple to make. You take how ever many amount of uncooked rice you want to have, dry toast it on a skillet untill golden brown, then pound or blend until fine and powdery! Store in an airtight container for months, but use quickly for optimal freshness. In case you may be more of a visual person, I have a video on how I make the rice powder and also the tofu larb. Feel free to check it out below!

Once you have your rice powder, you can easily make Tofu Larb. Through out the cooking process (which is very quick) continue to break up the tofu pieces with your spatula while you mix in the fish sauce and rice powder. I always serve it over a bed of romaine lettuce. The crunchy fresh lettuce goes well with the salty and nutty flavors of the the tofu larb!

Squeeze out water from tofu and tear into bite size pieces.
Heat oil over med to med-high heat.
Add garlic while oil is still cold then let cook until they begin to sizzle and become fragrant.
Turn heat to low and add in tofu
Add in fish sauce.
Add in toasted rice powder.
Turn off heat and add in red onions.
Mix well.
Squeeze in lime juice.
Add in fresh herbs.
Taste and adjust seasonings according to preference!

Tofu Larb
1 (16 oz) package of firm tofu (frozen and thawed)
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions
1 head of romaine lettuce
1 Tbs dry roasted rice powder
2 tsp fish sauce
juice of 1 lime
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbs vegetable oil
chili flakes
2 Tbs chopped cilantro 
2 Tbs chopped mint

Tear tofu into small pieces
In a large skillet turn heat to medium high
Add oil and garlic
Cook untill just fragrant
Turn heat to low
Add tofu and mix  with oil
Add fish sauce and salt
Mix
Add rice powder mix
Turn off heat
Add slice red onions while pan is still hot
Add lime juice and mix
Place on top of chopped lettuce
Serve with rice and tom yum soup

If you’re a fan of Thai food, give this recipe a try!

Recommended product for this dish:
Lemon Squeezer

Mediterranean Inspired Salmon (and turning a negative into a positive)

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I’m always looking for new ways to cook salmon (that and chicken breasts). My usual go-to recipes are Salmon Teriyaki or Basil Lemon Salmon with Spaghetti. But since I have to watch my sugar and carb intake I’m challenged to find new recipes. It’s always uplifting when something that seemed like such a negative event (like finding out I had gestational diabetes) actually became a somewhat positive event in my life. I always thought I knew a fair amount about healthy eating and nutrition, but after attending a program on diabetes and having to monitor my glucose levels during pregnancy, I realized how much I didn’t know and how important it was to actually apply what I learned.  And since my unborn baby’s health is dependent on me and my diet, I have to be even more proactive and discipline with my nutrition and sugar/carb intake (I just hope that I haven’t learned too late into my pregnancy).

So in search of healthier ways to prepare salmon, I came upon this recipe on allrecipes.com.  I made a few changes to what I had at home, instead of basil and cilantro, I used fresh thyme and rosemary. I left out garlic salt and used regular kosher salt. Since I had to bake some vegetables also, I baked my salmon at 450 Fahrenheit instead of broiling. I squeezed some lemon before serving and just like that, I have a new husband-approved recipe to add to my salmon repertoire! And best of all, this recipe does not use any sugar and is still so flavorful and delicious.

So although I was not exactly thrilled when I found out I had gestational diabetes (there may or may not have been some tears 😅), it has made me learn to eat better and healthier, not only for myself, but for my daughter, husband, and this little baby growing in me.

Mediterranean Inspired Salmon (serves 3)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 fillets salmon
2 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary (3-4 inches)
Salt and pepper

  1. Mix together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, thyme and rosemary in a baking dish. 
  2. Arrange the salmon fillets in the shallow baking dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper, turning once to coat and sprinkle salt and pepper on other side.
  3. Set aside to marinate for 15 minutes. Using a spoon to pour marinade on top of fish every so often.
  4. Preheat oven 450 degree
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes.
  6. Gently turn salmon over. Bake for another 10 minutes.
  7. Squeeze some lemon on top.

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Enjoy!

Fig or Date and Almond Smoothie

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This post was actually suppose to be for a Date and Almond Smoothie recipe, but in my hastiness, I grabbed my bag of dried figs instead of dried dates in our pantry. I didn’t realize it (even as I took this photo) until I finished making the smoothie. Once I noticed my mistake, I gave it a taste to see if it was good enough to still write a post and it was! I felt it was just as good as using dried dates. Even my daughter kept asking more “milkshake”.

I first had this smoothie when we used to live in Loma Linda and once in a while would order produce and meal kits from The Prep Table. One time I ordered a kit for a Date and Almond smoothie to give it a try and was so surprised at how tasty it was. It was super easy to make and helped us incorporate healthy ingredients to our diets like dates and almonds.

You can make this smoothie with any kind of milk you prefer. A positive is that the dried fruit and bananas have so much natural sweetness you don’t have to add any extra sweeteners. I’ve used whole milk in the past but today I used coconut milk and really liked it. I’ve also seen some recipes add turmeric which I was tempted to do, but left it out today to keep it as similar to the smoothie recipe from The Prep Table as possible. So if you’re in a smoothie or snack rut, give this recipe a try, I think you’ll be very happy with it!

Fig or Date and Almond Smoothie (Makes 1 large serving or 2 small servings)
1 cup milk (coconut, almond, or cow)
1/4 cup dried figs or dried pitted dates
1/4 cup almonds
1/2 banana
1/8 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 cup ice

1. Blend on high until very smooth.
2. Pour into glass and enjoy!

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Creamy, sweet, and refreshing!

On that note, see, I promised you guys my next post would be about food!