Cooking Mojo Jojo

by Jenn (eating bender) on May 3, 2010

**Winners of the SUBWAY giveaway announced at the end – did I catch you scrolling? ;)**

First of all, a big birthday shout out to Savvy Julie! Plus, delayed birthday wishes to Mama Pea. Wonderful friends and bloggers – I love May birthdays!

Have you heard of The Powerpuff Girls? That’s where the inspiration for the post title came from, but I can assure you that I am not referring to a green monkey with a cape.

Instead, I’m referring to the fact that my desire to cook new and interesting recipes is, most delightfully, back in full force! I credit last week’s trip to Michigan with this bounce back – as well as a visit from a very special former blogger over the weekend!

First, let’s take it way back to last Wednesday, shall we? I had the pleasure of meeting up with Karla for dinner at none other than Whole Foods.

We had a fantastic time chatting over fresh fare from the soup and salad bar. I got a salad that started with a bed of spinach greens topped with marinated mushrooms, grains, tofu, bleu cheese, cherry tomatoes, agave and tamari.

Seriously loving agave after Gena introduced me to it. It’s such a delightfully sweet addition!

I also had a Zevia. Remember way back in the day when I reviewed these? They are still tasty!

Karla is such a gem. Have you heard her latest podcast on Dr. Fitness & The Fat Guy? This woman lives and breathes health and good exercise. We chatted for over an hour about our life and career aspirations. The conversation always flows easily with her :) Check out her amazing blog for more insightful commentary and posts. I promise you will love it!

***

Flash forward – I love that show! – to Friday and a visit from a very close friend – Sarah! This was her second time coming to visit me in Chicago. I’m a lucky girl :)

Sarah brought some delicious chocolate + peanut butter popcorn from Pittsburgh Popcorn Company for us to share. It was amazing! {Blurry picture apologies in advance!}

We spent our first night gabbing and catching up. But the real fun was to be had on Saturday. Sarah and I woke up early to get a good workout in and make ourselves a delicious breakfast of French Toast.

I haven’t made French Toast in ages! This was the basic recipe from Betty Crocker with a little cinnamon thrown in for good measure :) It produced soft, flavorful toast perfect for dipping in maple syrup.

After our delicious breakfast, Sarah and I headed up to Evanston – home of my alma mater – for some shopping, campus touring and movie going. We ended up seeing Date Night, which was absolutely hilarious. I highly recommend it!

On our way home, we stopped by World Market and Whole Foods to pick up supplies for what was to becoming a sensational dinner. Our dish of choice for the evening?

Tofu with Peanut-Ginger Sauce from the Eating Well Cookbook (laughing out loud at that linked post). I’m telling you, this peanut-ginger sauce would go well with anything! I was also excited to try out a rice vinegar from Nakano after receiving a coupon as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program.

Here’s how it all went down :)

1. Start by whisking together the ingredients for the peanut-ginger sauce.

2. Drain and blot tofu with paper towels for 20-30 minutes. This was the NaSoya Extra Firm tofu {Full disclosure: the company sent me coupons a while ago, but honestly, this is the brand of tofu I would usually buy anyway!} Slice into small sections.

3. Add tofu to the skillet with some olive oil and cook on high heat until browned.

4. While the tofu is cooking, slice up your mushrooms, scallions and spinach.

5. Once the tofu is browned on both sides, add veggies and peanut-ginger sauce.

6. Stir all ingredients together for 2-3 minutes until everything is coated in sauce and softened.

7. Serve together with 1/2 cup of whole grain brown rice.

8. Stand back and admire this mouthwatering creation!

***

I feel as though I’m forgetting something. Ah, I know! ;)

This is the wine we picked up from World Market. Ménage a Trois Red is a combination of Zinfandel, Merlot and Cabernet. It was smooth, sweet and fruity – a delicious addition to the dinner table.

Thanks for helping to inspire my cooking mojo jojo, Sarah :) So glad you came to visit!

***

Who’s Eating Fresh?

Moment of truth: using Random.org, I selected three winners for the SUBWAY giveaway!

30

45

87

By my count, that makes our winners…

Natalie (The Sweets Life)

Paige (Running Around Normal)

and CaSaundra!

Congratulations, ladies! Please email your mailing address to me at eatingbender@gmail.com so that I can work with the SUBWAY team to get you your gift cards!

Thanks, as always, to everyone for participating. Glad you enjoyed the interview! It was interesting to hear the various perspectives and opinions on SUBWAY and what they are doing.

Thought of the Day: Shayne in particular brought up an interesting point involving Jillian Michaels and SUBWAY recently. Check it out and let me know your thoughts if you care to share!

Until next time!

Abrazos,

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Heather May 3, 2010 at 4:18 pm

i love marinated mushrooms…i read this whole post and all i can think about are the marinated mushrooms on your salad at the top!

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2 Karla May 3, 2010 at 4:43 pm

You rock lovely!! You’re too kind Jenn, seriously. It was lovely to catch up over a great meal, and I can’t wait to chat more very soon :)

Those two recipes look awesome! Glad to see you had a good weekend.

Congrats to the three SUBWAY winners. Hooray!

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3 Mama Pea May 3, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Thanks for the bday wishes. I am all teary right now after seeing that picture of you and Sarah. I miss that girl so much! Tell her I said hello :)

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4 Erica May 3, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Hey hey! What a fabulous weekend. You have had so many great blogger meet ups. I =jealous ;) The WFs bowl looks awesome- I haven’t been there to eat in ages. And the tofu- YUM! I’ve never tried making it at home. Congrats to all the fabulous winners. Hope you’re having a good week so far

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5 Amy May 3, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Jen Trammell and I always get Ménage a Trois whites! Super good. Look for their sister label, Napa Cellars, and try the sauvignon blanc!

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6 Jessica (jesslikesithot) May 3, 2010 at 5:35 pm

That stir fry looks amazing Jenn! Pretty much anything with tofu, mushrooms and a peanut-ginger sauce has my vote :)

I hope you’re having an amazing week girly!

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7 Jenna May 3, 2010 at 6:03 pm

The peanut ginger sauce sounds superb! I love peanut sauce and I absolutely love ginger, a winning combo in my eyes.

Also a winning food combo? PB and Chocolate on top of popcorn. My mouth is watering!

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8 BroccoliHut May 3, 2010 at 6:17 pm

So much amazingness in this post!
First, Flash Forward IS an amazing show. I miss Tucker and his shenanigans.
I saw Date Night this weekend too–there are some awesome one-liners in there!
That tofu has my name written all over it. Please come visit me and cook for me:)

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9 Jessica @ How Sweet May 3, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Pittsburgh popcorn company is amazzzzzing!

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10 Lauren May 3, 2010 at 6:28 pm

That is my favorite wine! But I don’t think I ever knew that the 3 reds were until now. Have you had the white version? I think I need to google what is in that one now.

Glad you had a great weekend. Everything looks amazing! :)

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11 Pure2Raw twins May 3, 2010 at 6:38 pm

We got to meet Karla at Fitbloggin, what a sweetheart! The wine sounds amazing, I love blends!

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12 Julie @savvyeats May 3, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Thank you for the birthday shout-out! Love ya!

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13 Gabriela @ Fro-Yo Lover May 3, 2010 at 8:50 pm

YUMM-O!
Such delicious eats… Thanks for the tofu “tutorial”, love!
:D
Have a great week!
Brazilian XOXO´s,
Gabriela

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14 John May 3, 2010 at 9:10 pm

I agree Subway should drop the HFC!

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15 glidingcalm May 3, 2010 at 9:43 pm

i want to eat everything in this post!!! esp the tofu and the popcorn!

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16 cookeatburn May 4, 2010 at 4:06 am

Yay for getting your cooking mojo back on! But I’ll admit, once I saw that chocolate peanut butter popcorn… well, it stole the show. ;)

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17 Melissa S. May 4, 2010 at 8:18 am

dudeeeee! come make that tofu peanut dish for me!!! it looks amazing!!!

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18 Isaac H. May 4, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Wow! that food looks so good I had to clean my keys from the drool…. Sorry I hate to leave a visual but man that looks good. I am doing a nutrition project of my own for a class in school could you write a blog about it? [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3ol5k164Pw&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

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19 neurosciency May 4, 2010 at 10:26 pm

oh hey it’s ourkitchenadventures sarah! i have missed her on the internets … how cool that she got to visit you!

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20 Katherine: What About Summer? May 5, 2010 at 5:45 pm

feel free to randomly pick me next giveaway :) I have the same vinegar! it’s the little things that make blogging community right…

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21 lynn @ the actors diet May 5, 2010 at 6:41 pm

the tofu recipe looks great – nothing like peanut ginger sauce. and the popcorn with chocolate – i’m pretty sure i’ve eaten a full bag of that before in one sitting. yum. i just interviewed my buddy john cho (who’s on “flash forward”) about his diet for our blog…interesting stuff!

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22 Kristie May 5, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Ahhh so much good stuff here. I’d have that popcorn gone in seconds flat, it looks amaaazing. As does that tofu dish, I always end up eating my tofu plain but I seriously need to take the time to make a good tofu recipe, peanut ginger sauce would just take it to whole new levels!

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23 Mimi (Damn the Freshman 15) May 6, 2010 at 2:08 am

I don’t always agree with Jillian, but I like what she’s doing with Subway. I do think it’s silly they promote themselves as great for you when their bread is loaded with sugar.

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24 Gena May 6, 2010 at 5:38 am

This post makes me oh so nostalgic for our wonderful lunch!!! Sounds like fun, and that’s an awesome looking dinner!

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25 Veronica (lifewithnature) May 6, 2010 at 9:01 am

That peanut sauce tofu makes me drule (even at 10 in the morning!). Really looks delicious. And I love the marinated mushrooms in the salad. By the way did you know that exposing your mushrooms (before marinade!) can dramatically increase their vitamin D content? In recent study has shown that exposing shiitake to sunlight could give them 32 times more vitamin D than herring (the animal food that contains the most vitamin D).

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26 Megan @The Oatmeal Diaries May 6, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Your salad looks awesome! Can’t go wrong with Whole Foods. Oh and that popcorn sounds to die for!!

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27 thewhatkateateblog May 6, 2010 at 12:39 pm

I totally forgot the Powerpuff Girls existed! That just made my day :)

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28 MizFit May 7, 2010 at 3:55 am

I LOVE that book.
I loathe the mushroom.

I eat the mushroom but only with a bigbig glass of water :)
Im a rolemodel for nothing.

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