Peanut butter tofu stirfry – recipe

This is an Amy original. πŸ™‚


PEANUT BUTTER TOFU STIRFRY

Ingredients*:
2 T Olive oil
2 T Sesame oil
5 cloves garlic – minced
1 package extra firm tofu – cut into bite-sized pieces
2 stalks of broccoli – cut into bite-sized pieces
1 carrot – chopped into bite-sized strips
2 T Tamari
Cayenne (red) pepper flakes
3/4 – 1 C natural peanut butter
4-6 servings of brown rice (I used Instant brown rice)
Handful of crushed peanuts (optional)
*Please note these are approximate amounts.

Saute tofu in 1 T olive oil and 1 T sesame oil until it starts to turn golden. Add the garlic in and cook for another 5 min. Set tofu/garlic aside. Cook broccoli and carrot pieces in 1 T olive oil and 1 T sesame oil, along with about a 1/4 cup of water, covered, until soft.
Add tofu back in with the broccoli and carrots. Add Tamari and peanut butter. Stir until the peanut butter melts. Add a few shakes of cayenne pepper to taste.
In the meantime, cook your brown rice.
Put the stirfry mixture on top of the brown rice (you might want to add a little Tamari to the rice first for flavor). Add peanuts on top and serve.
Makes about 5 yummy servings. πŸ™‚

Cheap Ways to Save the World and β€œThe Meatrix”

I don’t have time to write much of an entry today, so I will leave you with a couple informative bits instead.

This first thing was posted on a Y!Group I belong to. I found it interesting and exciting that breastfeeding made it onto the list.

Johns Hopkins University identifies “10 Cheap Ways to Save the World”

The fall 2005 issue of Johns Hopkins Public Health includes a list of the 10 least expensive ways to save millions of lives. Experts on the School’s faculty identified the interventions.

The ten cheap interventions are:

1. Quit smoking.
2. Increase vitamin A supplementation.
3. Expand oral rehydration therapy.
4. Build pit latrines in developing countries.
5. Use bed nets treated with insecticide.
6. Treat premature newborns with antiseptic baby wipes or
sunflower oil.
7. Use home based water purification systems.
8. Increase condom availability.
9. Vaccinate poor children against measles.
10. Breastfeed.

For the complete story and details about each item on the list, click here.

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Yesterday, while browsing vegetarian Web sites, I came across The Meatrix – a short Flash movie that takes a look at the many problems and issues of factory farming, where the majority of our meat, eggs and dairy comes from. If you are concerned about animal rights at all, it’s definitely worth a look. I’m not saying everyone should become vegetarian, but I do think it’s important (for animal rights and your own health) to know where your meat comes from. Reject factory farming and try supporting your local farmers instead. πŸ™‚

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I’ll be posting a tasty Peanut Butter Tofu Stirfry recipe in the next day or two. We had it for dinner tonight. Mmmmmm. πŸ™‚

Soup’s on – carrot soup recipe! And my blog is featured!


Here’s a new (to me) soup recipe I got from my friend Julie. πŸ™‚ She made it for our moms’ night out get-together a week and a half ago and it was delicious!

Carrot Ginger Soup

2 or 3 T olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1.5 pounds of carrots, chopped
2 baking potatoes, peeled & sliced
1 c. soy milk (the recipe called for 1 c. of white wine, but I didn’t have any and using the soy milk was just as good)
7 cups of vegetable stock
¼ c lime juice
1 knob of fresh ginger, peeled & sliced or 2 t ground ginger (or I used pumpkin pie spice)
1 T chopped cilantro
1 T lemongrass (optional – I didn’t have any and it tasted fine without it)
salt & pepper to taste

Saute the onion, carrots & potato in the olive oil for 10 minutes until softening, but not browning. Add the soy milk (or wine) and cover, letting it simmer for 10 more minutes. Add the stock & the ginger and cook until the vegetables are totally softened, about 45 minutes (or longer) depending on how small you cut them. Puree in a blender or food processor and then add the remaining seasonings to taste.

And here’s the best way to eat it – using a carrot spoon, of course! πŸ˜‰

Edited to add:
How cool is this?? My blog is featured on the Toronto Vegetarian Association. The listing says:
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Musings of a crunchy, domestic goddess
Ò€’ Daily
Blog run by amygeekgrl who is passionate about breastfeeding and parenting, and cooking delicious looking veggie meals.
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Oh, just noticed there’s also a poll to vote for your favorite veggie site. Wanna give me your vote? Hehe. It feels kind of weird for me to be on there since I just started adding veggie recipes to my blog, but it’s fun to get a mention nonetheless. πŸ™‚

Ava, the builder and talker (pics)

Gratuitious pics of Ava, the little builder…

She’s gotten in the habit of pulling cans out of the pantry over the past couple months and building. This was her most impressive creation yet. She did it completely by herself.

I asked her to move in closer to it so I could get some better pics. She decided to pose that way all on her own. It wasn’t really falling, but she certainly added a nice effect. πŸ˜‰

So after our recent visit to the doctor and my estimating that she had at least 75 words in her vocabulary, I decided to write them out and count them so I could be sure I wasn’t counting words twice or just being an overly optimistic mother. I’m currently at 133 words (which includes a few phrases too) and I know there are others I haven’t even included yet. What a talker. πŸ™‚

Edited to add:
Avery’s mom asked what some of her words are, so here’s a condensed list:
Ava, mommy, daddy, baby, blocks, water, milk, eggnog, book, draw, paper, sticker, heart, circle, music, nose, mouth, eyes, belly button, hair, rocking, all right, ok, naked, cracker, hummus, chocolate, apple, jacket, socks, shoes, glasses, backpack, ducky, doggies, kitty, diaper, ready, wow, potty, remote, batteries, clippers, toothpaste, hot, cold, moon, happy, nice, please, more, oh my, thank you, welcome, bubbles, basket, up, down, poop, help, got it, phone, weigh, puppet, peek-a-boo, so cute, ta-da, pat-pat, night-night
… and many more. πŸ™‚
In fact, since Jody got home tonight he’s thought of even more that I had forgotten to put on the list. We’re up to 155 now.
I feel I should mention that all of these aren’t said perfectly clearly, but they are definitely recognizable to us.

Holy gas bill, batman!!


In order to fit our gas bill into our budget and avoid high costs in the winter and low costs in the summer, we’ve been on averaged monthly billing with our gas company for over a year now. Our bill for the past year has been $52/month. Not bad, right?

Well, January is the month that we originally signed up, and therefore means this is the time they reevaluate our bill.

Even though we keep our heat at 68 degrees around the clock (it’s hard to go much colder with a child who won’t wear blankets when she sleeps), and our gas usage has not increased at all over the past year, our bill has gone up to $159/month!! HOLY CRAP!! That’s one hell of an increase!

We don’t have an extra $107/month to send to the gas company. I’m not sure how we are going to pay for it. A friend of mine was telling me that we might qualify for assistance so I’m going to check that out.

Of course this comes at a time when we are trying to eat more healthfully, including buying many organic foods which, plain and simply, cost more. Arg.

It’s just so disheartening. It’s not like there’s anything we can do about it (is there?). We can’t not have gas – we need heat, we need hot water.

I know others have seen similar, if not more dramatic, increases in their gas bills lately as well. Is there something we can do to help bring the prices down? Anyone have any ideas?

This just plain stinks. πŸ™

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Btw, I had hoped to jump on the bandwagon and do my first Thursday Thirteen today, but I just haven’t had a chance to write up a list. Maybe next week! πŸ™‚

Out of the mouths of babes

Some of you may recall that several of my friends are pregnant. That, coupled with the fact that I have taken pictures of a few of them and their beautiful pregnant bellies (and have been working on their pictures on my computer), has lead Ava to believe that we ALL have a baby in our belly.

She was eating lunch a few days ago, when she stopped what she was doing, pulled up her shirt, grabbed her chubby rolls and said, “baby.” I tried to explain to her that she didn’t have a baby in her belly. She looked perplexed, pointed at my belly and said, “baby?” And I again said no, no baby in mommy’s belly either.

Later that night she did it again first with herself, then with me, and this time included dad, stating he had a baby in his belly as well. πŸ™‚

She does this every now and then. It’s super cute but hard for me to explain that only some women have babies in their bellies, when so many of the women she sees regularly do. πŸ˜‰

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A couple new veggie soup recipes will be posted soon. πŸ™‚

Things I never thought I’d hear myself saying

“That’s not poop, it’s a raisin!” – Said with relief after Ava kept saying, “poop, poop, poop” and pointing at something beneath my chair.

“Take the ducky out of the toilet, now please.” – Said after Ava decided ducky needed a swim.

“Get your hands out of the toilet.” – Said on numerous occasions now when Ava decides to go exploring in the “waawaa.”

Are you sensing a pattern here? Ava is fascinated with the toilet lately. Not going potty on it, but sticking her hands (and other things) in it. We’re doing our best to keep the bathroom doors closed, but I don’t always remember. Might have to invest in a couple of those childproof locks for the toilets. This is getting old, fast. :oP

On a related note of doing things she knows she shouldn’t be doing, Ava will sometimes say “Noooo, baby” as she reaches for something she shouldn’t have. She knows it’s not for her, but she’s gonna try to get it anyway. Li’l stinker. πŸ˜‰

It’s hard to say no

I did a maternity photoshoot for a friend this weekend. Although her 15 month old daughter wasn’t excited about being in many pics, I still managed to get some good captures. They weren’t the sweet ones I had visions of getting with the daughter resting her head on or kissing mom’s tummy, but, as I’m learning in the business, you gotta go with the flow. πŸ˜‰

At the end of the session, while I was packing up my things to go home, my friend called to her husband to get out the checkbook. I asked her what for and she said “to pay you.” I reminded her that there was no fee for the session. (I’ve been waiving my session fee and offering 50% off print prices while I’m still learning and portfolio building.) She really wanted to pay me, but I told her that it wasn’t necessary.

It’s hard to say no in a situation like that, when the money would certainly come in handy, but I know it’s the right thing to do. I’m not going to take money from one person when I’m not charging anyone else, especially since the experience I’m gaining from all of this is invaluable.

She asked me when I was going to start charging and I told her I didn’t know. I just don’t feel ready yet. She said she thinks I’m ready, Jody tells me I’m ready, but I have to feel it myself. I know I’ll never know everything and never be perfect, but I do want my comfort level to be a bit higher before I go “pro.”

I hope she will be happy with the pictures I took. There are several that I like, but it’s more important that she likes them. I might share a few of them here once I get done proofing them.

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As for the rest of the weekend…
We went to a couple flea markets on Saturday, in search of some props for my business. I found a small bench that I like but I didn’t get it. I can’t decide if I should spend some money buying small things like that or keep saving for the 50 mm lens that I really want. Right now I’m leaning towards saving for the lens.
We also went out to lunch, which was a really nice, rare treat.

Hope everyone had a nice weekend. πŸ™‚

Couple recipes – Chickpea lunch and Kentucky Fried (Baked) Tofu

I’m not sure where I picked up this first recipe. (My apologies in advance to anyone I may have snagged this from since I don’t know whom to credit. If I did get it from you, let me know so I can link ya here.)

No pics of this one, but it’s a nice colorful (and tasty) lunch and super easy to throw together.

Chickpea Lunch

1 can of chickpeas
sliced cherry tomatoes
feta cheese
lemon juice
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
dried oregano
salt
pepper

Toss together and serve.

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The second recipe is for Kentucky Fried (Baked) Tofu. I got this from Running2Ks, who I believe got it from a friend. It’s really easy to make and is very tasty!


Kentucky Fried (Baked) Tofu:

2 Tbsp hot water
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp almond butter
1/4 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove fresh garlic
1/4 tsp cracked pepper
1 lb very firm tofu sliced in thickness to your liking
Salt & Pepper Kettle chips crushed
Combine the first 5 ingredients in a blender, then pour in a bowl (or just mix vigorously in a bowl if you don’t want to dirty your blender like me). Dip the tofu in the sauce and then coat it with the Salt & Pepper Kettle chips. I added a bit more water to the leftover sauce and poured it over the coated tofu pieces. Place tofu pieces on a cookie sheet and bake @ 350 F for 15 min. Flip them over and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes.

Mmmmmm, tasty! Jody and I both loved these and and Ava ate them right up as well. πŸ™‚

Healthy lil toddler – doc appt.

We had Ava’s 18 month check-up yesterday. She’s nearly 19 months now, but hey, at least I got her there. πŸ˜‰

The appointment went marvelously. Ava is healthy and doing very well. She’s at or above all the developmental milestones for her age. The normal number of words for a child her age to have is 3 to 50 and she has at least 75 (and I keep thinking of more words I didn’t yet count). The doctor was quite impressed that she’s been doing somersaults on her own for the past three months. Yep, she’s our little monkey.

Ava was very cooperative during the exam. She stood still while the doc listened to her heart and lungs. She opened her mouth to let her look at her throat. She even showed off her teeth when asked. And while the doc and I talked, Ava played peek-a-boo with her by hiding behind the chair and climbed up and down the little step to get on the exam table, saying “wheee!”, assisted by the doc’s hand. πŸ™‚

Her weight was 29 lbs., 6 oz., (95th percentile) and her height was 32 1/2 inches (75th percentile), though I think she’s at least an inch taller than that. Her knees were bent when the nurse measured her. (Actually, I just looked up her 15 month stats and she was supposedly at 32 inches then, so I definitely think those measurements are a bit subjective.)

I didn’t go armed with a list of questions this time because I just didn’t have any concerns. It’s kind of nice when that happens. πŸ˜‰

We did talk a bit about the switch to vegetarianism. I said we are eating vegetarian now and she said, “Does she like fish?” And I said “Yes, she does, but we aren’t eating fish anymore.” (Why do people think fish aren’t animals?) I guess that was her lead in to talk about how fish is important for brain development. (Anybody got anything she could eat instead for her brain? Avocados?) She asked about dairy and eggs and I said we were still going to have dairy and eggs, but I wasn’t planning on giving her cow’s milk anymore. So she asked if I was using soy milk or what? I said soy and rice milk. She went on to say that rice milk is pure sugar to kids at this age and not to give it to her. Hmmm. I got home and compared the boxes of soy milk and rice milk. Soy milk has 7 grams of sugar and rice milk has 10 grams. Rice milk is fortified with B12 and soy milk isn’t. I dunno. She drinks so very little soy or rice milk each day anyway (she’s still nursing), I’m not sure I should be concerned. I’ll do some more research.

My approach with doctors has always been that I respect and listen to what they have to say. But I do that with the knowledge that they are only human and can’t possibly know everything, and then I go home, do my own research and make decisions that I feel are right for us. So that’s what I’ll do.

We also started her on her Polio vax. (We’re delaying and selectively vaxing and have only done 3 shots of the DTaP so far.) I feel good about the way we’re doing her vaxes. It took me a long time to decide we would even do any, but I’m glad we went the route that we did.

I’m thankful to have a happy, healthy lil toddler. πŸ™‚