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zoe & the beatles

just a twenty-something vegan navigating healthy, positive living with a little help from her friends john, paul, ringo & george!

Category Archives: tofu

lately i’ve been putting more of an effort into creating in the kitchen. i love it so much but i’m usually so hungry and impatient by the time i need to start cooking dinner i either opt for something quick (and therefore too boring to present to you all) or i go out (blaming this on k :)).

the other day, however, i buckled down and decided to make curry, a food i love with all my heart and soul and usually only eat when eating out.

k came over and we picked out a recipe and got to cooking! thank you my cozy kitchen for the basis and inspiration for our first attempt at curry!

we basically stuck to the recipe but subbed the potatoes for tofu and added peas and spinach for more veggie bulk! k is not a vegan/vegetarian but he is also not a very picky eater and loves all the vegan and vegetarian foods i’ve introduced to him thus far. sounds like a winner, no? 😉

anywho, it turned out just all right. i wouldn’t say it was as flavorful as curries we’ve tried in our favorite indian and thai restaurants. but it was good! and nicely spicy. spicy foods = absolutelymyfavorite. if anything can be made spicy, i usually will make it spicy 🙂

left oveeeerrrrsss! i know it looks kind of gross, but it’s pretty tasty! especially after chilling out in the fridge for a second. all the flavors meld together well 🙂

in the past if things did not turn out exactly as i wanted them to, i usually deemed it a failure and wound myself up in negative thoughts. however, now that i am practicing self-compassion and patience, i can call this a great first attempt at curry. nothing comes easily without practice. plus, i think i need to invest some money in good curry. any suggestions???

in addition to the curry, i finally got around my laziness (something i am seriously working on) and sprouted quinoa!!! talk about easiest sprouting experience ever. all i did was soak the quinoa in water over night, woke up, drained it, and allowed it to further drain in a collander all day covered with a clean cloth. did it sprout? hells yes! just look at those yummy sprouted seeds…

i’m trying to spend more time in the kitchen, yes, but i am trying to spend more time un-cooking in my kitchen. raw food fascinates me. i love every aspect of it, from the preparation to the taste, to the ingredients. it has opened my eyes to a completely new form of food preparation as well as a new form of living and eating. though i know i cannot go raw over night, i plan in 2011 to make a pretty big conversion over to the raw side. i do need to allow my stomach time to adjust though!

regardless, i am so excited and so inspired! a friend just let me borrow raw food, real world by matthew kenney and sarma melngailis. i sprouted the quinoa specifically for a recipe in there! i’ll let you know about it soon, promise 🙂 also, i just ordered another book by matthew kenney and one by ani phyo. so excited! this dehydrator has definitely motivated me! be on the look out for more recipes for sure!

last night i threw together this little tostada…

brown rice tortilla topped with half an avocado, chick peas mashed with hot sauce (nandos!), spinach, sprouted quinoa, and a quarter of a yellow bell pepper which, to me, looks like the sun! which made me super happy. the yellow and orange peppers were on sale (97 cents EACH!) so i stocked up. i forgot how sweet yellow bell peppers were!

this was my first experience with sprouted quinoa. i can tell you it does taste different — it tastes sprouted! crunchy and good. i ate this alongside some roasted brussel sprouts.

one thing i’ve noticed is this: i do not require as much food as i used to. i do not work out like i used to (meaning, i don’t run 6-7 miles EVERY DAY) so my body requires less food. it’s a nice realization and i’m recognizing when to stop eating and understanding the concept of being satisfied as opposed to stuffed. baby steps!

it’s a nice sunny day (though absolutely fucking freezing) and i just completed an hour of core yoga (a la yogadownload.com). i haven’t done this flow in a while and it was challenging. definitely broke a sweat and got my heart rate pumping! about twenty minutes in the negative voice in my head started saying things like “this is too hard, i can’t do this”. but i forced myself to recognize my own strength and you know what? it was challenging, yes, but i felt empowered and strong and refused to let my negative voice dominate my flow. i ended the hour feeling awake in my core as well as in my being.

i love yoga for this very reason. it makes me feel alive and capable and humble all at the same time. and guess what? i can officially hold crow! and i got into full boat pose today (though i was shaking the entire time). i am most definitely deepening my yoga abilities. although i weighed less in past months, i was never able to do these things. my strength and endurance has improved ten-fold despite my weight gain. again, just another reason supporting the fact that weight doesn’t determine your overall health.

oh, and i just remembered i never showed you my new yoga mat!

this is one substantial mat! it’s heavy and thiiiick. i kind of love it dearly 🙂

but i’ve got to go! work in an hour — and my first review! can you believe i’ve been working for starbucks for six months already? i can’t!

enjoy your monday!

namaste

zoe

good afternoon!

sorry i’ve fallen off the blog-o-sphere as of late. i’ve just been really, really, ridiculously good looking busy. between work outs, kicking it with friends, and running errands i am unfortunately finding little time to write up interesting posts. i don’t feel particularly interesting at this moment. so i’m just going to catch you up on thoughts and events and foods of the past few days.

food number one:

tofu noodles! i saw these at my local grocery store and swooped them immediately. were they good? yes! very tasty! i paired them with a raw zucchini, lightly steamed carrots, and the remainder of the sauce i made the other day. super yum.

final thoughts: while this was delicious and super low in calories (20 per serving and there’s two servings in that package! i ate it all in one sitting), i wish i read in the back before buying them. because i read tofu on the front, i assumed the noodles would be a good source of protein. wrong. for the entire package, there is only two grams of protein. bummer. but a delicious bummer nonetheless.

the other night i returned home completely ravenous. i wanted something indian inspired, and quick. so i threw together this (kind of?) curry in a hurry:

turned out pretty good for being a kind-of curry! i served it over some quinoa i cooked because i was way too impatient to wait for brown rice.

and today, i made my very first batch of hummus! because i soaked my own chick peas the other day. i’m not giving out a recipe because i am still working on making it legit…too legit to quit, in fact. and i don’t think it’s too legit to quit yet. a friend just gifted me a HUGE bag of walnuts, too! i just prepped some raw taco “meat” for my dinner using them. i plan on creating a raw dessert soon with them as well. recipe for that as soon as i get around to it!

yesterday i spent the day on top of mount tam again. lost in the trees again. twas awesome.

sigh. the redwoods are so pretty. one thing i noticed yesterday while lost in the beautiful greenery that is northern california’s muir woods? i have an issue with being present in the moment. i tend to allow my mind to wander to future events. my body may be present and alert to the time and space i occupy at any given second, but my mind rarely is. i have trouble focusing completely on what i am doing at any period of time. so yesterday, as i wound through the woods, all i could think about was what i was going to do when i got home. where’s the logic in that? i tend to catch myself doing this quite often. i’m going to work on that.

and in other news, i’ve been feeling awesome lately (although today i am fighting off a bit of a funk). i’ve stayed dedicated to avoiding chocolate (although i may have had a slice of raw raspberry mocha layer cake from cafe gratitude on national junk food day and it may or may not have contained cacao ;)) and i have not baked a single thing (though i am seriously itching to. bag of walnuts = a world of raw desserts! i can’t wait!!!). i’m seriously going to start avoiding sugar because i’ve noticed how different i feel mentally and physically without it in my diet. moderation!

also, i start every morning with yoga, even on my “shred days”. and boy have i noticed a difference. my core feels stronger. my mind feels lighter. and today i stepped on a scale just to check in. i won’t tell you what i weigh because i don’t think that’s important, but i’ve lost five pounds from the last time i weighed myself (about two weeks ago? maybe more.) i was pretty shocked because i look more or less the same — just more toned. yoga is a god send, for both the body and the mind. i even went to the pool the other day and felt confident in my bikini. that’s major. MAJOR. seriously, i never ever thought i’d be comfortable in my own skin. but i honestly think the goal is attainable by the end of this year.

siiigh. i’m really in love with life right now. i’m trying to see the beauty and the blessings in each and every day.

on that note, i should mention i’m leaving tomorrow to spend the week in lake tahoe with my family. i am so excited to relax and unwind and get away from everything for a second. our family friends are lending us their home which means i will have a kitchen to cook in! oh yeah, i’ve already stuffed a bag full of food to take with me! i will not be posting anything. i’m unplugging for seven solid days.

have a great week and apologies for this scattered, really horribly written post!

namaste!

zoe!

is a warm guuuuun!

good early, early morning kidlettes. it’s 12:51 am here on the california coast. seriously guys, i’m quite the night owl. i love staying up late…despite waking up at oh, nine every morning. it’s okay, i don’t mind 🙂

anywho, hope everyone’s father’s day went well! mine was splendid! i spent the night at home on saturday so i could wake up and be with my family already — and more importantly, my dad!

honestly, i’m not sure where i’d be without my dad. he’s been such a solid in my life. he’s been supportive in everything i’ve ever done and taught me so, so much. i’m for sure a daddy’s girl 🙂 fooor sure. check out what i found…

this was the first day of first grade! i used to have BLONDE hair when i was a kid. like, SUUUUPER blonde. and i also had a birthmark in between my eyebrows! never got teased though!

and this gem:

oooh yeah, totes rockin’ the mid-90’s velvet dress and baaangs! dig iiiit.

anyway, point is: HAPPY FATHER’S DAD! my family and i went out for brunch (where, unfortunately, there was basically no vegan options soo i had a decidedly UNvegan day…i ordered an omlette. oops! i just was so not in the mood for granola and fruit…) and then my dad and i saw toy story 3. GUYS. GO SEE THIS! it was seriously amazing. i laughed the entire time. super cute. can you believe the first toy story came out when i was seven? this series has spanned basically my entire life…7-20! crazy!

after returning home my dad and i cooked up some dinner. my parents had steak and i had grilled portobello, tofu, a roasted red pepper, and roasted broccoli. happy tummyyyyy. and we had ice cream sundaes. i got dairy-free local vanilla. i ate too much. BUT I’M OKAY WITH IT. i am.

i came home and, as is my (BAD) habit, examined myself in my full length mirror. my “girl” (aka: my stomach pooch) was there but i just shrugged and said: meh, i’m still bangin’ 😉

short story: i developed early. liiiike…in the third grade. it was embarrassing, as i was the only one of my friends to have boobs. then came the hips. and the bigger boobs. aaaand then bigger boobs. my genetics have gifted me with quite the womanly body. i’ve always been borderline ashamed of my body and have hid it in every way possible. when you develop early and no one else does, it’s AWKWARD. it made me feel weird and uncomfortable. and revealing clothing never appealed to me because i never wanted to reveal my curves. i felt like it was all anyone noticed and i didn’t want to be noticed. and because of my early development and subsequent embarrassment over it, i’ve never put myself out there. instead i stuck to the sidelines and watched my friends shine and flirt with the boys i only wished i could flirt with so easily. but today, i liked the curves i saw. i’m getting better at this whole confidence thing and this whole being comfortable in my own skin thing. i’m getting better at seeing that hey, people actually DO find me attractive. the only person who finds me “ugly” is me. it’s high time i start seeing what other people have seen all along. fake it till you make it, right? and i know some days i will eat too much and get a little down but i’m truly realizing that it’s OKAY.

i’m realizing i need to eat more.
i’m realizing i need to eat more often.
i’m realizing i need to just eat what i want.
i’m realizing i need to stop worry about calories.
i’m realizing i need to be just be happy.

most of all, i realized the key to happiness. the other day, jackie wrote a post about “the four agreements.” i highly recommend reading her post! it was very insightful. anyway, the four agreements is something my roommate and i talk about frequently. after reading jackie’s post, it got me thinking: happiness can only be achieved by you. it cannot be reached through the external. when internal peace is achieved, happiness — real happiness — will be found. at least, that’s what i’m starting to think! i’m going to start focusing on the important things, which will NOT involve my appearance. there are so many more important things to spend my energy on. i feel like the moment i stop obsessing about my body, it will change.

i think the reason my stomach disappeared last summer was because i was, truly, happy. i never thought about it. so it just…vanished. the power of thought astounds me. think negatively and your body and mind will be negative. think positively and, well, you get the idea 😉

so i’m going to start to strive for that internal happiness. i’m going to start to search for that lightness. i’m going to start to forget myself and just be. i’m serious this time.

what do you do to stay happy when negativity crowds in?

anyway, as it’s 1:23 (123!!!! anyone else love when the time is in numerical order? no? i’m the only dork? ;)) and i guess i should go to sleep (though i’m not tired in the slightest!). night kidlettes!

here’s to happy dreams!

namaste

zoe

hello kidlettes! how are all of you today? well, i hope!

whew. the past week has been…rough. emotionally. physically. spiritually. i’m out of whack, as you know, but i woke up this morning feeling more centered and more relaxed. THANK THE UNIVERSE because if i had to experience another day like yesterday, i might just implode.

what happened yesterday? well i broke down on my yoga mat and sobbed for a good twenty minutes. yes, sobbed. like a baby. i just lost it. it felt good to lose it, though. you know when you’re just so emotionally taxed and you cry and suddenly everything just feels…peaceful again? well that was yesterday. only the peace did not stay for so long. but i felt infinitely better after my pathetic water works explosion. AND the yoga felt amazing too.

i felt all weepy for the remainder of the day though and definitely teared up at stupid things. honestly? since starting this blog i’ve realized about once a month my mood swings and emotions go absolutely bat-shit insane for about a week. and i think the reason i feel so great today is because it has been exactly one week since i started to slip down my negative road. what can i credit this to? upon reflection, i noticed this trend started in middle school. i think i just have really intense PMS. i don’t get cramps. i don’t suffer from fatigue. but my body likes to plague me with horrid bouts of uncontrollable mood swings, breakouts, and bloating. oh, the pleasures of womanhood.

do any of you ladies out there have similar symptoms? HOW THE EFF DO YOU DEAL!?!?!

anyway, besides feeling like an emotional crazy lady, yesterday went well. my dad and brother are out of town at the pebble beach golf tournament (i know. i don’t get it either. golf is so effing boring!) so i accompanied my mom to dinner and a movie! seriously, i know i’ve mentioned it before but whenever i am down, going home really grounds me. although, i was in a bad mood yesterday and my patience wasn’t too great…

but dinner! dinner was great! we could not think of a damn place to eat at and we only had an hour before the movie started. we hemmed and hawed and argued over vegan food until i finally suggested we just go to the whole foods hot bar and salad bar. an immediate deal was reached. my mom got a burrito (i think this is new? i’ve never seen the option before!) and i put together a deliiiicious mini salad and did something i haven’t done in oh, over a year: i got a sandwich. ON A SOURDOUGH ROLL! that’s a big step, guys. really, really big. my mom i think has recognized some of my food anxieties and reassured me by saying: “it’s okay, you’ll live!” sometimes parents just really know what to say. i found it really comforting and you know what? i did live. and the sandwich kicked ass. (basil pesto, roasted red pepper, grilled portobello mushrooms, onions and lettuce!)

we ate in the parking lot of the movie theater and declared it the best idea ever. we saw winter’s bone. it was GREAT. the cinematography was stunning and the acting was fantastic and the writing…le sigh, i love writing as you know (creative writing majoooor! what whaaat!) and this writing was so, so beautiful. i recommend it!

so that was yesterday. and when i FINALLY uploaded my pictures, i noticed just how many eats i’ve been concealing from you guys!

remember that awesome breakfast i alluded to the other day? well this was it:

two slices of sprouted sourdough which i used to make french toast!!!!! it’s been YEARS since i last ate french toast. i topped one side with peanut butter and the other with dark chocolate almond spread (i know i said i was taking a break from chocolate but for some reason, i am not counting this :)) and half a nanner. then i put them together. things got messy. AND DELICIOUS!

will i remake this? uh…YES. i drizzled a little honey on it, too. i know honey is not vegan but i have a full bottle and bought it before my decision and you know what, (good) honey is expensive. i’m not going to waste food, either.

yesterday for lunch i ate this plate of awesome:

tofu i sauteed with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a ridiculous amount of nutritional yeast. topped with 1/4 an avocado and daiya cheddar style cheese (if i could marry this, i might.). served with a side of nutritional yeast covered roasted brussel sprouts. yeah, so what? i really like nutritional yeast, okay ;)?

it was glorious. the other day, i made this after a good long run:

tofu scramble with 1/4th an avocado, salsa and daiya “cheese” all wrapped up in a toasted ezekiel wrap. toasting them, i think, is key. i like them as is but when they sit in the broiler for a second, the outside crisps up but the inside stays chewing and ahh it ends up being a really good combination of textures.

the other day i created this:

open faced tempeh almond butter & jam sandwich. the “bread” was april’s nearly no carb sandwich bread. they’re a little more like pancakes but incredibly tasty!!!

today i ate this after my 6.5 mile run:

i dreamed it up while running: half a cantaloupe stuffed with quinoa which i mixed with some greek yogurt, cinnamon and coconut flakes. YUM YUM YUM. protein and melon which i am craving like crazy lately (really though. i bought a mini watermelon, a honey dew, and two Tuscan cantaloupes yesterday. no, i am no obsessed. why do you ask? ;)) and i’m pretty sure i’m not going to miss greek yogurt. i was never a big fan of yogurt to begin with but eh. it’ll keep my wallet fatter, i think! this stuff can be pricey…

i also ate this with lunch too:

simply delicious 🙂

ooh and guess what FINALLY came in the mail yesterday!?! my newest kitchen gadget!

i used it this morning to weigh out my oatmeal. turns out i’ve been over doing the 1/3 cup 😉 i think i will definitely have to be careful how i use this, though. it might turn into a negative obsession. i will not weigh out all my foods. but i am curious to see just how many grams of x y and z vegetable i am consuming. or nut butters (because i think i FOR SURE eat more then a serving size at a time. oops!) i think i will primarily use this for baking! baking is really an exact science. so knowing the exact amount of baking powder and flour and chocolate (one day!) will be beneficial.

this is a ridiculously long post. i’m sorry! just a few more random thoughts…

did anyone catch the US vs slovenia game? if you didn’t, i seriously encourage you to watch it!!!!!!! unless you’re crazy and don’t like football (soccerrrr!). but we were robbed of a goal and should of won. seriously, i was screaming at my computer screen. i’m sure my neighbors thought i was nuts. and because of the call the ref might be barred from reffing any further world cup games. SERVES HIM RIGHT. it was an AWFUL call. everyone admitted it, too. did not matter what country you were sporting, a shitty call is always a shitty call.

also one more thought concerning my run this morning…i really pushed it today. i started out faster than normal and kept the pace as best i could for the duration of the run. i clocked in at 51:36. i ran my 10k in 57:15. i’ve shaved off a LOT of time!!!!!! i’m getting faster! i am thrilled 🙂 just another reminder that i can do anything. and you know what? so can you!

and that’s all for now. i’m going to bikram later with some friends and am pretty stoked about it. i think today it will be especially centering and calming and restorative. until then i will be reading! two books i requested from the library came in yesterday along for the rid by sarah dessen (i’ve read all of her books. they’re so fluffy but i love them! i read 60 pages last night!) and michael pollan’s the omnivores dilemma. yay!

i might post later about one of the topics i’ve been meaning to talk about! stay tuned 🙂

namaste

zoe