Easy Orzo Risotto with Sun Dried Tomatoes

Easy Orzo Risotto with Sun Dried Tomatoes

I am just bursting with excitement to share today’s recipe with you. Because: ORZO RISOTTO <– Did you know that this could happen?!?

I certainly didn’t until the topic came up at work the other day.

It’s probably no big surprise that food is a frequent topic of conversation at work. A lot of my work friends love to cook, too, so we’re constantly peering into each other’s Tupperwares, asking what’s for lunch and how it’s prepared. What might be a surprise is that they are mostly single guys! I never thought I’d be sitting around with a bunch of bachelors talking about homemade naan recipes… or that one of them would turn me on to a new kind of risotto.

I guess that begs the question why they’re single. Well, due to a whole host of commitment issues, bad habits, and other personal flaws, no doubt.

Eh, you win some, you lose some. And I obviously win, because I got this risotto recipe.

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Crispy Baked Tofu Teriyaki Bowl

Crispy Baked Tofu Teriyaki Bowl

You may have noticed that I like to eat tofu with various sauces. Um, this one and this one, for example? But in truth, there is no better match for tofu, in my opinion, than teriyaki sauce.

Could anything really be better than peanut sauce?! Well, that is a pretty bold claim. I’m not sure I’m prepared to make it. I could drink peanut sauce with a straw any day of the week. And teriyaki sauce? Well, I didn’t really think I was a fan until recently. But it turns out I am – and especially on tofu!

Crispy Baked Tofu Teriyaki BowlCrispy Baked Tofu Teriyaki BowlCrispy Baked Tofu Teriyaki Bowl

Like so many of the recipes on this blog, these tofu teriyaki bowls are based on one of my favorite Whole Foods finds. They have a brown rice tofu teriyaki bowl that I’ve picked up several times when I don’t have leftovers to bring to work.

The meal is pretty straightforward – brown rice, baked tofu and roasted bok choy, topped with a teriyaki sauce – but the flavors are meant to be together! Something about the sweet and salty sauce, the neutral tofu, and the almost bitter bok choy. Once you try it, you won’t be able to fathom subbing a different vegetable or protein. It is just SO meant to be! Throw some green onions on there and I’m in HEAVEN.

Crispy Baked Tofu Teriyaki Bowl

I think of this as comfort food to begin with, because I usually get it from Whole Foods when I’m tired after traveling (hence the no leftovers to bring for lunch). There’s really no better pick-me-up in my freezing cold office than a piping hot lunch! And this week, I don’t know about the rest of the country, but it is coooold in Utah. 47 and raining on my drive home from work today, when it was high 80s last week! Nothing like six inches of snow in the mountains to let you know it’s SUMMER. It’s not too bad, though, really – the valley will stay green a bit longer with the rain and extra snowfall, and it’s a good excuse to turn the oven on for meals like this. And then curl up in sweatpants on the couch… not that I’m in that very position right now.

Crispy Baked Tofu Teriyaki Bowl

Wait, speaking of curling up in sweatpants and needing an office pick-me-up, here’s what you need to do if you work in an office: watch this video from The Onion immediately. I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m that annoying girl with a standing desk at work? Needless to say, multiple people shared this link with me last week :)

Crispy Baked Tofu Teriyaki Bowl

OK, back to the food. I’ve been searching for my ideal tofu preparation for bowls like this, and I think I’ve found it in Kate’s method, which I used here. Previously I’ve pan-fried the tofu, which is great for getting it extra crispy, but terrible for having your house smell like a burning wok for the next 72 hours. I’ve also baked it without corn starch, which is healthy, but not as crispy. This way, where you bake the tofu after tossing it with cornstarch, soy sauce, and oil, is the best of both worlds. Let me know if you have a different favorite way to make your tofu! I’m all ears… but until then, I’m sticking to this method for the foreseeable future!

Crispy Baked Tofu Teriyaki Bowl

5.0 from 2 reviews
Crispy Baked Tofu Teriyaki Bowl
 
Hands-on time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Yields: 2-3 servings
Ingredients
For the brown rice:
  • 3/4 cup brown rice
  • 3 to 4 cups water
For the crispy baked tofu:
  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup Bragg's liquid aminos or low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp peanut oil or canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
For the bok choy:
  • 3 to 4 baby bok choy, rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp peanut oil or canola oil
  • sprinkle of pepper
For the teriyaki sauce:
  • 1/4 cup Bragg's liquid aminos or low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp mirin
  • 2 Tbsp raw turbinado sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp water
To serve:
  • 2-3 green onions, sliced
  • sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Make the rice. Rinse and drain rice. Add to a small pot, along with water, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes. Drain, cover, and let sit for 20 more minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.
  2. Make the crispy baked tofu. Preheat oven to 425. Drain the water out of the package of tofu. Wrap the block of tofu in paper towels and squeeze out the excess moisture. Slice tofu into bite-sized triangles.
  3. Place tofu in a bowl or large dish. Pour Bragg's and peanut oil over the tofu and sprinkle with cornstarch. Toss gently until tofu is coated with the mixture and no dry spots of cornstarch remain. Spread tofu on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until deep brown and chewy, about 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  4. Make the teriyaki sauce. While the tofu bakes, whisk or blend together the Bragg's, mirin, sugar, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. Stir in the cornstarch/water mixture. Bring to a simmer in a small pan. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a small pitcher.
  5. Make the bok choy. Slice the baby bok choy in half lengthwise. Spread halves on a baking sheet. Drizzle the leafy greens with peanut oil and toss them a bit to coat. Sprinkle with pepper. The bok choy will need to bake for just 6-8 minutes, so place them in the hot oven when the tofu has 6-8 minutes left to go.
  6. To serve, scoop rice into bowls. (If you want to be really nice, you can chop up the roasted bok choy before serving.) Top rice with bok choy, tofu, teriyaki sauce, green onions, and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

 

Crunchy Flaxseed Peanut Butter

Crunchy Flaxseed Peanut Butter

Happy Monday from me and my tummy full o’ PB!

Some weekends call for a couple peanut buttery snacks, and this was definitely such a weekend in our household. More so for Nate than for me – he ran his seventh marathon on Saturday! But he prefers almond butter, so I had this peanut butter all to myself. I love it when things work out that way.

Spectating a marathon is a hard job, too, guys. Let’s be real. I had to wake up early, stress about how Nate’s race was going, drive around to see him, try to think of encouraging things to say, hold my bladder so I didn’t miss him go by… tough job! At least as tough as running 26.2 miles! OK, not really… not by a long shot.

In fact, Nate makes race spectating pretty darn easy because there are no other runners around him… just a Kenyan a minute ahead of him and the next pack of guys more than half a mile behind. No crush of runners blocking traffic or anything like that, so I was able to drive along the course and see him at 7 different spots. I almost feel like I’m annoying him when I keep popping up! Too bad I can’t hop in and run with him like he did for me during my last half… his pace is so smoking fast that I could probably sprint along for a quarter mile max. He is a speedy one!

Crunchy Flaxseed Peanut Butter

It was a beautiful morning, both for running and spectating, and Nate took second place with a time of 2:27. So proud of him! The guy works so hard, and though I appreciate his effort and dedication every day of the week, it’s nice to see him be recognized for it by others. As for whether it makes those 100-mile weeks worth it or not… well, you’ll have to ask him. 

I didn’t want to miss out on the running fun, so I woke up early, too, and got my long run in before the start of the race. Yep, I am that crazy girl who ran 10 miles at 3:45 AM. When did I get like that?! I don’t know, but I can tell you I was plenty glad to get my long run over so early in the weekend and to put the early wake-up to good use. That’s how I earned my peanut butter, guys! And you better believe I took advantage.

Speaking of which, let’s switch over to peanut butter. Food talk is always better than running talk.

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Blue Cheese Polenta with Rosemary Blistered Tomatoes

Blue Cheese Polenta with Rosemary Blistered Tomatoes

Wanna know something fun? We’re getting married in 99 days!

We’re in double digits – this thing is really gonna happen!

I mean, I think it’s gonna happen. As soon as I get my dress fitted, buy wedding shoes (I want peep toe flats!), pick out the menu, and buy us some plane tickets home. All of the planning is under control for the most part, but a few of the remaining to-do list items are pretty necessary for us to tie the knot. For example, I think it would be nice if we showed up for our own wedding, don’t you? Unfortunately, cross-country airfares seem to be plotting against us…

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Watermelon Avocado Gazpacho

Watermelon Avocado Gazpacho

I think I may have died and gone to heaven.

Not the kind of heaven where you get all your tax dollars back in a lump sum (because, all religion and politics aside, let’s face it: that would be awesome), but the kind where you’re surrounded by watermelon. How thrilled would you be if the reward for a lifetime of good deeds was towering cubes of juicy watermelon everywhere you turned for the rest of eternity? I think I would be pretty pumped. If I’m lucky, my tax dollars will be tucked in there somewhere, too.

Sigh… a girl can dream.

The main surprise here is that I even tried a new kind of gazpacho. Prior to this fabulousness, regular tomato gazpacho was the only flavor ever to grace my blender. My mistake, because I’ve been missing out big time! I was inspired to blend up this batch after enjoying a particularly delicious cup of watermelon gazpacho at a restaurant, and now I’m afraid this may turn into the Summer of Gazpacho. I mean, I can’t think of a single fruit or vegetable that wouldn’t taste delicious as part of a tomato-y chilled soup. Maybe that’s an exaggeration… I haven’t brainstormed very hard. But still, you get the picture: YUM.

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