My Kitchen Staples

by Lauren on August 14, 2012

Good afternoon!

Guys, I’m at a loss right now.  I don’t usually have this problem but today, my brain has lost all concept of food inspiration.  Maybe it is because the pickings are rather slim this week (I didn’t want to buy too much at the store since we were eating out twice and I am leaving for Boston on Friday).  Either way, I had a hard time figuring out what to make for breakfast, lunch and now I’m worried about dinner.  Hopefully something will just come to me or else it might be a “raid the freezer” kind of night in our house.  That doesn’t happen often but I’m one to admit, I too have trouble always coming up with unique and delicious healthy meals every single day.

Breakfast

I went to a familiar favorite this morning.  Yogurt, granola, berries and nut butter is a staple.  I always have some form of each ingredient so when I’m at a loss, I always revert to my classic bowl.

Then I got to thinking, what are the main things I have in my kitchen AT ALL TIMES.

  1. Greek Yogurt
  2. Nutbutter (almond, sunbutter currently)
  3. Bananas
  4. Granola
  5. Hummus
  6. Eggs
  7. Almond Milk
  8. Cereal
  9. Spinach
  10. Fruit/Veggies in some shape or form
I guess you can call that list my staples but I’m pretty sure I can make breakfast, lunch, and dinner out of those 10 things.

Lunch

One ingredient I haven’t purchased in months is tofu.  I used to eat tofu more frequently; however, cut back last year when I was trying to reduce my intake of processed soy.  I still really enjoy tofu but only buy it on occasion.

I must have deprived myself far too long because I had quite the hankering for it today.

Most people fear tofu or have no idea how to prepare it so I thought I would so you my all time favorite method for cooking tofu.

Step 1:

 Press and cut your tofu

I use a Tofu Xpress which makes this process so easy, but if you don’t have one of these convenient machines, you can also press your tofu by wrapping it around a few paper towels or a dish cloth and stacking something heavy on top.  Let it press for at least 30 minutes but as long as possible to drain all of the excess water the tofu has absorbed. After it has pressed and most of the liquid is drained, cut your block into one inch cubes.

Step 2:

Season

Here is where you want to add your flavor. Tofu is a blank page and basically tasteless until you add your seasonings so get creative.  My favorite is a generous amount of salt, pepper, chili powder, and dried herbs.

Step 3:

Bake

Spray a foil lined baking pan with cooking spray and add the tofu to the pan.  Coat the tofu with cooking spray and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Step 4:

Coat

This step is completely optional but for some added flavor, I like to coat the cooked tofu in a simple dressing.  Today I used a creamy balsamic which was a store bought but you can also use any Italian or Greek dressing for even more flavor.

I know others can’t get past the texture of tofu but I’m a fan of the soft pillowy bites.  Slightly chewy and a tad crunchy from the crust that has formed from the baking process.

I ate 1/2 of the block of tofu for lunch, along with some massaged kale (lemon juice, tahini, nooch, agave) and roasted broccoli all topped with hummus and hemp seeds.

Well that was a filling and delicious lunch.  Now, if only I can come up with something similar for dinner.  Any ideas?
What are your kitchen staples? 

Check it out- 

Kristin is featured as our Featured Blogger of the Month over at the NAG blog.  Check out her incredible banana split using chocolate and peanut butter granola.  Okay, this could be dinner tonight! :)
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{ 9 comments }

Erica August 14, 2012 at 2:49 pm

I feel totally foggy this week too! Not sure whats up with that. Yummy breakfast. I wish I could get behind tofu made at home…it always seems too watery to me (no matter how much I press). Our staples: nut butter, Greek yogurt, oatmeal, chicken or turkey, tons of fruit, tons of veggies

CJ @ http://healthy-happy-whole.com August 14, 2012 at 3:15 pm

I eat the same things day in and day out sometimes and when I get bored I switch it up. No shame in leftovers and lack of creativity! Sometimes I want a guacamole and shrimp salad 3 days in a row! nutritious and delicious :-)
When you said you had sunflower and almond butter open right now I had to laugh because there needs to be a rule in my house to only have two jars of nut butter open at a time…we curently have 6!!! White Chocolate Coconut, Peanut Honey Pretzel, Sunflower Seed Butter, Cookie Nookie, 2 more PB Crave Varieties…addiction?
Good thing I like nut butter!

Rachel August 14, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Breakfast looks like one of my favorites too! I also tend to eat the same thing every day haha never get bored :p I need a tofu press… I hate how moist it is

Erica @ For the Sake of Cake August 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm

I always have Greek yogurt (Chobani!), bananas, & peanut butter on hand!

Danica @ It's Progression August 14, 2012 at 4:05 pm

I have a lot of the same food staples: bananas, nut butter, almond milk, eggs, spinach, plus tons of fresh fruit and veggies (whatever is in season) and snack bars (like Larabars or Pure bars)

Anne August 14, 2012 at 7:25 pm

My staples are mainly produce, lettuce, carrots, apples, citrus, mushrooms, with some greek yogurt and pumkin thrown in there.

Marlena August 14, 2012 at 9:45 pm

I LOVE my Tofu Xpress! I eat way more tofu now. Another tip I read on a vegan cooking site is to remove the tofu from its package when you get home and store it in a bowl of water for a few days before you use it. Leeches out that grody water it sits in otherwise. Also, my favorite tofu right now is one Trader Joe’s carries… this one: http://janesaddictions.wordpress.com/2011/07/28/tofu-experiment/

Steph @ StephSnacks August 15, 2012 at 9:41 am

Awesome tofu tips! I don’t really follow these but I definitely need to… I think it would make my tofu taste a whole lot better!

Katy August 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm

I never knew tofu presses existed! I’m Chinese so we use A LOT of tofu in our cooking. I’m starting to experiment with it more with more westernized dishes. My next experiment will be tofu mac and cheese! Mmmm.

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