Friday, April 19, 2013

Crispy Tofu and Arugula Summer Salad

After a month of no grocery shopping, I started getting desperate with meal prep. Finally on Sunday, Aaron and I went shopping and stocked up as we had practically eaten everything in the pantry minus a can of tomatoes, and the remaining half cup of peas I didn’t add into the last week’s meals.

That means that the first week after a grocery shopping trip is always heaven. Oh, I can have fresh veggies or a snack? Awesome! We have more than rice? Great!

So with that abundance, comes this Japanese-inspired Arugula salad with crispy glazed tofu. I ate this whole thing in about a minute.

I’ve never actually cooked tofu on my own before but felt inspired after seeing these step-by-step instructions from One Ingredient Chef. He makes it look so easy, and after doing it, I realized how simple it really is to cook crispy, delicious tofu.

If you can’t get your head around tofu, I understand. The glaze I used (also inspired by One Ingredient chef) would be delicious on chicken, pork, salmon, or shrimp.

For SUPER EASY instructions on how to make delicious, crispy tofu for any meal, head over to the One Ingredient Chef.

I like a crispy topping heavy salad, if you don’t, pick and choose some of the crispy toppings depending on your preference and pantry. Make it your own! This is a fabulous salad for a summer dinner with Jasmine iced tea.

Crispy Tofu with Japanese-inspired Arugula Salad

(Tofu recipe adapted from One Ingredient Chef)
makes 1 large, dinner sized salad

3 ¾ inch slices of extra-firm tofu, about 1/3 of a block (I got mine at Trader Joe’s)
1 tbsp. olive oil or vegetable oil
Warm salted water
3 oz. arugula or salad mix

Tofu glaze:
1 tbsp. agave nectar
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, finely chopped
½ tsp. garlic powder
Squirt of sriracha
Black pepper

½ fresh avocado, sliced
1/8 cup Dried cranberries
¼ cup Fresh blueberries
pick and choose
Wasabi peas and almonds
Coconut chips
Toasted Sesame seeds
Chia seeds
Kalamata olives

1 tbsp. agave nectar
1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. sriracha hot sauce
1 tbsp. fresh ginger root, chopped
1-2 tsp. fresh garlic, chopped
optional: 1 tbsp. orange juice


Follow these instructions for crispy tofu, using the tofu slices, warm water, and oil for frying.

Once pan is cooled add all the ingredients for the tofu glaze to the same pan that you fried the tofu in over medium-low heat. Once the glaze begins to caramelize, add tofu and gently toss. Turn off heat.

To assemble your salad, first add arugula to a large plate. Pour half of the dressing over the greens.

Add toppings to your salad and pour the rest of the dressing over top. Add crispy tofu slices on top of the salad and pour remaining glaze of the salad if desired.

Serve immediately.



The College Cuisiner

Happy Earth Day!

And since it’s Friday:

Some live music from Adele.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Cautionary Tale about Cyber-Bullying

I usually don’t comment on stuff like this, but  I felt compelled after reading a truly heart-breaking post from my blogging friend, Carrie at Bakeaholic Mama.

I hope she is okay with me writing about this, but as a fellow food blogger I could not let this one go. Carrie and I started within a month of each other and became among each others’ first followers, respectively.  Since July 2011, Carrie has helped me get Facebook fans, twitter followers, and blog followers on multiple occasions, just out of the goodness of her heart.

While my blog has stayed very small over this time, Carrie’s page has exploded, turning into an amazing professional-grade blog. I have the UPMOST respect for this mother of three and recipe-guru. Seriously, she’s amazing. I’ve often wished I’ve had similar success, but after this particular incident, I’ve realized there is always a price—no matter how well deserved that person is of their success.

I won’t say too much about the incident(s) in question in order to respect Carrie and the parties involved. If you wish, you can read Carrie’s side of it on her blog, and then go home immediately and make the recipe she included.

Seriously this woman gets sucker punched and she makes friendship muffins. Move over Mother Theresa!

But the point is Carrie who has worked tirelessly for almost two years on her fabulous blog has been subject to several separate cases of cyber-bullying on her blog’s Facebook page and actual site. I’ve witness these attacks on several occasions and often give words of encouragement but this time was just plain horrible. After an innocent and well deserved request for the respect of herself and other bloggers’ personal property, another person gave out Carrie’s personal Facebook information. Along with that, they allowed their followers to viciously attack her online through comments and private messages that would make your hair curl.

Guess what? This happens ALL OF THE TIME. Oh, and another thing...

This is not okay.

 A hard-working mother of three should be respected and honored, NOT attacked. If you agree (or even not,) please check out some information on cyber-bullying (from the Decorated Cookie) and the proper way to share other’s intellectual property online (from Dianne whether it be one Facebook, Pinterest, etc.

The only way cyber-bullying will stop is if we all take a stand against it. No matter if said bullying is against an innocent 13-year old girl or a blogger, it is never right. We as a society must stand against it before this problem becomes worst. Just because you are behind a computer screen does not mean give someone the right to say nasty things about others.

I know you, my readers are respectful, and essentially I am preaching to the choir, but I appreciate the occasional Amen! I hope all of you will send Carrie some love. And please share responsively.

That’s my two cents.

Monday, April 1, 2013

March Foodie Pen Pals

I was so excited to be a part of Foodie Pen Pals this month as Aaron was away and I needed something to do during the first week of March. I made a box for the lovely Sasha from Los Angeles and her report is included in this post!

As for my box, it was sent by Hazel from Maryland, (originally from Scotland.) I was so excited when I realized she sent goodies all from the UK!

It made me so homesick for London. I loved Hazel’s “instructions," as well as a recipe for homemade Spotted Dick pudding, and a history and fun facts about Tunnock’s.

Here's what was included:

A great list of recipes and tips including the "proper way" to make tea. Even I learned  some valuable tips.

My favorite tip is no. 4: “Pour a small amount of water into your brewing kettle. This will ‘scald’ the pot. Discard the scald water immediately. (This step is used to keep your tea warmer.)” It really works!

Can of Heinz Spotted Dick Pudding, a classic sweet

Container of Bird's Custard powder, so many uses!

Samples of various teas included Yorkshire Gold, Tetley, French Breakfast, and a delicious loose leaf Darjeeling all the way “personally” from Delhi, India.

A giant package of the Scottish classic, Tunnock's caramel wafers

Overall it was a perfect tea/pudding time! Thanks to for all the great items, and all of the thought put into it! I meant so much to me to have a little bit of the UK back with me a year later.

Here's Sasha's:

March marked the first time I'd participated in Foodie Pen Pals and I was lucky enough to be partnered with Marisa from this wonderful blog. I've participated in gift exchange programs like this before, so I knew that you kind of never really know what you're going to get. Some people end up with super passionate pen pals, whiles others end up with someone who didn't really have time to make anything happen.


Luckily for me, I ended up with the former. Marisa clearly put a ton of thought into this package, and coming home after a 12 hour long work day to a package of goodies from a stranger was super awesome. I couldn't wait to tear into the package, and what awaited me was truly fantastic.

The goodie box consisted of healthy treats from her current town of Philadelphia. She included chocolate covered fruit from a local chocolate store, coffee (and a reusable cup!), homemade spicy kale chips, a small sampling of local honey, dried veggie chips, trail mix, a package of Justin's almond butter, a mint wafer, and an adorable journal filled with quotes and recipes to try.

To say this box was awesome is an understatement. It almost made me feel guilty about what I'd sent my foodie pen pal and definitely inspired me to go further the next time around!

If you've never tried foodie pen pal before, I highly recommend it.

Thanks again to Marisa for doing such a stellar job!

Your new foodie friend,


Wanna join in the fun?

Here are the rules from Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean, the amazing host and creator of Foodie Pen Pals:

-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

 -You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!

 -The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

 -You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)

 -Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

 - Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & UK residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!

***If you’re in the UK, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at to get involved!


The College Cuisiner