Finger Food

Last night’s dinner was a win and required no utensils. After Brad decided that he likes tofu when he tried my nutty spicy tofu, I knew I wanted to make some more Brad-approved tofu.

On the menu: crispy buffalo tofu, crunchy sweet potato frips, celery, carrots, and slightly health-i-fied Hidden Valley ranch dip.

What are sweet potato frips?  They’re a cross between a fry and a chip.  I found out something interesting last night.  If you chop up a sweet potato, toss it in olive oil and kosher salt,  and bake it on 400 degrees for 35 minutes, you get your typical sweet potato fries.  BUT, if you then put it on 170 degrees (my oven’s lowest warm setting) for 30 additional minutes, the oven will dehydrate your sweet potatoes giving them more crunch and making them more chip-like.  Very interesting texture.

For my crispy buffalo tofu, I used the same baking method.  But first, I pressed the tofu for about 20 minutes, then created this marinade.

– 2 1/2 Tbsp. Texas Pete (next time I’ll use 3 1/2 for extra spice)
– 1 1/2 Tbsp. tahini (ground sesame seed paste)
– 1 Tbsp. grape seed oil
– 1/2 tsp. onion powder
– 1/2 tsp. Garlic Gold
– 1/2 tsp. paprika
– 1/2 tsp. salt
– 1/4 tsp. black pepper

Mix the marinade.  Cube the tofu, then toss in the marinade.  Use non-stick spray or oil on a medium-sized  baking sheet.  Place tofu evenly on the baking sheet so that no pieces are stacked on top of each other.  Bake at 400 degrees F for 35 minutes, then on 170 degrees for 30 additional minutes.

So how did I stumble upon this method of making tofu and sweet potato fries extra crispy?

Pure genius?

No, actually, it was completely by accident.  I decided to do No More Trouble Zones as my exercise of choice last night.  I made the marinade and put the tofu and sweet potatoes in the oven before I started.  When they were done cooking, I still had some exercising and showering to do, so I turned the oven to warm (170 degrees F).  I do not like cold tofu so this seemed like the simplest solution.

What resulted was super crispy and delicious.

I went the quick and easy route with the ranch dressing, although I really need to some research on how to make ranch dressing from scratch.  I health-i-fied it a bit by mixing a rounded Tbsp. of Greek yogurt with a splash of milk about a teaspoon of Hidden Valley ranch powdery mix.  Now if I could perfect my own powdery mix, that would be something.

I definitely got in all 60 oz. of water today as part of the NoFizz 30 Day Challenge.  I drank 64 oz. and maybe even 72 if you count my after-dinner treat.

Quick and Easy Hot Chocolate:

Heat one cup of almond milk in the microwave for 1 minute, 30 seconds.  Add 2 tsp. of unsweetened cocoa and agave syrup to taste.  I added about 1 tsp.  Sprinkle in a a little cinnamon or 1/8 tsp. of vanilla or almond extract.  Super easy and very chocolatey. 🙂

Almond milk is just pureed almonds and water so I think this definitely counts.

I learned this morning that 10 of you have signed up for the NoFizz challenge.  That is so wonderful!  You’ll feel amazing when you kick the soda habit.  I know who a few of you are, but would really love to know who else is participating.  Comment here if you are or email me at foodiefresh(at)gmail(dot)com.