I just spent the better part of my morning reading an article about being efficient and avoiding distractions/procrastination. Unfortunately, I really didn’t get anything else done. Life…
Speaking of ways I distract myself, I spend a lot of my time looking at recipes, gawking at beautiful food photos, and reading the reviews. I am very, very guilty of trying new recipes and never bothering to review them. I need to work on that. I value all the reviewers who spend time rating, ranking, and commenting because I read the reviews on every recipe I try — what worked? what didn’t work? what was amazing? what made your boyfriend love you more? what caused your kids to cry? what are you dying to eat again and again? did you really use that much butter?
I have to mention a few problems that I frequently encounter (that simultaneously make me laugh, confuse me, and occasionally annoy me):
1) not actually trying the recipe but writing a review and rating/ranking a recipe
“10 stars out of 10! This looks delicious and I imagine it tastes great. I love cocoa puffs and I adore chicken. I’ve never eaten them together, but it sounds scrumptious. I’m sure I will love it and you will too!”
How on earth can you rate and review a recipe that you haven’t actually tried???? So confused. I think we’ve all made recipes that looked and sounded great, but turned out to be much the opposite.
2) trying a recipe but changing EVERYTHING about the original so you have created an entirely new dish
“9.5 stars! This recipe was great. I didn’t have salmon so I used beef. I ran out of beans so I used rice. I could’t find the chili peppers so I substituted corn. My husband is allergic to garlic and cumin so I simply used onions and horseradish. Instead of baking this recipe, I used my crockpot. We served it over noodles with broth as a soup instead of a casserole because YOLO. I also added cheese and sriracha and eggs. So great!!!”
I really appreciate when people mention a few things that they altered to improve upon a recipe. However, if you have changed more than half of the original recipe, you have created new recipe. I recently read a soup recipe review where the person substituted almost every ingredient and ultimately stir-fried the ingredients and made a sandwich. They gave the recipe a bad review. I LOL’d for a while over that one (but then got inspired to make a sandwich so the story does have a happy ending). This brings me to my third, my final, and my completely unrelated and random point:
3) I hate the use of ‘LOL.’ I prefer ‘ha-ha’ or ‘haaaa-ha-ha’ or even ‘ha-ha-ha-ha-haaa-ha.’ Don’t ‘LOL’ at me. Please. And definitely do not ‘LOL’ in a food review. You can’t imagine how mad that would make me.
I’m done now. Back to the food.
Steps off soapbox.
2-3T olive oil
2 red bell peppers, seeded and sliced
1 (16oz) package extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cut into 1″ cubes
2T fresh minced ginger (~1″)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pinch of red pepper flakes
3T soy sauce
2T fresh lime juice
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/3C fresh basil, roughly chopped
2C baby spinach leaves
peanuts for garnish
optional: Sriracha (for extra heat)
Heat 1T olive oil over high heat in work or non-stick pan.
Add bell peppers and cook until they begin to soften, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer cooked peppers to bowl and return pan (or wok) to heat.
Add 1-2T of oil to pan. Add tofu. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. You want the tofu to have some color.
Add ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add soy sauce and lime juice. Cook for 1-2 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Add cooked red bell peppers, green onions, basil, and spinach leaves. Cook until just wilted, about 1 minute.
Remove from heat. Garnish with peanuts and serve immediately.
(I didn’t find this to be all that spicy — add a teaspoon or two of Sriracha if you want more heat)