Man Down (Sack Lunch: Part IV)

Here’s the downside to packing your lunch the night before – you end up eating what night-before-you thought would be good, not what you actually want to eat. Sometimes this results in too much food (if lunch was packed when I was hungry). Today’s lunch is the result of packing when I had absolutely no appetite. Let’s take a look at the run down.

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Scrambled tofu with vegetable skewers made on the grill. Three clementines on the side.

Right. Yeah, not what I had in mind for the week I am showcasing my lunches in a how-to series.

Do you sense the excuse coming on?

I haven’t been talking about it here because no one else needs to be burdened with my stresses but for the past four (!) days now I have had a constant tension headache. I’ve only ever had one other headache that didn’t go away after a day and after a week of that, I finally took some of Will’s prescription strength migrane medicine and that did the trick. Well last night I needed it to go away so I took a migrane pill again and, while it definitely did not do anything for my headache, it all kinds of messed up today’s lunch. Almost immediately after taking it made me a) nauseous and b) stupid. I was loopy and slow but for some reason still felt competent enough to continue on making dinner and lunch (neither of which sounded good at the time either because of the afore mentioned nausea).

Coupled with my newfound stupidity was an issue that often happens in my kitchen (please tell me this happens to you too) that is my grand culinary plans don’t always go as expected.

I was planning grilled tofu with vegetable skewers that Will would make on the grill with his chicken. Before I came home, I asked him to start my tofu pressing. Nothing complicated. Just wrap the tofu in a towel and place some books on top.

When I came home, I was greeted with this mess

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I’ve never had my tofu collapse while pressing but now I’ll be more careful about how much weight I put on it. So cubing it and grilling it on skewers was not going to happen.

In a daze, I crumbled it up and threw it in a pan with some mesquite marinade (to go with the grilling theme). Scrambled tofu is really very easy to make. Just move the crumbled tofu around in a skillet until it starts to turn a light brown color. Salt and pepoer is encouraged but you can add any flavor you want with a sauce or spice mix. I think it tastes amazing but I’m never sure how to eat the little crumbles. For dinner I tried using chop sticks but that wasn’t very effective (go figure).

The skewers turned out well, though. I have to give Will credit for that since he mans the grill in our house. I’m not really a charcoal and fire person.

Before:

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Mmm…I love grilled squash and mushrooms. These turned out so flavorful. Just salt and pepper with a drizzle of olive oil. Plus a little grill char.

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And after:

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Whether about preparing lunch for the next day, a quick dinner or a gourmet dessert, one of the best pieces of advice I can offer is to go with the flow. Recipes are wonderful and can provide a great understanding of necessary elements or base idea to begin a dish. But it’s not the end of the world if something doesn’t turn out like the picture. If you don’t have a certain ingredient, be creative with what you can substitue. Or don’t worry about! Likely your dish will turn out tasty any ways. This is often more true with cooking than baking but once you practice enough with cakes and cookies, you’re bound to experience that moment where you are half way through a batch of cookies and you realize you’re out of butter. In my opinion, it’s always better to carry on than to scrap what you’ve done. You might end up creating something even better.

The kitchen is my playground. I used to feel sad that I was only cooking for me but that just-for-me thing has also set me free. While my tofu did not turn out the way I wanted and I likely won’t make it again, I still had a satisfying dinner and a lunch ready to go for today. I may have to supplement with some of my leftover snacks from earlier this week (aka a mountain of fruit taking over my desk right now) but that’s what it’s there for.

Tomorrow I’ll wrap up the lunch demos and we can get back to some other things going on in my life. Another 9-mile run coming up this weekend and the run down on some life changes for me and Will coming up this summer.

 

 

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