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Monday, November 20, 2006

Orange Lacquered Tofu and Bok Choy

Ryan has been rocking it in the kitchen lately and been a ton of help. Somehow, things have gotten crazy busy for me, so it's been great to come home to an already prepared meal.

Let me add something about our organization and how we do it. We go into meal planning mode - typically on a weekend where we just start picking out recipes from my recipe database (now contains over 700 recipes that are typed up on index cards and kept electronically), magazines, cookbooks, and various other resources that are in queue to be entered in the database.

We then compile a list of ingredients that we need and add them to the grocery list. I keep a list of all the possible meals in the kitchen so we can just pick one and go with it. It's been a really helpful system for us, but it's only helpful if we use it!

Onto today's meal...this one falls into the "quick and easy" category. The tofu recipe is from Vegetarian Times and the Bok Choy is from Delicious Living magazine.

Orange Lacquered Tofu
(4 servings)

¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp orange juice
2 tsp maple syrup or honey
2 tsp dark sesame oil
1 14-oz. pkg. extra-firm tofu, drained well and cut crosswise into 8 1/2–inch thick slices

Combine tamari, orange juice, syrup, and sesame oil in a medium bowl; whisk to blend. Season to taste with a pinch of freshly ground black pepper, or cayenne for a little more spice.

Coat a large cast iron or nonstick skillet with peanut oil over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook, without disturbing, about 7 minutes, until crisp and golden. Turn over, and cook about 5 minutes or until crisp and golden.

Pour in tamari mixture, and shake pan back and forth to coat tofu. Reduce heat to medium; cook 2 to 3 minutes, until sauce is syrupy and tofu and glazed. Sauce will get sticky if cooked longer. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Braised Baby Bok Choy with Ginger and Garlic
(4 servings)

1 cup vegetable broth
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 ½ tsp minced fresh ginger
1 lb. baby bok choy, rinsed and sliced lengthwise
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Bring broth, butter, garlic, and ginger to a simmer in a large heavy skillet. Arrange bok choy evenly in a skillet, cover and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer bok choy to a serving dish, cover and keep warm.

Bring the liquid to a boil and simmer until reduced to about ¼ cup. Stir in toasted sesame oil and pour mixture over bok choy. Season with salt and pepper.


  1. That's serious meal-organization. You just might be ready for - gasp! - kids. Or maybe just a dog.

  2. I need to figure out how to get Marty to help a little more with the meal planning and preparation! You two certainly work well as a team in the kitchen!

  3. Thanks for the props baby!!! I enjoy making dinner for you.



  4. yeah - that's quite the organized system you've got there. I do a less organized thing where I sit down once a week with my cookbooks, flip through the pages and decide what I'll eat during the week. I don't always stick too it, but at least it takes some of the panic..I just got home from work, am starving, and don't don't know what to make...out of it!

  5. Hi Crystal, Sorry I haven't been around lately. I've been very busy at work!

    Both of those dishes make me almost want to be a vegetarian. They look really tasty!

    Have a great Thanksgiving!

  6. I appreciate that these aren't just glazed but "Lacquered"

  7. Wow! For someone who is a bit of a control freak, I'm really impressed. I wish I could be as organized. I follow Megan's meal planning method usually.
    Both of these dishes sound (and look) incredible. I think I'll add them to my data base of recipes. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Your organization is inspiring. I'm good, but I'm not that good. And I'm still trying to figure out how to get my BF into the kitchen more often...oops, I mean ever!
    While your food looks and sounds great, having the word 'lacquered' in the title kind of turns me off. It makes me think of nail polish - someone having long lacquered fingernails! :)

  9. what a good organization !, the food looks great .

  10. That is some serious organization you’ve got going on there. Mine is more like, “what’s in the cupboard and what’s about to go bad?” LOL. It’s been so long since I’ve made any tofu. Well, so long since I’ve made anything since we moved. I’ll definitely be trying this out once the movers finally bring all our stuff and my kitchen is functioning. That sauce sounds so delicious and simple. Looking at all these gorgeous posts has me itchin’ to get back in the kitchen. I’ll be up in your neck of the woods (Mendota Heights) for a family gathering this weekend. Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. Now that looks like a really delicious way to enjoy tofu :) And I love having another way to use bok choy. Of course, your bok choy salad is the best!!!
    In the picture, the stuff on top of the bok choy, is that the garlic and ginger that is minced? It looks really tasty.
    With your database, you truly are on your way to evolving your recipes into a cookbook. Way to go, Crystal!!!!!
    I love also how you two work so well together. When Ryan was super busy at the beginning of the semester, you were there for him. And now that you have a new job and are busy laying the foundation, he is there for you . . . True Love :) Ahhhhh! Gives a mother peace.

    I Love You Both!

    Diane (Mom)

  12. Taylor - gasp is right! No kids, no dog otherwise we'd probably go crazy. Thanks for the vote of confidence though.

    Crystal - been there! Ryan used to hate most foods and wouldn't touch them. It's just so much better now that he's open.

    Megan - Yep, we used to do that too - just flip through and get general ideas, but then I'd totally forget and have to do it over again.

    Annie - I hear you, things have been so busy lately, but hopefully after Thanksgiving they will calm down. I love reading everyone's posts.

    Jeff - that's what the recipe called it - I agree with Judy that Lacquered sounds not applicable to food :)

    Carrie - I think we all have our own form of control so whatever works, go with it!

    Judy - best of luck to you on getting your BF in there. I hear you on the "lacquered" title. I also imagine something like nailpolish and trust me, this was nothing like it.

    Johanna - thanks for stopping by again!!

    Shannon - way cool. I'll be in Mendota Heights tomorrow too (of course!)

    Diane - yep, those are the garlic and ginger pieces. It was very yummy. Can't wait for breakfast tomorrow!



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