Swiss Chard Wraps with Chipotle-Lime Tofu

8 08 2014

Do you guys follow theKitchn.com? If not, then you should. Lately, I feel like they’ve been churning out some awesome content, and I find myself bookmarking or sharing a lot of their recent posts.

Like this post with 17 recipes using a can of chick peas. Or this recipe for a Green Goddess Quinoa Salad bowl (which was on my menu for this week and it was oh-so-good!) Or this post about the best ways to organize your freezer <– so smart! And finally, this recipe, which served as the inspiration for the meal I’m about to share with you!

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The original recipe called for some more “traditional” taco/fajita fillings- red pepper, onion, beans, brown rice.  I could have gone that route, but opted to use up the remainders of the different veggies I had in the fridge (mushrooms, broccoli, and some homemade pico de gallo from Steph) and use the can of corn I had in the pantry. I also had some tofu that needed to be eaten and some feta cheese.

By the way, I must give my friend Steph a shout out. She gave me a bunch of yummy treats from her trip to Key West- limes, a fresh mango, a coconut (!), Florida avocado, and some of her homemade mango pico de gallo. I immediatley used some of the pico in a salad and it was amazing. Oh, and the mango? Probably one of the best I’ve ever had. I was a little skeptical about the Florida avocado because I’ve never had much success with them and always find myself wishing it was a Hass, but this one was perfect!

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I followed the general idea of the original recipe- sauté the veggies/protein, wrap in chard leaves, and top with the dressing, but the biggest divergence from the recipe was my choice of protein: tofu. It just so happened that on the same day I saw the wrap recipe, I had earlier seen a picture of chipotle-lime marinated chicken. I knew immediately that I was going to use those flavors on the tofu in my fridge, so when I stumbled upon the wrap recipe with its similar flavor profile, I knew I had a great recipe mash-up.

When I threw everything together, I was super impressed with this dish. It was so fresh, and so healthy! I think I may be using chard leaves as wraps more often now! Oh, and the Cumin-Lime dressing was the perfect sauce to bring it all together. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Swiss Chard Wraps with Chipotle-lime Baked Tofu, Fresh Veggies, and Cumin-Lime dressing

Ingredients:

For the Baked Tofu:

1 tsp Chipotle powder (more or less to your taste. This was spicy for me!)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Juice of 1 lime
1 TBS honey
1 TBS olive oil
salt

For the Wraps:

Swiss Chard Leaves (as many as you need)
1/2 can corn kernels, drained
1 head broccoli
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
EVOO
garlic powder

Toppers:
Pico de gallo
feta cheese
avocado

For the Cumin Lime Sauce:

Juice from 2 limes
zest from 1 lime
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1-2 scallions, minced-white and light green parts only
1 teaspoon ground cumin
dash crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt

 

How to:

First, make the baked tofu (this can be done in advance, you’ll just want to heat it up before adding to your wraps). Dry the tofu and cut into cubes.  Marinade the tofu for at least 30 minutes. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, flipping every 15 minutes

Second, fry up the veggies.In a fry pan over high heat, add a few TBS of EVOO, add the veggies and a dash of garlic powder. Add the veggies from the slowest cooking to the fastest cooking: broccoli first, cook for a few minutes, then the mushrooms, cook for a few, and then the canned corn.

Third, make the Cumin-lime dressing. Put all of the ingredients for the sauce into a jar or container with a lid. Shake vigorously!

Fourth, assemble your wraps. Use a chard leaf and add the tofu, veggies, and other toppers you have (I used pico de gallo, avocado, and feta cheese). Top with the cumin lime dressing.

Enjoy!

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It’s All About the Bike

4 06 2012

My workout of choice this weekend involved a lot of time sitting down. In my bike saddle that is! Since I haven’t been doing much running since my foot still hurts, I bonded with my bike and rode the most miles I have since moving to Florida.

 

On Saturday morning, I headed over to St. Petersburg for a group ride put on by the St. Petersburg Bike Club. I heard about the ride from the St. Pete Mad Dogs Tri Club website, and on my way over the bridge I wondered how many people would show up. I was going alone, and I didn’t want it to have been a) cancelled due to lack of participation or b) there be only super duper fast people there and I’d get dropped. Well, I shouldn’t have been worried, because I rolled up to the designated starting place (the parking lot at the North Shore Pool) and I was greeted with this:

Not the best picture, but it reminded me of the group that shows up for the Conte’s Freshbikes rides when there’s food afterwards- but with even MORE people. Definitely more than 100 people there.

I had read on the website that they called out groups by speed and whether the group was going north or south. I chatted with someone next to me to confirm this was how it worked, and he told me that they usually called out groups starting at 26, and then go down to 20. There was also a group who went a little slower and he pointed to the group of older gentlemen behind us, saying they went about 18. Gulp. I thought I could push myself, so I decided to go with the 20mph group. Soon, a man with a megaphone started calling the groups.

“26 south” and a group of serious looking cyclists took off.

“24 north” and another group left, including the guy I’d been talking to.

“22 south”… “22 north”

“20 north” A woman up near the front, who clearly was a regular, jokingly shouted that she’d be going 17.5 ” With an 18 trailer,” megaphone man added.

Here goes nothing! I pulled out with the group of 15 or 20 cyclists, and we fell into a line. We rode through the residential area by the water, and then made our way to a road with fewer cars and a bike lane. We stayed in a line for most of the ride, and I kept looking down at my odometer. 17.5, 18, 18.5, 18…When were were going to get to 20? Does this ride take us to a place where we can just get out and go?

At about mile 10, we made a turnaround, and headed back towards the parking lot. I got near the front of the line, and there were a few times where we made it up to 20, but not consistently. Oh, and 17.5 woman? She wasn’t even close to our group anymore…

With 3 miles or so to go, a group of cyclists passed us. It was the 22 north group. I sped up and stayed with them. After settling into a groove, I found myself next to a girl about my age (who had also started with the 20 group), and a guy who had been with the 22 group. He was a regular, and he told us that at the end of the ride, everyone goes to a coffee shop and hangs out for a bit. Count me it! I finished the ride chatting with the girl, who happens to be working on her Master’s at Duke, and she’s just in St. Pete for the summer doing an internship. When it was all said and done, we went just under 20 miles.

As it turned out, our coffee shop stop was The Hooker Tea Company! I had just been there a few weeks ago for the Tampa Lady Blogger’s meet up.

(Photo credit to whoever uploaded it to our Facebook page 🙂 )

I ordered a yummy mateccino and scone, and went outside to meet some more cyclists. Everyone was SO NICE. The man who we chatted with at the end of the ride remembered that I was from Tampa, and introduced me to a guy who rides with a group in Tampa over the bridge to get to these rides. I believe it tacks on an extra 30 miles (15 each way). I think I know how I’ll be getting in my miles this summer! I laughed to myself as I returned to the table. My new friend (yes, I’m calling her my friend; we exchanged numbers 😉 ) and I were by FAR the youngest people in our little group. Yup, I’m in Florida. But age didn’t matter at all. Everyone was chatting up a storm, and had really interesting stories. I left with a smile on my face. I will be back!

Next time I go though, I will ride with the faster group, because I left feeling like I had just been on a casual fun ride. It wasn’t the workout I was looking for,  so when I got home, I headed out to Davis Island for another 15. That’s more like it!

On Sunday, I wanted to get another workout in. There’s only like one public pool in Tampa open on Sundays, and I didn’t want to run, so biking it is. Courtney and I texted about going for a ride. She told me she needed to do 2.5 hours, and though I haven’t gone that long in awhile, I told her I was game!

She picked me up around 2 and we headed up to the Suncoast Trail. An hour and 15 out an back was our plan.

Ten minutes into our ride, I looked at Courtney’s bike and noticed her back tire was flat. 😦 Boo.

We pulled off the trail and she gave me a lil refresher lesson on changing tires.

Notice her pouty bottom lip. She wasn’t too pleased about the piece of glass we found in her tire.

After a short stop, we were off again. Yes, it was hot, but not unbearable. It was a little windy, which was more annoying than anything. I guess I’d prefer to have a little bit of wind though, to cool it down some. I thought the ride went by pretty fast since we spent most of the ride chatting. AND, I even had my first gator spotting!! We were almost back to the car, and we rode past some water. Every time I walk/drive/ride by any water, I look for a gator. So, like usual, I scoped the surface for the dark head poking out. I nearly squealed when I saw it, and poor Courtney must have thought I was nuts. I was as excited as a child on Christmas, stopping my bike and quickly turning around. Unfortunately, by the time I got my phone out to take a picture, he submerged. Doh!

Two hours and thirty seven minutes later we were back at the car.

I definitely haven’t done that much mileage since last summer in DC. I felt pretty good until about mile 35, when I was just tired of being on the bike and being hot. But, I need to build my endurance on the bike both physically and mentally for my HIM. These long rides are going to be crucial for me.

Total miles for the weekend: 20 + 15 + 42 = 77 miles! BAM!

Sweat-tastic!

Our post ride food of choice?

That would be Chipotle my friends. Mmm Hmmm. We may have replaced all of those calories we just burned and then some, but it was totally worth it.

And now, my legs need some rest. But, I can’t wait to do it all again! and again, and again, and again this summer, when my HIM training really ramps up. Bring it!





A Love Affair

4 08 2011

On Monday, Chloe made you all drool with our pictures from this month’s Eating Club. Yes, it’s ok to be jealous. Maybe one day there will be an eating club near you! (Um, that means YOU need to start one!) 🙂

Anyhow, Chloe mentioned that I made ribs for our berry-themed meal. Who associates ribs with berries? Me apparently. I was worried that we’d have a lack of main entrees for our Berry BBQ, so I did some searching on Tastespotting, and came up with a recipe from The Feral Kitchen for Strawberry Chipotle Beef Ribs. We’re not going to talk about that blog’s name right now, but I decided that THIS would be my recipe.

I was being pretty ambitious selecting this recipe because A) it required me to make my own barbeque sauce, which I’ve never done and B) it required me to make ribs, which I’ve never done either.

But, as soon as I saw that the recipe included Dr. Pepper, I knew I had to make it.

Confession: I have always had a thing for Dr. Pepper. I don’t drink a lot of soda, but if I need a caffeine boost and coffee won’t cut it, Diet Dr. Pepper is my beverage of choice. However, one time while visiting my cousin in North Carolina, I discovered Cheerwine.

Friends

If you have never tried Cheerwine, drive (or fly) yourself to the closest quickie mart in North Carolina and grab a 6-pack. It’s like Dr. Pepper…but, dare I say, better? (Side note: Cheerwine is a soda, or pop, or cola, or coke or whatever you call a carbonated beverage. It has no alcohol in it.)

I’ve had this one bottle of Cheerwine in my fridge that I’ve been saving since my last NC visit, and normally I would partake in the best way to enjoy Cheerwine, that is, to drink it. But I didn’t have any Dr. Pepper on hand for my recipe and I didn’t feel like leaving my air conditioned home to go to the store to buy some soda, so I figured Cheerwine would make a fine replacement. Sorry Dr. Pepper, but I’m cheating on you with Cheerwine. 😉

So, I gathered my ingredients for the sauce:

Strawberries, chipotle peppers, brown sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, Cheerwine, soy sauce, sweet brown rice syrup, seasoned salt

The original recipe calls for “Indonesian soy sauce” which I didn’t have or want to go find, so I just used regular soy sauce and stirred in a few tablespoons of brown rice syrup.  Google suggests a combo of molasses and chicken stock as a replacement for Indonesian soy sauce.

I put all of them into a pot, and let them cook on medium low heat.

The recipe said this takes 45 minutes. I, however, think I kept my heat too low, and so it took a lot longer (basically, when you make it, just keep an eye on it, stirring occasionally, and let it thicken). In fact, while everything was cooking, I did a Jillian Michaels workout DVD. Yes, I am the master of multitasking.

While the sauce was simmering, I prepped the ribs. I tossed them with some of my homemade “Indonesian soy sauce,” some Cheerwine, and some salt and pepper, and let them marinate in the fridge until I was ready to put them in the oven.

2.5 hours before  I needed to leave for Eating Club, I put the ribs in a foil-lined baking pan. I baked them at 350° for about 1.5 hours, and then pulled them out and glazed them with the finally-the-right-thickness Strawberry Chipotle BBQ sauce. I popped ’em back in the oven under the broiler (on low) for another 3o minutes (15 on each side), until the sauce was caramelizing on top of the ribs.

OOEY GOOEY DELICIOUSNESS.

When I arrive at Eating Club, I tossed them on the grill for a few minutes, just to heat them through again. Then, we could all dig in.

Let me tell you, these ribs were all about the sauce. Best. BBQ sauce. EVER! It has the slight sweetness from the strawberries and hint of smoky heat from the chipotle. The flavor was really complex, and we definitely decided it would taste good on everything. We tested that theory, even putting the BBQ sauce on Allie’s cranberry walnut bread. Yup, we were right.

But don’t take my word for it. Go make some yourself. You won’t regret it. I think Dr. Pepper will be okay with it.

Strawberry-Chipotle BBQ Ribs

adapted from Feral Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 large racks beef ribs (about 7 pounds)
  • 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons brown rice syrup or molasses
  • 4oz Cheerwine
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Strawberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce (see recipe below)

How to:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Wash, trim and cut into individual beef ribs.  Toss ribs in a large bowl and drizzle on  soy sauce, brown rice syrup,  and rub with salt and pepper.  On a foil lined pan (or large cookie sheet) place ribs.  Cover with more foil and put in the oven.  Bake for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until tender.  Remove foil and brush with sauce.  Turn on the broiler and broil until sauce is slightly caramelized.  Turn ribs over and brush with more sauce.  Broil again until caramelized.

BBQ Sauce

  • 1 lb. strawberries (cleaned, hulled and quartered)
  • 1 can (12 oz) Cheerwine
  • 1 c. tomato ketchup
  • 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 3 Tbls. soy sauce + 1/2 Tbls. sweet rice syrup
  • 2 Tbls. chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp. seasoning salt

Toss all the ingredients into a medium sauce pan. Cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Remove from heat and cool. Eat it on everything.

Question of the day: What’s your favorite kind of BBQ sauce?