Will Deadlift for Cake!

September 16th, 2010

Ha ha sorry for the most unoriginal line… :D

However, I pretty much did just that last night. I had a very small slice of cake and then went to do my scheduled lower body lifting. I know it doesn’t help me achieve my WL goals but, I needed some cake therapy ;)

Currently, I am following Eric Cressey’s Maximum Strength Program. I recently finished with Phase 1 and now am moving on to Phase 2. Meaning, more butt kicking! This program has 4 phases and each phase being 4 week long.

Anyhoo, moving on…I managed a small victory for myself.  I was able to deadlift 145 lbs with perfect form. My routine, last night, was 5×5 for Deadlift with the bar slightly elevated. I did not know how much to elevate (wasn’t clear from the book) so, I just elevated it 1.5 inches above ground which isn’t too much, I think. I started my routine with 135 lbs and finished off with 145 lbs for my last set. Yes, I have definitely graduated on to the big plates. Yippee! :D

It felt awesome to see that I finally had the 45 lb plates on the bar. I have been consistently lifting since November 2009 with the exception of few months here or there not doing anything either cuz of injury or family crisis and some days “just not feeling it” emotions. Other than that, I have been good. It is great to see that all that effort is paying off. Now, I know, it may not seem a whole lot of weight for many people but, for someone like me, who is not athletic, has tendonitis in left elbow and right wrist and has been a couch potato for a while…it was an achievement.

My personal best for conventional Deadlift for 1RM has been 180 lbs. I cannot wait to beat that record.

ETA: I just realized that I deadlifted my weight. OMFG :D . As of today, I weigh 140.5 so, that means tad more than what I weigh. Happy Lifting!

Small Positive Changes…

June 9th, 2010

I’ve been meaning to do this positive post for a while now. I think it helps to keep things in perspective when I’m feeling low or things are not going as planned. In case, I haven’t mentioned, I’m a planner and list maker…I cannot function without lists.

*warning* - Long post

Changes I made in my lifestyle and it is an ongoing process:
- Lifting since November 2009.
- Low Carb since February/March 2010 - loving it!
- Weight Loss (very slow) journey since Jan/Feb 2008 more focused since 2009
- Running/Jogging since 2008 and more focused, regular since mid 2009
- Eating healthy, nutritional food and controlling portions since 2008 more focused since 2009
- Eliminating processed food as much as possible since 2008.

Listed below (not in any order) are some of the positive changes I’ve noticed in my life from the lifestyle changes I’ve made:

Jeans: I am down 2 sizes since November 2009. I now wear size 8 Gap jeans (same style). I still have a good bit to go but this is a step in the right direction . In fact, I noticed that even 8 is slightly loose now.

Running: I can now run longer without feeling winded or “dying” at the same pace. Of course, next challenge is to run outside consistently and increase my pace but that’s another post . For now, I’m just happy that I can run even though I despise cardio.

DC Cherry Blossoms Trip: When we went to DC this year for the festival, I was able to walk the same loop without any problems or tiredness. We’ve been going there for the past few years and I remember 2008 was miserable. I couldn’t even complete the loop, I got tired and my feet were aching. In 2010, no such issues.

Compliments: some people are calling me “tiny” or “skinny” now. I honestly don’t see myself tiny at all cuz I still have SO much to lose (25-30 lbs ) but it does make me feel happy sometimes.

Walking pace normal (for me): I can keep up with Mike when we go for a walk without feeling too tired or asking him to slow down for me. His 1 stride is still = to my 2 strides but I can’t do anything about that .

Outback Restaurant: I noticed when we went there recently that I had some space on either side of the back support of the chair. I felt smaller. I told Mike about it and he assured me that the space was always there. I don’t remember it and I felt that I always (over)filled the chair…but he thinks that I have a distorted image of myself in my mind. He’s being sweet I guess…but, I found it was new to me so I’m happy about it. BTW, we’ve stopped getting the bloomin’ onions now for a while. You have no idea how much we used to love them and pig out on it

Eating: My eating lifestyle has become SO much better and consistent. With the exception of cake eating some days . On the whole, I feel I am more stable than I used to be. Desserts will be the death of me some day…at least, I will die happy :D .

Push Ups: As of May, I can do multiple reps of regular push ups in perfect form…as opposed to zero before. I feel SO happy about that. I need to work on close grip push ups next. I can eek out a few but that’s about it.

JP Fitness: I feel lucky that I found this site to guide and support me and introduce me to the joy of lifting. I just wish I had found it sooner. I may not post or get to everyone’s log but I do try to read & learn as much as possible. Half the time I feel intimidated and in awe when I read how strong some of ladies are . Gives me hope that I can be too some day. Yay for lifting!!

At Work Free Food: I don’t eat the “free” food available at work parties or in our kitchenette anymore. Not saying that some days I am not tempted when I see cookies and pastries…but that’s about as far it gets. I don’t act on my temptation. I try to get away as soon as possible and back to my cube. BTW, kitchenette is across from my cube.

Doggy Bag Food: When we go out to eat I take the extra home (depending on the portion) instead of trying to eat all and stuff my face. Although, the temptation is there some time. I make sure I ask for the box & put away the food before I even begin eating.

Watch strap is loose: The watch I wear everyday is now loose on my wrist (bought in December 2009). When I bought the watch it wasn’t tight but snug. Now, it moves very freely on my wrist. Also, my HRM Polar watch is loose too so, had to move to another hole.

Stairs: I work on the 4th floor. I now take the stairs two at a time for the entire 4 floors without leaning forward, feeling tired or holding the railings. Before, I could do it with only one leg, maybe 1 floor or so and pretty slowly. Now, I can do it with both legs comfortably.

Walk at Work: I’ve been consistenly walking for the past couple months at work during my lunch time. I take my iPod with me and walk for about 35 mins. Yes, there are days when I just don’t want to do it cuz sitting on my ass feels so comfy but I try to limit those lazy days. I have a 100% sedentary job.

Exercise: In general, I’ve been so very consistent since summer 2009 that it is a crazy behavior for me . I am more focused when it comes to exercise…although, some may call my behavior obsessive . I honestly, don’t like to do more than I have to and if I could get away with not doing any exercise I would definitely do so …but, I’ve made my peace with it and I understand how important exercise is for me and not just for weight loss.

Body Matrix from NROL4W: Where do I even begin….I remember day 1 of doing this at the end of workout A (Stage 3).  Man! I couldn’t walk properly for an entire week. Sitting on the toilet was painful beyond imagination for me. I was in a LOT of pain. And, it took me 7 mins 45 secs to do it that day…so out of shape. Fast forward stage 5 (2 months later), I finished BM in 2 min 35 secs. My personal best! I was SO proud of myself. I don’t look pretty doing it but who cares :P

Cholesterol: When I went for my physical in summer 2008, my cholesterol came back high and my triglycerides level was in triple digits. My doc asked me to come back for a follow up to discuss what to do about it but I never went cuz I was scared and did not want to go on meds. I decided to make serious changes in what I ate, exercise consistently and kept seeking for solutions to lower the cholesterol naturally without meds. In summer 2009, my physical and blood results were a lot better. My cholesterol was lower, triglycerides were in double digits (I think 50ish or something), my HDL went up by 10 points and my doctor couldn’t stop being amazed at my results. She was genuinely happy for me and commended me for doing so well and asked me to continue doing what I was doing. I had also lost 20lbs or more between visits (not a whole lot WL but it was better than nothing). I can’t wait to get my physical done in 2010 (summer). I am really curious to see my results since I went on TNT and started lifting. Let’s hope for the best .

I know there are more positive changes in my life but for now this is all I could think of. I hope as time goes by I see more and more changes in my life to keep me motivated. One baby step at a time…

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

March 27th, 2010

Original Recipe Here

Ingredients:
132 g (1 C) Cooked Riced Cauliflower (room temperature)
1 large egg (room temperature)
111 g (1 C) Shredded mozzarella cheese (room temperature)
1/2 tsp dry oregano
1 tsp Salt Free pizza seasoning
Pam or any cooking spray

Toppings:
Pizza sauce
Cheese
Veggies slightly sauteed
Any Meat

Method:

1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees F

2) Grease a cookie sheet using any cooking spray.

3) In a bowl, combine well - riced cauliflower, mozzarella cheese, egg and spices. Then, on the greased cookie sheet, press evenly till it forms the shape you want your pizza crust to be.

4) Bake at 450 degrees for about 12-15 minutes or till cooked and a bit crispy. Remove the pan from the oven and let the crust cool for a bit…about 3-5 mins.

5) Add your sauce, any toppings and cheese to the crust. I wouldn’t overload it. Broil till the cheese is melted. About 1 min or so…

6) Take it out of the oven, let it cool little bit and enjoy! :)

My Notes:
- Pizza crust tasted amazing. I couldn’t tell it was cauliflower.
- I did not pack down the cup with cauliflower.
- Next time I’ll try with little less cheese to see if it makes a difference.
- I added beaten egg to the cauliflower/cheese mix
- My crust was crispy on the edges and little soft towards the middle.
- I will definitely make it again!!

Here are the pics - click on them for larger pic.

Raw - ready to go in oven

Cooked - Looks great

With Toppings on - Ready for the Broiler

Riced Cauliflower

March 27th, 2010

Original Recipe here.

Ingredients:

1 head Cauliflower (about 2.5 lbs with stems)
mine - 837 g - 1 lb 13.5 oz (grated uncooked weight)

Method:

1) Cut the cauliflower in florets. I didn’t use the green parts but feel free to use it. I used as much of the white stems I could get.

2) Wash and let the florets air dry completely.

3) Process the florets in the food processor using the shred blade.

4) Microwave the shredded cauliflower in a covered microwavable dish till it is cooked but not mush. I cooked it covered for about 7 minutes on default power level (High, I suppose). Taste to see the texture is still slightly crunchy but cooked. (Adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the amount of cauliflower).

5) Riced cauliflower is ready to be used for any variation.

*Note: You can use a cheese grater as well if you don’t have a food processor.

Shredded Raw Cauliflower
Shredded Raw Cauliflower

Stirring up a change…

March 4th, 2009

I’m trying something different here for next couple weeks. I’m upping my workout routine little bit. I needed something major to get my WL back on track. I have been stuck in the same weight range, losing the same pounds over and over for the few months and it is frustrating the hell out of me. Even though overall I’ve lost 30lbs + since last summer it has been going real sloooow. I dream of losing at least 5 lbs a month. Exercise has always been my weakest point as I don’t like to workout but I know it is very necessary for any WL process and that it is for life. So I asked my hubby to help.

We have decided, after looking and comparing my WL data, that I need to workout more (and be more consistent) than what I’m already doing. My job is 100% sedentary and working out for 45-60 mins every day at my current rate (slow) is not going to cut it. So, now I do my treadmill in the wee hours of the morning (before I go to work) and evenings I’m alternating between strength training, abs and steps on different days. Believe me it’s not a whole lot even though it may seem like it. I’ve never reached or gone past 4 miles on tready. Sunday, I did 3.5 miles for the first time. I was amazed at myself. My goal is to do at least 5 miles on tready few days a week if not every day. I’ll get there eventually but it will take time :) . For now I’ll settle for 2-3 miles interval and endurance training on tready.

It’s only been 3 days since I started this regimen and I want to give it at least couple weeks to see if all of this makes a difference. The good thing is that I am sleeping better at least I think I am. I don’t seem to wake up in the middle of the night. And I am going to bed at around 10 pm which is new for me. So keep your fingers crossed for me please. :)

Have a wonderful OP day everyone.

New Shoes Part Deux

February 23rd, 2009

I had to buy new shoes today. I currently own New Balance 859 that I bought last year in Fall. I’m getting blisters with these shoes every time I’m done working out on my treadmill just around where the support area of the shoe touches my feet (close to the arch). Also the insole that came with the shoe had a high side flap inside (I don’t know what the technical term is for it). It was rubbing against my feet. So, I ended up going to the shoe store to get fitted again. This time I went to a different running shoe store cuz I liked the people better here. Mike bought his shoes from this store last Fall. I was also told to wear non-cotton socks as cotton socks are not recommended for running and could make the blisters worse.

The shoe brands they made me try were Saucony, Brooks and Nike. I narrowed it down to Brooks and Nike. Saucony’s were too tight in the front. Finally, I decided to go with the Nike. Every time I put my feet in those shoes it felt so good. I have few days to try and see if these shoes feel better. Of course, I have to wait till my blister goes away. Just my luck…I start my workout routine and I get a blister. It was not fun trying shoes with my blister hurting. I went straight after my workout so my feet were probably still swollen which is good. I also ended up buying new socks - Zulu Performance socks - (For the warrior in us all - That’s what my socks say :) ).Talk about expensive socks ($15 for 3 pair). They are made in South Africa. I don’t know if they’re wick but the store folks recommended them. Plus they were cheaper than the wick socks which were $10/pair.

Here are the shoes I bought last night - Nike Air Equalon +3 size 8.5 medium width. I hope these don’t give me blisters. I normally wear shoe size 7.5 medium/regular width.

On another note - my elbow and wrist have been bothering me for a while and I finally went for a doc visit yesterday. He told me it’s tendonitis or tennis elbow but not the usual kind apparently as it’s more on my forearm. He wrote a prescription for physical therapy for me. My wrist, he said, nothing is wrong with it and that sometimes it happens. He told me to keep taking anti-inflammatory for a week or so 2-3 times a day and it should get better. And I can go about doing my normal day to day routine. Oh he also gave me a strap for my pain on my forearm.

Everything else is ok I guess :)

Random Things - Update

February 13th, 2009

Laser Hair removal appointment: Oh I’m so excited to tell you guys that appointment went well. The treatment is not as horribly expensive as I thought it would be. After talking with Mike I’ve decided to go for it. I haven’t made the appointment yet but am thinking of doing it soon. Apparently, the type of laser used is based on your race, degree of sun burn/tan etc.. On my first day they will do a test spot and see how I react to the laser etc. The cost of treatment is per visit. So for my face (upper lip, chin, partial cheeks and maybe forehead) she said I might need 4-6 visits. She cannot give me a definite number as it depends. But she said my hair is baby fine so I don’t need too many. We shall see.

Weight loss: looking at the very gradual (read slow) weight loss I’ve been going thru since last year I decided to look at what is really going on a little more closely. I re-calculated my BMR and then calories/day I need to eat based on my activity level. It seems I may have been consuming less calories than I should be. It’s very hard to get past the mindset where thinking if I consume more I’ll get fat. I’ve been regularly working out but not consuming enough calories to balance out the workout. Hence, I feel my body might be going into starvation. I am not sure of this of course but I would like to test it out for few weeks.

These are the calculations of calories I came up with different activity levels. I feel I fall between these 2 levels. I normally workout 5-6 days per week.

For me to Lose:

(1) 1 lb/week @ light activity 1-3 days/week
Calories/day - 1598

(2) 1.5 lb/week @ light activity 1-3 days/week
Calories/day - 1348

(3) 1 lb/week @ Moderate activity 3-5 days/week
Calories/day - 1865

(4) 1.5 lb/week @ Moderate activity 3-5 days/week
Calories/day - 1680

So, for now, I’ve decided to stick with 1600 calories at 1 lb/week @ moderate activity level. I’ll be monitoring it for few weeks to see if I’m making better progress. If not, then I don’t know what I’ll be doing.

Tonight’s plan of action: I just finished with my workout. After this, I’m going to go shower and start prepping for my light din din. After I Eat my small dinner of salad and raw veggieswe’ll probably head out around for friend couple’s place for the party. I know there’s going to be cake so I know I’ll eat a small piece of it. I’ll try not to eat too much Mexican food. Drink Water!! TOM hit me today so it figures why I am starving all day despite eating good.

Saturday, we decided to not go out but to just chill and eat at home. I think I’ll enjoy that more.

Rest of the weekend still on course as of now :) .

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!

Random Things

February 11th, 2009

Nothing much is happening my side for the moment.

Before I begin I would like to say thank you girls :) . I’m not going with Nutrisystem. I don’t want this to be a quick fix but a permanent change. I just lose patience and focus. I guess I need reminders to not lose hope and be patient.

Weight loss process still continues and workouts are becoming more consistent. I need to do more cardio. Currently, I’m doing treadmill 3 days a week about 45-50 mins. But I feel I need to do it at least 5 days/week. The days I do my weights if I can at least squeeze in 20-30 mins of cardio I think it would be perfect. I didn’t workout yesterday cuz my foot was bothering me again. I feel better today so will do my workout when I go home. It’s weight training today and will definitely try to get 30 mins of tready done too.

My sensewear device has a hairline crack on the plastic near the metal sensors. I noticed it couple days ago. I was also having some weird issues with the device few weeks ago. It’s all cuz of the crack. I was aware that certain batches of SW developed these cracks on the plastic and if you were within warranty they would replace it free. Luckily for me I am. I called them up yesterday and they said I should get my new one by Thursday and once I do I can send the old one back to them with a prepaid box that they will send it to me. They have replaced the plastic manufacturer they used with earlier devices. Oh and I also renewed my subscription for their software for 1 year (about $10/month).

Thursday, I have a consultation appointment with the laser hair removal folks. They charge $25 just to consult :( . And if I decide to go for it they will adjust that fee in the cost of the treatment. Right now, I can’t stand to look in the mirror cuz of all the upper lip hair. Not to mention, I’m feeling very self conscious cuz of it. You know the feeling you get that everyone is noticing it even if they are not :) . I’m holding off on waxing cuz of this appointment. They didn’t say that I couldn’t wax but I thought it would help to get a better consultation. So, after I find out how much it will cost me just to get my upper lip done I will have to start saving money or start buying lottery tickets. Better yet, create a nice website for myself and ask for donations ;) .

As for the weekend…This will be a long weekend for me. I’m off Monday for President’s day. My major task for this weekend is to cook, cook and cook.

Friday, we have to go to friend couple’s house for a party. One of their friend’s (we know them too) hubby’s 40th B’day surprise party. There will be plenty of mexican food which is what they decided to go with. Not a good sign for me. First, the party is past my usual meal time (8:30 pm). Second, its Mexican food which means loaded with calories. Third, I’m afraid I’ll gorge and gain tons of weight. I was talking with Mike and thinking of coming up ways to not gorge at the party. So this is what I came up with - I will feast on plenty of raw veggies at home and water. This way I won’t go hungry to the party and eat everything in sight. I don’t know how successful this plan will be but I’ll try my best.

Saturday is Valentine’s Day. We don’t have much planned for this day. We’ll go out for din din though. That’s about it. We don’t exchange gifts for Valentines except cards.

Sunday and Monday, basically prepping for the following week for breakfast and lunches. I’ll be busy cooking this entire weekend. I bought lots of vegetables yesterday so I could cook this weekend. I make lot of stuff ahead of time, portion it out and then freeze it. It helps me a lot cuz this way I don’t have to cook every day.

Hope you guys have a wonderful OP day :)

Frustrated!!!

February 1st, 2009

If I die soon please just assume my weight is in the 170s.

Are corpses weighed? Do they do it for the record? I don’t know, but surely, I feel that my current weight is going to be the death of me at some point. I am SO frustrated right now. I have been yo-yo-ing between the 170 - 174 lbs range for about  3 months now. Granted December does not count as I wasn’t really logging much. But January?? I have been really good. I started working out regularly last couple of weeks too. I cannot even lose 5 measly pounds in 1 month. How pathetic is that? What gives?? :(

I broke down with anger, frustration and every freakin’ emotion this morning. I just want to give up! I don’t want to continue looking at numbers, logging meals, wonder if I’ll gain or lose weight if I eat this or that and then get mad or frustrated. I want to be free. I want to lose the fucking weight.

Sometimes, I envy my friend who went through WLS. Of course, I never say anything to her but its always there at the back of my mind. Her constant ‘oh I don’t eat much anymore’ or ‘Oh hubby and I went to eat at x restaurant and spent only $x cuz we only got 1 entree as I can’t eat much’ or something along those lines…gets to me on days like today. I’m not saying she doesn’t have to struggle, of course she has to on her own level but it’s not like me or anyone else constantly. And to top it all I recently found out that she’s getting a tummy tuck from the surgeon once she loses 9 lbs more. I was happy for her definitely but at the same time I could not help feel a little pang of envy. I definitely know part of me would never opt for WLS cuz not only is it invasive but for various reasons but then I know there’s a part of me who would have considered it. Now which part is stronger I don’t know. I don’t have to make the decision as I would have never been qualified even at my heaviest. I know Mike definitely was a big NO. So I guess he would have talked me out of it.

Mike told me not to keep looking at numbers and figure out the changes that happened last few weeks. I think he gets frustrated too as I keep whining about my weight gain. He told me that I need to figure out if I want to lose the weight first or change lifestyle? I’m like what that doesn’t go hand in hand? He thinks maybe I should try to go on NutriSystem or something similar where the food is controlled and easily trackable. So once I lose the weight I can continue with the lifestyle change after that. My Q is though what happens once I stop eating those meals? Will I gain it all back? He thinks I won’t cuz I’ll be more active once the weight comes off and changes can be made accordingly after I go off those meals. I don’t know? I’m not keen on nutrisystem or such cuz I’ve heard food sucks and not to mention the whole idea of losing weight is to also learn and make changes in life accordingly. Gah! why is everything so fucking complicated??

Maybe, I am feeling a bit pressured by my own doing of course. I have couple of trips planned this year and I want to look good dammit!!! And not some fugly fat ass. Ugh!

Oh fuck, let me go workout! I might as well go put this frustration to good use.

Changes in last few weeks that I can remember:
- Started working out regularly 6 days/week (cardio and wt training alternately)
- Switched to sugar in coffee (I am still taking some splenda which is in the syrup I add to coffee)
- Added roasted unsalted nuts to diet
- Switched to eating only B/L/D. Sometimes afternoon snack. Last year I ate B/S/L/S/D.

Bingo!

January 26th, 2009

Sorry I’ve been MIA here. I don’t know what’s going on but it seems I’ve run out of steam. I blame the weather.

Saturday, we had to go to a bingo fund raising event hosted by Mike’s friend. The fund raise was for his basketball team that he coaches. There were lots of parents, kids and their families all playing bingo. Lots of folks it seemed were seasoned bingo players. I’ve never played bingo before. It was an interesting evening. I invited our one and only friend couple :) . Oh it was fun. And we were all playing for several Vera Bradley purses which were stuffed with some other prizes like books, cosmetics, hair care products etc. IMO Vera Bradley purses are one of the ugliest purses I’ve ever seen :) .

Lots of cheap, unhealthy food - pizza, nachos, hot dogs, chili, cake, cheap coffee, soda & water. What else did you expect? :D I had 2 slices of pizza and split a piece of velvet cake with hubby. They also had very small baggies of carrots and celery with dip for sale. I had a bag of that too. Hello, sodium bloat the next day. Despite eating all that I was only a tad over my calories/day. I’d already expected that so I ate well on Sunday i.e., until my hubby dear decided he wanted some cheese/salsa dip with blue corn chips. I’m usually good when he does that, eat few chips (that I put on a plate) and that’s about it. But yesterday I shouldn’t have eaten that cuz I was already suffering from sodium bloat…add to that the bloat from the chips and dip. Not to mention last night’s dinner was soup (Cuban Black Bean Bisque) which was also not low on sodium. So, there’s a sodium festival going on in mah body. I drank lots of water yesterday trying to flush out some of the salt but I guess the water just decided to stay and have its own fun with the salt. Hello, weight gain!!! I did have a WTF moment this morning cuz I wasn’t expecting this much gain :( .

I’ve been yo yo-ing in this weight range for about 2 months now and I am SO frustrated. I feel defeated for some reason even though it’s silly to think this way. I’m still struggling with cardio due to health issues but I’m doing my strength training. I’m hoping this week brings in the new range for me. Actually, I’m going to make sure it does. And you guys make sure I stay OP.

Have a wonderful and OP day everyone :)

Tofu Veggie Stir Fry

January 10th, 2009

This is Vegan :)
And it almost became non vegan. I’m very accident prone in the kitchen. I scratched my finger with the julienne peeler. Luckily there was no blood and the skin was intact :D phew! I did burn my arm though while frying the tofu.

Total Calories = 1120

Ingredients:
- Extra Firm Tofu = 336 g
- Fresh Ginger = 3 TB
- Minced Garlic = 1 tsp
- Carrots = 84 g
- Broccoli Florets = 340 g
- Baby Bella Mushroom Sliced = 8 oz
- Bell Pepper = 126 g
- Red Onion sliced = 244 g
- Endamame = 1/4 cup
- Lite Soy Sauce = 1 TB (marinade) + 2.5 TB
- Lite Teriyaki Sauce = 1 TB
- Sesame Oil = 1 TB
- Chili peppers in Soybean Sauce = 1/2 tsp (marinade) + 2 tsp
- Whole dry Red Chili Peppers = 2
- EVOO = 1/2 TB
- Smart Balance Butter = 1/2 TB

Method:
- Drain the tofu wrapped in a towel with a heavy object on top of it. I drained mine for about 2 hours. But less works too.
- Cube the tofu and marinate it for about 15-20 mins with soy sauce and chili pepper in soybean oil.
- Heat EVOO in a stir fry pan on medium and pan fry the tofu. Once done take it out of the pan.
- Add the butter to the same pan and add whole chili pepper, garlic and ginger. Stir fry till fragrant (about 30 secs).
- To the pan add onions, stir for few mins and then add carrots and endamame. Stir fry for few mins till translucent. Then add rest of the veggies and stir fry till cooked down. Once the veggies are done add the tofu and mix well.
- Now add all the sauces and stir fry till sauce coats the veggies well. Now add the sesame oil, stir fry for about a minute and you are done :) .
- I usually let it sit for 15 mins or so before serving.

Marinated tofu

Pan Fried Tofu

Tofu Stir Fry (sorry my veggies got little over cooked)

Ingredients:
- Kai-Lan = 2 bunches (sorry I forgot to weigh it)
- Lite Soy Sauce = 2 TB (or to taste)
- Baking soda = 1/2 tsp (optional)
- Fresh Ginger = 2 TB
- Minced Garlic = 1 TB
- Sesame Oil = 2 tsp
- EVOO = 1 TB
- Crushed Red Pepper = 1/2 tsp
- Lite Teriyaki Sauce = 1 tsp (or to taste)
- Chili Pepper in Soybean oil = 1/2 to 1 tsp (Optional)

Method:

- Wash and blanch the Chinese broccoli. Add baking soda to the water. I blanched them for about 2 mins till crisp tender.
- After the blanch, cut off about 1 inch of the bottom stems that are too thick. Then cut the rest in bite size pieces leaving the leaves whole.
- Heat pan on medium to medium high heat and add EVOO. Add the garlic, ginger, pepper and stir for few mins till fragrant. Add the greens and stir fry for couple mins till all is mixed well.
- Add Soy sauce, teriyaki sauce and Chili Pepper (if using) to the greens and stir again. Stir fry the greens till sauce is lessened. Now would be a good time to taste test to make sure it tastes good. :)
- Add the sesame oil to the greens, stir for couple mins and serve.

***** Notes *****
I used less crushed red pepper cuz I added the chili pepper in soybean oil. It’s a must if you like any Asian food hot. I found it at a Korean/Asian store and it is worth every penny for me. Chili pepper in soybean oil is Vegan as all it has is - crushed red Chili pepper, garlic and soy bean oil.

I threw away too much stem and I regret it. The stems are really good. I adjusted the recipe accordingly. So 1 inch at the end to chop off is good. I wouldn’t do more.

It tastes sort of like broccoli and asparagus combined.

Baking soda helps keeps the green color intact. Ratio is roughly 1/4 tsp per 4 cups of water.

EVOO - mine is infused with garlic and whole dried red chili pepper. You can use plain too.

Oh once cooked let it sit in a bowl for at least 10 - 15 mins before you eat. It tastes better that way IMO.

My Asian grocery store had it bunched up. So I picked 2 bunches.

We had these greens with veggie stir fried noodles - mushrooms, onion, endamame, green bell pepper and the same rest of the ingredients for these noodles as listed above.

Chili Pepper in Soybean Oil (Vegan)

Raw & Washed Kai-Lan

Blanched Kai-Lan

Cooked…It may not look the greatest but it tastes good :)