You may never have heard of the term flexitarian before but you may have heard the term vegetarian, meat eater and vegan. Flexitarian is another term coined recently that allows someone that does eat a mostly vegetarian diet (no meat, no fish, but able to drink milk and eat eggs if you wish to) but you are able to indulge once in awhile with meat products such as poultry and fish. Some vegetarians and vegans are against this term but in my opinion a flexitarian diet is just one more way to gradually become a vegetarian or vegan one day in the future.
Back in 2012 I became a vegetarian. It was a choice I made to help me with my mental and physical health. I was not in a good place back in 2012 and I was trying many different things to create a more balanced life. I began noticing the first few weeks that I was paying more attention to eating healthier foods, it created a sense of pride in myself, and I stopped being as sluggish. One day quite a few months in though I began to feel worse, I had low energy, I couldn’t concentrate and my body was starting to have pain. I sadly gave up my vegetarian diet because I realized I did not do enough research and was not balancing my diet once I took out the meat products, I wasn’t given my body the nutrients it needed and once I realized that I also was pregnant, I decided to take a break and one day return to vegetarianism once I did my research and felt comfortable to take the step without harming my body and possibly my daughters if she also choices to be a vegetarian.
My love for tofu has not diminished these past few years, maybe it has even grown since I have not been able to eat it when living with my daughters father since he refused to eat it. I love using portobello mushrooms instead of using meat patties for burgers, I hope to make myself one of those Buddha bowls I’ve been reading so much about, and I can not wait to try a vegetarian restaurant with my friend later in May. One of my favorite fast recipes from my days of being a vegetarian was this quick Hoison tofu stir fry that I would eat after a day biking or at the gym (I was a lot more active back then)
Hoison Tofu Stir-Fry
- Extra firm tofu
- Rice Noodles (I mostly eye ball it because some days I like more, some days I like less)
- Fresh vegetables (I like baby corn on the cobs, green beans, carrots, broccoli)
- Garlic Hoison (Or regular hoison) Eyeball how much you would like
- I normally begin this recipe two days in advance, or really early the day before. I begin by pressing my tofu, which I normally do by unwrapping the tofu brick, wrapping it in damp paper towels and wrapping that in a dish towel (to collect the water in tofu) put on a plate and on top of the tofu bundle put a heavy pan (I use a cast iron pot) and place in your fridge. I like doing this 24 hours in advance but if you are strapped for time, half a day should do fine.
- The night before, or morning of cube the pressed tofu and place in a Ziploc bag and pour in hoison sauce to marinate.
- When ready to cook the dinner, in an oiled saucepan pour in cubed tofu and sear.
- In a pot boil the water for the rice noodles and cook the noodles. (I find that if you strain the rice noodles they just mold together, so I leave the noodles in the water until I need them and just scoop the noodles out of the pot right into the tofu frying pan)
- Cut your chosen vegetables into bite size pieces
- When tofu is seared pour in your vegetables and sear them also. (Sometimes I like to add a little tsp. of hoison sauce to the tofu and vegetables just to add a little bit more flavor!)
- Add the noodles into the frying pan and pour in the wanted amount of hoison sauce. Cook all together for a minute or so stirring occasionally and then plate and enjoy!