Colorful Summer Tofu Salad

Hi lovelies! Brace yourselves for a long post 😀

As you may recall, the kitchen’s in the middle of some major renovations. It started off like this,

then new porcelain tiles were installed, (in this pic, grout hasn’t been added yet)

and now I’m proud to show (off) the new maple wood cabinets, which were finished on Sunday.

Earlier this week, the contractors ordered our granite countertops, which should be installed either tomorrow or Saturday. The backsplash for the walls above the counters, the range hood above the stove, and the sink are also on the list.

Oh, and recessed ceiling lights will be replacing this dusty, 20+ year-old hunk o’ junk:

In the end, after all of this is over, it might not be the luxury kitchen of our dreams

but it’ll be one step closer to that. (At least upgraded enough to make someone want to buy this house. :P)

More details on the finished kitchen look coming your way next week!

* * *

So, the stove works but we have tried keeping our stovetop cooking and baking to a minimum. No worries for me, I keep eating the same things anyway.

On Sunday, the family and I went to Panera. I got the usual half Mediterranean Veggie sandwich (minus cheese and with whole grain bread) and half Classic Salad (dressing on the side). I forgot to bring my camera, so no pictures, sadly. Also, they messed up our order at first, but quickly fixed things up. Overall it wasn’t too shabby of a meal.

Tuesday began with a cold and creamy bowl of overnight oats, topped with strawberries, banana, almond butter, unsweetened coconut, crushed walnuts and pecans, and cacao nibs.

Usually I like to go crazy with my fruit toppings, but that day I thought I’d go back to basics. Strawberry-banana is a classic heaven-in-a-bowl combo!

Tuesday’s lunch in the office was a ginormous everything salad: spinach, celery, carrots, backyard-grown cucumber and tomatoes, fresh-off-the-cob corn, and chopped almonds with a tiny drizzle of BBQ sauce and a not-so-tiny dollop of Sabra spinach-artichoke hummus.

Enjoyed with my go-to carb: a plain slice of multigrain goodness.

After work on Tuesday, I met up with my friend Sarah. I’ve known this girl since middle school and she was also one of my dorm roommates last year. Unfortunately she’s transferring schools so I won’t get to see her very often during the school year :(, so we’re making the best of the summer.

We originally planned to go to thrift store shopping and then eat somewhere classy at a place participating in NYC Restaurant Week.

Didn’t happen.

We got too absorbed in the 4-floor Forever 21 in Times Square, which recently opened in late June. Can you believe there are 151 fitting rooms, 500+ employees, and it’s open til 2am every day? Sheer madness, I tell you. Plowing my way through all the hyped-up tourists was no easy feat.

The owl-obsessed fanatic in me came through with these purchases:

And I couldn’t resist this cutie too!

So three hours later, we realized the absurdity of eating a $35 per person Prix-Fixe dinner as semi-broke college students. Which worked out well, because I got to take her to Whole Foods and raid the salad bar! It was her first time eating there and, overwhelmed with all the good stuff, ended up stuffing probably two pounds worth into her biodegradable brown box. Like a kid in a candy store, I say. 😉 We were so busy catching up and chatting over our meal that I forgot to snap pictures. Oh well. I’m sure you all know what kind of yummies WF has.

Funny thing is, I haven’t had any luck finding the new Larabar flavors in either of the two Whole Foods I’ve gone to, but I finally found them that night!!! On the way back to my sister’s apartment, where I usually stay on the nights I work in the city, I stopped by Zeytuna, a local specialty market, and there they were, with the rest of the flavors! I tucked them away in the fridge for future snacking.

Yesterday’s breakfast was a bowl of hot oatmeal with almond butter, raisins, and a few dashes of cinnamon. Yum, almost like a big oatmeal raisin cookie.

It’s been so long since I’ve had cooked oats, so this was a welcome change. (Plus, my sister’s fridge is so packed that leaving a bowl of oats in there overnight is out of the question.)

Another day of work, another tupperware lunch at the desk.

Celery sticks, baby carrots, steamed kabocha chunks, drizzle of BBQ sauce, and lots of hummus for dipping, all on a bed of spinach. Ripped pieces of a whole wheat wrap on the side.

Followed by this lovely peach.

On the train home from the city I munched on a frozen chocolate chip cookie dough Larabar. I’m sure you’ve heard all the hype about it in the blogosphere, so I’ll just say that it was absolutely divine and leave it at that. I think I’m going to start freezing all of my Larabars from here on out. Why does frozen food taste so good?! 😉

Once I got home and settled in, I worked on dinner. I’m not gonna lie, my friends–this one was pretty freakin’ amazing.

This Colorful Summer Tofu Salad contained: crumbled extra firm tofu, corn, tomatoes, carrots, avocado, about 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, and 1 teaspoon of soy sauce.

I purposely left the tofu salad a little bland so it wouldn’t compete with the much more flavorful “spaghetti.” What you see here is raw zucchini spaghetti (1 zucchini, spiralized) tossed with a spicy hummus sauce (mix of jalapeño hummus, BBQ sauce, nooch, EVOO). By now if you’ve gathered that I have a slight obsession with BBQ sauce and hummus together (and my spiralizer, too, for that matter), you might be right. 😉

I apologize for not giving exact measurements, but as you know, I never use measuring cups with the meals I come up with (especially salads), so everything is eyeballed. After all, a little of this, some more of that–isn’t that where culinary creativity (inclusive of experiments and food flops) comes from?

The tomatoes are from my mom’s backyard garden. They were so sweet and red, like red bell peppers! Nothing beats homegrown produce.

I have big baking plans for the next couple of days. Hopefully they execute with some success so I can share them with you! Stay tuned.

Happy almost-Friday! 😀

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