I didn’t do a Meatless Monday post last Monday as I “accidentally” ate chicken at lunch and felt like a fraud. That’s okay though, I tend to think eating meat is an instinct, not a choice so I was just doing what comes naturally, of course!
My mind has been so focused on my upcoming marathon that I pretty much forgot that hubby and I leave for Las Vegas (WOO HOO!) on Friday. Today it finally hit me and so did all the inevitable pre-party errands, so breakfast found me shoving a banana down my throat while hurrying out the door, dropping the kids to school, and then settling into my favorite window seat at Noah’s Bagels for a honey wheat bagel thin with sun-dried tomato and basil shmear and cup of Chelsea coffee.
Every Monday is my grocery shopping day, so on I ventured to my neighborhood Trader Joe’s to get the cupboards re-stocked for the week ahead. I was perusing the frozen items and one of the very friendly TJ’s crew members, Mike, let me know that Trader Joe’s allows customers to sample ANY new item (except meats & alcohol)! I’ve been shopping at TJ’s ever since they opened and I didn’t know that- did you?!
So, I found a frozen pack of TJ’s brand falafel that I had never seen before, and took it over to the sample counter, asking timidly, “Uh… hi… so Mike over there said I could try this?” And what do you know, she smiled, said, “No problem!” opened up the package, heated up a few, and handed me one to try. I was so impressed with this level of customer service from a grocery store that I would have bought the bag of falafel even if tasted like dog food! It didn’t though, thankfully.
When I got home, I heated up 3 of the falafel nuggets, then stuffed them into a whole wheat pita pocket along with mixed greens, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, and some cilantro & chive yogurt dip- delish!
For dinner tonight, I am making my version of Tofu a la Parmigiana- it takes little effort and lots of dishes to make but it is very tasty and my kids gobble it right up! If you try this recipe, please let me know how you and your family like it!
Laura’s Tofu a la Parmigiana
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup wheat flour
1 (12 ounce) package firm tofu
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 clove garlic, minced
4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon oregano, salt, and black pepper. In one shallow dish, put beaten eggs and in another shallow dish, put flour and season with salt & pepper.
Slice tofu into 1/4 inch thick slices and season with salt & pepper. One at a time, completely coat the tofu slices in egg, then dredge the slices with the seasoned flour, then press tofu slices into seasoned bread crumbs, turning to coat all sides.
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook tofu slices until crisp on one side. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil, turn, and brown on the other side.
Combine tomato sauce, basil, garlic, and remaining oregano. Place a thin layer of sauce in an 8 inch square baking pan. Arrange tofu slices in the pan, cover with tomato sauce, sprinkle with remaining cheeses, and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle with chopped parsley when you take it out of the oven so it looks real pretty, serve with a simple green salad, and enjoy!