Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Reducing It

Today I went to the school I am going to be student teaching at to meet with my mentor teacher, get the lay of land, parking pass, ID, etc.  It went so well!  My mentor teacher is awesome.  He is a really nice guy, he cleared out a whole desk for me, he showed me around the school, introduced me to tons of people, took me to the department meeting, etc.  You could tell that everyone there loves him there.  It was just really great, he made me feel really welcome, seemed happy to have me there, and was really more than I could have asked for.  I am still nervous, but my mind is a little more at ease now.  

Anyway, on to food!  For lunch, I had the raw Squash "Rice" from yesterday, but I cooked it!  I just sauteed it in a pan in some cooking spray, and made some simple salt and pepper tofu.  It was fabulous!!  It was totally the perfect lunch.  

I calculated the nutrition info for the "rice" yesterday.  I had a half serving of that with 3.5 oz of extra firm tofu.  What kind of tofu do you normally use?  I always buy extra firm unless a recipe really calls for firm...or silken, of course.

Because my schedule has changed so much now, my gym schedule has subsequently changed.  It is totally a different crowd, a lot of younger people, and a lot of mom's whose kids are at gymnastics (a big part of my gym is gymnastics/cheerleading).  I'm used to the over 60 crowd, haha.  That and, there was just no one I recognized, not even the same trainers.  One guy did approach me though, as "the girl who does yoga on Saturday".  Once he said something, I realized he had been behind me this past weekend, haha.  Today was chest day, it was pretty good.  I just realized that this is the last week of the program I have been doing.  I kind of like it, part of me wants to keep doing it, but I know it'd be better to change it up.  I don't know if I should go back to my favorite program, since it'll be easier to do something I already know and like when I start student teaching, or do something else I've had in mind.  We'll see.  Oh and I ran a little after lifting.    

I had some protein ice cream when I got back, and I really just wanted vegetables for dinner.  Lots of vegetables.  I had a Roasted Fennel and Onion salad with Orange and Balsamic reduction.  

Orange reduction (left, obviously), was made from 1/3 cup orange juice, and 1 tsp sugar, and just cooked down until it is a syrup consistency.  

Balsamic reduction, was about 1/4 cup balsamic cooked down to a...well, a reduction.  

Does anyone else love reducing things?  I think its so cool, and for some reason, I'm always surprised that it works, haha. 

This was drizzled on top of one bulb of roasted fennel and one large roasted onion, which were placed on some salad greens.  

This was yummy, and simple, just like I wanted.  I also had some broccoli.  Lots of veggies.

Serves 1
Nutrition Information:  237.0 Calories;  0.7g Total Fat;  0.0g Saturated Fat;  0.0mg Cholesterol;  53.8g Carbohydrates;  10.3g Fiber;  5.6g Protein 

On another note, I've been a big Top Chef fan for awhile, but it just hasn't been the same this season (the first season I have watched since becoming vegan).  For instance, this episode is all about "honoring the protein" (meaning meat).  They went to a farm, where all the produce is grown fresh right there.  All the meat is raised right there too.  One of the contestants even talked for awhile about how "He definitely isn't a vegetarian, but believes that all food animals should be respected, etc".  Whatever.  I couldn't imagine playing with baby lambs in the field outside the farm, and then chopping them up and cooking for dinner.  I guess that's why I'm not on Top Chef though, right?

I forgot to mention it, but don't forget to sign up for the Juicer Giveaway if you haven't already!


  1. I have never reduced. :) Your dinner salad looks like a winner...seriously, that is something I would expect at a gourmet restaurant. Beautimous!

    I love that you cooked your "raw" rice. So something I would do.

    Glad your meeting with your mentor went well. What grade/subject will you be teaching? Can't wait to read some on-the-job posts and al about your new workouts Saturday yoga girl. :)

  2. Reduced balsamic vinegar is awesome and your salad looks lovely!

    I too have lost my taste for Top Chef. I keep thinking how I'd veganize things. :-) Last season one of the ingredients they had to use was tofu and I think they ended up wrapping it in bacon or something.

  3. I love the reductions, I've never tried that before. Sometime I just crave a big plate of veggies for dinner too.

    Now I'm going to try that rice dish cooked. It looks really really delicious.

  4. I have no idea what you mean by reduction! I'm going to look it up but I probably still won't know. -_-

  5. I would reduce things if I am patient enough tho reducing sauces does make everything taste better! hehe

    Your squash rice looks delicious! Interesting use of squash. Oh thanks for the longan post last month:)

    Okay here's hoping my post works...using Safari now. What is wrong with blogger??

  6. Squash rice sounds great! I always buy firm tofu too. I get it at an Asian store nearby, but recently I've noticed the firm ones have become less firm. Hmm. Anyway, I'll try the reducing idea! Sounds tasty!

  7. I've never reduced any food, but I do always buy extra-firm tofu unless, as you said, a recipe calls for something else. I just find it easier to work with since it doesn't fall apart that easily. :)

  8. Heather, I am going to be teaching high school juniors for the next seven weeks. Then I will be doing middle school for seven weeks, most likely 8th grade. Its funny because after I thought about it, that guy was actually behind me this past Saturday when I totally wiped out during crane pose. Oops, haha. You have to fall to learn though, right??

    Jenn, I remember the episode you are talking about. Ew. I also felt bad for Carla last week when she wanted to make something vegetarian, but felt like she couldn't. Boo hiss.

    Shelby, it is definitely worth making to have cooked! Honestly, I'll probably try the other variations of it now too. Something my husband would probably love also.

    Claudia, its super easy!! Like I said, I always think I am going to screw it up or burn it, and it just doesn't happen. You just put it in a small pan (or large, depending on how much you're making), and cook it on low, until it is about half as much as you started with!

    Yay for longan fruit!! I think I need to get a shopping list from you next time I go to Chinatown, I never would have picked them up in a can or anything, but they're really good. I still have some left, actually. I'm glad you could comment today! I am still having problems commenting on Lovlie's blog, so...

    Lovliebutterfly, if you read this, I have been trying to comment on your last two blog posts, but my computer won't let me :( I don't know why.

    Vegwife, totally with you! Plus, I think it tastes better :)

  9. I'm glad your meeting with your mentor teacher went well! I'm sure it's a relief to know that you're going to be working with someone knowledgeable and well-respected.

    And I second (or third?) that your salad from last night looked YUMMY! Mmm mmm.

  10. i love how you "killed" a living food!!! nice one, gina. haha i started cracking up when i saw the cooked rice. you should email ani and tell her that it's better cooked... or killed. i wonder what she'd say??

    reductions are hilarious by the way. i've never made one, but just the name is absurd. "oh, i made a reduction." it sounds like a cashier taking a percentage off of something. i just don't get it. haha

    i do love top chef though. i was so sad aryanna (have no clue how to spell that) went home. i wish it would've been leah.

    the italian guy completed contradicted himself when he said that. if he respects animals, he obviously wouldn't butcher them every week!!!

  11. good luck on your teaching job, thats great!

  12. Yea looks like i can only do it with safari but you're worth the extra clicks;)

    thanks for your comment...the dessert is up your alley...low on the cals but enough to satisfy the ol'sweet tooth.

    other uses...well you know i've seen it used on almond jelly/pudding like in chinese restaurants. you can make like a soybean/almond jelly and add the fresh longans inside b4 setting it:)

    did you know there are dried longans too ...again you prob have to make your way to chinatown...but ya get to eat at vegetarian dimsum house on pell's st...tee hee.

  13. Hey girlie ;) How are you? That is so great that you like your mentor teacher! So happy for you.

    Eats look great. I need some protein ice cream!

    I chef was a little much with animal killing last night! I could never pick up and hold an animal I planned to cook.

  14. Ashlyn, thanks :) You're so sweet!

    Joanna..I like your position on reductions, haha. Its so much fun though because it seems so damn fancy! Aryana (sp? I don't know either), actually has a restaurant in my aunt's town! Apparently it has always been busy, but now its booked for months.

    Thanks Larissa, I hope it goes well!

    Denny...thanks for sparing the clicks, haha. I use Safari, I wonder why I am having a problem on Lovlie's site. She doesn't have an emai posted either. Sad. I do know that you CAN dry longan fruit, I didn't know you could buy it that way!! I'm going to the city next weekend I think, sounds like a have a side trip to make while I'm there! I totally need to go for veg dimsum too. My dad loves dimsum, he would totally go for that.

    Hey Erica! I'm good, thanks for asking :) I find myself so distracting while Top Chef is on this season...probably because it is on when I am usually posting my blog! I was glad to be distracted last night though, not my thing (obviously, haha).