Ginger Noodles With Tofu & Garlicky Green Beans

A week ago I got all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed.  For someone who loves to cook and eat the way I do, this has been absolute hell.  When I made the meal below, I had not eaten a real meal, with real food, in 51 hours and 40 minutes.  Absolutely brutal.  I missed the feeling of chewing, and tasting.  I missed the consistency of food, the way it felt in your mouth.  The temperature – whether it be hot or cold, the seasoning…oh how I missed it!  I guess the Percocets helped to curb the appetite, but I’d much rather the food over the drugs!!  And please forgive the lack of witty comments in this entry, my mind has been dulled by said drugs as I was still taking them when I wrote this, but so was the pain, so I guess no complaints.

The night after my teeth were removed,  I had watched my boyfriend eat a succulent T-Bone steak, while I had Campbells Chicken Soup.  Nothing against Campbells, but the steak looked wonderful.  And oh, the smell.  He was kind enough to cut up tiny little pieces for me to try chewing with my front teeth, so I had a bit of a teaser, but definitely not enough to satisfy my longing for red meat. 

The night before I made a fabulous meal; Ginger Noodles with Tofu and Garlicky Green Beans.  Of course, I couldn’t enjoy it at all, it took me an hour to get through half the bowl of noodles, but my family loved it.  We have started a new tradition in my home – Meatless Monday’s and Salad Wednesdays, so this meal was for Monday.  Neither my daughter or boyfriend even realized that the protein was tofu, they thought it was chicken breast, so I will give you the recipe below.  It was great, and 2 days later my daughter was still eating it for lunch.  As always, my tweaks are in brackets, although I didn’t change much here:
Ginger Noodles With Tofu
1 pkg extra firm tofu, cut in ¾” cubes & pat dry
salt & pepper
1/4c soy sauce
3 T grated ginger
1 T sesame oil
3/4lb fettuccine pasta
1 ½ T oil
8oz sliced mushrooms
1 12oz pkg broccoli slaw (I used 2 heads of broccoli cut in small pieces and steamed)

Season tofu with salt & pepper.  In a small bowl combine soy, 1 T ginger, and sesame oil.  In a large pot bring salted water to a boil with the remaining 2 T ginger.  Add pasta, and cook al dente.  Reserve 2 cups of cooking liquid (I only reserved 1 cup – I wasn’t look for the end result to be soup, I was looking for more of a pasta sauce).  Return pasta to the pot.  Meanwhile in a large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add tofu in a single layer, and cook until browned on one side, 3 minutes.  Repeat, turning the cubes, until browned on all sides.  Transfer to a plate.  (It was at this point that I was also steaming the broccoli in preparation for the next step).  Add mushrooms to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 5 minutes.  Add broccoli slaw (or steamed broccoli), ginger-soy mixture, and reserved pasta water to pasta and toss to coat.  Divide pasta and broth among 4 bowls and top with tofu.

And for the easiest side dish ever (and most delicious!), see below…

Garlicky Green Beans
8 handfuls of green beans, trimmed
1/4c garlic butter
¼ tsp salt (I usually leave this out, the garlic butter is salty enough)

Boil a large pot of water.  Add beans and cook 2 minutes.  Drain and return to pot.  Reduce heat to medium-high.  Stir in butter until melted and season with salt & pepper (if you feel necessary).

Such a great, healthy, easy meal that the whole family loved! 

Next up is salad night, so I’m making Buffalo Shrimp Salad with Blue Cheese.  I hope I can chew it, because I’m looking forward to it!  I will let you know how it goes.

Stay tuned….!