At last I do the Chopped Challenge!

I can actually say that I had a great Monday! I received confirmation of my registration for the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival, and tonight we are going to book our trip to San Francisco plus a few extra days to spend some more time in wine country :) Work went well, its a beautiful day, and I went on a pretty nice autumnal shopping spree, which was a bit strange as I was trying on sweater dresses while its 80 degrees. Oh well, I will be able to wear them soon enough!

Oh yes, and an incredibly accomplished, amazing celebrity chef commented on MY blog!

Thanks to many of you, I also had a delicious and nutritious lunch, the result of the Chopped Challenge I put out there a few weeks ago.

The ingredients that were mandatory:
almond butter
sweet potatoes
regular potatoes


I played around with a bunch of ideas including a layered pie, which I could see being good except with the quinoa. So I went for a peanut sauce stir fry made with almond butter instead of peanut butter.

Step 1
Preheat oven to 415, cut potatoes and tofu. Coat potatoes in olive oil and place on baking pan. Sprinkle tofu strips librerally with spices. I used chili pepper, cayenne, and black pepper. Bland tofu kills me,


Roast until potatoes are soft, maybe 30 minutes. Definitely flip the tofu to get a nice crisp edge all around. Otherwise the bottom is still wet and soggy, as tofu tends to be. :)

To make the sauce, I used about a cup of Trader Joe’s raw, crunchy almond butter which is one of my favorite things on the planet. I added about a teaspoon of sesame oil, a pinch of spicy mustard, and two teaspoons of Thai chili paste. I don’t think I have cooked anything without this paste in the last two weeks.

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I also streamed in about a cup of no chicken chicken broth to thin it all out.


In the meantime, the asparagus and half of a white onion were sautéing in olive oil for a short while. I wanted them to keep their crunch, so I waited until much later in the process to turn the heat on.  At the same time, the quinoa was cooking in a separate pot.

Then everything got tossed together.


The verdict: this is a great combination, and I would make it again! Next time I would definitely add more veggies, probably some broccoli and baby bok choy as well as a few drops of hot sauce or maybe a chopped habanero.

I made a fairly huge portion of this meal, so it will last me the entire week for lunch plus some. It is definitely a great way to have an inexpensive, healthy meal in bulk. I wonder if it would freeze well? Its always nice to have some individually packaged lunches in the freezer. One of my work colleagues had a good time teasing me about the quinoa, talking about my trendy grains. . . haha.

Do people ever make fun of/comment on your healthy food? Growing up a vegetarian and being interested in trying new things, I have always been teased for what I eat, but it doesn’t really bother me.

Off to watch Gossip Girl. Have a great night, and don’t forget to enter the Get Well Stay Well Giveaway if you haven’t already!

  1. eatlivetravelwrite’s avatar

    Sorry, I can barely read the chopped challenge because I am so excited that I am going to meet you in SF!!! What an interesting meal your challenge produced. (and ps, I love Gossip Girl too!!!)


  2. Andrea@WellnessNotes’s avatar

    Great meal! I believe my ingredient was the almond butter, which I would argue made the dish, no?!!! ;) How exciting that you are going to the Foodbuzz Festival!


  3. Lynn (The Actors Diet)’s avatar

    i’m not going to the foodbuzz event but i might be in the bay area that weekend for a movie event – maybe we can do a meet up!


  4. Simply Life’s avatar

    Way to go! That sounds like a great way to put them all together – I’m impressed! Yeah, I’ve been made fun of for eating healthy “weird” foods and I used to make a point to show them I also eat things like brownies, but then I got over it and was proud to be making such healthy decisions that I know are good for me! :)


  5. talesfromtwocities’s avatar

    People always look at my food wierd – esp at work! I always just say, I know, I eat wierd, even though of course I don’t really think I do!


  6. leslie’s avatar

    your dish sounds like perfection. nice job! i used to be so much more self-conscious about what people might think of my food. now i just brush off any comments they make – sometimes it’s frustrating, but i’m happy eating this way, and that’s really all that matters!


  7. Naomi(onefitfoodie)’s avatar

    oh yeah people comment ALL the time, when it comes down to it, everyone eats what they want when they want and what works for them and one of my biggest pet peeves is others commenting on what others eat! It drives me nuts! SO i just shrug it off and move on!! your dish sounds great!!


  8. traveleatlove’s avatar

    I booked my flight and hotel last night! Can’t wait. When do you arrive? :)


  9. traveleatlove’s avatar

    Absolutely! Almond butter sauce is far better than peanut sauce. It is SO good!


  10. eatlivetravelwrite’s avatar

    I arrive the morning of Nov 6th (around 9.30 I think!) Where are you guys staying???


  11. traveleatlove’s avatar

    Yes! Keep me posted on your travel plans. I would love to meet up!


  12. traveleatlove’s avatar

    At the cheaper of the 2 hotels that Foodbuzz suggested :) I keep forgetting the name, but we looked at the map and it was close to where we stayed last time which was a great area.


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