June 21, 2017

Easy Baked Savory Tofu


This simple (5-ingredient!) method of marinated baked tofu is so flavorful and super versatile! We love snacking on them hot off the pan but if you can resist eating them fresh out of the oven, they're awesome in a ton of different ways. Soup, salad, rice bowls, wraps, appetizers/snacks (either plain or with a dipping sauce), or a simple meal combined with rice/quinoa and veggies. It's kinda cool how tofu takes on a whole new flavor and texture when baked. Right out of the oven, it's golden brown, soft and tender - yum! Then as it cools, it becomes a lot more dense which holds up really well in salads, rice bowls, etc. Since tofu is basically a blank palette as far as flavors go, this easy marinade packs a BIG punch of savory flavor that lends itself to a variety of dishes... and of course a tempting snack hot off the pan! 😉


Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free
Serves about 2-3 (more as a side)

Ingredients
1 block extra-firm organic tofu
1/4 cup tamari (or soy sauce)
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
Optional: 1 Tbsp. maple syrup - I love this addition!

Directions
Drain tofu and lightly press to remove excess moisture (I use paper towels).
Cut tofu in about 3/4" thick pieces. Place in a shallow container where they will marinate.
In a small bowl, combine tamari, rice vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder, and maple syrup if using. Stir to combine.
Pour over tofu and gently toss to thoroughly coat.
Cover and refrigerate to let marinate for at least 30 minutes.*
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat. Place tofu on pan in a single, separated layer. (You should have leftover marinade - pour it over the top of the tofu to get all the flavor!)
Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until edges are golden brown, tossing halfway through.
Keeps refrigerated for about 4-5 days.

*The longer the tofu marinates, the more flavor it will soak up. I find 30 minutes works great, otherwise it can also be a great dish to prepare in the morning for later in the day. If you're around, stir it occasionally to make sure it's evenly marinated.

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Come join The Garden Grazer on Instagram and share a pic if you make this! I love seeing what you guys cook up 😊



June 6, 2017

14 Summer Book Recommendations


Summer can be a perfect time to kick back and get lost in some great books 📚✨ These are all books I've read and enjoyed enough to share. I'd LOVE to hear your favorites and what's on your summer reading list - please get in touch or leave a comment below! Happy reading!


* Health/Lifestyle Books *
   

Always gotta throw this beauty in the mix because it's the book that kicked off my plant-based journey and changed my life! So grateful to Dr. T. Colin Campbell and his research - a true hero!

Dr. Neal Barnard shares awesome insight based on the latest research to protect our brain, optimize its function, and strengthen our memory through certain "power foods". Easy tips of what to eat, what to avoid, and even some mental exercises to help avoid/reverse cognitive decline. Fascinating topic!

This amazing book by Dr. Joel Fuhrman inspired me so much that I started sharing it with everyone I know! (You may recall the Super Immunity Power Salad recipe I created for the blog.) I've worked in a TON of his tips from this book into our everyday life and have been loving the way my body responds and feels!


* Just For Fun *


GUYS. Have you seen these?! The illustrations are stunning!!! My husband bought them for me as a birthday gift and it's SO much fun experiencing the story all over again. I've read the series a handful of times, but these larger books with amazing, detailed illustrations really bring the magic to life in a whole new way. Definitely worth checking out if you're a Potter fan (and great for gifts!) Muggles rejoice!! ✨


Here's the second book in the series (and I think the third one is coming out in October - can't wait!)



SUCH a cute book told from the dog's perspective. I laughed out loud so many times, and whenever I see a dog now it makes me think of them a bit differently as I try to imagine what their inner dialogue might be thinking 😉 I admit I avoided reading this one for a while because I thought it might be too sad (there were a couple teary parts of course) BUT I'm so, so glad I did and recommend it to all... especially dog/animal lovers!


* Self-Improvement *
If I could only recommend a couple books, of any genre, this would definitely make the list. It's a true gift to humanity. The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu joined up to reach out to the world, regardless of faith or location, and share incredible insight on how we can all live with more happiness, purpose, and fulfillment... even in the midst of adversity. Phenomenal, uplifting book to read and share with loved ones.


Varying degrees of suffering is inevitable to all of us as humans. But Thich Nhat Hahn shares simple, practical tips on how to be in touch with our suffering... not overwhelmed by it. He says by acknowledging our suffering, we can transform it rather than run away from it. Embracing this mindfulness can bring an incredible freedom, clearer mind, and true joy - beautiful read!


I received this book as a gift from a sweet friend and it was the first Thich Nhat Hanh book I'd ever read. I loved it so much I bought several others by him and really enjoy them all. His style and voice is so down to earth and relatable, yet with such empowering messages.


This is the book I finished most recently and already want to re-read! It's a mystical tale of a shepherd boy on a quest to find worldly treasure. As we follow along his journey, we're reminded to listen to our hearts, follow our dreams, trust our intuition, and discover deeper meanings. That makes it sound a little intense... but it's really a light, shorter read - so lovely!


One last Thich Nhat Hanh book to share on life's most important skill... communicating! He gives wisdom on listening more mindfully and expressing our true, authentic self. An important topic, especially in today's world, on how we can help improve our relationships with ourselves and each other.


* Cookbooks/Tea *


Kim Campbell is Dr. T. Colin Campbell's daughter-in-law and an amazing recipe creator! She shares easy, approachable ways of cooking with whole foods and no oil. I've made several recipes from this book and recommend it especially if you're new to plant-based cooking or are trying to go oil-free. Wonderful staples!


I bought this cookbook for my parents who started exploring Indian food this past year and am blown away by the recipes Richa shares. It's gotten amazing reviews and easy to see why - SO many incredible flavors pouring out of these pages, as she makes Indian food both accessible and fun. If you want to dive into the realm of Indian food (a fun summer project!?) this is the book to try!



For any tea enthusiasts out there, this is a really cool reference and guide book (with such beautiful photographs!) It takes us through the history of tea in different regions of the world and many other topics like varieties, cultivating, processing, tea ceremonies, etc. An enjoyable way to learn and better connect with our cup of tea!

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That's it for now - be sure to share your favorite reads as well! Occasionally I share book recommendations on The Garden Grazer Pinterest page if you'd like to follow along there as well. (Link below.) Happy summer and happy reading! 🌻 -Kaitlin




Disclosure: The Garden Grazer is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to amazon.com and affiliated sites. I only share things I absolutely LOVE and personally use! (There is no additional cost to you in clicking the affiliate link.) The money earned helps me continue sharing my passion, and I thank you very much for your support!



June 1, 2017

Encha Community Challenge + Giveaways!


Happy June! I'm pleased to announce this month (in celebration of guys and Father's Day) we're exploring men's relationship to matcha! I've personally seen a HUGE difference in my own husband's shift from coffee fanatic to matcha-loving guy. A couple years ago I honestly didn't think I could pry coffee from his hands long enough for him to try matcha... but eventually he agreed to try it for an entire week in place of his daily coffee routine. Not gonna lie - it surprised us both when he ended up loving it! He said he noticed a positive difference in his concentration when he was studying/reading that week, and that he loved the "cleaner" feeling of matcha over coffee.

Despite such a positive initial response, his daily coffee habit still lingered. (It can be a strong force!) So for the past two years, matcha was very much in the mix, but coffee was still the dominant, daily addiction... until recently. He totally cut out coffee from his routine again and experienced about ten days of awful coffee withdrawal symptoms. It wasn't until this point that the beneficial effects of switching to matcha were fully realized. He says his daily energy is as good as (or better than!) it ever was with coffee, and the draw to coffee is only ever minimally present, if at all. Before, he wouldn't walk past a coffee house without going in. The last time we walked past a coffee house he had to be convinced to go in (whoa...) 😉


So! After seeing this amazing transformation and increased health & happiness firsthand, I'd LOVE to see it shared with other men out there. I encourage you to explore it with special guys in your life as well - family, friends, neighbors, significant others, etc. (Or if you're a guy reading this - hi! Give matcha a try!) 😊

To help support you in this fun endeavor, I've teamed up with my absolute favorite matcha brand, Encha Organic Matcha to host weekly challenges and giveaways on my Instagram page this month, so be sure to catch up with me there. Now let's get to the fun stuff and giveaway details! First...


JUNE COUPON CODE!
This month, anyone can save 10% on all three grades of Encha Organic Matcha on Amazon, including free prime shipping!

Ceremonial-grade Encha on Amazon
Latte-grade Encha on Amazon
Culinary-grade Encha on Amazon

Use coupon code: "EnchaMan"
(One use per customer. Valid June 1-30, 2017.)


GIVEAWAYS!
Encha is also generously providing four amazing giveaways throughout the month! (Prizes will be sent by Encha team via USPS Priority Mail.)

Opening 1st Round Prize
Encha Organic Matcha Starter Kit ($50)
Enter June 1-7 through my weekly Instagram Challenge
Winner Announcement June 8

Photos courtesy of Encha.com


2nd Round Prize
Encha All-Grade Matcha Ensemble ($67)
Enter June 8-14 through my weekly Instagram Challenge
Winner Announcement June 15

Photo courtesy of Encha.com


3rd Round Prize
Encha Set: 30g Ceremonial packet + whisk trio or frother + a bowl or pitcher (choose among in-stock) ($76-$89)
Enter June 15-21 through my weekly Instagram Challenge
Winner Announcement June 22

Photos courtesy of Encha.com


Final 4th Round Prize
Encha Matcha Tea Ceremony Set ($95.50) (with Wave bowl)
Enter June 22-27 through my weekly Instagram Challenge
Winner Announcement June 28

Photo courtesy of Encha.com


Pretty amazing prizes and I'm SO excited to share the Encha love with you! Come join me on The Garden Grazer's Instagram where the first challenge/giveaway is currently underway. I genuinely look forward to hearing from you this month and your thoughts on this topic so close to my heart: matcha men! 💚 -Kaitlin

PS - feel free to visit my Matcha Guide on the site for general matcha info, benefits, recipes, etc!

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This community challenge is sponsored by Encha Organic Matcha as part of its farm-to-cup community support program. All opinions are my own.

Disclosure: The Garden Grazer is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to amazon.com and affiliated sites. I only share things I absolutely LOVE and personally use! (There is no additional cost to you in clicking the affiliate link.) The money earned helps me continue sharing my passion, and I thank you very much for your support!