Growing up, we knew that dinner was always served at 6pm. This was a non-negotiable family time event. Daddy came home, took his seat at the head of the table, Mom served up a home-cooked meal, and we all participated in saying grace before launching into conversation and fueling ourselves. Every day of every week, we could count on having this happy time together as a family over a meal.
Fast forward to the present. Some habits are hard to break. Over time, my husband and I have realized that we’ve re-created our own version of this ritual of reconnecting over dinner, and we look forward to it each day. More than just a way to satisfy our primal need to eat, our ritual brings us a pause in our day – a chance to focus on each other – and the opportunity to celebrate the abundance of Mother Nature’s kitchen.
For me, I get to plan meals and stretch my culinary skills by trying intriguing recipes. There are expeditions to farmer’s markets and speciality shops in search of fun ingredients. This summer I became enamored of eggplant, all because of one adventuresome purchase at my local farmstand. I’d never cooked with eggplant before, and suddenly I was smitten with it’s versatility.
For my husband, there’s the comfort of coming home to a nutritious meal, the chance to unwind over a candlelit table, and the quiet of the moment in which we can share our day’s events. It’s like the meal is the catalyst that helps to bring us together again.
It also reminds us of our interconnectedness to the earth and its bounty, as we delight in the variety and richness of our food. And finally, it reaffirms our relationship with everything around us, and the beautiful, cyclical, unspoken rhythm of life that we are all a part of.
Here’s a recipe I’ve reinvented from the Vegetarian Times. What I love about
it is that you can adapt it to the seasons, serving the tofu over cold noodles &
cucumbers in summer, or over grains and roasted veggies in fall. The Asian
spices give it a little kick!
¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
¼ cup chile-garlic sauce
2 Tbs. dark sesame oil
14 oz. extra-firm tofu, drained and cubed
To make Spicy Tofu:
1. Whisk together soy sauce, chile-garlic sauce, and sesame oil in bowl. Heat skillet over medium heat. Coat tofu in soy sauce mixture; cook 10 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Pour any remaining sauce into skillet as you cook.
2. In large serving bowl, toss tofu over cooked brown rice or other hearty grain. Add roasted or steamed veggies of your choice (for example: bok choy; eggplant; onions; broccoli; cauliflower). If serving cold, squeeze lime over the tofu for a refreshing taste.
deliver me wellness
Philadelphia yoga team