The title pretty much explains it: tonight I made some crazy cool coconut curry using a sauce from Costco! Who knew Costco had fresh (in the refrigerator section), vegan curry? Even better, it is Costco size, so if you are cooking for a whole crew, you will have enough. Or if you want a good batch of leftovers to last the week, BOOM, you got a pot of curry.
The important part of tonight’s cooking, however, was the prep of the tofu. A while back I discovered the importance of draining tofu as much as possible, but I never went all out. Usually I would just pat the brick dry and press it between my hand and the cutting board for a few 5-second intervals and call it good. But no, being vegan requires the REAL tofu prep techniques, none of this amateur stuff. Tonight I used a technique I saw on A Vegan With A Plan’s blog. All you do is put a colander in a pot, put your bricks of tofu in the colander (I managed to fit 2 at once), put a piece of plastic wrap on top of the tofu (lacking plastic wrap, I cut up a ziploc bag…#college), cover with a plate, and stack something relatively heavy on top. Then you pop the whole thing in the fridge, come back in an hour or so, and tah-dah! Nicely pressed tofu, ready for any cooking endeavor.
To complete my curry masterpiece, I chopped up some onion and got it sautéing in a pot, then added the tofu and let that brown up for a while. Unfortunately, I made such a massive amount that there wasn’t enough pan space for proper browning, but each piece got a little golden on at least one side, which works for me. Then I chopped up two heads of broccoli, a big carrot, and a big red bell pepper and threw them in, along with the whole tub of curry from Costco and a can of light coconut milk from TJ’s. I find that adding a can of coconut milk to most pre-made curry sauces works really well both in increasing the volume and in taming the strong curry flavor, which can be pretty concentrated. To serve, I put a couple big scoops of curry on top of a bed of a 2:1 quinoa-brown rice mix from the rice cooker. YUM.
On another note, today is the first day of the Crossfit Open, which is the crossfit competition that is open to anyone who wants to sign up. They even have a new Scaled category this year, so that you can do the Open even if you can’t snatch 5000000lbs or whatever it is the top athletes do these days. I’m not signed up this year, because I didn’t want to dedicate my Saturdays to crossfit when I could be skiing/volunteering/homeworking/sleeping/recreating in some other fashion, which I seem to be prone to do on my weekends. Anyway, in celebration I watched the recent documentary released on the 2014 Games, as well as the first Open event showdown between the 2014 champ and 2nd place finisher at the Games. Those athletes are truly inspirational. But it made me think a lot about what it takes to be at that level, and I decided its mostly a lot of commitment and a very high pain tolerance. No matter how strong and bulky you are, you will have to push through some mental walls that you might not even know are breakable. Both inspiring and frightening to think about, especially since I am so passionate about crossfit and am at the prime starting age for training for competition. Would I ever want to go to those lengths, and spend that much time, for what is essentially a glorified workout? I guess it’s some food for thought.
Although I’m no pro crossfitter, I did get some exciting feedback yesterday and today! My coach, the lovely Taylor, commented on my push-up form and strength yesterday and how much it has improved since my arrival a little over a month ago. And then today, during my now normal 70ish Burpee warm up, my friend Kiersten commented on how big my triceps have gotten! This is encouraging news, since I am still struggling back from my “Freshman 10” during 1st semester where I put on 10lbs within the first month, as well as trying out this whole vegan+fitness thing. While I am still at the same weight (after a small drop in January), I am proud to say I have experienced some body composition changes, and I feel a lot stronger! This just goes to show, once again, that a tiny waist and slim legs and arms don’t have to be the only image of sexy ladies: muscles are healthy and sexy too!