It all starts with Cross Country. It is upon us.
Starting tomorrow and continuing for the next two months, I will be traveling on an un-air conditioned yellow school bus to various invitational cross country meets in Southern California. Let me change that slightly to make you feel even sorrier for me. I will be traveling on that bus with 31 teenagers.
Actually I jest. I love my team and actually enjoy the bus ride (pillows are key!). This week our meet is at Cal Poly in Pomona, so we’re looking at a two hour drive. Add the actual races and the lunch stop in there, you’re saying goodbye to Saturday. Not to mention the bus leaves from the school at 5:00 am. Yes, you read that right.
That brings me, finally, to my point. I love coaching cross country but it is very time consuming. We have practice daily (except Sunday, thank goodness), the meet on Saturday, plus I have rosters to type, results to compile, etc. Of course, I have a full time job, and this whole blogging thing. Plus, you know, I like to exercise a bit here and there. I am fortunate that my husband is my co-coach, so at least we get to see each other during cross country season.
I am time challenged! There are not enough hours in the day. Something’s got to give!
What seems to give first is food preparation. Generally, I cook at home almost all the time. I do that for many reasons. I love to cook, it is obviously much healthier, restaurant food is expensive, plus the lack of vegan restaurants in my area discourages eating out.
Just because I’m busy, I don’t want to give up healthy eating. I am not and never will be organized enough to prepare a full week’s worth of dinners on Sunday. Plus, I’d be spending my only real day off in the kitchen. Instead, I think BIG. Instead of using my small bit of leftovers for lunch, I prepare enough food for at least two meals. Alan’s happy as long as there is one day in between the same dish. And I’m happy to have an easy meal to prepare (can you say “reheat?”)
The other way to think BIG is to use the leftovers to create an entirely different dish. Think of the variations on leftover Thanksgiving turkey. That is what I did for this BBQ Tofu Salad. The other night, I prepared the barbecued tofu (I should say BBQ-style because I cooked it in the oven), and served it with corn. I made an extra portion knowing that I would do something with it later on in the week. This salad is the result.
Before we get to the recipe, check out my video of my Cross Country team rockin’ a gym workout!
BBQ Tofu Salad with Arugula and Smoky & Spicy Ranch Dressing
The BBQ tofu was leftovers, but I originally prepared it by slicing a drained block of tofu into three slices, marinating in a mixture of 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup vegetable broth, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon Sriracha (or other hot sauce), 1 teaspoon liquid smoke. Cover and bake at 400 degrees for about a half hour. We had two of the slices for dinner and I refrigerated the third slice.
Since the leftover tofu is cold, you might want to warm it up a bit before putting it in the salad. Cut it into small cubes. Combine arugula (or other favorite greens), tomato, yellow pepper, green onions, kidney beans (or other beans of choice), radishes, avocado, and tofu. Toss together with Smoky and Spicy Ranch Dressing (I used the dressing from this recipe and added 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke). Feel free to switch up veggies, add some nuts or seeds, etc. It’s your salad. Enjoy.
One nice thing about those long bus rides. If I bring my computer, they’re perfect for getting some writing done!
How do you manage eating healthy in spite of your busy schedule? Any tips to share?