Saturday, April 12, 2014

Baked Tofu Pate and Feeling Under Pressure

Heads up VKP readers, there is a long blog entry ahead unlike my usual brief style. Today's featured recipe is Baked Tofu Pate which I came up with on a night I did not feel like putting too much effort into my dinner menu, but I also wanted something flavorful in spite of my laziness. You will EVENTUALLY get to the recipe....

I am certain you can relate to feeling [rarely or often] like the carpet is being pulled from under your feet. To add to this distress, you have front row seat to this Carpet Pulling Event and it is all happening to you in a slow motion. Additionally, your mind is flooded with automatic negative thoughts, and you have nightmares and/or day-terrors about these thoughts during slumber and when awake.

An example of an automatic negative thought includes, but is not limited to:

"I can't interpret Independent Groups T-tests. I never do things right." 

Sound familiar? Not the part about the T-test, but the overall concept of automatic negative thoughts that we all have and struggle with on a daily basis. Although I am generalizing, [if you don't fall into this category, consider yourself lucky] there is something to be said about learning how to be kind to yourself.

Mark Twain's quote below illustrates how our minds work.

"My life has been filled with terrible misfortunes, most of which have never happened." 

We scare ourselves into thinking we are not capable of pushing ourselves due to fear of failure, and often continue living our lives without working on changing our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. During such times, we tend to use avoidance to help us cope with our feelings.

Instead of avoidance, I have started working on facing thoughts and feelings in effort not to fall back on the vicious cycle of negativity towards myself. This cycle is rooted in automatic negative thoughts.

Now I practice reframing these thoughts of mine to positive ones. To do this, I ask myself: "what can I learn from this experience?"

It takes practice, EFFORT, patience, and time. The more you do it, the easier it will become.

An example of reframing an automatic negative thought listed above is the following:

"While I don't have experience with interpreting statistical tests, I am going to tutoring each week. I have noticed I gain a better understanding of the logic behind these tests with each session, which means that I am doing something right

Cheers to Independent Groups T-tests as well as all the other ones I love to love! - see what I did there.
Baked Tofu Pate
Baked Tofu Pate 

1 small onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves
2 slices bread of choice (I used sprouted whole wheat bread)
1 (15-oz package) extra firm organic tofu, drained and padded dry
2 cups fresh spinach
2 tablespoons less sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup, plus additional to coat the top of pate
1 and 1/2 cups rolled oats, not instant oats (Add at the end and do not blend!)
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil (Add 1/4 cup for a richer flavor instead of using 1 tablespoon)
2 teaspoons miso paste of choice
Salt to taste (About 1/2 teaspoon)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste (About 1/4 teaspoon)

*Non-stick cooking spray to coat and oil the loaf pan.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a food processor or high speed blender, process the onion and garlic first. Then add the two slices of bread, tofu, spinach, soy sauce, ketchup, corn starch, poultry seasoning, olive oil, miso paste, salt and pepper, and blend.

This may take a while, depending on the kitchen tool you use. You may have to stop a few times, scrape the sides, and pulse again. If you find yourself not being able to process all the ingredients with ease, add 2 tablespoons of water, vegetable broth or olive oil. I found myself having to add water, and found it helpful to move the tofu along.

Once the mixture is smooth or almost smooth, place it in a bowl, and add the oats. Mix well, and transfer the mixture to an oiled mini/small loaf pan. Spread the mixture with a spatula evenly. Now add about 2 to 3 tablespoons of ketchup on top of the pate and spread it evenly.

Bake for 50 minutes to one hour depending on the desired consistency. Allow 15 minutes cooling time before serving. Remove from loaf pan and slice. Spread it on toasted bread or serve it over greens.

Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
I sliced and pan fried it and served the pate over organic pea shoots. I used leftovers as a sandwich spread. Tastes great hot or cold! 

No comments:

Post a Comment