March 20, 2019

A Hockey Themed 3rd Birthday



Happy first day of Spring! Let’s talk a step back in winter (for just a few minutes) and check out the hockey themed birthday party we recently threw for our newly 3 year old daughter.

Hockey Themed Kids Birthday Party

Earlier this month, we celebrated our oldest’s 3rd birthday. Seriously, THREE YEARS OLD. Where does the time go?

When we asked what she wanted to do, the answer was simple - she wanted a hockey themed birthday. A skating party.

No surprise there, considering how much time we’ve spent “hockeying like daddy” (aka skating) at our favourite outdoor skating rink the past few months.

So, it was settled. A hockey-themed birthday party at the City of Toronto’s Greenwood Park it would be.

You can read all about her first birthday here and second birthday here and here. 

Hockey Themed Kids Birthday Party

Decor

What is a hockey themed birthday without hockey themed birthday party decorations and favours?

The community room that we rented from the City wasn't anything special, so it needed a little sprucing up.

After scouring Pinterest for a little inspiration, we started at the local dollar stores (Dollar Tree and Dollarama here in Ontario).

They didn’t have a ton of hockey-specific decor, so I had to think a little out of the box. For the colours, I chose blue and white (with a bit of silver) for our home team, Toronto Maple Leafs. Table cloths were also blue and white.

We added some packs of hockey trading cards to the table, for both the kids and the adults. 

I found hockey-specific plate, napkins and table confetti at Party City Canada. This is also where I purchased the large helium balloon arrangement, with silver “3” and white and blue balloons. 

My favourite Dollarama find was the letter boards (which came in three different colours). At only $4 a pop, they were a great steal and I will be able to use them again int he future for the blog.

Hockey Themed Kids Birthday Party
Hockey Themed Kids Birthday Party

Food

In terms of food, we ordered pizza from Pizzaville, and also had pop, juice, chips, veggies and fruit. The boxes for popcorn and chips were also from Dollarama, they reminded me of a concessions stand which was the look I was going for.

For the candy bar, I purchased candy at the Bulk Barn. I found black and white striped bags at Dollarama, and they reminded me of referees. 

The hockey-themed cake was ordered from Loblaws. 

Hockey Themed Kids Birthday Party
Hockey Themed Kids Birthday Party

A tradition we started for Morley’s first birthday was a photo book, ordered through Shutterfly. We compile all of our favourite photos from the year and organize them by month. We then get everyone at the party to write a fun message for her. I always have fun building them, and its a great keepsake for her to look back on when she’s older.

Instead of a traditional goodie bag, we gave each of the kids that came a hockey-related story book, specifically Over at the Rink: A Hockey Counting Book (by Stella Partheniou Grasso) and Just One Goal! (by Robert Munsch).

Hockey Themed Kids Birthday Party
Hockey Themed Kids Birthday Party

Ok, so I was pretty proud of myself for the theme and decor. But all Morley cared about was the skating and the people. And that was fine with me.

The day was absolutely perfect, even with the massive amount of snow falling from the sky. We really couldn't have asked for a better day and better celebration. 

She had such a great time celebrating #3, and seeing a smile on her face made me one happy mama. 

Hockey Themed Kids Birthday Party
Hockey Themed Kids Birthday Party
Hockey Themed Kids Birthday Party

You know how I know she had fun? She has asked me every day since to “go back to her skating party”. So if anyone has any suggestions on how to creatively tell a toddler that she won’t have another birthday party until next year, please send them my way.

How do you celebrate your kids’ birthdays? Any favourite themes you’ve done? I’d love to hear!




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Hockey Theme Kids Birthday Party


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March 18, 2019

A Family Trip to Great Wolf Lodge, Niagara Falls


Looking for the perfect family adventure in southern Ontario? Whether it’s minus twenty or pouring rain outside, it’s always warm and sunny at Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Read on to learn why Great Wolf Lodge is the perfect indoor vacation destination for families in southern Ontario.

Great Wolf Lodge, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Last month, we escaped the big city and spent a night at Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls, Ontario. 

With a water lover at home, we had talked about a visit for about a year. We went back and forth for some time, hesitant to book not knowing if it would be too old for our almost 3 year old. We were a bit afraid that it would be a waste of money, and that there would be nothing there for her to do.

Boy, were we wrong.

After receiving a gift certificate for Christmas, we were given the push we needed to book a stay. And, after talking with friends that had also visited with young children, we realized it would be the perfect time to take the girls.

And, we’re so glad that we did.

Great Wolf Lodge, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Located along the Niagara Gorge, just five kilometres from Niagara Falls, Great Wolf Lodge is one of North America’s largest indoor waterpark resorts, and the perfect family-friendly indoor vacation destination.

We arrived at 4:00pm, check in time. Walking in, I was in awe - the grand lobby was filled with kids in their bathing suits running around and parents trailing after them. With a massive fireplace, antler chandeliers and a fishing cabin-theme, I knew we were no longer in the big city. With two little ones in tow, vacations are no longer what they used to be. Stepping foot in the lobby for the first time, I instantly realized what we were in for - from here on out, it’s all about the girls. 

lobby at Great Wolf Lodge, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
lobby at Great Wolf Lodge, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
lobby at Great Wolf Lodge, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Let’s get straight to the point. The highlight of Great Wolf Lodge?

That would be the humongous 103,000 square foot indoor waterpark, featuring 2.5 million litres of water, 13 water slides, 6 pools and a four-storey tree house water fort. The best way to describe it? Wow. Just wow.

The waterpark is an ideal escape for everyone, offering an environment that provides for family bonding time as well as safe, supervised, yet independent kid-friendly fun. It is open from 9:00am to 8:00pm daily, and on the day of arrival, guests have access starting at 1:00pm (3 hours prior to check in).

We were a bit worried Morley would be restricted to the wave pool and lazy river, so we were happy to see that there really is something for everyone at the waterpark, from toddlers all the way to adults. (See also FAQ below regarding appropriate age.)

water park at Great Wolf Lodge, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Upon walking in, children are measured and given a different coloured wristband depending on their height. The colour corresponds to which slides they can go on. We spent the majority of our time in Chipmunk Cove - a shallow water area with a fountain forest - and on the kiddie slides (located in the same area), perfectly sized water slides with gentle slopes and tiny dips and turns. It was so fun to watch Morley break out of her shell and go down the slides all by herself. We also explored Fort Mackenzie, a multi-level water fort tree house and took a dip in Rainbow Lake (the wave pool) and Crystal River (the lazy river).

While we brought our own, we were happy to see that life jackets are available for use. They have a few different sizes and can be found first come, first serve at the entrance to the waterpark.

Kiddie Water slides at Great Wolf Lodge, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

After some time spent in the pool and watching Morley brave the kiddie slides, it was time to head back to the room to warm up and fill our bellies. Instead of enjoying one of the many sit-down restaurants, we opted for room service, ordering a pizza to the room from Northwoods Pizza. (See also FAQ below regarding food.)

One thing that I appreciated about the resort was that there was never a need to carry a wallet or purse. A good thing when you’re around 2.5 million litres of water! Instead, it’s all in the RFID waterproof wristband, which acts as your room key, credit card for purchases in all retail shops, bars and restaurants and for all services, and even identification, say if you get separated from your children.

After a quick bite, it was back to the lobby for nightly story time - a chance for the kiddos to put on their pjs, grab their favourite stuffy and sit down to hear the forest friends and a very lively staff member read a few favourite storybooks.

Throughout the day, the lobby is fun (and dry) source of entertainment for the kids. Aside from story time, there are performances featuring animated friends of the forest who come to life and sing, dance parties, character meet and greets and more.

Lobby at Great Wolf Lodge, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Lobby at Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls Ontario Canada

In total, the resort has 406 guest rooms made up of 10 different configurations, all designed with the rustic charm of a Northwoods cabin. We opted to stay in a Family Fireplace Suite which included two queen-sized beds, a full-size sleeper sofa in the semi-private living space and a fireplace. If we are to visit again when the girls are a bit older, we would definitely book a KidKamp Suite which features a tent-themed sleeping area with bunk beds.

The majority of the resort’s suites open onto a large deck or patio (perfect for a summer visit) and also include a semi-private living area, full-size bath, one or more TVs, in-room safe, refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, hair dryer, free WIFI and more. Pack and play cribs are also available upon request.

After a much needed sleep and a quick bite to eat, we put our bathing suits back on and headed down to the watermark one more time before saying goodbye to our forest friends and making the 1.5 hour drive back to Toronto. It’s safe to day, both girls slept the entire way.

A Family Trip to Great Wolf Lodge, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions, as asked by YOU the readers on social media. (If you have any more, feel free to include them in the comments below and I will answer and update the post. Remember, if you have the question, chances are someone else is wondering the same thing, so don’t hesitate to ask!)

What age is appropriate?
This is a BIG one, and one of the reasons we almost didn’t book a stay.

At just shy of 3 years, our oldest had a blast! For that age, I recommend only one night. They can take part in all of the free activities (story time, character meet and greets, etc.) while still enjoying the waterpark for a good length of time.  Between the wave pool, lazy river and kiddy area (with four slides), there was enough for Morley to do that she didn’t even notice the bigger slides. 

In order to ride the kiddy slides in Chipmunk Cove, I strongly recommend they be comfortable and confident enough in the water as they have to ride the slides by themselves (parents can wait at the bottom). 

Our 6 month old also loved sitting in the water watching all of the kids in the pool. She had a grin from ear to ear as she splashed and watched her sister.

As kids get older, the pricier the trip gets (like anywhere, I guess). For kids 6 years plus, I recommend 2 nights. They can ride more slides in the waterpark (ability to ride goes by height) and take part in more of the paid activities at the resort (arcade, MagiQuest, etc.).

Is it clean?
With the volume of people they see, I was surprised how clean the resort was, both in and out of the waterpark. 

The water is obviously heavily chlorinated, and you will be smelling it for days after your visit. For example, I took a few showers to get the smell out of my hair and two washing cycles to get the smell out of our clothes. That being said, I would rather it be heavily chlorinated than not enough chlorine.

For the amount of chlorine, you would expect the decor to look “aged”. This is what I experienced at a previous indoor waterpark I had visited. However, there didn’t seem to be any wear and tear to the decor and structures, which means it is well cleaned and maintained. 

Isn’t it expensive?
Yes, it does come with a bit larger of a price tag than other hotels, but remember that with the room cost, you are also receiving admission to the waterpark on both days. 

There are ways to make your visit more cost effective. When choosing when to visit, select an off-peak time of the year, such as a week day, have your kids ask for gift certificates as gifts (like we received for Christmas), avoid areas with paid programming and services (as much as possible, I know easier said than done with kids) and even take advantage of the fridge and microwave in the room and bring your own food. (See also FAQ below regarding food.)

Be sure check out the “Special Offers” section on their website to learn more ways to save. 

How is the food?
Before visiting, I asked friends this same question. Their advice was that it is expensive and that we should bring our own food in terms of snack, lunch and breakfast. And so, we did. I loaded our cooler bag and to be honest, we didn’t end up eating half of it. A few reasons why - we were only there one night (total 22 hours) and we are a small family with young kids. 

For dinner, we ordered a pizza (and two beers) delivered to the room. A large Hawaiian was $22.99 and beers were $7.99 each, which we thought was comparable to if we went out to a restaurant. For our two adults and one child eating, this was a reasonable cost. However, if you have a larger family, or kids that eat more, I could see it being more expensive.

If you are going to bring your own food, there is a mini fridge and microwave located in the room. Keep in mind, outside food is not allowed in the waterpark. There are two restaurants in the waterpark area to order from.

By the way, the pizza was delicious.

Have you been to Great Wolf Lodge? Where is your favourite family-friendly vacation destination? I’d love to hear!





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A Family Vacation to Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls Ontario Canada

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March 14, 2019

Winner, Winner, Pizza Dinner



*Disclosure: This post is sponsored by CAULIPOWER, but the content and opinions expressed here are 100% that of To & Fro's.

Toddlers. I would love to know what goes on in that little brain of theirs.

For example, when it comes to food, one day Morley can’t get enough of something, and the next she can’t stand the sight of it. Some days she’s a ravenous animal, and others it seems like she’s staging a hunger strike.

Bottom line - toddlers are creatures of habit, they like what they like. And they’ll be quick to tell you otherwise.


From an early age, we have tried to get Morley interested in what we were eating. We tried hard to avoid making two entirely separate meals. Because of that, she is not afraid to try something new - she’ll even dive head first into a plate of sushi. Girlfriend gets her money’s worth at an all you can eat. 

But even though she's up for try something new, it doesn’t always mean she’ll like it. She’ll be pretty quick to let you know of that. 

In our house, when it comes to the question, “What would you like to eat?”, there are two standard answers. Without fail, it’s all pizza and pasta, all the time. Not the healthiest of choices, right? But like I said, she likes what she likes. 

As parents, our job is to provide them with food that they like and we know they will eat, but food that is also healthy. So even if they want pizza and pasta all the time, we CAN steer them toward healthy eating. Even if we have to do it in a crafty way.

When it comes to pizza, there are clever ways of making it better for you. And believe it or not, it doesn’t just involve adding veggies on top. It also has to do with the crust.

Veggie CAULIPOWER pizza with cauliflower crust

When we were out grocery shopping earlier this week, I decided to switch things up and took a walk down the Natural Foods aisle where I grabbed a CAULIPOWER pizza from the freezer section. With my toddler’s help, we opted for a Veggie and a Three Cheese.

Instead of your typical dough crust, CAULIPOWER’s crust contains cauliflower as the #1 ingredient. There’s nothing synthetic in there, creating a vitamin-rich and naturally gluten-free option that is lower in calories, sugar, fat and sodium that a traditional crust.

Now I know what you’re thinking -“Healthy takes like cardboard.” That is where you’re wrong my friend. And to prove just that, I gave it the ultimate test - the no filter, brutally honest “toddler test”.


Veggie CAULIPOWER pizza with cauliflower crust
toddler sitting in front of oven waiting for pizza

It won.

You know how I know it won? She went back for a second slice. And then a third. All without noticing anything different about what she was eating. The words, “I like this pizza” even came out of her mouth.

Toddler tested, toddler approved. 

And for mom? I was pleasantly surprised. The crust was thin, but had flavour. It also had the consistency of real dough, so you didn't know you were eating cauliflower. And, my picky toddler ate it, which is good enough for me.

Winner, winner, pizza dinner!

Veggie CAULIPOWER pizza with cauliflower crust

CAULIPOWER is the #1 better-for-you pizza, #1 cauliflower crust pizza, #1 gluten-free pizza and fastest growing pizza brand in the U.S – and now we’re bringing the healthy pizza party to our friends up North! Get ready for crispier, tastier, easier, healthier pizza – proudly made in Canada.

We found the pizza in the freezer aisle of the Natural Foods area of our local Real Canadian Superstore, however, it is also available at Loblaws, select Sobeys, Metro, Longo's, Walmart, Costco, Whole Foods, and many independent retailers. It comes in four different varieties - Three Cheese, Margherita, Veggie or Plain Crust to make your own.

sister grocery shopping in Natural Foods aisle of Real Canadian Superstore

Click *here* to get your hands on CAULIPOWER in the freezer aisle at your favorite Canadian retailers!

How do you make eating fun AND healthy for your little ones? I’d love to hear!





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March 12, 2019

Never Say Never: Things I Said I'd Never Do as a Parent and Why It's Ok to Change Your Mind



Last week, as I was putting on one of Morley’s (many) Princess Elsa shirts, I found myself reflecting on a time when I said I would never watch Disney’s Frozen. 

Fast forward 4 or 5 years, and Frozen now consumes my life - some days, it looks (and sounds) like Frozen threw up in our living room. And 4 or 5 years later, I’m ok with that. Most days, I’m singing and dancing right along. 

At the end of the day, it’s what make my daughter happy and putting (and keeping) a smile on her face is my #1 goal. 

Things I Said I'd Never Do as a Parent

Before having kids, I had a handful of things I said I’d never do as parent - let them watch Frozen, be able to handle puke, be bound by routine, or let them roll around on the floor in the middle of the grocery store, to name a few.

But as I've learned over the past 3 years, things change. Never say never.

As a parent, some days it’s full on survival mode. At the expense of your sanity, you do what you have to to get by. Even if that means changing your mind and giving into those things you said you would NEVER EVER do. 

We all have ideas about how we are going to parent our kids. But the truth is, there is no rule book. You have no way to predict what your future children will be like. It’s on the job training, and you learn as you go. And sometimes, that means abandoning your prior beliefs and going with what works for YOU.

Things I Said I'd Never Do as a Parent

Are there things you said you would NEVER do as a parent? But now that you are a parent, you’ve thrown those things right out the window?

Maybe it’s screen time. Maybe it’s giving into your two year old. Maybe it’s feeding them Kraft Dinner. Or maybe, like me, it’s watching Frozen.

I knew I wasn’t alone, so I put the question out to YOU on my Instagram Stories. Turns out, I was right. 

Here are your responses:

“Never thought I’d be so caught up in his sleep routine but here I am, crazy about sleep.”

“Lose my cool during a tantrum… who was I kidding.”

“Screen time to get through dinner at a restaurant.”

“Let my kid sleep with me.”

“Put licensed clothes on my kids.”

“Eating trashy.”

“Take them on a long haul flight at a very young age.”

“Co-sleep!”

“Suck the snot.”

“Yell. I swore I’d never yell. But sometimes I do and it makes me feel terrible.”

Things I Said I'd Never Do as a Parent

So, why am I sharing these responses? Because you are not alone. Chances are, you fit somewhere on this list as well. In fact, you may even be able to check off a few of the above list. I know I can.

And that’s ok.

Even if there was a point when you said it would NEVER EVER happen, things change. You do what works for YOU. The important thing is to understand why these choices work for YOU, rather than giving in to the guilt and the fear of judgement. 

It’s ok for things to change. It's ok to change your mind. Your kid is going to be fine if you let them hog the bed, wear a Princess dress out in public, eat marshmallows for dinner, and so on. They will be just fine.

And you know what? At the end of the day, you will be too.

So, morale of the story? Never say never.

Are there things you said you would NEVER do as a parent, but find yourself changing your mind? I’d love to hear!

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March 8, 2019

What We're Listening To: Our Favourite Podcasts


Disclaimer: This post is in partnership with AfterShokz. I have received products and/or compensation in exchange for this post, however, all opinions and advice shares are 100% that of To & Fro.

Last month, I preached all about our love of podcasts and why you SHOULD be listening to them.

list of podcasts on iphone with aftershokz trekz air headphones

I also shared one of our new favourite ways of listening to podcasts - with our new AfterShokz Trekz Air headphones. You can read all about that here. 

Why do we love them so much? These super lightweight, bluetooth-enabled headphones provide a flexible fit for unnoticeable all-day comfort and stability whether we’re out for a walk with the girls, working on the computer or even cleaning the house. 

But you know what the best part of these headphones is? The fact that we can still hear the girls while we have them on.

AfterShokz Trekz Air headphones use bone conduction technology, which means they send mini vibrations through your cheekbones directly to your inner ear, ensuring your ears remain completely open to hear ambient sounds. An amazing  piece of technology, especially for us parents.

man wearing aftershokz trekz air headphones while cleaning


Now back to the podcasts…  I had so many great comments from people sharing their favourite pods, many I had never even heard of before - which just goes to show how many there actually are out there. So today, I thought it would be fun to share what we’re currently listening to, also known as our current favourite pods. (Also read on to learn one of our favourite ways of listening to podcasts.)

What We’re Currently Listening To: Our Favourite Podcasts

Steve’s Current Top 3: 

With a long commute to and from work each day, my husband relies on his podcasts. He actually prefers them to music nowadays because they keep him informed and up to date on current topics. His favourites are pretty hockey heavy (to be expected from a former pro), with a sprinkling of world happenings. 

Spittin Chiclets
In this pod from Barstool Sports, hosts Ryan Whitney and Paul Bissonnette, both former NHLers, amongst other hosts, team up to bring their outspoken opinions to the masses. They focus on the NHL, but also touching on pop culture and stories from their days “in the show”.

31 Thoughts: The Podcast
Hosted by Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek and NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman, 31 Thoughts is strictly hockey - a weekly deep dive into the biggest hockey news in the world. It’s filled with heavy information surrounding the sport and the league, so if you want to know what goes on in the minds of players, coaches and GMs around the league during signings, trades and even games, this is the pod for you.

The Daily
This podcast is hosted by Michael Barbaro and is powered by New York Times journalism, so you know it will be good. The biggest stories of our time, told by the best journalists in the world. It is how the news should sound give to you in twenty minutes a day, five days a week.

list of podcasts on iphone with aftershokz trekz air headphones

My Current Top 3: 

Being home on mat leave, my podcast list is not as full as it would be if I were commuting to and from work everyday. None the less, I do get outside for a walk almost every day and am happy to toss on a pod to escape from my own head.

#MomTruths
This one is totally relevant to the current stage of my life. I started following Cat and Nat on Instagram in their early years - I loved their raw and funny adventures in motherhood. Through their virally famous video series #MomTruths, which have garnered hundreds of millions of views around the world, and their daily Facebook Live show, Cat & Nat share everything moms think but are too afraid to talk about! #MomTruths brings it back to their beginning where they walk you through how they accidentally became mom millionaires by just being themselves. 

How I Built This
In this NPR podcast, host Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world's best known companies. How I Built This weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists—and the movements they built. I have loved learning about the beginnings of some of my favourite brands, including Patagonia, Lonely Planet, Lululemon, Whole Foods Market, Steve Madden and many more. 

Ear Hustle
This one is a little outside the box for me, but I was instantly hooked. Ear Hustle brings you the stories of life inside prison, shared and produced by those living it. The podcast is a partnership between Nigel Poor, a Bay Area visual artist and Earlonne Woods, formerly incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison. The team works in San Quentin’s media lab to produce stories that are sometimes difficult, often funny, and always honest, offering a nuanced view of people living within the American prison system.

list of podcasts on iphone with aftershokz trekz air headphones

AfterShokz Trekz Air headphones come in four different colours (slate grey, forest green, midnight blue and canyon red) and retail for $189.95 Canadian. Learn more about these innovative headphones here.

Follow #ShokzSquadCAN on social to see what the rest of the review team is saying about these headphones!

What are you listening to these days? Do you have any favourite podcasts? I’d love to hear!




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iphones with favourite podcasts and aftershokz trekz air headphones

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March 5, 2019

Crispy Garlic Tofu Rice Bowl

Much to my husband's knowledge and approval, I've recently started incorporating tofu into some of our dinners.

It's not that we're turning into vegetarians, we still love a juicy grilled steak with all the fixin's once in a while. But sometimes, meat can be pricy. Made from soybeans, not only is tofu is a great alternative for "Meatless Monday", it is also dirt cheap. Think under $2 for a 4 person serving. For a family on a budget, that makes my wallet happy. 

Tofu is also surprisingly tasty. Especially when it takes on the flavour of whatever you cook it in. There are many delicious and easy tofu recipes - we've made tofu stir fry, lettuce wraps with tofu, added it to salads, even subbed it for the salmon in my infamous teriyaki salmon bowl. But this tofu recipe for Crispy Garlic Tofu Rice Bowl is definitely one of my favourites.

Crispy Garlic Tofu Rice Bowl Recipe

CRISPY GARLIC TOFU RICE BOWL

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 block firm tofu, cut into bit-sized pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Sriracha 
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch + 6 tbsp water
  • 1 cup rice (variety of choice)
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 green onions, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cook rice according to package.
  3. Once the oven is preheated, place tofu cubes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 35-40 minutes until golden and crisp around the edges, flipping halfway through.
  4. When tofu is near done, start making the sauce. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add garlic, soy sauce, garlic powder, brown sugar and sriracha and whisk until combined. 
  5. Add cornstarch and water to a small bowl and mix until cornstarch is fully dissolved. 
  6. Add the cornstarch mixture to the small saucepan and whisk until combined. 
  7. Bring mixture to a gentle boil and stir until everything is completely mixed and sauce has thickened. 
  8. Once the sauce is complete, add the baked tofu to the saucepan. Fully coat tofu in sauce.
  9. In a serving bowl, add rice, tofu with sauce and sprinkle with fresh green onions. Serve warm.

Crispy Garlic Tofu Rice Bowl Recipe

Home Chef Tip #1: When you make the sauce, it may not look like you'll have enough. I assure you, with the amounts above, it is plenty to cover one block of tofu, and then some. If you do have extra sauce, it is delicious on a number of different dishes - such as vegetable stir fry or beef & broccoli, another one of my favourites.

Home Chef Tip #2: There are several different consistencies of tofu available on the market. The consistency you want depends on what you plan on cooking. Firm tofu can be sliced and added to stir-fry or seasoned and grilled as a meat substitute; soft tofu can be pureed and used as a ricotta cheese substitute in lasagna, or mashed and added to casseroles; and silken tofu is suitable for making dips or blended with fruit and ice to make smoothies. 

Crispy Garlic Tofu Rice Bowl Recipe

Not only is tofu 1) inexpensive to buy 2) easy to cook with, and 3) delicious, taking on the flavours of whatever you cook it in, it is also surprisingly nutritious. Tofu is high in protein, relatively low in calories, contains no cholesterol and minimal saturated fat, especially when compared to most animal sources of protein. A 3.0 oz portion (approximately the size of a deck of cards) provides 60 calories, 3.5 grams of fat and 7 grams of protein.

Many people get turned off tofu because it is not an ingredient typically found in every day cooking. But, when you find the right recipe, such as the above Crispy Garlic Tofu Rice Bowl, it really is a delicious, nutritious and inexpensive meal alternative. If you turn up your nose at tofu, I dare you to push yourself out of your comfort zone and give it a try. Your palate may be pleasantly surprised. 

Do you enjoy tofu? What's your favourite tofu recipe? I'd love to hear about it!



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