Thirteen days ago around 1:15 in the afternoon, I received a call from the Department of Social Services. Not even aware yet that we were officially licensed as a Resource Family, the voice on the other side of the phone told me that there was an immediate need to provide care for an emergent placement. Somewhat caught off guard and a little unprepared, we agreed to open our home and immediately began to scramble together the last necessary supplies we still needed to prepare our casa for kiddos with things like pull-ups, tear-free shampoo, toddler plates and utensils, bed frames, bath toys, and clothes. Overnight we went from zero to three kids and felt the full force of reality draining every ounce of energy out of us. Around 10pm that night, we slumped down on the sofa exhausted, stared blankly at each other for a moment, and then decided we did okay considering. Everyone was fed, bathed, and sleeping.
These past several days have been a tornado of emotions, with sleepless nights, boundless toddler energy, cold, rainy, snowy days and stubborn resistance to fresh fruits and vegetables. Torn pages, broken toys, millions of tiny socks, poopy pull-ups, scrapes and bruises because walking in the house is THE MOST difficult task in the entire universe, and trading in our car for one with better child safety locks is the rollercoaster of life we’re on now. It’s a beautiful, chaotic, learn-as-you-go mess and through the tears and nightmares and laughter and confusion and hugs and trips to the library and to the park and driving back and forth to school six times a day and through all the maybes and waiting we are all figuring this out together. Needless to say, my blog posts from here on out will be somewhat scattered and inconsistent. With the lack of exposure to fresh foods, dinner is usually a bit of a struggle and most times I’m just too tired or popping up too many times to refill little plates to snap any photos. Since writing and cooking is my passion however, I will post as often as I can. And if anyone has any tried and true tips for sneaking fresh veggies and fruits into kiddos diets, I welcome the advice!
This dish did NOT go over well at all with the kids. Of everything on the plate, the Dino Kale was what shut down the entire dish for them. They picked up the little green ribbons with utter disgust on their faces, pronounced a unanimous “yuck” and ate very little. I wasn’t shocked by this and had actually anticipated it but the refusal to eat the rice totally took me by surprise. But, I am determined to continuously introduce them to fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole foods and as long as they taste a little of this and a little of that, hopefully I’ll get enough nutrients in them to help improve their little immune systems a bit.
Here’s to one day at a time.
Peanut Veggie Stir Fry
1 pkg Firm Tofu, cubed
1/4 cup Masa Flour
1/4 cup Cornstarch
2 tsp Chinese Five Spice powder
2 tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
1 bunch Dino Kale
1 Red Bell Pepper
1/2 cup chopped Carrots
1/2 cup chopped Celery
1/2 cup Peanut Sauce
2 cups cooked Rice
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a large mixing bowl, toss the cubed tofu in the Masa flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, and Five Spice powder until evenly coated. Set aside.
In a wok over med flame, add the oil and heat until shimmering. Fry the tofu in batches and set aside on paper towels.
In the same wok, cook the vegetables until tender about 8 to 10 minutes. Add in the peanut sauce and tofu and stir until well incorporated. Continue to cook until the tofu is just warmed through, about 5 minutes. Turn off the flame and serve with the cooked rice.