10 Blessings during the California Wildfires & Easy Tofu Lo Mein [RECIPE]

Good Evening Everyone! ❤

What a whirlwind it has been! We’ve been glued to the news and packed up everything we could. It’s official: the wildfire is still growing. Yes, those pesky Santa Ana winds are blowing across the ridge pushing the fires onward. However, in the midst of packing, stocking up, prepping, and securing our evacuation plans…. I made a list of 10 blessings in the midst of this chaos. Here’s my silver lining people. Enjoy! ❤

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Orange skies from all of the dust,smoke, fire retardant, and ash.
  1. Taking time to nap. Alarms mess up your sleep schedule… but snugly naps are really nice.

  2. Appreciating the holidays. It didn’t feel like Christmas until I felt like I might not have Christmas at all! Now I am so thankful for the little bits of holiday spirit I do have.

  3. Proud of my community. The wildfires are here, but the people in my community are stronger. So much so that the animal shelters are at full capacity with volunteers working around the clock. It makes me feel proud to call this place home.

  4. The world becomes quiet. Having really unhealthy air makes people stay indoors. The world calms down and it’s really nice to see everything become quiet and still.

  5. Soaking up time as a family. Knowing you might have to evacuate means you savor every moment at home that you can.

  6. Fast meals become the new norm. With packing and keeping track of everything meal time boils down to the simplest recipes… like tofu lo mein! (See below!)

  7. Ash can be a quasi-White Christmas. I have to smirk at this one because I told Mr. Noob Chef several weeks ago, “I wish we had a white Christmas here”. Be careful what you wish for! Now that everything has a dusting of ash… it’s like a gray Christmas. Not quite the same… but not ugly either.       

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    Ash on the streets
  8. Extra quiet time means finding time to read… and listen to new music! Like Ingrid Michaelson’s “Keep Breathing”! This song is very appropriate for my here and now 🙂

  9. You get to stock up on snacks more then normal. Normally I try and keep munchies out of the house, but with the need for non-perishable goods…. we got to do a “munchie run” and grab a few of our favorite snacks. Mine happens to be goldfish! (The rainbow ones to be specific LOL).

  10. You can take more pictures besides food. Ya know… it’s been nice stepping outside with my camera to show you pictures besides what’s on my plate. Maybe once this is all over I’ll keep doing just that! 🙂

  11. Bonus: Appreciating being a minimalist! Because if you need to evacuate, you aren’t hindered by useless stuff. Everything you have has a use and you can quickly grab everything without having to sift through a pile of items.

And now… onto our recipe! 🙂

This Tofu Lo Mein is super easy to make because it uses instant ramen noodles in place of soba noodles. With these simple ingredients that overlap in most Asian recipes you can make this noodle dish start to finish in 15 minutes. The family absolutely adored this recipe and I know you will too. So go ahead and give it a try! Comment below and let me know what you think. That’s all from me for now, folks! Hug your loved ones tight, keep smiling, and as always… keep on cooking! ❤

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Easy Tofu Lo Mein 

Yields: 3-4 servings

Ingredients: 

  • 1 (16 ounce) block extra firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 blocks instant ramen noodles, Chicken flavor (keep the seasoning packets!)
  • 1 (16 ounce) bag frozen stir fry vegetables
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • Several shakes of garlic powder

Instructions: 

  1. Bring a small pot to a boil with the water and drop in your noodles to cook, about 5-8 minutes. Drain and set into a mixing bowl.
  2. Meanwhile in a sauce pan, drizzle the olive oil and add in the tofu. Sear on high until crispy brown, about 10 minutes. Set into the bowl with the noodles.
  3. Add the frozen vegetables and cook until tender, about 5-8 minutes on high heat.
  4. Finally mix the soy sauce, minced ginger, and Sriracha into a bowl to make the sauce. Put several shakes of garlic powder over the tofu-vegetable-noodles and then add in your sauce. Mix well to combine.
  5. Serve hot and enjoy!

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