My word where has time gone?! Let’s see… a LOT has changed since my last post! After a VERY rough pregnancy, our wonderful bundle of joy arrived on May 4, or as was written on the board in my labor room…. ‘May the 4th be with you’… yes we had awesomely geeky nurses & Dr’s! It was awesome! Mr. Nick was a healthy 8lbs 10oz & 21 3/4″ long with a 15″ head! Not my heaviest baby, but my longest and the biggest head! I will post my birth story a little later, and post about my struggles with breastfeeding.

I feel like one of the things I have been put here for, is to share my real world struggles with other women, so that they know they are not alone, and to give them an idea of what I did to get through. I don’t have all the answers, I just want to share awareness, support and hope <3 Mothering isn’t always pretty, and women can battle with some ugly things(I struggled with severe Postpartum Depression with my 3rd child)… and I feel like it is stuff that gets overlooked and/or swept under the carpet. It’s all real. It’s all part of life. And it can become a painful reality for a lot of women. So…. hello world! I’m here to talk! I’m also here to listen… which I love to do 😉

The birth went perfectly, and I finally had the birth I have always dreamed of. Med free… completely! I still get teary thinking about it, but I did it!! Again, I’ll be going into it in my birth story post 🙂 The day after the birth I went in to get my tubes tied. Wowie was I not prepared for the recovery from that!

Then at my 6 week postpartum appt. I was referred to the surgeon in the practice by my midwife, as my prolapse was worse then I thought. After seeing him and talking it over, I found out I needed surgery to correct everything that was going on in my body, as it was starting to affect my quality of life. I am 4 weeks into recovery from the surgery now and it has been a rough recovery. I know that in the long run it will be worth it, and I’m already starting to feel the positive affects of having the surgery. I still struggle now and then, but overall I am doing very well.

Due to the surgery… it is IMPERATIVE that I keep my body functioning properly and smoothly if I want the surgery to hold for the rest of my life! I have had to go completely gluten free now, as it totally slows down my digestive track to a crawl. I also eat very few processed foods and am now mostly vegetarian. Whew! Life turned upside down months! Now moving onward and upward.

We are working on getting everyone in the family eating healthy and delicious meals. So I decided to try tofu for everyone…… I have to say, it was a hit with everyone but out youngest. He does NOT like strong flavors at all. We have often wondered if he has a sensory issue, as he has texture difficulties, doesn’t like strong flavors, hates loud noises, etc. Anyway, with that exception, my first major tofu undertaking was a hit! 😀 Yay! I grabbed the idea for the recipe from The Vegan 8 Korean blog, and his recipe for General Tso Tofu. However my family doesn’t like spicy stuff all that much, and I didn’t have any of the spice ingredients(I WILL be trying the full recipe though!), so I decided to take it and make it along what we like. It turned out amazing!! I shall dub thee “Tofu in Garlic Sauce” yes… so original! Simple, easy and yummy! And the best part… it was Gluten-Free! I also try and keep all my ingredients stuff that people would have generally, as I’m not one to have expensive and/or fancy ingredients in my cupboards.

So I present our delicious dinner 😀 This also fed all 5 of us! Yay! Sooo affordable!

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Tofu in Garlic Sauce
1 pkg. Extra Firm tofu *I used Soy Boy from Earth Fare – it was recommended to freeze, then thaw, but mine was straight out of the fridge and was perfect
1/2 c corn starch
1 Tbsp Johnny’s Garlic Spread and Seasoning mix

Sauce:
1/2 – 1 Tbsp garlic powder *this is a guesstimate – and we LOOOOVE garlic!? So add carefully! or you can use at least 1 Tbsp minced garlic – which I did not have.
2 Tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos *It’s my GF soy sauce
1 Tbsp white vinegar
4 Tbsp sugar *you could easily substitute agave nectar
1 cup water

1 Tbsp & 1 tsp corn starch mixed with 2 Tbsp water

1) **Press excess water out of tofu. To do this, I took a thick towel and doubled up. I then laid half of the towel on a cookie sheet, placed the tofu on the towel, covered it up with OTHER side of the towel and put 2 heavy books on top. I did this for 10-15 minutes. The longer you have for this step, the better it will turn out!

2) Slice tofu into cubes. I cute mine into 5 or 6 slices, then sliced each one down the middle and then 4 times across. So for each “slab” I got 8 cubes.

3) Place cornstarch and garlic seasoning in a bowl or ziploc bag. Mix well. I used a bowl and it worked perfectly! I did end up doubling this step though to make sure I had enough cornstarch. Add tofu and toss to coat. I coated them and then put them on my cutting board while I did another round, etc… until they were all coated and ready to be fried!

4) Heat oil in a pan or pot over medium heat. Make sure you have enough oil in the pain to cover 1/2 of the tofu when placed in the pan, so you only have to flip it once. Fry tofu until crispy and slightly brown. Make sure to flip it about halfway through so both sides are nicely cooked. Drain on paper towel.

5) Take a small sauce pan and put all sauce ingredients, except the cornstarch, in the pan. Mix well and stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to boil over medium to high head and cook for several minutes to let flavors come together. Sauteing the garlic prior to making the sauce is optional too.

6) Mix cornstarch and 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp of water in a small bowl. Add to sauce and continue stirring. When sauce starts to thicken, remove from heat.

7) Place tofu in bowl and pour sauce over tofu. Mix to coat. Ta Da!

I served this over leftover brown rice and a broccoli, onion & mushroom stir fry that I quickly made up(simply friend with a little butter, garlic and Bragg’s).

**If you are in a time crunch, you can get away with using your hand to squeeze out excess water, but only if you’ve frozen it! Just be careful not to break it!!

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This was my first real adventure with tofu, and it was s smashing success 🙂 In fact, we are having it again! The kids have been begging me for it! woohoo! Can’t go wrong if your kids are wanting it again! They were actually fighting over who would get to lick out the bowl I had mixed it all in!