This is usually about the time of year when I start wanting to take a vacation to someplace sunny. Or a vacation in general. That would be nice.
Speaking of sun, are you getting enough Vitamin D? In case you've missed all of the hype in the news recently about vitamin deficiencies I'll fill you in. Vitamin D comes from the sun and there are a couple of food sources as well. If you're lacking in sunlight, you might want to think about taking a supplement.
I had my vitamin levels tested last year and found out that I was especially low in Vitamin D, Iron, and B12. Even for those of us with a healthy varied diet, there are still vitamins we could be low in -- especially B12 for vegans since you can only get this one from animal sources.
I promise not to nag, but if you're not taking any supplements it might be something good to think about. Or, you could always head to the Southern Hemisphere to get your Vitamin D the natural way. Since I put the idea in your head I guess I can't be jealous.
The next best thing to sunlight right now is lemon zest. I love using lemon zest in the winter because it perks up my taste buds and my mood. This tofu is a perfect harmony between lemon and pepper. It's not too spicy (unless you want it to be), but it's got a lot of flavor. For anyone who fears tofu or is tired of it being stir-fried with soy sauce, this recipe is a must.
Lemon Pepper Tofu
From Clean Start by Terry Walters
1 pound fresh tofu, cut into 1/2-inch fillets
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
4 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs mirin
Freshly ground black pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Wrap tofu in a paper towel and gently press out excess liquid. (I usually stack a couple of plates on top of the tofu to weigh it down and leave it sitting for about 10 minutes to drain.)
Heat large cast-iron skillet to medium heat and saute garlic in olive oil for 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon mirin and plenty of pepper. Stir to combine and place tofu in pan. Saute 4 minutes, flip fillets, add another tablespoon lemon juice and more pepper as desired. Saute 4 minutes longer, flip tofu again, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and final tablespoon of mirin.
Saute 4 minutes or until evenly browned. Flip one last time, add remaining tablespoon of lemon juice, lemon zest, and crushed red pepper and saute 4 minutes or until evenly browned. Remove from heat and serve. Garnish with a dash of red pepper, black pepper, and lemon zest.