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  • Melissa Orquiza

Warm Tofu with Spicy Garlic Sauce, Following Your Gut, Coldplay, Sigrid, & John Adams

Updated: May 4, 2021

Warm Tofu with Spicy Garlic Sauce. Yes, you can be comfortingly exotic in under 10 minutes. Perfect for these times.

Warm Tofu with Spicy Garlic Sauce. 10 minutes to easy comfort (not including the rice cooker.) Your welcome!

I’d like to think most people have a strong sense of right and wrong. Culture, ethics, morality, and religion obviously come into play but I’d like to strongly believe we intuitively understand when something goes against our value systems. Lately, it’s been harder and harder for me to stomach divisiveness (I’m really good at seeing both sides and staying neutral) especially when I see morally upright institutions I respect, backing politicians instigating violence for the greater cause of “moral cleansing.” (Now that I’m writing this, I realize how horribly stomach churning it sounds.)

We all have those feelings in our gut when we know something is horribly wrong. When I was younger, my brain would come between these gut feelings and I would rationalize it, oftentimes, to my detriment. “She didn’t mean that. He wouldn’t do something so awful. Why would someone say that about that person?” (Any teenage girl knows when talk is well-meaning or underhandedly vicious. I knew deep down in my bones, something was not right but I would ignore it.) As I got older, (to my husband’s amusement and frustration), I slowly, sadly, realized that just because my value system is a certain way and I tried to respect it with other people, it did not mean that they would treat me the same way. Now, when my gut tells me something, I listen IMMEDIATELY.

I still feel bad when someone acts poorly, but I (thankfully) no longer make excuses for their bad behavior. I acknowledge the behavior and even if I understand their motivations, see they did it knowingly and move on. My gut has, for the most part, been right about the most important relationships in my life (good and bad), with those experiences having the most transformative and profound effects on my outlook on morality, ethics, spirituality, and most importantly, my bubble of joy. My life has become much simpler knowing that everyone should be held accountable for their actions, good or bad, and in no way should those issues interfere with me or my family’s development of personal happiness (nor yours). Most importantly, maturity has shown me, it is not my place to judge. Whose opinions truly matter? Who do you value? With all the chaos in the world, who has time to tend to or judge other people's gardens when my own is amazingly beautiful and needs love and care to stay that way. It’s my own, provocatively, rebellious act of self care.

When should we follow our gut instinct? Please check out this article on when following our gut instinct is a wonderful thing and when it can sadly, be biased (like everything).

Since the advent of the New Year, we’ve collectively undergone so many visceral events, that collective trauma is sadly, the norm. Don’t let the BS get to you. I try to be proactive in finding silver linings and admittedly, it’s been a bit more difficult. I’m trying to be better about taking time to breathe, exercise, eat right, and sleep, without guilt. Here’s to the New Year and your resolutions to be your best advocate for your own happiness. If all else fails, the Netflix show on the "History of Swear Words" is HILARIOUS! Did you know it helps us, giving us a larger pain threshold?! Who knew?

Because we can all believe in a little magic right now!

Magic - Live In São Paulo (Coldplay)

Because we all have been there… loving, trying to fix someone and maybe in the process ourselves, failing, but still believing in love. I still want to believe in this metaphor, for the sake of the world we’re living in now.

Coldplay - Fix You (Live In São Paulo)

Because, sometimes you just want to get things done.

Sigrid - Don’t Feel Like Crying

Happy New Year! Here’s to concentrating on the people and things most important to you. It’s happiness stripped to its essence (in minimalistic, variant, organic, piano joy). I hope it makes you rethink what comprises your essence.

John Adams - Hallelujah Junction: 1st Movement

Thanks for reading! I hope this provided a much needed break from the insanity out there. Here’s to crafting and maintaining your happiness amidst all the chaos. Have a wonderful week! Xo, Melissa

Warm Tofu with Spicy Garlic Sauce

by Lillian Chou

Here’s the original link:


1 (14-to 18-ounces) package soft tofu (not silken)

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1/4 cup chopped scallion

2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted and crushed with side of a heavy knife

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil

1 teaspoon coarse Korean hot red-pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon sugar


  1. Carefully rinse tofu, then cover with cold water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then keep warm, covered, over very low heat.

  2. Meanwhile, mince and mash garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt. Stir together with remaining ingredients (except tofu).

  3. Just before serving, carefully lift tofu from saucepan with a large spatula and drain on paper towels. Gently pat dry, then transfer to a small plate. Spoon some sauce over tofu and serve warm. Serve remaining sauce on the side.

Cooks' notes:

• Sauce can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Bring to room temperature before using.

• Tofu can be kept warm up to 4 hours.

Thanks for reading! I hope this gave you a fun break from all the chaos. Have a wonderful week! Xo, Melissa

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