Every now and then I get a real craving for something really good straight off the stove. This time I was hungry for tofu again. Since I am the only vegetarian in my family, I have these wonderful dishes to myself once they are prepared! I’m a lucky girl!
To start, begin by cooking your brown rice. I use a short-grain Japanese brown rice, but any of your favorite brands is fine. I place about a cup of rice into the rice cooker and add enough water to cover it by at least 1/2 an inch. While that cooks, I start preparing the tofu and the vegetables. Usually I just use whatever I have so the recipe is never exactly the same. This time I had fresh broccoli, cauliflower, ginger root, shallots, garlic, sweet yellow onion, and carrots. I added frozen peas and frozen green beans as well.
1/2 head of fresh broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
1/4 – 1/2 head of fresh cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced on the diagonal to create oval shapes
1 medium sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 – 3 slices fresh ginger root, minced
about 1 cup frozen green beans
about 1 cup frozen sweet peas
1 block organic firm tofu, drained and patted dry, wrapped in paper towel
1 cup brown rice, steamed
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
organic soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
Put about a tablespoon of olive oil in your pan and over medium low heat, sauté the onion, garlic and ginger together until the onions are clear and the garlic and ginger start to brown just a tiny bit. Add your garlic and ginger towards the end so they do not burn. I then add the frozen green beans, frozen peas and sliced carrots to sauté until tender.
Take the firm tofu that is wrapped in a paper towel and pat it really dry, soaking up as much of the excess liquid. Slice the block evenly and then cut into bite-sized cubes. I really like to sear the tofu in my well-seasoned cast iron pan with a little EVOO. Keep turning the cubes until they are browned. This helps prevent them from disintegrating in the stir-fry mixture later. And adds a little bit of “crust” to the tofu. If you have a larger group, 2 blocks of tofu would be plenty or you can add a little chicken, or your favorite meat.
As tofu does take a little while to brown, you’ll want to do this at the beginning. If you are not one to have several dishes going at the same time, then start by getting the rice cooking, then sear the tofu. Set it aside, then start the veggies last. That way there is no overwhelming panic and a reduced chance of burning one of the dishes!
You can also use a non-stick spray and cut back how much oil you would use to sauté and brown the vegetables and tofu.
Once the frozen green beans and peas are thawed and bright green, I add the cauliflower and broccoli to the vegetable mix. Let the broccoli turn bright green, then add the tofu. If you like your cauliflower a little softer, cook that with the onions at the beginning. I like my veggies to be bright in color and still crunchy.
Once you’ve added the tofu, it’s time to prepare for the sauce. Take 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and put in a measuring cup. Add COLD water, about 1/4 cup, to this add organic soy sauce until you have about 1/2 cup of liquid. Stir to combine completely so there are no lumps. Pour this mixture into the veggie tofu mix and let it heat up. As it heats, it will thicken into a nice brown sauce.
Let this sit for just a few minutes for the dish to absorb all the flavors. Gently stir so as not to break anything up and serve immediately!
This is one of my most favorite “comfort” foods and I tend to make it quite often. It’s a really good balanced meal and is best enjoyed with a group of friends or family surrounding you at the dinner table!
Why not have Meatless Monday or make this dish on Asian night! Healthy and delicious, all in one dish! Enjoy!!!