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I love stir fry. It’s my go-to dinner when I need something quick and easy. It doesn’t require any specific ingredients – just plain veggies paired with a grain and maybe some protein if you have any on hand. I often use this dish as a way to clean out the fridge; it’s a great way to use up those last bits of produce. Stir fry doesn’t always have to be Asian inspired, although a little soy sauce and some freshly grated ginger are great accompaniments. Get creative with your sauteed veggies, using different flavor infused oils, vinegars and spices. Use grains other than rice, such as quinoa, farro, barley and couscous. The possibilities are endless.

For this meal, I did indeed aim for a little Asian flare, using a toasted sesame infused olive oil, honey ginger balsamic, soy sauce and some chili powder (Sriracha sauce would have also worked nicely for the spice factor here). I tend to use a lot of these specialty oils and vinegars; their quality is nothing compared to your typical supermarket bought oils. And not only do they lend a magnificent flavor, but they also limit the need for salting food, ultimately reducing the sodium levels in your dishes. I highly recommend finding a good quality olive oil store near you.

Tofu Veggie Stir Fry

Veggies (all cut into bite size pieces)
1 head broccoli
1/3 cup shredded carrot (I used up the last bit of shredded carrot in the fridge, but chopped/sliced carrot works just as well)
1 cup snow peas
1 1/2 cups mushrooms (baby bella – but shitakes, morels and chantrelles are even better)
1/2 medium white onion
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
4 scallions, sliced

Grain
wild rice (again, leftovers), prepared

Protein
1 package firm tofu, cut into bite size pieces and seasoned with turmeric and chili powder

Sesame oil
Seasame seeds
Honey ginger balsamic
Soy sauce (low sodium)
Fresh ground pepper

minced garlic and broccoli florets
Baby bellas are versatile and delicious; but also try using other varieties, such as shitake, morel and chantrelle. These varieties possess a more earthy flavor.

– Heat 1 tablespoon oil in saute pan or wok over medium heat. To test the oil, splash a couple drops of water into the pan; if the water dances and crackles over the oil, you know the temp is right to add your veggies. *Adding your foods to room temp oil in the pan and then waiting for it to start cooking allows the food to absorb more oil, creating an oily end product. It’s best to allow the oil to heat up first, then add your foods, allowing the hot oil to coat the outside and cook the food.

 I had to cook these veggies in batches: First add the onion and mushroom, and stir frequently. Cook until soft or until it reaches your desired consistency. Add 1/2 of your minced garlic, sesame seeds, a splash of soy sauce and balsamic, and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Pour into covered bowl and set aside; add remaining veggies and cook until desired consistency. During the last 2 minutes, add the remaining garlic and sesame seed, and follow suit with the balsamic and soy sauce. Add to the rest of the veggies in bowl and set aside.

– Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the same pan over medium heat and add the tofu pieces. Stir frequently to avoid sticking to pan. Again, cook until you reach your desired texture. The longer you cook it, the more firm it will become, and the more crispy (somewhat) the outside will become. Add this to your veggie bowl and toss together.

tumeric and chili spiced tofu

Cook or reheat your grain while the tofu is finishing up. I just reheated some of the left over wild rice…

Put it altogether! Spoon some rice onto a plate and top with veggies and scallion. Cilantro would be a great addition to this, but sadly, I forgot to add it 🙁

Lastly, David and I enjoyed this delicious beer while cooking: Westbrook Citrus Ninja Exchange, a double IPA brewed in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. It was brewed with grapefruit, lemon, lime and orange with a blend of several different American and New Zealand hop varieties. Really satisfying. If you like IPA’s, you will love this.

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