06 January 2012

Vegetable Tofu Stir-Fry

I have two methods of menu planning. The first is to sit down with my husband and decide which of our regular meals should be in rotation in a given week, and then make sure that our shopping list reflects the plan. It's easy, but it's a tiny bit boring.

The second method is to pick up one of my many cookbooks and flip through it looking for recipes I want to try. A book which has been sitting on my shelf for a while, sadly neglected, is Supermarket Vegan. I picked it off the shelf last week and made a menu plan.

I love this book. I am not a vegan, not even a vegetarian, but when I do eat meat it is grass-fed, free-range, humanely-raised meat, because I believe it is better for me, better for the animals and better for the planet. “But” say my friends, “that kind of meat is so expensive.” And they're right; it is. No one knows that better than the person who bought the rib-eye roast for the Beef Wellington at Christmas dinner. (Me!) Since we don't have a vault full of money that we can use for swimming in and purchasing a daily Beef Wellington, we rely on a variety of meatless meals to fill our grocery cart. We don't rely on a lot of meat substitutes both because they're not cheap, sometimes more expensive than the meat they're replacing, and because they are highly processed products, and so aren't in line with the kind of whole-food eating I'd like to be doing. In Supermarket Vegan, Donna Klein uses ingredients found in plain old ordinary supermarkets to create easy, tasty meals that happen to contain no animal products. I will say that none of the recipes in this book are highly spiced, so if you're used to plenty of garlic, hot peppers or other powerful ingredients you might consider increasing the amount called for in the recipe.

This vegetable and tofu stir-fry is tasty and simple. The secret to good stir fry is high heat, so turn on your vent fan and open a window.
Stir Fry Tofu
& Vegetables

Vegetable Tofu Stir-Fry,
adapted from Supermarket Vegan

Ingredients:
Sauce:
4 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
4 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
2 large cloves garlic

Stir Fry:
1 Tablespoon safflower oil
1 block extra-firm tofu
1 medium bell pepper
2 small heads fresh broccoli

Method:
Drain the tofu and wrap it in a clean kitchen towel. Weight down with a heavy pan or a large can from the pantry. Set aside for at least 20 minutes.

Mince garlic. In a medium, non-reactive bowl, stir together the sauce ingredients.

Unwrap the tofu and cut into 1/2” cubes. Toss the cubes of tofu in the sauce to coat. Set aside and allow to marinate. This can be done the night before. Simply cover the bowl and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Fill a medium sauce pan halfway with water and a generous spoonful of salt. Heat, covered until it begins to boil. Meanwhile, wash* the broccoli thoroughly, then chop into bite-sized pieces. Wash the red pepper and cut it into strips.

When the water comes to a boil drop in the broccoli and cover. Allow to cook for 1 minute, then drain and set aside.

Put a wok or large skillet over highest heat. When the wok is hot, add safflower oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the tofu, leaving as much of the sauce in the bowl as possible. Spread the tofu out into a single layer. Cook for one minute, then turn tofu to cook another side. Cook for one more minute.


Add broccoli and red pepper. Cook, stirring for two minutes. Add the sauce and cook to heat through. Serve over rice or noodles.

*Should you ever wonder if you really need to wash your broccoli, take a look at what I found in the bottom of the bowl after I washed mine.
Why You Should
Always Wash Your Broccoli

4 comments:

  1. I've been wondering if eating vegetarian is actually really less expensive than meat-eating. I feel like I'm doing it wrong, because our grocery bill is still pretty high ... and I buy very little meat (when I do it's the humanely raised variety). Any thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I do have thoughts. Let me get them in order and see if they make any sense. I'll get back to you, I promise.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Urp. I never wash my broccoli. That's one of the reasons I love it so much. (And hey, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?)

    Where do you get your meat? I'd like to be more ethical about what I buy, but convenience almost always wins out.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Maud, I buy sandwich meat at Trader Joe's (where we do a lot of our shopping anyway.), some stuff at MOMs and some stuff at Riverdale Park Farmers' Market. They're doing a Winter market, which includes Groff's Content for meats, so produce (mostly apples), the bread vendor, and a soap maker.

    The Co-op carries Applegate farm packaged meats, and they have the bison.

    ReplyDelete

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