Thursday, October 27, 2016

Stir-Fry Spicy Tofu With Broccoli And Red Pepper

Photo courtesy of : Serious Eats
I'm a carnivore, but in practice only eat meat about twice a week. I don't feel my best if I go too long without a meat (and potatoes) dinner. Since I drink milk daily, I should be getting a complete set of amino acids even on meatless days; and because I eat balanced and healthy meals, regardless of whether they are meat or meatless, I can't account for my need for some meat. I just know I feel better with meat in my diet.

But folks, it's getting harder not to think of the sweet, gentle cows when preparing a beef roast. Sometimes I think because of this hightened awareness, one day I'll only be able to eat chicken ... until I watch this. Ok ... so one day I'll only be able to eat fish. Wrong again, look how Frank (the fish) likes to kiss his friend, Daisy (the dog). I mean, wth? How do we eat fish, after seeing Frank?

So, while I still eat meat, I eat less of it. But there are other reasons also. It's better for the environment. It takes a smaller carbon footprint and less water to grow vegetables than livestock. Polution is reduced too. Meatless meals are budget friendly; and studies show eating less red meat is better for you.

Therefore, eating more meatless meals is worth considering. Here's a dinner that uses tofu (soy) as the protein, which I'm preparing for dinner. Serves 2 hungry people, or 4 average eaters for under $5:

Stir-Fry Spicy Tofu With Broccoli And Red Pepper

14-16 ounce package extra-firm water packed tofu (Firm works too.)

Olive or peanut oil - about 2 tablespoons (to coat the pan)
16 ounces frozen broccoli florets (If you use fresh, blanch the broccoli for 4-5 minutes. I'm lazy.)
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup of orange juice (optional)
2 cups water 
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
a dash of sesame oil
a dash of Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Sriracha, chili, or other hot sauce
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablepoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: Use a large bouillon cube instead of salt

1) Combine orange juice (if adding), water, brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, Worcestershire sauce, Sriracha, (or other hot sauce) in a bowl. Add the flour and whisk into the mixture. Set aside for later.

2) Place the tofu on a cheesecloth or thick paper towels for 15 minutes to drain some of the water out. Then cut into large squares. 

3) Stir-fry the squares of tofu in a large skillet (or Wok) in peanut or olive oil until golden brown on all sides. Salt and pepper while cooking. Browning takes about 10 minutes.

4) Next stir-fry the broccoli, red pepper, celery and onion in the pan for about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with cooking oil as needed. As the dish cooks, I cover the pan with a lid part of the time, frequently removing the lip to stir-fry. The lid helps the vegetables get tender without drying out. You want crunchy, as opposed to, raw veggies.

5) Add the chopped garlic and ginger and stir-fry for another minute. I sprinkle in dried garlic and onion powder, as well as, a desolved bouillon.

6) Finally pour the (side aside) soy-hot sauce mixture over the tofu and vegetables in the skillet. Bring to a boil, then simmer and whisk until the sauce thickens. Takes another few minutes.

Serve over white, or brown rice. Garnish with peanuts or sesame seeds.

This is a tasty vegetarian meal. However, I have also added grilled, hot Italian turkey sausage to this dish, which is filling and delicious. Hopefully, I won't find any cute Tom, the turkey, videos.

You may also enjoy:
A Happy New Year   
No Knead Cinnamon Rolls  
Egg Thread Soup With Asparagus, Plus
Salmon Cakes With Spicy Remoulade Sauce


  1. That looks really nice Debbie. I think I might try it - but with the chilli which I find too hot and don't enjoy. But there are plenty of other good flavours there. I agree, best not to eat too much meat. I eat more fish than meat these days.

    1. It's a great recipe to turn to when you need to cook a quick meal (30 minutes or less) and desire a light clean up. It's 2 pan dinner, your main course and the rice.