Monday, July 21, 2008

Tofu Stir-fry: Because Not Everything Can Be Covered in Cheese

Judging by my last few posts, it would appear as though I have little to no regard for fat grams and calories when it comes to satisfying my stomach. Pizza, grilled cheese, combo breakfasts, and chocolate chip cookies? If I was a doctor I would write myself a prescription for a heart attack. (And then because I would be rich, I'd immediately go on a shopping spree.)

Despite the decadent delicacies I delight in when I am destination dining, my day-to-day meals are decidedly healthier. While I do sneak in a few Amy's frozen spinach pizzas from time to time (er... every Thursday night), most of my dinners submit themselves to lean proteins, whole grains and veggies. Occasionally there is cheese too, but cheese has calcium, and calcium is good for building bone density, and bone density is good for preventing crackling limbs when I start going grey and wrinkly and ugly all over.

I admittedly may not be making the most convincing argument about the health benefits of cheese consumption, but I can make a sound argument for the merits of tofu ingestion. It has calcium too. And when stir-fried with fresh veggies, teriyaki/soy sauce and other goodies, it makes for a nutritious, delicious meal that helps me to justify all the cheese and chocolate I eat on other occasions (er... most occasions).

Plus it's really easy to make and is a great way to clear out the contents of an over-burdened produce drawer. I won't comment on the amount of sodium. Some things just can't be helped.

Save-Diana's-Arteries Tofu Stir-Fry

1 piece Trader Joe's teriyaki baked tofu (solid in packages of two in the refrigerated section), cubed
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon Veri-Teri Teriyaki Sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon peanut butter
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Red pepper flakes
Slivered almonds, toasted (optional)
Fresh veggies - red pepper, carrot, onion, broccoli, sugar snap peas
Chicken broth or water for healthy "frying"

1. Heat sesame oil in medium-sized frying pan. Add garlic and onion and reduce heat to medium so sesame oil doesn't burn or smoke (can cause it to taste bitter). Throw in some chicken broth or water and cook until onion begins to look translucent.

2. Add broccoli, snap peas, teriyaki sauce, and red pepper flakes (to taste). Cook for a couple minutes before adding diced tofu, carrot slivers, and red pepper. Add chicken broth/water if more liquid is needed.

3. Once the veggies begin to look tender (should be still crisp to the bite), reduce the heat and whisk the teaspoon of peanut butter into the teriyaki/soy/sesame sauce. The nutty taste pairs well with the tofu and as an excellent way to thicken the sauce without adding cornstarch.

4. When sauce has thickened enough to not run amuck on the plate, spoon the stir-fried veggies and tofu over brown rice. Top with toasted slivered almonds.


Alessandra said...

I've never tried the Trader Joe's tofu... will it pass the picky eater taste test??

Also, I need a substitute for peanut butter in this recipe. It sounds very delicious, but you know how I feel about PB! Can I just leave it out?

Diana H. said...

I do think the Trader Joe's tofu passes the taste test. Because it's already baked, the texture is firm and you don't have to worry about pressing the excess liquid out when you buy tofu fresh.

What about using almond butter instead? I think that would work well.

Jennifer said...

What do you mean by "not everything can be covered in cheese?" Awww...there goes my plan for cheese covered Joe's Os. Why must chocolate have all the fun?

Diana H. said...

You could use cream cheese on Joe's O's.... then it would be like an oreo cheesecake! :)

mybolgsallgood said...

Lol.. I never had tofo before. It's healthy for sure, I guess. My blog: onkyo tx-nr809

Maryjane Peters said...

I think i will try your recipe one of this days and see how it goes. thanks for the post. my video