Monday, December 7, 2009

Quick No Fuss Dinner: Veggie and Tofu Stir-Fry

Today was one of those days when I was unfocused and dinner wasn’t on my mind. On days like this I turn to a few different genres, pasta (did that Saturday), pizza (did that Sunday), or stir-fry. Hmmm, I don’t remember that last time I made a stir-fry. Obviously stir-fry was the winner. I love that Asian food is mostly veggies so it is healthy as well as quick.

Looking through the refrigerator I had a large bok choy, red and orange bell peppers, carrots, tofu and chili garlic sauce. Additionally there were some dried black mushrooms, and onions in the pantry. I quickly baked some tofu, started the basmati rice and prepped the veggies. When Dan called and said he was on his way I was 10 minutes away from dinner. Thankfully Asian food comes together quickly. Here is what I made.

Veggie and Tofu Stir-Fry
makes 4 servings

Tofu Ingredients:

14 ounces extra firm low fat tofu, cut into 24 pieces
1 tablespoon Liquid Aminos
1 tablespoon mirin

Rice Ingredients:

1 cup brown basmati rice
2 cups water
1 pinch salt

Stir-Fry Ingredients:

1/2 ounce black mushrooms
3 cups water
½ tablespoon canola oil
1 onion, sliced
3 carrots, sliced in diagonals
1 head of bok choy, sliced thinly (greens and stems held separately because they have different cooking times)
1 cup red bell pepper, sliced
1 tablespoons liquid aminos
2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the tofu, liquid aminos and mirin in single layer in a pan and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes flip the tofu over and cook another 15 minutes.

While the tofu is baking combine the rice, water and salt and bring to boil and then reduce to a simmer and cooker for 40 minutes (covered). Allow the rice to stand for 10 minutes after the cooking has finished. Then fluff with a fork.

Combine the black mushrooms with the water in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high until the water is hot. This took 3 minutes in my microwave. Allow the mushrooms to sit in the water with the tofu bakes, and rice cooks. When you are ready to use the mushrooms cut them into bite sized pieces.

Prepared the vegetables and hold in separate bowls, or separate areas on a half sheet pan until you are ready to cook.

Heat a large pan with the oil and add the onion and cook for 2 –3 minutes, or as long as necessary for the onion to begin to soften. Now add the carrots and cook another few minutes. Add the bok choy stems, bell pepper strips and black mushrooms. Add the chili sauce, liquid aminos and bok choy leaves and stir to coat the vegetables evenly. Don’t cook the greens for more than a minute or two. You want them to still have a little freshness.

Serve the veggies with the rice and baked tofu.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 313.89
Calories From Fat (14%) - 43.71

Total Fat - 5.11g
Saturated Fat - 0.66g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 940.63mg
Potassium - 947.63mg
Total Carbohydrates - 55.48g
Fiber - 7.39g
Sugar - 10.17g
Protein - 14.88g


This dish has a lot of flavor from the chili garlic sauce and the baked tofu. We love Asian food for it high vegetable content and its flavor. Food that has a little heat I find to be more satisfying than bland food.

Each serving of this meal contains more than 21,700IU of vitamin A, 120mg of vitamin C, 410mg of calcium, 170mg of folate, 100mcg of vitamin K, 400mg of phosphorus, 120mg of magnesium and 12mcg of selenium. This recipe is surprisingly high in nutrition for a mere 310 calories. This is one of the things I love about Asian food.

Unrelated note:

My plans tomorrow are to exercise, make a new variation of seitan for the freezer, and come up with something new for dinner from what I have in the refrigerator. As I mentioned before I tend to overbuy produce. If something looks good I buy and think about what I am going to do with it later. Not the best plan I know but it is how I operate. I decided this weekend my goal is to get through all the produce in my two refrigerators before I go to Costco on Friday. We will see if I can make it. There is a lot of veg for us to eat. Dinner tomorrow is going to be based on what I can do with what I have on hand.

Now I am curious how do all of you handle meals. Do you plan a weekly menu and shop from a list? Or are you more like me a buy what looks go that day and wing it later when it is time to cook.

Today didn't exactly go as I had planned and it impacted my mood. However, it was nothing a good nights sleep won't fix. Maybe I will start the day tomorrow with a nice walk around the neighborhood in the cold. That sounds like the perfect way to start the day with a clear head.

I hope you all have a great evening.


  1. Oh Yum! Your stir-fry looks amazingly healthy and tasty! It's surely calling my name! I found it very interesting how you cooked this dish, I've never baked tofu before. I'll definitely give it a try very soon, I love tofu!

    I've wanted to make seitan for such a long time and now I'm too busy to make it even I have all the ingredients ready!

  2. Recipe looks good. Thanks for sharing. I try to plan out a very loose menu that we can pick and choose from. My grocery lists almost always look the same as I try to keep a well-stocked pantry and fridge and usually end up doing the same recipes (or similar recipes anyway). Now, there are times when I hit Whole Foods and just start grabbing things with no plan of attack!

  3. Oraphan,

    I started baking the tofu because my husband doesn't like the texture of tofu unless I change it somehow. He would prefer that I fry it (which isn't going to happen) so I tried baking it. It firms up enough that even my hubby likes it. The liquid aminos and mirin were added for flavor but you can use anything.

    When you get time to make seitan I am here to answer questions. Just let me know.


    You are so much more organized than I am. I don't plan at all. Although my frig, freezer and pantry are all quite full. The hubby calls my stash, our home grocery store. I should try your suggestion and make a loose plan each week. Maybe that would work better for me.

    Thanks for your input,

  4. I love stir fry! We haven't made any in a long time. We plan our meals for the most part and shop once a week with a list. Since we both work and I'm pretty busy in the evenings, we often will cook together twice a week and fend for ourselves the rest. When I'm on my own, I often make pasta or roasted veggies. He likes frozen meals.

  5. Brigid,

    Now that you mentioned it I was much more organized when I worked too. When I worked I used to cut up the veggies for stir fry the night before so I could toss it together quickly when I got home. The cut veggies held up fine in the frig for 24 hours, in case you want to give it a try.

    I think all men like frozen meals. Although, I must say I don't understand why unless it is all about convenience.

    thanks for letting me know what you do,

  6. Love the no fuss dinner!

    As for shopping I was always like you, but blogging has changed that a bit. Before I started reading all of these amazing blogs I didn't follow recipes very often, so if something looked good I'd buy it and come up with something to make with it later. As I started following people's recipes and trying new things I had to start making lists, and my pantry really has bulked up since then. So now the tides are turning again and I'm relying less on lists because when I see recipes I want to make I may only be missing one or two ingredients, or the only ingredients I need are produce that I'd be buying anyway..that sort of thing. As far as menu planning, I do usually have roughly 5 meals specifically that I have in mind before I go shopping every other week, and that helps my shopping stay just a tiny bit more focused. Did I mention that I LOVE grocery shopping? My roommate thinks I'm the biggest nerd ever, I'm always in the best mood on grocery shopping day. Did I mention that is TODAY? Yippeeee!!

  7. Sarah,

    I LOVE grocery shopping too. You aren't the only food geek. Have you tried going to International markets yet? Those are my favorites since the ingredients are so unusual. I am fortunate to have good Asian, Indian, Italian, Greek and Middle Eastern markets that are an easy drive from my house.

    I like your idea of having a rough idea of meals for the week. That sounds like something I could stick with. I rarely follow recipes but prefer to wing it in the kitchen. For me it seems to work better if I don't have any constraints (which is how I see recipes) on what I am doing.

    My pantry is completely out of control. My husband likes to tease me that there is no spice, odd vinegar or oil we don't have at home. Maybe I should go through those today and come up with something using some of my more unusual international market finds.

    thanks for letting me know what you do,

  8. Sarah,

    I forgot to say have fun shopping tonight.


  9. Yes, I LOVE the International markets. The Italian grocery store near me is produce heaven, amazing prices and even a decent selection of reasonably priced organics. They also have great aisles full of inexpensive spices and international foods of all kinds. They are terribly priced on everything else though so Trader Joe's and Meijers are also included in the big shopping trip once every other week. There are several great Asian markets nearby too, but I tend to only go to stock up on items there every other month or so. I also go to Whole Foods like once a month for specialty items and I love their bulk section. Thanks for your warm shopping wishes! :)

  10. Sarah,

    I don't get to Whole Foods that often either. They have a great selection of things but the prices are a little steep to do all my shopping there.

    Your local Italian market sounds great. The ones here don't have much produce. That is why I go to Asian market. Last time I was there they had fresh turmeric roots. Never saw those before.


  11. I love this type of no-fuss, whatever's-on-hand dinner. And how can you go wrong with tofu and veggies? ;)

  12. Ricki,

    Thanks! This is how I generally cook. I stand in front of the frig and see what I have and then go from there. I agree tofu and veggies are always a winner.


  13. I love Black Mushrooms & Bok Choy. Here I go again, printing off recipe and putting in pile...

  14. Shenandoah,

    I love black mushrooms too. The hubby isn't crazy about them but I am. I just adore the texture. Bok choy is so healthy I can't help but love that.

    If you wanted to make this a weekday meal you could bake the tofu the night before and refrigerate, and slice the veggies the night before. I have also been known to make extra rice brown rice and heat that up in the microwave. Reheating the rice in the microwave works better than I expected.

    I hope you like it as much as we did.



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