Veggie Tofu Stir Fry

Two weeks ago I had my wisdom teeth extracted. It was the first really surgery I’ve ever had (if you don’t count all of the incredibly serious and painful splinter removals of my youth). Since I knew I’d be on a deliciously satisfying “mush” diet for a week or so, I wanted my last few meals before my surgery to go out with a bang.

I was very sentimental before the extraction. I wanted to celebrate all that my wisdom teeth had given me up to that point: pain, grief, and annoyance (I’ll spare you the details).

So, I made a stir fry to celebrate the sacredness of this dish.

Yeah, actually that’s a lie.

I made a stir fry because I had a block of tofu that was begging to be eaten. That seems to happen with a lot of the food that I make.

I knew that I wanted my tofu to be like the kind you find in restaurants: firm and not soggy. After doing “research” I came across the pressing method, which gives tofu a firm, more meat-like texture. Poifect!

The trick to the pressing is to put a lot of weight on the tofu. I used a cast iron skillet and then put a crock pot on top of that. A really thick towel also helps in absorbing all of the liquid from the tofu.

I cut each of the eight slices into tiny pieces and then broiled them to achieve that delicious restaurant texture.

I found a great sweet and sour sauce that I adapted to what I had in the kitchen. It was the perfect blend of flavors for the dish.

I added vegetables that seemed “stir fry like”. You can definitely get creative here and use so many different kinds of veggies. I especially loved adding the broccoli to the stir fry because it soaked up all the sauce.

The sauce works wonderfully with the veggies. It thickens as it cooks and the veggies absorb all of its goodness.

The finished product = Amazing. It was filling, healthy, and quick with a little bit of prep (the tofu could be made in advance).

I can’t wait to make this again… Once my wisdom teeth holes grow in, of course.

Veggie Tofu Stir Fry 

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

For the tofu

  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil

For the sauce

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup veggie broth
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the stir fry

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped small
  • 1 cup white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 3/4 cup carrot, diced bite size
  • 1/2 cup green onion
  • 1 cup white rice (I used 20 minute jasmine rice)

Method

1. Pressing the tofu: Slice tofu block into 8 slices (along the width, not the length). Place a thick towel on a cutting board and place tofu slices on the towel. Fold the towel over the tofu and then place lots of heavy objects on top. I used a cast iron skillet topped with a crockpot which had sweet potatoes in it. Let sit for about 30 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to broil. Remove tofu from towel. Cut each pressed slice into 8 pieces (or 16 if you want small tofu). Toss the tofu pieces in olive oil until covered. Place tofu on a sheet pan and put in oven for 5-10 minutes until golden. Flip pieces and broil for an additional 3-5 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, mix corn starch and broth until combined. Add rice vinegar, sugar, honey, sesame oil, soy sauce, ground ginger, and, cayenne pepper. Mix until completely combined. Set aside.

4. Prepare white rice according to package directions.

5. Heat a bit of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Add peas and mushrooms and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add sauce and cook for 5-7 minutes, until sauce begins to thicken. Add tofu and cook for an 5 minutes until tofu is cooked through. Serve immediately with rice.

Inspired by (Never Home) Maker and Edible Perpective

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Sesame Ginger Salmon

I wish I could give you more pictures of this salmon.

But to be honest, it was just so delicious that I inhaled it in a matter of minutes. I guess I could take a picture of my stomach, but that might be weird.

The marinade for the salmon came from leftover dressing from this amazing salad. You should make it!

The salmon is first pan seared for a few minutes on both sides to give it a tasty crust. Then, it’s popped in the oven to continue cooking. Brilliant!

Yeah, I’ll just leave you with the two pictures I have and encourage you to make this with it. Or this. Or this. Okay, I think you get the point now.

Sesame Ginger Salmon adapted from this dressing

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 6-8 oz. salmon fillets
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey (or more, to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • zest from 1 orange
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • sesame seeds, to sprinkle
  • olive oil for skillet

Method

1. In a bowl, mix together olive oil, honey, sesame oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, ground ginger, orange zest, and salt and pepper. Add more honey to sweeten, if necessary. Set aside

2. Rinse salmon fillets in cool water and place them into a large marinating dish. Pour marinade over fillets. Marinate in the fridge for 2-3 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Remove fillets from dish (but reserve marinating liquid) and place them in skillet and cook for about four minutes or until the side is lightly browned. Flip and cook the other side (The salmon will not be cooked through). Place the seared salmon back in the marinating dish, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and put into the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until fish is cooked through (the thickness of your fish will determine your cooking time).Remove fish from oven. Serve immediately with rice or a tasty veggie, or both. The marinade/dressing becomes a delicious glaze for the fish.