The Three Food Groups

I’ve added more tag categories to my recipes.  They’re my three main ones in general: Things with meat in them for Z, vegetarian meals for me (and any veg-friendly side dishes) and, the biggest category, desserts!  I’m always experimenting with tasty super-healthy meals for myself, having been a vegetarian for about ten years now.  I didn’t really start to cook (outside of baking) until a couple of years after I went veggie, but I do want to be able to make yummy food for Z.  So, I’ve been trying to learn, and it’s going pretty well so far.  And desserts…so much fun, so pretty, and so tasty!

I had picked up some half wheat, half brown rice udon at Big Lots not too long ago, and wasn’t sure what I really wanted to do with it.  Z prefers rice in his stir frys, so I had to come up with something for myself.  It’s kind of embarrassing, but I had never cooked tofu that didn’t come flavored before!  So I decided to just see what I could do with some udon, tofu and veggies.  I ended up with a simple mix of differing flavors and textures.  The orange juice makes everything pleasantly sweet, soy sauce gives it a sour, salty tang, and the combination of ginger and a dash of cayenne gives everything a pleasant, understated heat.  Like most stir frys, it makes a ton of food and reheats decently, so it works well for me…I’d rather be spending my time in the kitchen baking!

Sweet & Sour Orange Tofu Over Udon

It's a lot more flavorful than it looks.

Colors = Vitamins!

1 14 oz. package of super-firm tofu

Oil for stir frying (I normally use light olive oil)

1 inch knob ginger, diced

2 cloves garlic, diced

Small head of broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces

15 oz. can of baby corn, rinsed and drained

2 or 3 carrots, cut into sticks

5 or 6 oz. udon, broken in half

2 Tbsp or so orange juice (I used that fancy pulpy valencia stuff)

Dash powdered ginger

Dash cayenne pepper

1 or 2 splashes soy sauce

Drain the tofu – I dd this by squeezing between a few paper towels.  Slice the tofu and press the extra water from the slices, too, then cut into approximately 1″ cubes.  Heat some oil over medium-high heat in a large stir fry pan or wok (enough to coat the bottom of the pan but no more).  Add the tofu, fry for a minute or two, then add garlic and fresh ginger and stir.  Continue cooking and stirring until the tofu is lightly browned on most sides and slightly shrunken, adding more oil if necessary.  Remove tofu from pan, set both aside.  Boil water in a covered medium saucepan, then add the udon, stir, and lower the heat slightly.  While it simmers, return to the pan, paying attention to the noodles (when they’re cooked through, drain them, rinse with cold water and drain again, then cover and set aside).  If there’s not much oil left, add a bit more, return to heat and add broccoli.  Stir fry until half-cooked, then add the baby corn.  Add the orange juice, allow to simmer slightly, then add the carrots, ginger and cayenne and continue to stir fry for a minute or two longer.  Add tofu to vegetables and mix well, then turn off heat and stir in noodles.

This covered all the bases as far as healthy, tasty and able to feed me for a few days – my favorite kind of meal!  It might work with chicken, but I’m not sure the chicken would absorb the simply spiciness of the garlic and ginger as well as plain old tofu does.  The only thing I might add is maybe something crunchy…some toasted sesame seeds, maybe?  The vegetables were firm and crisp, but not crunchy like nuts or seeds.  I’ll definitely make this again, and probably add more spices and juice for more flavor and sauciness.  You can change the veggies up if you want, but I like these three a lot and they’re nice and colorful and contrasty.

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One response to “The Three Food Groups

  1. pretty!

    although, upon further inspection, there is one thing I simply cannot abide by (*shudder*): baby corn!!! eeek. that stuff freaks me out!

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