Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sauteed Vegetables and Tofu, Himalayan Red Rice, Heirloom Tomato with Basil and Onion (No Added Fat)

My wife and daughter are away for three weeks visiting India. I sure miss them - they are about to arrive in a few hours at my wife's hometown.

I don't usually get to cook with tofu since my wife has problems digesting it. Today, I was feeling quite appetized by the idea of a tofu-vegetable saute, and that's what I made.

  • About four ounces of tofu cut into 1/4" cubes (I used a tasty herbed tofu)
  • Two piles of onion, the first approximately 1/4 cup cut into 1/2" cubes, and the second about half as much cut into 1/4" cubes
  • Half baked potato, skin removed, cut into 3/8" slices
  • Approximately a half dozen shiitake mushrooms, tough stem ends removed and then sliced lengthwise into thirds or fourths
  • Coconut aminos (or reduced sodium soy or tamari sauce)
  • Approximately 1/4 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 of a medium bell pepper cut into strips approximately 1/4" x 1"
  • Small baby bok choy cut into 1/2" strips

  1. I have found that I can brown tofu by cooking it in a cast iron pan with no added oil. I do periodically season my cast iron pans with a bit of oil, rubbing it in over low heat, to keep the pan nonstick, so some tiny residue of oil may seep into the tofu, but it's insubstantial. I preheated a cast iron skillet over medium high; once hot, I added the tofu. Indeed, tofu doesn't stick, as long as you periodically stir. I cooked till nicely brown, maybe 7-10m.
  2. In parallel, I put the first batch of onion into a Salad Master stainless steel saute pan (no need to preheat), then turned the range on to medium high. I occasionally stirred; in about 4 or 5 minutes, the onion was starting to clarify.
  3. I then added the potato. Potato can stick with no added fat so I stirred a bit more frequently. This particular potato was a little undercooked so I added it early in the saute; otherwise, if it were done, I'd add it closer to the end to just warm or closer to the midpoint to brown.
  4. After about 5 more minutes, I added the mushroom and cooked another 2 minutes or so.
  5. The potato had been sticking for a few minutes; I added a few tablespoons of coconut aminos and rubbed the pan with my spatula, almost instantly "cleaning" up the pan.
  6. I then added the broccoli and stirred for 2 more minutes.
  7. I added the bell pepper, bok choy, and second pile of onion and stirred for a final 3 minutes or so, then served with some more coconut aminos and hot sauce.
I also made nutty Himalayan red rice (1 part rice, 1 1/2 parts water, one vegan bouillon cube, all simmered for 20m) and a heirloom tomato salad with chopped fresh basil, a bit of onion, salt and freshly ground black pepper.


Dinner came out well. I had forgotten, but a little ginger would have been great in this kind of a dish.

Ideas for the future

I'd like to try cooking tofu in my pressure cooker; I wonder if I make a sauce and let vegetables and tofu (maybe already cooked crisp or just raw) marinade in it for a while and then pressure cook the ensemble if it would be tasty. The tomato salad was good, but some kala namak would have been a better choice than regular salt.

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