Posts Tagged ‘vegetable stir fry’

I grew up in one small town and currently live in another not far from the one I grew up in.  The area is surrounded by vegetable farms, sugarcane, and cattle.  The towns are small, the people friendly, everyone knew everyone else and if you snuck out at night, your mama knew before you got home because most likely someone called her.  Why did they call her…because they knew what time your curfew was.  Friday night football games were the thing to do and afterwards you hung out in a parking lot.

Until recently, on the table of restaurants, you found salt, pepper, sugar and raw sugar (we were in style before the rest of the world).  There was no equal, sweet-n-low, etc.. because we were surrounded by sugarcane fields.  If your parents didn’t work for the industry then you knew someone that did.  The sugar industry supported the small town.  Still to this day, I DO NOT PUT THE FAKE STUFF IN MY FOOD OR DRINKS!  I want real sugar, not some fake manmade sweetener that can’t begin to compare to the real stuff and only God knows what that fake stuff is doing to our bodies.  I grew up munching on stalks of sugarcane.  After more than 40 years, I think I can safely say that sugar ain’t that bad.

Now in towns filled with vegetables, sugarcane and cattle, you can safely assume there is not any tofu to be found.  Asking for Tofu usually gets the response, “God Bless You,”  because surely that was a funky sneeze and not a real word.  Sometimes you get, “What is it?”  or  “Toe What?”  or “Is that some kind of new Martial Arts?”  It’s not always easy living where time seems to stop and people don’t get out much.  Usually it takes traveling to the “big city” 30 minutes away to be able to find what one needs for my vegan dishes.

Having not too long ago visited a Thai restaurant and walking away having had a fabulous meal, I really wanted to finally bite the bullet and cook tofu.  It’s something I have been wanting to do since taking the walk to veganland.  A place I have yet to completely reach because I made a pit stop at “Veganland by the Sea” and can’t seem to move on.  What this means is I have pretty much given up all animals and by-products except for my seafood.  This would make me a pescatarian vegetarian/part time vegan.  I am really liking this little place and do not know if I will leave it.

Anyway, at home I decide to cook tofu for the first time.  I took it out of the package and well, it looked like a big off-white sponge. Not appetizing at all.  I proceeded to cut it up into chunks.  This is what it looked like:

Chopped Firm Tofu

I don’t care who you are, the stuff looked nasty and I started getting nervous thinking there was no way this was going to tastes good.  I set it aside.  I chopped up 1/2 an onion and set that aside.  Then I mixed together 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 3 Tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp ground ginger (because I didn’t have any fresh), 1/2 tsp white pepper and 1 1/2 tsp curry powder.   Then I  grabbed a big pot and put in 1 can of coconut milk, 1/3 cup coconut flakes, the chopped onion and the mix of seasonings.  I let that simmer for a little while until the onion was nice and cooked and then added the chopped tofu and about 4 cups of stirfry veggies.  Once the veggies were tender and the tofu looked okay (not sure what okay means since it was a first for me).  I served it over brown rice.  If you think you need more coconut milk, feel free to add some.

Coconut Milk Mixture

Thai Coconut Tofu Curry

Now, while I did not have any bok choy or lemongrass, two things I would have liked to add to my recipe, this turned out FANTASTIC!!!  I was so thrilled with it and the coconut curry flavor was mouthwatering.  I had never attempted to cook Tofu or Thai.  This was so good that I truly cannot wait to try it again.  The tofu chunks were delicious and took on the flavor of the dish.  I am going to have to attempt another tofu dish.  I just don’t know what.  My whole family ate it and there was just enough left over for me to have it for lunch the next day.

So if you are straddling the fence and wondering whether to Tofu or to not Tofu.  I say go for it and try it like this.  You will not be disappointed.  Enjoy!


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So I tell “Grill King” that we’re going completely meatless for the night.  He seems ok with it and offers to help.  On the menu is a stir fry vegetable burrito and some quinoa with sliced almonds and seasonings.  Sounds simple, right?  I mean how can someone unveganize (a word?…probably not) a completely vegan meal?  Let me explain.

First of all let me say that my husband is a good cook (especially when it comes to meat, if you are into things with hooves) and knows his way around the kitchen.  However, the words healthy, heart friendly and low fat are not ever used when describing his cooking techniques.

He starts cutting up things like onions, red and orange peppers, mushrooms, garlic….yum right?  The wok is sitting on the stovetop and as I look in the wok at about the same time he is throwing in the veggies, I see about 1/3 stick of butter melting in the pan.  Things that flashed through my mind:  dumping the wok on his head, screaming my lungs out, grabbing the closest sharp utensil….you get the picture.  What I actually did:  closed my eyes, counted to 10 and reminded myself that we are tiptoeing towards veganism and that my dear husband, not only does not know that butter is a NO NO in the vegan world, but that he is also helping me cook a meal that contains NO MEAT!!!  A HUGE step for the Carnivore.  So instead, I suck it up (I haven’t given up dairy yet) and go with the flow.

We have a fantastic meal and everyone enjoys it.  Well, almost everyone.  My daughter has a cheese quesadilla instead of the veggie burrito.  My son enjoyed every bite of his burrito.  Everyone ate and liked the Quinoa (my first time making it).  Usually we have rice.  After reading about Quinoa, I decided to give it a try…lots of protein and yummy.  While shopping in Costco, I see a bag of Quinoa and buy it instead of my regular rice.  It’s a HUGE bag so my hope is that we like it because we will be stuck eating it for a while.  Sliced almonds taste really good in it.  Most of all, it passed both the “kid” and “Grill King” test.

So I almost had a Vegan meal.  I put a couple of spoonfuls of homemade guacamole in my burrito with my veggies.   It was fantastic.  Next time NO BUTTER!  It would have been just as good, I’m sure of it.

Reminder to self:  either cook vegetables myself or hide the butter and put away all sharp utensils.

Stir Fry Vegetable Burrito and Quinoa with Sliced Almonds

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