Monday, February 28, 2011

Meatless Monday: Andrew's Peanut Stir Fry

Welcome back to another addition of Meatless Monday! This is going to be the first recipe I post that uses tofu. I love tofu, Andrew loves tofu, and even Oliver loves tofu (that boy even eats it raw). Still, I know that most non-vegetarians aren't interested in eating or trying tofu. It has a weird stigma, and people seem to think they have to be a health nut to eat it.

Well, if you're willing to give tofu a try, let me give a fair warning and some advice. First, don't expect it to taste or feel like meat. In fact, it feels more like eggs. Second, tofu doesn't taste good raw (to most people, anyway). Actually, it doesn't taste like much. The good news is this: tofu absorbs flavors and sauces extremely well, so it tastes like whatever you cook it in. The less water it has in it, the more it will absorb. So, for your first time using tofu, I recommend buying a firm or extra-firm cube. It's packed in water, so you want to pull out the cube, put a towel over it, and squeeze out the excess water. Some people go as far as weighing it down by placing a cookie sheet on top of it and putting something heavy on the cookie sheet. That's cool, too.

Once you have the excess water drained, you cube it. I make small cubes (maybe about 1cm cubes). It's easy to do, and you can just use a butter knife. Voila, that's all there is to prepping tofu.

This peanut stir fry recipe is one that my husband created. It's our family's favorite meal, and we eat it a few times a month. We buy stir-fry vegetables in bulk from Costco, so for us, this meal is especially budget-friendly.

And, now, for the recipe:

Andrew's Peanut Stir Fry (serves 4)

1 teaspoon vegetable or canola oil
1 package of firm tofu, drained and cubed
4 cups of frozen mixed, stir-fry vegetables, thawed
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup peanut sauce (found in the Asian section of your supermarket)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cups cooked brown rice

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown. Stir in the vegetables. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, whisk the peanut butter, peanut sauce, and soy sauce together. Add sauce to the skillet and stir well. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until heated through.

3. Serve over brown rice.

Cost: Under $2/serving
Calories: Approximately 425 per serving
Protein: Approximately 21 grams

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