Enlightened Tofu, Snow Peas and Brown Rice

 

Tofu and Snow Peas Photo Juan Carlo

Stir-frying involves quick cooking over high heat in a small amount of oil. Quick cooking in this manner preserves the flavor, color and texture of the food and the vegetables come out slightly crisp with all of their vitamins intact.

When stir-frying you may use a traditional Chinese wok or a heavy gauge 14 inch stir fry pan that has sloping sides of a typical wok.  A pan like this is similar in that the heat concentrates at the bottom of the pan and the curved sides allow you to push the ingredients to the side. A stir-fry pan will also feature a long handle for easy maneuvering.

Stir-fry calls for oil with a high smoking point, such as corn or safflower and heating oil to the smoking point. Choosing a heavy gauge wok pan and there isn’t any need for such oils. Olive oil is  monounsaturated fat, which lowers the LDL (bad) cholesterol,and raises the HDL (good) cholesterol.  It is not a good idea to heat oil until it smokes. Nutritionist and author, Suzanne Havala Hobbs, Dr PH, MS, RD confirms that doing so oxidizes the fat, producing cancer causing properties to form. 1 2   

For really firm tofu that won’t fall apart in the pan, I always use super firm tofu. Look for super firm tofu in shrink wrapped packaging from Wildwood Foods at natural food grocers and Trader Joes private label brand. It is really sturdy, doesn’t need pressing, holds up to lots of handling and has the best texture!

Tofu absorbs flavor like a sponge and the longer you marinate, the deeper the flavor. Snow peas are actually legumes used in many Chinese dishes and are entirely edible, including the pod, which accounts for it’s French name, Mange-tout or “eat it all.”

Pinch  the tips before proceeding and cook for no more than a minute.  The larger snow peas might need to have strings removed and these usually pull off with the tips. Serve with brown rice.

Enlightened Tofu, Snow Peas and Brown Rice
6 Servings

Marinade
1 cup vegetarian chicken broth*
1/3 cup tamari
2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
*Edward & Sons Not-Chick’n Bouillon dissolved in hot water

1 (20 oz. pkg.)Super Firm Tofu
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 Tablespoon dried minced garlic
1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
1 cup thinly sliced red onion (quarter and slice into strips)
2 slices Yves Veggie Canadian Bacon, cut into strips
1 (8 ounce pkg.) button mushrooms, sliced
12 ounces fresh snow peas, rinsed and trimmed
3 cups cooked short grain brown rice

Combine the marinade ingredients in a 2 cup liquid measuring cup. Rinse and pat dry tofu and cut into 1 inch cubes. Place in a medium non-reactive bowl (glass or ceramic) add marinade, cover and refrigerate a few hours or optimally overnight. Heat oil, crushed pepper, garlic and ginger over medium high heat for 2 minutes. Add onions and veggie bacon; saute` 2 minutes. Add slightly drained tofu and mushrooms and discard marinade. Cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the snow peas and cook mixture just until peas are heated through, about one minute. Remove pan from heat and serve immediately with steamed baby carrots and brown rice.

Enlightened Tofu, Snow Peas and Brown Rice
Nutrition  Analysis per 2 cup  serving
Protein 16g, Carbohydrates 36g, Fiber 6g, Fat 6g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Calcium 115 mg, Sodium 236mg.

Marie Oser is a best-selling author, writer/producer and host of VegTV. Her latest book is The Skinny on Soy.  Follow Marie on Facebook and Twitter

1.Artman  NR. The chemical and biological properties of heated and oxidized fats. Adv Lipid Res. 1969;7:245 330  
2. Alexander JC. Chemical and biological properties related to toxicity of heated fats.J Toxicology Environmental Health.1981 Jan;7(1):125-38