Sweet and Sour Stir-Fry with Coated Walnuts

by Jennifer

I made just a couple of adaptations from the original recipe in Mollie Katzen’s Still Life with Menu cookbook.  While the walnuts are baking and cooling, prepare the sauce and vegetables (don’t forget to cook some brown rice, too!).

Walnuts:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 – 5 TBS sugar (I used 4)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 cups walnut halves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl whisk together egg whites, sugar and salt.  Stir in walnuts, coating them well.  Spread walnuts out over a rimmed baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

Bake them for 15 – 20 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp, stirring often.  Let cool.

Sauce:

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 TBS low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 TBS cider vinegar
  • 3 TBS honey
  • 2 TBS cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated orange peel
  • crushed red pepper, to taste
  • 3 – 4 garlic cloves, chopped

Whisk all ingredients together.  Leave the whisk in the bowl as the cornstarch will settle on the bottom, and you’ll need to re-whisk the sauce right before you pour it into the wok.

Vegetables:

  • 3 TBS neutral high-heat oil (peanut, grapeseed, etc.)
  • 1 large onion, cut into chunks
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 1” diagonal pieces
  • 3 medium bell peppers, whichever colors you choose, cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
  • 8-oz. can water chestnuts, drained and sliced
  • 3 – 4 tomatoes, cubed
  • 2 – 3 TBS minced fresh ginger
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large wok over medium-high heat.  Add onions and stir-fry for a few minutes.

Add carrots and stir-fry for another 5 minutes.

Add remaining vegetables, salt and pepper to taste, and stir-fry for 5 minutes.

Re-whisk the sauce and pour it over the vegetables, continuing to stir-fry for 5 more minutes,

until the vegetables are tender and the sauce is thick.  Serve over brown rice, generously sprinkled with walnuts.

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Stir-Fried Tempeh with Spinach and Basil, Brown Rice

by Jennifer

This is my adaptation of a Cooking Light recipe, and serves 4 generously.  Get the tempeh marinating first, then start some brown rice cooking.

  • 3 TBS low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 TBS mirin, divided
  • 2 TBS chopped shallots (about 2 – 3 large shallots)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 lb. soy tempeh, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 TBS plus 1 1/2 tsp peanut oil
  • 1 1/2 TBS mirin
  • 10 oz. fresh spinach, thick stems removed
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 3 TBS low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 TBS water
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 TBS peanut oil
  • 2 large red onions, sliced vertically
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups loosely packed basil, roughly chopped

Combine soy sauce, 1 1/2 TBS mirin, shallots, sesame oil and tempeh and let the tempeh marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes to 4 hours maximum.

Heat 1 1/2 TBS oil in a wok over medium-high heat and add the tempeh with the marinade, stir-frying for 5 minutes or

until golden brown.  Transfer tempeh to a clean bowl and wipe the wok clean with a paper towel.

Place the wok back over medium-high heat and add 1 1/2 tsp oil, 1 1/2 TBS mirin, and the spinach, stir-frying

just until the spinach wilts.  Transfer spinach to another bowl.

Whisk together the sugar through lime juice.  Heat the remaining TBS oil in the wok, again over medium-high heat, and

add the onions and garlic, stir-frying until the onions start to become tender and brown, about 3 – 4 minutes.

Add the tempeh, basil, spinach (squeeze out any liquid in the spinach bowl and discard) and sugar mixture, stir-frying until heated through, 2 – 3 minutes.  Serve over brown rice.

Rainbow Stir-fry over Brown Rice

By Jennifer

Rainbow Stir-fry over Brown Rice

This is an adaptation of a recipe from Vegetarian Times magazine.  I don’t know about your grocery store, but it was impossible to find a tiny head of purple cabbage…I’m left with a gallon-sized Ziplock bag full of thinly sliced cabbage in my fridge.  I’m planning on stir-frying it, along with some garlic, scallions, the left-over edamame and some store-bought stir-fry sauce, for a quick weekend lunch one of these weeks….

Serves 4 adults.

  • 3 TBS orange juice
  • 2 TBS hoisin sauce
  • 1 TBS low-sodium soy or tamari sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. chile-garlic sauce
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp peanut oil
  • 10 oz. frozen organic green beans
  • 2 cups thinly sliced purple cabbage
  • 1 15-oz. can baby corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 8-oz. can sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup frozen, shelled edamame
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • Brown rice

Get the rice cooking, ideally in a rice cooker or steamer.

Ingredients at the ready

Combining sauce ingredients

In a small bowl whisk together the orange juice through sesame oil.

Vegetables ready to stir-fry

Have all of the veggies ready to go in a bowl, save for the green beans which go in first, and the scallions which will go in at the end.

Start with green beans in the wok

Heat the peanut oil in a wok over medium-high heat.  When a drop of water flicked into the pan sizzles, add the green beans.  Stir-fry for a few minutes, then add 3 TBS water and stir-fry for a couple more minutes.

Add the rest of the vegetables

Add the remaining vegetables except for the scallions, stir-frying for another 4 – 5 minutes.

Adding sauce to stir-fry

Add the sauce and scallions, tossing the vegetable mixture to coat it well.  After another minute or so, when everything’s good and hot and bubbly, serve it over the brown rice.

Steaming hot stir-fry is ready!

Stir-fried Noodles with Tofu

By Jennifer

Stir-fried Noodles with Tofu

Ira and I have a wonderful neighbor and friend, Lixiang Fu, who has graciously taught us how to cook a variety of authentic Chinese food.  This is my adaptation of one of her recipes (she, of course, doesn’t measure anything and it always comes out delicious)…it is now one of our favorite comfort foods, and comes together so quickly, as long as you  have everything at the ready.  Feel free to substitute steamed rice for the noodles, to substitute other vegetables for the kohlrabi, such as chopped bok choy or bean sprouts, and to substitute 1/2 lb. cleaned shrimp for the tofu.

  • 8 oz. brown rice noodles (or regular rice noodles)
  • 7 oz. package of baked teriyaki tofu, such as Trader Joe’s organic brand, cubed
  • 2 cups frozen peas and carrots
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 kohlrabi, peeled and julienned
  • 1/2 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil, divided
  • 5 TBS oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • salt

Ingredients ready to stir-fry

Soak the rice noodles in a large bowl of hot water for about 5 minutes;  drain.  Heat 2 TBS peanut oil in a wok over medium-high heat.

Stir-frying the egg

When the oil is shimmering, add the eggs and stir-fry, using long chopsticks or a spatula, until just cooked through, cutting the eggs into small pieces.

Adding scallions

Add the scallions and stir-fry for a minute or two longer.

Adding vegetables and tofu

Add the tofu, peas and carrots, and kohlrabi, and continue to stir-fry, using the chopsticks or spatula, for a few more minutes.  Sprinkle with salt to taste.  Add 2 tsp. soy sauce and 1 tsp. sesame oil, and stiry-fry for a couple minutes more.  Pour mixture into a large bowl (like the one you used to soak the noodles) and wipe the wok clean with a paper towel.

Add the remaining 2 TBS. peanut oil to the wok, and when shimmering add the drained noodles, stir-frying for a few minutes (this is when I abandon the long chopsticks and use two spatulas or large kitchen tongs).  Add the tofu-vegetable mixture back to the wok and combine well with the noodles.  Add 5 TBS oyster sauce and continue stir-frying until everything is combined and hot.  Try not to eat the entire thing in one sitting!