Simple Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry

Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry

I’m missing my calling as a minimalist, lol. We are moving, and as we are getting the house ready – I think to myself (and out loud) …there is so much stuff. Ugh…things…why do we have so many things, ah! It amazes me how much we accumulate over the years. I’m trying to redefine “spring cleaning” over here as I throw, toss and donate things away, while simultaneously deep cleaning. Ironically, none of this hit me until I had to paint. As I removed all the things from the kitchen, everything quite literally seems to be overflowing into the dining room now. While I don’t have a bunch of tchotchkes (knickknacks) or collections, I still feel like there are a lot of items in general. This immediately made me think of the bible verse (in Matthew 6:19) about storing your treasures on earth. Although I’m not materialistic by any stretch, it still made me stop and reflect. On another note, I also can’t help but to notice how quickly this month is moving right along. The pressure is on to finish, as I’m trying not to let May slip by.  

This recipe today is one that is very simple and tasty. This recipe can be served over cooked rice or noodles of your choice. It tastes delicious on white/basmati or brown rice, and with ramen. Also, additional vegetable additions that would go great are edamame (soybeans) or mushrooms. I did not have any this time around, but next time I will be adding some. Additionally, I used an apple in this recipe instead of sugar to balance the sweet/salty flavors. The apple adds a nice freshness to this dish. Enjoy!



Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry

  • Difficulty: easy
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Simple Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry
Ingredients:
2-3 Tbsp Oil
1 (16oz) Package (Block) Super Firm Tofu
1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, grated
2 Tbsp Fresh Garlic, minced
1/4 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 bunch of Scallions, about 7-8
Salt/Pepper (to taste)
1/2 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
1 small Apple, grated
4 Cups Broccoli (Fresh/Frozen)
4 Tbsp Soy Sauce/Tamari, divided
2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar, divided
1/2 Head of Cabbage
2-3 Carrots, grated or matchstick cut
Finish with:
Sesame Oil
Fresh Parsley, optional

Directions:
-Season tofu with salt/pepper to taste and add the paprika. Mix together to combine seasoning.
-Heat oil to medium-high heat. Then add the tofu and cook for about 10 minutes, be sure to toss/turn or even shake the pan every few minutes to halfway through for even cooking.
-Remove tofu from pan and set aside; allow to drain on napkin/paper towel, if needed.
-Back to pan add red pepper flakes, fresh garlic, and scallions. I typically keep some scallions off to the side for garnish.
-Cook the above for about one minute, then add apples, parsley and ginger. Continue cooking for another two minutes keep tossing while cooking.
-To the mixture add half of the soy sauce (2 tbsp) and vinegar (1 tbsp), plus the fresh/frozen broccoli. Cover and cook for five minutes to allow broccoli to steam up. Keep shaking and tossing in between.
-Remove cover. Over high heat, add cabbage and carrots to mixture plus remaining soy sauce and vinegar. Continue tossing/stirring while cooking for another one to two minutes.
-Add back in the tofu and give it another toss before serving.
-Serve over rice or noodles and finish with a garnish of additional ginger, scallions, parsley, and a drizzle of sesame oil. Enjoy!

The prep:

Matthew 6:19
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal (NIV).

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal” (ESV).

Vegetable Soup

Vegetable Soup – the no recipe—recipe.

Soup warms the soul, leaves me with positive vibes and comfort. Whenever I make vegetable soup, I make a LARGE quantity that will last us a few days. It’s so hard for me to put an actual vegetable soup recipe into words though. There are so many different variables when I set out to make it. Each time I use different veggies and sometimes I have no broth/stock and use water. I always start with a couple tablespoons of oil, crushed red pepper flakes, lots of garlic and an onion chopped. To this I add carrots and celery and sauté for a couple of minutes. Then, add diced tomatoes, water/broth and begin layering in my seasonings and veggies. If I’m adding potatoes, I include them in the carrots and celery step. The veggies vary and can include broccoli, cabbage, peas, spinach, kale, corn, cauliflower etc. I always try to include beans for fiber and protein — typically, red kidney beans or chickpeas. I hope this recipe inspires you to mix and match veggies too.
A must try – small/baby potatoes left whole= they are sometimes called creamers. I added them to this soup and left them whole, which made the soup very filling and satisfying.
Enjoy!

Lamentations 3:25-26

“The Lord is good to those who wait for him,

    to the soul who seeks him.

It is good that one should wait quietly     for the salvation of the Lord.”

Cabbage Savage

Cabbage Savage
(Serves 6-8) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

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This cabbage has a slight kick but you can add/adjust as needed. It is super addicting – hence the name… this cabbage is fierce.

I watched some new documentaries recently that I will update on my list. Netflix has some great documentaries and not just the food ones. I watched The Human Experiment and Plastic Paradise. Not only are GMO’s a concern for us but what about the other countless “invisible” toxic chemicals that we are exposed to? It’s no wonder there has been such an increase in: cancer, dementia, autism, obesity, etc. It seems we are really dropping the ball here. It’s like a question of what came first, the chicken or the egg… except it’s more like, the chem industry or the pharm industry.

Ingredients:
1 Head Green Cabbage, cleaned and chopped/shredded (I just use my knife)
1 Tbsp Canola Oil
3 Tbsp Earth Balance (vegan butter)
½ Tbsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
2 Tsp Minced Garlic
2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Course Black Pepper
½ Tsp Chili Powder
½ Tsp Tarragon

Directions:
-Clean and shred cabbage then set aside. I just slice it up on my cutting board. Be sure to remove the outer thick leaves and quarter/core before shredding and washing.
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-In a large pot, heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Add red pepper flakes and minced garlic and heat through for about 1-2 minutes. (Be careful it can quickly burn).
-Add Earth Balance butter and cabbage. Cover and let it cook down for about 10 minutes.
-Stir after 5 minutes so it all sautés and begins to cook evenly.
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-After 10 minutes stir again and add seasonings: salt, pepper, chili powder and tarragon. Cover and continue cooking.
I cook for a total time of about 20 minutes and then I turn off heat and allow it to sit for 5 minutes before serving – but keeping the lid on. Enjoy!
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Vegetable Ramen Noodle Soup

Vegetable Ramen Noodle Soup
(Serves 8) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

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I don’t know about you, but this chilly weather instantly makes me want to prepare a big pot of soup. I’m not knocking the ramen soup that we all lived on at one time or another, but whew are those ingredient lists long! I love this recipe because the way it’s prepared the veggies stay fresh and crunchy without all the preservatives. This was a big hit in our home a few nights ago. Yes, these oodles of noodles are all grown up. Warm, inviting and fresh! Enjoy.

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5 Scallions, chopped
3 Celery Ribs, sliced
3 Large Carrots, shredded/grated
16oz Frozen Corn
¼ Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
10oz Fresh Green Beans
¼ Cup Tamari Soy Sauce
¼ Tsp Ginger Powder
3 Quarts Vegetable Broth
1 (10oz Package) Ramen Noodles (I used Lotus Foods – Millet & Brown rice)
1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
Salt/Pepper to taste

Directions:
-Prepare ramen noodles according to package and set aside.
-In a large pot heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add celery and scallions then sauté for about 3 minutes.
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Grated Carrots – I used my box grater.
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-Add carrots, frozen corn, and crushed red pepper flakes continue to sauté for 5 minutes.
-Stir in soy sauce, vegetable broth and green beans. Bring to boil.
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-Once the soup begins to boil turn off and remove from heat. Stir in rice vinegar, ginger powder and ramen then season to taste (salt/pepper). Enjoy!

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Vegetable Ramen Noodle Soup

  • Servings: 8
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Ingredients:
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5 Scallions, chopped
3 Celery Ribs, sliced
3 Large Carrots, shredded/grated
16oz Frozen Corn
¼ Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
10oz Fresh Green Beans
¼ Cup Tamari Soy Sauce
¼ Tsp Ginger Powder
3 Quarts Vegetable Broth
1 (10oz Package) Ramen Noodles (I used Lotus Foods – Millet & Brown rice)
1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
Salt/Pepper to taste

Directions:
-Prepare ramen noodles according to package and set aside.
-In a large pot heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add celery and scallions then sauté for about 3 minutes.
-Add carrots, frozen corn, and crushed red pepper flakes continue to sauté for 5 minutes.
-Stir in soy sauce, vegetable broth and green beans. Bring to boil.
-Once the soup begins to boil turn off and remove from heat. Stir in rice vinegar, ginger powder and ramen then season to taste (salt/pepper). Enjoy!

Fettuccini with Olive Oil, Garlic and Veggies

Fettuccini with Olive Oil, Garlic and Veggies
Vegan, GF Option (use GF Pasta)

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Simple and delicious! This recipe is an example of something I would eat out at a restaurant. Most restaurants serve or have boxed pasta and veggies and olive oil. Just request this simple idea tossed with garlic and I’m in!
*It’s funny because when we go out to eat with friends or family, they often go straight to the salad section to see what ‘we’ can ‘eat’ – me, I often check to see that they have eggless pasta or rice and request that with some veggies, olive oil and garlic. I know they gotta have olive oil and garlic, right? Check this one out – I frequently make something similar to this at home with broccoli (we LOVE broccoli !!) and peas. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
Fettuccini Pasta, prepared according to package
Small Potatoes, quartered or sliced in half
Asparagus, stems removed
Frozen Chopped Spinach, steamed
Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced
Edamame, shelled/steamed
Fresh Parsley
Garlic, minced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt/Pepper to taste
Chili Powder to taste
Red Pepper Flakes, pinch

Directions:
-In large pot fill with water – add potatoes and bring to boil. Once boiling add pasta and cook until al dente and potatoes are fork tender.
-Add about 2 Tbsp Olive Oil to pan and saute Asparagus for 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
-Back to same pan, add mushrooms and saute for about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
-Back to pan add remaining olive oil (that will be used to toss with pasta), pan will still be hot – here add minced garlic also and red pepper flakes.
-Toss together pasta, olive oil with garlic, edamame, asparagus, mushrooms and spinach along with salt/pepper to taste.

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Notes: I did not include measurements in my initial ingredient listing as I made a large batch of this meal to have for leftovers for a few days. The ingredient list below are the measurements I used – again this is for a large group/party or perfect for leftovers. If making for smaller family or group, adjust quantities as needed.

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(Serves 10-15)
28oz Small Potatoes
1 Bunch Asparagus
1 (9oz Pkg) Frozen Chopped Spinach (about 1 cup)
7oz Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced
2 Cups Frozen Edamame, shelled/steamed
2lbs Fettuccini pasta, prepared according to package
1 Bunch Fresh Parsley
2-3 Tbsp Garlic, minced
1/3-1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tsp Chili Powder
Salt/Pepper to taste