Saturday, February 18, 2012

Broccoli and Baked Tofu Stir-Fry

I have been cooking our tofu in a little oil in a pan a lot lately, and had forgotten how much I like the texture of baked tofu, not to mention the ease of doing it that way. Tossed into a stir-fry with some fresh veggies and a little seasoning makes for a quick, healthy dinner. This is also easily adjustable to whatever veggies your family likes, but I like broccoli because it always seems filling to me. Plus, it looks like little trees. What better way to get kids to eat veggies, right?

For the tofu:
1 block of tofu, drained and pressed, then cubed
1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp lemon zest
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch of crushed red pepper

Place tofu into a square glass baking dish (baking in glass gives it the best texture). Mix all other ingredients and pour over the top. Let marinate in the fridge for 30-45 minutes, tossing occasionally to make sure tofu gets coated. Pre-heat oven to 350, then bake the tofu for about 30 minutes. The longer it bakes, the firmer it gets.

For the rest:
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
1 inch ginger, peeled and grated (about  1 Tbsp)
3 green onions, chopped
1 broccoli crown, cut into florets, long stems chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup vegetable broth
2 tsp corn starch
1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Brown rice, cooked

Heat a wok or large skillet and add sesame oil. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant (about 30-45 seconds). Toss green onions in and stir around. Add broccoli and red peppers and stir-fry until they begin to become tender and broccoli tips begin to brown a bit. Mix together broth, corn starch, soy sauce and balsamic. Add to pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add baked tofu. Cook until sauce is thickened and all the veggies are coated. Serve over brown rice.

This really is a great, simple way to get a wholesome meal that's much lighter than anything from a Chinese delivery place!

*Broccoli is a great source of anti-oxidants, like vitamin C and vitamin A. Anti-oxidants have the ability to neutralize free radicals in the cells of the body. Free radicals are atoms with unpaired electrons in our body. That makes them very reactive and can cause damage by attacking the components of cells, and may even cause cancer. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals either by providing the extra electron needed to make the pair, or by breaking down the free radical molecule to make it harmless. Free radicals occur naturally as by products of the body, but also from environmental antagonists like cigarette smoke and air pollution. What this all boils down to is, eat your broccoli! 

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