VEGETATRIAN KUNG PAO TOFU
In case you haven’t heard, October is Vegetarian Awareness Month. So if you aren’t a vegetarian (or if you are), now is the perfect time to add some tasty meat-free recipes to your repertoire. Here are a few delicious ideas to get you started.
Before you reach for the takeout menu, consider this healthy and delicious version of the classic Chinese dish.
1 14-ounce package extra-firm water-packed tofu, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder, divided (see Shopping Tip)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons oyster-flavored or oyster sauce, (see Shopping Tip)
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
12 ounces broccoli crowns, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces (4 cups)
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons unsalted roasted peanuts
2 teaspoons hot sesame oil, (optional)
1. Pat tofu dry and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Combine with 1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder in a medium bowl.
2. Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook, stirring every 1 to 2 minutes, until golden brown, 7 to 9 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
3. Meanwhile, whisk water, oyster sauce, cornstarch and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder in a small bowl. Add broccoli, yellow and red bell pepper to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
4. Reduce heat to low, add the oyster sauce mixture and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 30 seconds. Return the tofu to the pan along with peanuts and stir to coat with sauce; stir in hot sesame oil (if using).
Shopping tips: Be sure to use “oyster-flavored” sauce (it’s oyster-free) to make this vegetarian; both it and oyster sauce are found in the Asian-food section or at Asian markets. Five-spice powder is a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns. Look for it in the spice section or with other Asian ingredients.
Nutrition: Makes 4 servings, 1 cup each.
Per serving: 197 calories; 11 g fat (2 g saturated fat, 4g mono unsaturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 16 g carbohydrates; 12 g protein; 5 g fiber; 622 mg sodium; 517 mg potassium.
Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (230% daily value), Vitamin A (40% dv), Calcium & Folate (25% dv).
Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 1 plant-based protein, 2 fat.
Carbohydrate servings: 1.
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