Thursday, September 29, 2011

Goodbye, Farmer's Market

The last Farmer's Market in my town was on Tuesday night and I'm a little torn up over it! It has basically ruined grocery store produce for me, not to mention how nice it was to meet up with my boyfriend and good friend after work for a little stroll around downtown. *Sigh* In an effort to use up the veggies we bought from last week's market, I decided on a Tofu Stir Fry for dinner on Tuesday night. My boyfriend has been working graveyard shift all week, so it was nice to sneak in a tofu dish instead of meat or seafood. He likes tofu okay, but I try to limit the meatless meals to once a week, and those don't usually have tofu either. I had a bunch of green beans and a half head of green cabbage left-over from last week's Green Bean Carbonara and Salt & Pepper Shrimp dinners. Here's the recipe, adapted from

Szechuan Tofu & Green Bean Stir-Fry (~4 servings)

1/2 cup water, divided
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
1 14-ounce package light tofu, drained
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
3 cups green beans, trimmed and cut in half
1/2 small green cabbage, shredded
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

1.Whisk 1/4 cup water, soy sauce, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, crushed red pepper to taste and 1 teaspoon cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside. Cut tofu into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes and pat dry. Toss the tofu in a bowl with the remaining 2 tablespoons cornstarch to coat.
2.Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and spread out across the surface of the pan. Let cook undisturbed for 2 minutes. Gently turn and stir. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and crispy, 3-4 minutes more. Transfer to a plate.
3.Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add green beans, cabbage, garlic and ginger; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the remaining 1/4 cup water, cover and cook until the beans are crisp-tender and the cabbage is wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir the reserved soy sauce mixture and pour it over the green beans. Cook, stirring, until thickened, about 1 minute. Add the tofu and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 1 minute more.

Nutrition (Eating Well's version - my version has a little bit of extra veggies and less sugar but I didn't recalculate the nutrition)
Per serving: 218 calories; 11 g fat ( 1 g sat , 6 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrates; 2 g added sugars; 12 g protein; 5 g fiber; 672 mg sodium; 364 mg potassium.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mushrooms + Soup = Swoon

Even though it has been in the 90s up here in NorCal for the past week, I decided to make Mushroom Soup on Wednesday night for dinner. We had a potluck at work that day for lunch, and I totally overdid it on the indulgent eating... no regrets! Alas, by dinner-time, I wasn't starving. Instead of making the planned carb & fat-laden Green Bean Carbornara for dinner (pushed to Fri night dinner), I burned a few extra calories by finely chopping up about 1-3/4 lbs of mushrooms. Thankfully, that was the hardest part of the meal! Threw them in a pot with some stock and garlic for 10 mins, blend it all up, add a little creme freche and coriander and viola - soup! Or Veloute, I guess, if you're feeling fancy. Here's my (not so different) version of the recipe from Food & Wine:

Recipe: Two-Mushroom Velouté

1 1/4 pounds cremini mushrooms (1 pound finely chopped, 1/4 pound thinly sliced)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup crème fraîche
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
Chopped chives, for garnish

1.In a bowl, toss the chopped cremini mushrooms with the lemon juice. In a large saucepan, combine the chicken stock with the chopped cremini and shiitake mushrooms and the garlic and bring to a boil; simmer over moderately low heat until the mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes.

2.Meanwhile, in a medium nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Add the sliced cremini mushrooms and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden brown and tender, about 4 minutes.

3.Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until very smooth (very small batches so you don't burn yourself - I did approx 4-5 batches); return to the saucepan and whisk in the crème fraîche. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add the coriander and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with the sautéed mushrooms and chives and serve.

One Serving: 137 cal, 7.5 gm fat, 3.0 gm sat fat, 10 gm carb, 0 gm fiber, 7 gm protein.