Kitchen Stir-Fry

This recipe is one of my favorite quick suppers, the marinade ingredients have been taped inside a cupboard for years now! It's vegan so a good choice for Meatless Mondays and low in fat and calories so a great choice for Weight Watchers and healthy eaters. I call it "Kitchen" Stir-Fry because it tastes good made with whatever's in the kitchen. Just keep tofu and frozen vegetables on hand, then add whatever other vegetables sound good. After that, honestly, this stir-fry kind of cooks itself.

Kitchen Stir-Fry, quick easy vegetarian stir-fry with marinated tofu and vegetables |

What food sells for less than $2 a pound? is low in calories? and fat? and carbs? and cholesterol? but high in protein?

It’s tofu, the soy-based, earth-friendly super-food. If you’re tempted to stop reading, please don’t! I do understand: I was a vegetarian for eight years and cooked with tofu exactly once.

But now that I’ve become a carnivore, thanks to this delicious stir-fry, I’m also a reformed tofu-eater!

Keep the ingredients for KITCHEN STIR-FRY on hand so you can cook up a fast, hot and nutritious supper any time. Some tofu brands require no refrigeration so store in the pantry. Stock up on frozen stir-fry vegetables for the freezer when they’re on sale, which can make this an economical supper too.

Like most stir-fry dishes, this one begs for improvisation, especially with the vegetables. Sugar snap peas are especially good, broccoli and fancy mushrooms too. Use your imagination to discover your family’s favorite combinations.

Serve with Oven-Baked Brown Rice. I often make it with a 2:1 mix of brown rice:wild rice or rice:quinoa. Some times, I stir a little baby spinach into the hot rice, more color, more flavor, more nutrition!

ALANNA's TIPS Check the nutrition facts on tofu packages. While still relatively low in calories, some tofu brands have several times more calories than others. Look for brands that have about 45 calories for a three-ounce serving. Warm the honey in the microwave for a few seconds to make it easier to pour or measure. The next time you buy soy sauce, choose a bottle with reduced salt. What a flavor difference! If your family is extra hungry, double the marinade and add more vegetables. Just add the ones that will take longer to cook first, the ones that cook more quickly at the end.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite tofu recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 45 minutes
Serves 4
  • 12 ounces extra-firm tofu (see TIPS)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon agave (for vegan) or honey
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil (essential)
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 small onion, sliced thin
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 green onions, cut in two-inch lengths
  • 8 ounces sliced water chestnuts
  • 16 ounces frozen stir-fry vegetables, thawed while the tofu marinates
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh bean sprouts, for garnish

TOFU Place double layer of paper towels in a colander or on a counter. Dice tofu onto the paper towels, then pat the cubes dry.

MARINADE Mix soy sauce, vinegar, honey, sesame oil and cayenne, pour into a freezer bag. Add tofu and gently turn a few times, distributing the marinade throughout the bag. Let tofu marinate for 30 minutes or more, turning occasionally.

In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water. After the tofu has marinated, snip a corner of the freezer bag, drain marinade into the bowl and mix again. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large, deep skillet (or a wok, if you have one) over high heat. Transfer tofu to hot skillet (it should sizzle) and let it cook, turning occasionally, until edges are brown and crispy. Remove tofu from skillet and keep warm.

VEGETABLES Add 1/4 cup water to skillet. Add onion, garlic, ginger, mushrooms and green onion and stir-fry until almost cooked, about 5 minutes. Add thawed vegetables and water chestnuts, stir-fry until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in marinade mixture, then cook until marinade turns slightly syrupy. Season to taste.

Return tofu to skillet and stir just to mix. Serve immediately, garnishing plates with bean sprouts.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving: 177 Calories; 6g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 20g Carb; 4g Fiber; 316mg Sodium; 0mg Cholesterol; 11g Protein Weight Watchers Old Points 3 & PointsPlus 4

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.