Asparagus Shiitake Tofu Stir-Fry
I’ve never tried to cook tofu myself, so I figured now would be a perfect time to try it. I found some detailed instructions on how to cook or "dry fry" tofu so that it turns out solid and flavorful, instead of crumbly and bland [my worst tofu nightmare]. It’s easy to customize this dish to your liking, or whatever vegetables you have on hand [but i do think that the sauce compliments the asparagus nicely]. It is a long list of ingredients, some of which you may not have as standard kitchen fare, but it’s much easier than it seems at first. This dish is naturally gluten free and vegan.
ASPARAGUS SHIITAKE TOFU STIR-FRY
- about 3 cups Jasmine rice
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 14-16 oz extra-firm tofu
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus, cut into pieces
- 12 oz Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup gluten free soy sauce
- 1/8 cup rice wine
- 1/2 tablespoon ginger root, grated
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons Hoisin or Kecap Manis or similar sauce
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 5 1/2 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons ginger root, grated
- 1 1/2 tablespoon rice wine
- 3 tablespoons water
[for those gluten free: there is a gluten free Hoisin & Kecap Manis sauce, but not all may be]
- Cut Tofu into 1/2 inch thick triangles. Press between paper towel or cloth to squeeze out extra moisture. Place a non stick pan or cast iron skillet onto medium heat. Place tofu in pan, without any oil and press with spatula. The tofu is done when golden on both sides. It’s easier to cook when you do smaller amounts at a time, so you have more room to flip the pieces.
- Mix all marinade ingredients in a bowl, then add tofu, submerging the pieces. If all tofu pieces aren’t covered, add in extra water.
- Start to cook the rice in rice cooker or according to directions.
- Add all sauce ingredients in a sauce pan, then place on medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Take off of heat.
- Heat a large pan or wok to medium high heat and add vegetable oil, then drained tofu, asparagus, and mushrooms. [You can add a little bit of the marinade for extra flavor] Stir until asparagus and mushrooms are cooked.
- Take off of heat and pour in sauce. Mix until sauce coats tofu and vegetables. Serve over rice.
Fettuccine Alfredo with Sauteed Vegetables
We have a wonderful woman from out of town staying with us at our house this week. She is from northern California and owns a bunch of land [40 acres to be exact], which includes a garden. She is able to grow a bunch of her own vegetables, which I think is awesome & I wish I could do. This is what helped to inspire this dish that I’m sharing with you today.
Personally, I always have a much better time with cooked vegetables as opposed to raw ones, so hopefully you will enjoy this too. I used a mix of my favorite vegetables from what I had at home [but, honestly, these vegetables are almost always in my house at all times], so if you have another vegetable that you have a burning passion to use, throw it in there! This recipe is also very easily made gluten free - details below.
FETTUCCINE ALFREDO WITH SAUTEED VEGETABLES
alfredo sauce ingredients
- 1 pound fettuccine, preferably fresh
- 2 tablespoons butter/canola oil blend
- 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups fat-free half & half
- 3/4 cup skim milk
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- pepper to taste
sauteed vegetable ingredients
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1 medium red bell pepper
- 10 - 12 medium crimini mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- about 1/3 cup dry white wine
- salt & pepper to taste
[to make gluten free: use a gluten free flour instead of unbleached all-purpose flour, use a gluten free pasta instead of regular fettuccine]
- Start water boiling in a pot for the pasta.
- Slice zucchini, bell pepper & mushrooms.
- Place skillet on stove on medium heat and add olive oil. When pan is hot, add vegetables, garlic, white wine, and salt and pepper. Stir every few minutes, until vegetables are cooked.
- Place skillet on stove on medium heat. Melt butter, then whisk in flour until smooth. Whisk in half & half in a steady stream. Whisk in milk and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes, whisking every so often.
- Add pepper and Parmesan cheese and whisk until smooth.
- Top fettuccine with alfredo sauce & sauteed vegetables.
Roasted Mushroom Risotto
I’ve been wanting to cook more Italian food, since it really is most my style [I think, anyway] but, I needed some inspiration. I felt that I had to get a cookbook. A real, solid, tangible cookbook. I went to the bookstore in search of something to fulfill this desire, and it took a little while to find. But when I did, I was enthralled. I got Jamie Oliver’s cookbook Jamie’s Italy. I love his cooking philosophy - basic, local, organic. This risotto recipe is found in this cookbook, I’ve just changed a few things around, to suit my and my intestine’s preferences. This recipe is also gluten free.
I know that looking at the long list of ingredients and instructions can seem intimidating at first, but it’s not as bad as it seems. And, trust me, after you taste this when it’s all done, you will see that it’s definitely worth it. This tastes like it’s from a fancy pants restaurant.
ROASTED MUSHROOM RISOTTO
- 2 pints stock, chicken or vegetable
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
- 2 cups risotto [Arborio] rice
- 2 wineglasses of dry white wine
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 7 oz wild mushrooms, sliced, half in smaller sizes [I used shiitake & crimini]
- about 3 or 4 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bulb of garlic, finely chopped
- a small bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked
- a small punch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1 lemon
First, the risotto [use ingredient amounts from risotto ingredients]…
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Heat the stock on the stove in it’s own pan. Put the olive oil and butter into a separate pan and add the onion, garlic, and celery. Cook slowly for about 15 minutes, or until vegetables have softened. Then, add the rice and turn up the heat.
- Keep stirring the rice so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, after about a minute it will look slightly translucent. Add the wine and keep stirring.
- Once the wine has cooked into the rice, add a ladle of hot stock with a pinch of salt and pepper. Turn the heat down so the rice doesn’t cook to quickly on the outside. Keep adding ladles of stock, waiting for each addition to be fully absorbed before adding the next one. This will take around 15 minutes. Taste the rice to check if it’s cooked. If it’s not, keep on adding stock until it is. If you run out of stock, you can add some boiling water.
And next, the mushrooms [use ingredients amounts from mushroom ingredients]…
- Set an ovenproof frying pan or baking pan on the stove on medium-high heat and add a splash of olive oil. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for a minute or two, or until they start to get some color. Add the salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, and another splash of olive oil and mix together. Place the pan in the oven and roast the mushrooms for about 6 minutes, or until they become even darker in color.
Now, let’s put it all together…
- Remove the risotto from the heat and add the Parmesan and parsley leaves, stir well. Add in the smaller chopped mushroom pieces [about half of the mushrooms, garlic, & herbs] and lemon juice, mix well. Serve risotto with leftover mushrooms, garlic, & herbs mix on top.
Fried Egg and Mushroom Sandwich
Eggs are excellent because they are so versatile, perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner, when paired with the right ingredients. This recipe would work great for almost any meal, and could also work well with a couple different additions, ie. a cheese, or substitutions, ie. spinach instead of lettuce. This can also be very easily made gluten free - details below.
FRIED EGG & MUSHROOM SANDWICH
makes 1 sandwich
- 1 egg
- 3 crimini mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- handful of baby lettuce leaves
- 1 large slice sourdough bread
- salt & pepper to taste
[to make gluten free: use a gluten free bread instead of sourdough]
- Cut slice of bread in half and toast.
- Rinse off lettuce leaves.
- Slice mushrooms and add to nonstick skillet with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Turn stove on medium to medium-low heat and cook for 5-7 minutes or until mushrooms have gained a darker color.
- Take toast out of toaster, place lettuce on piece of toast, and the mushrooms on the lettuce.
- In the pan you used to cook the mushrooms, fry one egg to your liking - I cooked mine over easy.
- Add egg to the top of the sandwich and top with salt and pepper.
Spaghetti with Pesto, Mushrooms and Tomatoes
Pasta is without a doubt my favorite food. There are so many different ways to prepare it that the possibilities are truly endless. One of my favorite base sauces is pesto, and the best part is that it’s healthy too. I added in mushrooms and tomatoes to the sauce, but if those aren’t your style, most vegetables or meat would go well with this pesto as well. This recipe will make enough for about four servings.
makes about 4 servings
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach or basil leaves
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 6 medium cloves minced garlic [1 tablespoon]
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4+ cup olive oil
- 10 oz spaghetti
[to make gluten-free: use a gluten-free pasta instead of regular spaghetti]
[to make vegan: use a soy cheese or other cheese substitute instead of Parmesan]
Combine spinach/basil, Parmesan, garlic and salt in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, or leaves are in small pieces. Add olive oil and blend another 1 - 2 minutes, until pesto reaches desired consistency. If you desire a more saucy pesto, you can add more olive oil, but add by small amounts because a little olive oil goes a long way.
Start cooking your pasta. I used spaghetti because I had it on hand, but you can use whatever pasta you wish.
MUSHROOMS & TOMATOES:
- 2 Roma tomatoes
- 2 cups Crimini mushrooms [any mushrooms will work]
- 1/4 cup white wine [variety is up to you, the drier the better]
- 1 medium clove minced garlic
- pepper to taste
Slice mushrooms and cube tomatoes into desired sizes. Add all ingredients to skillet and turn on medium heat. Cook until most of the wine boils down, about 5-7 minutes. There will still be some liquid left in the pan with the vegetables.
PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
Combine pasta, pesto, and vegetables with sauce in a big bowl and mix together. Top with Parmesan if you wish. Enjoy!