Tofu and Vegetable Stir-Fry, with Kale and Brown Rice: Fuel for a Healthy Body

1 Apr

Tofu and Vegetable Stir-Fry

Kale: the vegetable that helps you detox.

Brown rice: lower glycemic index and higher in fiber than white rice.

Today’s meal is a lovely, healthy, and quick fix dinner that I make at least once a week. You really can’t go wrong with a stir-fry! I’m lucky enough to live in California and have access to fresh vegetables and fruits, and I take advantage of it. Every Sunday, I drive 20 minutes over to a nearby city, with the best-priced Farmers Market, to stock up on essentials for the week.  Broccoli, carrots, kale, lettuce, onions, herbs, potatoes, apples, oranges, kiwis- you name it, they have it!

And it’s really good that I eat all this healthy fare, because without it, my immune system wouldn’t have the bolstering it needs against all the germs I come across in my day-to-day life. My daily work commute is two hours on public transportation, and I also volunteer at an Emergency Department on a weekly basis. Needless to say, I need to keep myself fit and strong so I don’t fall ill and lose precious time.

I don’t make any of this based on a firm recipe; it’s been a trial and error process for the most part, with a lot of errors in the early stages! However, I have this dish down now and I can make it at a moment’s notice.

Tofu and Vegetable Stir-Fry, with Kale and Brown Rice
Canola oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cups broccoli heads
1 carrot, sliced oblong
1 cup broccoli stalks, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 pack extra firm tofu, cut into pieces
Low-sodium soy sauce
Hoisin sauce
Oyster sauce
Red chili sauce
For Sides
Balsamic Vinegar
Brown rice

“What do I do now, maestro?” you ask sincerely. Why, the answers are below…  

First and foremost, put 2 cups brown rice in your cooker because it takes about an hour to get ready. If you don’t have a rice cooker, please get one and make your life easier.

Now, stir-fry time.

1. Turn on high heat. Heat about 2 tbsp canola oil in your wok. 

2. Add tofu and stir to coat them in oil. Use a spatula to gently keep mixing the tofu and ensure even cooking.

3. Add some soy sauce, about 2 tbsp. Cook on high to medium-high heat for 10 minutes, or until well seared (I like them to be golden-brown).

4. Use spatula to take tofu out of wok and place on a plate covered with a paper towel. 

5. Add 2 tbsp oil to wok again. Heat through.

6. Add cumin seeds and let them pop for a few seconds.

7. Add onions and stir to coat evenly. Cook until clear, about 4 minutes on medium-high.

8. Add broccoli stalks, carrots, and red bell pepper. Add a little water (1/4 cup) to get them cooking.

9. Add soy souce, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, and red chili sauce. How much is up to you. I’d go with 4 tbsp, 3 tbsp, 3 tbsp, and 2 tbsp respectively. I like to have a nice, flavorful sauce. Don’t worry about the sodium because you are not adding salt and it’s going to be way less than what you would eat at a restaurant.

10. Stir the veggies and coat the mixture in sauces. Cook for 5 minutes on medium-high.

11. Add broccoli heads and tofu, stir well so they get some sauce too. Cook for 4 minutes on same heat.

12. Remove from heat and cover, leaving a small gap for steam to escape. Let the veggies soak up the flavor for 1o minutes or so before serving. I leave the broccoli heads undercooked in step #12 because they will cook more while covered.

And finally, the kale. Easiest thing to cook. If you are getting a fresh bunch of kale, break off the leaves and get rid of the thick stems. Rinse well in water. Shake off the water before transfering to hot saucepan. Sprinkle in a few dashes of balsamic vinegar and let cook for about 2 minutes on medium-high. It cooks really fast. Don’t cook too long or you’ll have a pile of mush.

And the whole meal comes together!

It's time to nosh.


Couldn't resist fruit crepes for desert.


One Response to “Tofu and Vegetable Stir-Fry, with Kale and Brown Rice: Fuel for a Healthy Body”


  1. Tofu and Vegetable Stir-Fry with Noodles « Living for the next meal - May 6, 2012

    […] carrots, celery, and bok choy- a recipe for health success. This is my second stir-fry post. In my previous one, I served brown rice as a side, which is admittedly more healthy than noodles. However, if you […]

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