Thursday, October 20, 2016

Weeknight Wonders: Szechuan Green Beans and Tofu Stir Fry

We have embraced our empty nest status and continue to focus on creating a less hurried lifestyle (still a struggle) and rising to the challenges of cooking for two.

Until recently, I was not sure what I felt about tofu.  Tofu is essentially mashed soybean curd.  Does that sound appetizing to me?  No, it does not.  A great substitute for meat?  I think not!  There is no comparison to the texture or flavor of meat.   So what is it about tofu that finally made me think seriously about it as a real food ingredient?  Well, you have to look at tofu, as just that, tofu. 

Tofu is a healthy ingredient loaded with calcium, iron and other micro-nutrients.   A good addition to healthy eating and it is a good source of protein.  More importantly, tofu can be marinated to add any flavor, and that is a plus.

This quickly prepared weeknight meal was pretty good and it improved tofu's standing with me.  The extra spice provided by the Szechuan sauce made this recipe worthy of being a keeper.

Szechuan and Green Bean and Tofu Stir Fry
Serves 4
Recipe from Eating Well

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

Whisk 1/4 cup of water, soy sauce, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, crushed red pepper and 1 teaspoon cornstarch in a small bowl.  Set aside.  Cut tofu into 1/2-3/4-inch cubes and pat dry.  Toss the tofu in a bowl with the remaining 2 tablespoons corn starch to coat.

Heat one tablespoon of oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the tofu and spread across the surface of the pan.  Let cook undisturbed for 2 minutes.  Gently turn and stir.  Continue cooking and occasionally stirring, until light brown and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes more.  Transfer to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium.  Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan.  Add green beans, 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, 2 to 4 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.



That Girl said...

I love tofu! Not as a meat substitute, but in its own right.

Michelle said...

Something I would like to try. I have cooked/eaten tofu before and just couldn't get the right flavor.

We Are Not Martha said...

Totally agree about tofu!! I love it, but can totally get why people are not into it.... It does sound gross and the texture is totally weird. But this dish looks so flavorful and awesome, I bet it could convince any tofu-hater to give it a try :)


Angie's Recipes said...

Grew up eating tofu, so this is totally my kind of dish. Delicious and moreish, Velva.

Tina said...

We have been using tofu more recently, it takes in the flavors of whatever you are cooking. Healthy too!

David @ said...

I must say that tofu still scares me a bit. Well, maybe 'scares me' isn't the right term, but it just doesn't sound appetizing. Granted, I think tofu has gotten a bad reputation, but still. This sounds amazing, though, and I could totally see this showing up for a weeknight dinner! Yum!

grace said...

i'm still not convinced that tofu is meant to be eaten, but i'll take your green beans and i'll devour them. :)

Nammi said...

Hot a fan of Tofu, but I love the flavours that you have used and I dont mind the beans .... have a nice weekend

Nammi said...

Hot a fan of Tofu, but I love the flavours that you have used and I dont mind the beans .... have a nice weekend

Marcelle said...

Velva, I have a weird love of tofu and I love this recipe! I'm not sure I knew it was as healthy as you mentioned, but now I love it more. Will have to make this really soon. Thank you for sharing! Glad you are settling in to your empty nest and cooking for two after having a crew around is definitely a learning experience! I am one of a family of 7 (5 kids, 2 parents) My mom lives alone now and still cooks for an army. LOL

Rhodesia said...

This dish does sound good but it will take a lot to convince both of us that tofu is tasty! I have tried it several ways and it has not won a place in our kitchen yet!!! Have a gra week Diane

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I still have yet to embrace tofu myself but your addition of the spices have me wanting to give it another try!

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

Hi Velva, my husband still has a hard time eating tofu but I love it. This looks like a wonderful dish.

kitchen flavours said...

Your green bean tofu dish looks really delicious!

Stacey @ The Sugar Coated Cottage said...

I like tofu if it looks like this! The seasoning makes all the difference in tofu, love the bit of heat and green beans always add a nice snap! Delicious! Take care.

Beth said...

I've eaten tofu when I'm out but have never cooked with it myself. I must admit I have kind of mixed feelings about it. But when used in the right recipe, it can be terrific!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Tofu...It's a texture thing with me but I know I would enjoy the green beans. :)

Unknown said...

Looks like a delicious midweek meal - I love tofu and its beautiful light consistency!


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