Tofu-mushroom-bell pepper stir fry

I’m not super fond of tofu (I know it’s healthy and all!), but I try coming up with interesting recipes in the hope that I will like one of them (secretly hoping the husband likes tofu too *fingers crossed*) ! While surfing www.foodgawker.com (officially my fave thing to do!) I found this recipe and I thought it was interesting. Finally after making it, since the husband did not complain while eating, I think I have a winner in the tofu section 🙂

Ingredients:

1 pack extra firm tofu, cut into cubes

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 green bell pepper, cut into chunks

10 oyster mushrooms, sliced

4 shiitake mushrooms, stalk removed and sliced

1 tbsp tamari soy sauce (you can also use any other dark soy sauce)

1 tbsp oyster sauce

1 cube chicken bouillon (use vegetarian bouillon if you want a completely vegetarian dish)

1 tsp cornstarch

2 tbsp water

Cooking oil (not olive oil, sesame will do. I used canola.)

Method:

Stir together soy sauce, oyster sauce, chicken bouillon, cornstarch, and water in a non-reactive bowl.  Set sauce aside.

Remove tofu from package and try and drain as much water out of it as possible. Cut into ¾ inch chunks.

Heat 2 tbsp of cooking oil in a skillet over high heat. When oil is smoking hot, add the tofu. Panfry, stirring occasionally, until tofu is browned on all sides, about 4-5 mins. Remove the tofu and set aside.

In the skillet add another tbsp of oil and reduce heat to medium-high. Stir-fry the mushrooms until they start to soften, and then add the green bell peppers and minced garlic. Toss the mixture around a few times to cook the peppers, but make sure they’re still crisp, between 30 seconds and 1 min. Add the fried tofu and stir-fry carefully, making sure you don’t break the chunks of tofu, just until heated through, about than 1 minute.

Add the sauce, and stir into the mixture until thick, less than 30 sec. If sauce is too thick, add a little more water and stir it in thoroughly.

Serve hot with steamed rice.

Bon Appetit!

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Stir fried soba noodles with lemon-ginger dressing

While I have always been fond of cooking, I started following recipe blogs only in the past 3 years. Mainly it was because I left all my recipe books at home in Bombay. But, ever since I discovered these blogs I have rarely felt the need to go look for a recipe in a book. Partly it’s because I know that the recipes in these blogs are made in a regular kitchen just like mine, as opposed to a hoity-toity chef’s kitchen 😛 Secondly, they are tested and tried recipes so I know that there is a lower chance of failing while trying them 😀

In my quest to eat healthy and to be on a low GI diet, I came across soba noodles, or buckwheat noodles. They are always available at Asian stores and are different from the regular noodles. Since they are, for lack of a better word, unique, in taste, I only made them once in a blue moon using ground meat or with beef and broccoli. Then I came across a blog that contains primarily Asian recipes. I rarely have all the ingredients available in my pantry, but when I do, I make it a point to try out recipes from the Steamy Kitchen.

Jaden Hair has done a fabulous job with her blog and I enjoy trying recipes from there. She also dabbles in a lot of fusion food, something that I enjoy doing too. So, here’s how I modified her tofu and soba noodles recipe:

Ingredients:

For the dressing –

Ginger, 1 inch, peeled and grated

1 tbsp. honey

1/2-1 tsp. chilli powder (or cayenne)

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil

For the noodles –

Soba noodles – 3 bunches (they are normally packed in separate bunches in one packet)

1 tbsp. cooking oil (either olive or sesame oil)

1-1/2 assorted bell peppers, sliced (I use red, yellow and green, just because the end result looks colorful!)

Mushrooms – 1 small pkt, 6-8 oz.

Browned sesame seeds (optional)

Method:

To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients except for the oils in a blender (hand blender is more convenient and easy to clean!) Run the blender for a few seconds, until all ingredients are combined. With the machine running, pour in the oils. Adjust the chilli powder to taste, we have ended up with really spicy noodles a few times 😛

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the soba noodles until just tender, then drain.

While the noodles are cooking, heat a nonstick frying pan over medium high heat and when hot, pour in the cooking oil. Add the sliced bell peppers and sear them for a few minutes. Add the mushroom and stir fry together for another minute or two, until the mushroom looks cooked (make sure it isn’t over cooked). It’s important to have the heat on high while adding the mushroom. Toss gently and turn off the heat.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the soba with the dressing, vegetables and the sesame seeds. Toss until well combined.

Enjoy 🙂

Mushroom rice

Tonight I was wondering what to make for dinner and I decided to cheat a little on my low GI diet 🙂 I had already made the spicy chilli-garlic chicken, so I thought of making a simple rice dish that went along with it. I had some mini portobello mushrooms lying in the fridge and if I didn’t use them soon I knew they would go bad. So, what did I do? Made mushroom rice of course! Most of the Indian mushroom rice recipes I found contained tomatoes in them and were either made to be flavorful with spices or hot with chilli pepper. I didn’t want to overpower the flavor of the chicken dish, so I decided to rustle up my own mushroom rice dish minus the garam masala and the tomatoes. Why the tomatoes? Because tomatoes and the chicken recipe just wouldn’t go together. Here’s the recipe –

Ingredients –

Rice – 1 cup

Baby portobello mushrooms, sliced – 8 oz.

Green onions, white portion and green stalks separated – 2-3

Cilantro – 3-4 springs.

Bay leaf – 1

Whole pepper corns 1/2 tsp

Cardamom – 3 whole

Cloves – 3-4

Oil – 1 tsp

Method:

Heat the pan with oil on medium heat. After the oil heats up add the bay leaf, peppercorns, cardamom and cloves. Saute them for a few seconds until you get their aroma.

Add in the white portion of the green onions and continue to saute until they are lightly browned.

Next, add the sliced mushrooms and saute until the mushroom is cooked. Be careful not to overcook it, or else the entire dish will be very soggy!

While the mushrooms are cooking, cook rice separately in a rice cooker. Make sure that the rice is not mushy and that each grain can be separated.

Mix the rice and the mushroom mixture.  Add the green onion stalks and cilantro as garnish.

Eat this while it’s still hot. It goes well with the chicken dish. The rice has its own flavor. The whole spices give it flavor, while not making it too spicy. I will be making this rice dish again with some other spicy dish on the side soon 🙂