Friday, July 22, 2011

Seasonal Stir Fry

This is the BEST time of year to be a vegetarian! I can't get enough fresh fruits and veggies and lucky for me, there are some amazing farmers markets in my neighborhood, including the Union Square Farmers Market in Somerville. Pay a visit to your local farmers market this week to pick up fresh zucchini, yellow summer squash, carrots, scallions, green and wax beans, garlic, and onions. I got all of the produce for this recipe from the Parker Farm, Drumlin Farm, and Kimball Farm stands at the Union Square Farmers Market. Your market should have a similar selection of fresh, gorgeous produce!

All ingredients are from the Union Square Farmers Market except the zucchini, which I grew
Pick up some tofu, soy sauce, sesame oil, braggs liquid aminos, and ginger on your way home and you'll have all the ingredients needed for this insanely delicious stir fry. Best part? You can use whatever veggies are fresh in your area right now.
sneak peak of dinner! keep reading for the recipe!
Start by draining the liquid off your chunk of firm tofu. Slice in half, wrap the slabs in paper towel, place between 2 plates, and place a bag of flour or a few cans of beans on the top plate to squeeze the water out of the tofu while you slice and chop.
I don't LOVE tofu, but I really like this one! The 2 packs are perfect.
Slice1/2 a white or yellow onion (or the whole thing if you love onions). Throw that in a pan heated over medium heat with a light coating (1-2 tb) of sesame oil (peanut oil or canola oil work, too).

saute onion
While the onions saute, mince 2 cloves of garlic and an equal amount of ginger (tip: freeze ginger if you're not going to use it all at once and you'll always have fresh frozen ginger!)
mince ginger and garlic
Add ginger and garlic in to the pan with the onion, stir, and brown. Keep an eye on the pan to make sure things don't start to burn! Saute over medium heat, adjusting if necessary.
add ginger and garlic when onions start to brown
Unwrap your tofu and slice it into cubes. Add to the pan with a splash of low sodium soy sauce and some braggs liquid aminos. Stir, but be careful. Tofu is delicate.
add cubed tofu and a splash each of soy sauce and braggs
You want to brown the tofu but don't burn the garlic and onions. This is the tricky part. Some recipes say to use separate pans, but who wants to clean two pans after a long day of work, an hour at the gym, and errands! Keep it simple!
Brown the tofu, but don't burn the garlic and onions! 
As soon as the tofu is browned, add your veggies. If the pan has dried out, add some more braggs and maybe a splash of water and some more soy sauce.
Sliced stir fry veggies ready to go!
Stir gently to combine ingredients. Try to get the veggies toward the bottom of the pan and the tofu towards the top. Cover and reduce heat to medium low.
Gorgeous, right?
You're sauteing your stir fry now, but covering it speeds things along and adds a steaming effect. The veggies will soften but should keep their form. Stir gently every couple minutes, adjusting the heat if necessary. Taste a veggie here or there to see if you need more garlic or soy sauce as these things really depend on individual taste!
this is what you're shooting for :)
In the last minute or two of cooking, add some chopped scallions for an extra burst of flavor. Serve the finished product over some brown basmati rice for a delicious, nutricious, fresh, local, colorful, protein and vitamin packed dinner. I used 1/2 of that 2-pack of tofu, 1/2 an onion,  2 large cloves of garlic (and an equal amount of ginger), 1 zucchini, 1 yellow summer squash, a handful of mixed green and wax beans, 1 purple carrot, and 4 small scallions. Only other ingredients were sesame oil, braggs liquid aminos, and low sodium soy sauce. Makes enough for 2 and we had enough leftover to pack lunch! Took about 30 minutes from start to finish.
Dig in and enjoy!
Tip on the rice: Rinse it (I used 1 cup) cook it in a rice cooker with a small piece of kombu, which will help unlock some of the rice's nutritional value while making the grain easier to digest (and adding a bit of flavor). I used 2 cups of water and added some vegetable better than bouillon for added flavor.

Full Disclosure: I volunteer for Union Square Farmers Market, helping out with their online marketing and social medai.