Sunday, June 3, 2018

Spinach, Tofu, and Sesame Stir-Fry

I was looking for something simple and tasty to make, and this recipe caught my eye. A definite success.  Very quick to make, and as good cold the next day for lunch as it was the first night.

adapted from
serves 3-4

1-1/2 T. canola oil
12 oz. firm tofu, cut in small dice
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 t. fresh ginger, minced
1/2 t. Aleppo pepper flakes (or crushed red pepper, a little less)
soy sauce to taste
10 oz. bag of spinach
3 T. sesame seeds, toasted
1-1/2 t. sesame oil

Toast the sesame seeds.  (I do this in a small frying pan for a few minutes.)

Heat the canola oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or wok.  Add the tofu and stir-fry about five minutes, until the tofu is lightly colored. 

Add the garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes.  Cook, stirring, about one minute; add a couple of shakes of soy sauce, to taste.

Add the spinach (if pre-washed, sprinkle a little water on top) and stir-fry until the spinach wilts; you can cover the pan after the first couple of minutes to speed this up.

Stir in the toasted sesame seeds, the sesame oil, and more soy sauce if you'd like a little more liquid.

Serve over noodles (I used whole-wheat pad thai noodles), rice or other grains, or use as a filling for pita bread.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

adapted from
serves 6
prep time: 10 minutes
slow cooker time: 6-7 hours

I was going to be out all afternoon and then having a guest to dinner, so I was looking for a slow cooker recipe and found this on Simple Recipes. It's very simple and very tasty. It could also be cooked on the stove if you prefer; just cook the beef all the way through in step 1, add the other ingredients, and heat up for a while.

My guest couldn't eat spicy food, so I left out the chili powder and green chiles and reduced the cumin to 1/2 t., and the dish was still very tasty. I look forward to cooking it again with all the spices, and with either turkey or TVP (textured vegetable protein), as suggested by commenters on the Simply Recipes website.

1 T. olive oil
1 lb. lean ground beef (or ground turkey or TVP)
1-1/2 cups diced yellow onions
2 cups chicken or beef broth (can use up to 3 cups for more broth)
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (I used white, but red would also be fine)
1 4-oz can chopped green chiles
1-1/2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen (defrosted)
2-1/2 t. chili powder
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. paprika
1/2 t. salt

tortilla chips, lightly crushed (I used homemade chips, recipe here)
sour cream (lite is fine)
chopped cilantro
chopped red onion
lime wedges to squeeze the juice
diced avocado (about 1 small avocado for 3 people)

1.     (Can do this step a day or two ahead): Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the beef and onions and cook for several minutes, breaking up the beef into small pieces, until the ground beef is browned but not completely cooked and the onions are starting to get soft. Remove from the heat and use immediately, or you can refrigerate for a day or two if you want to make the soup later.
2.     Combine the browned beef, onions, and the remaining soup ingredients in a slow cooker and stir.  Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours.
3.     Serve the soup in bowls and top with the various garnishes.