Spicy Tofu and Veggies Recipe

I love this spicy dish, adapted from my favorite Vietnamese restaurant, so much that I included it in my heart healthy cookbook, The New Contented Heart Cookbook. The ingredient list is long, but it’s really easy to make.

Drain 1 (16 oz) package of extra firm tofu; place the tofu on paper towels, cover with additional paper towels, top with a plate with a heavy can sitting on the plate (see photo).

Cut tofu into 2 x 2 x 1/2 inch pieces. Chop a variety of vegetables. I used a small head of bok choy, 2 cups of broccoli florets, a handful of baby carrots, 1 cup pea pods, a small zucchini and 1/2 bell pepper.

Heat peanut oil (about 1 Tbsp) in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook until golden brown on each side. Remove tofu from wok.

Note: The above step sounds so simple, but there is a trick to it – make sure the tofu is well drained. If it is not well drained, the tofu sticks to the wok and you end up with golden brown tofu pieces (as I did this time). It takes a good hour to completely drain the tofu.

Add all the vegetables to the wok. Reduce heat to medium, cover and let vegetables cook until crisp tender (about 15 minutes), adding a small amount of water to the pan if necessary to prevent burning.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Combine 3 dried chili peppers (crumbled), 2 tsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1/3 cup apple juice or white wine, and 1 tsp cornstarch.

Return tofu to wok with the vegetables.

Gently stir sauce into the mixture. Cook until slightly thickened adding a small amount of water if desired. Serve over brown rice.

This recipe makes 4 servings of only 222 calories each, along with only 2 grams of saturated fat and 227 mg of sodium but 21 grams of protein! You can add more vegetables if you like, just increase the sauce ingredients too. I never get tired of this dish – it’s delicious.

Note: The sauce is really hot. If you would like a milder sauce, reduce the amount of chiles or leave them out altogether and use hot sauce to taste. If you do use chiles, remember to use plastic gloves when touching them.  Enjoy!

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About the Author

Renee Pottle, an author and heart-healthy educator, loves to explore and write about the Mediterranean Diet. She blogs at SeedToPantry.com and HestiasKitchen.com.

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