Tofu is an excellent alternative to meat, and my Tofu and Vegetable Stir-Fry will provide you with plenty of health-boosting vegetables. Broccoli is a good source of lutein, a hedge against macular degeneration. Broccoli, cauliflower and kale have phytonutrients that protect against cancer. I use a wok to prepare this dish, but a large skillet will work, too. The tofu doesn’t have to be fried first, but frying gives it a nice texture.
Like miso and tempeh, tofu contains phytoestrogens, or weak plant-like estrogens. These phytochemicals are known as isoflavones; and eating soy foods, especially starting in adolescence, can reduce a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer, as one study of Canadian women suggested.
Tofu and Vegetable Stir-Fry
1 package (8 oz.) firm tofu
6 Tbs. peanut oil
1 Tbs. grated gingerroot
2 Tbs. minced garlic
1 cup baby carrots
1 cup snow peas
1 cup broccoli florets, cut or separated into bite-size pieces
1 cup cauliflower florets, cut or separated into bite-size pieces
3 cups chopped kale
2 chopped scallions
2 Tbs. oyster sauce combined with 2 Tbs. water
2 Tbs. cornstarch dissolved in ¼ cup cold water
1. Drain the tofu and press between paper towels to remove excess water. Cut tofu into 1- to 11⁄4-inch cubes.
2. Heat 4 Tbs. of the peanut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and fry until golden brown, about 2–3 minutes. Remove tofu from pan and keep warm.
3. Add the remaining 2 Tbs. peanut oil to the pan and sauté the ginger and garlic over medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
4. Add the carrots, snow peas, broccoli, and cauliflower and cook until just tender but still crunchy, about 7–10 minutes.
5. Add the kale and scallions and continue cooking until kale softens, about 4–5 minutes.
6. Stir in the oyster sauce mixture and cornstarch mixture and cook until a thick sauce forms, about 2 minutes. (If using unfried tofu, add now and cook until heated through, about 2–3 minutes.)
7. Remove vegetables from heat. Fold in tofu.