Veggie Stir Fry

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We just finished an interesting meal in my house.  It came from a Cooking Light Magazine.  The whole meal was less than 370 calories (according to the magazine).  There were vegetables.  Bean Sprouts.  There was TOFU.  Everyone ate it (9 year old son, 6 year old daughter, two servings for the Hubby).  Everyone ate it and LIKED it.  I LOVED it.


All of the above are pretty fantastical things here.  TOFU???  That was the first time I dared asked my children to eat a meal with ingredients such as those above including carrots, shallots, cucumber, and more.  I have never touched TOFU before, let alone cooked or tasted it.  The same was true with bean sprouts.  Bean Sprouts?  Eeew!  Right?  Well, that’s what I used to think.

Hopefully I have made it clear that I am working to ensure a healthy lifestyle for my family.  The only way my kids are going to learn is if I teach them, right?  They say the best way to lead is by example.  We have made many changes to the way we eat and live in the past few months.  I am looking up recipes that are healthy and natural.  I am purchasing almost exclusively whole foods – or foods that have not been processed.  We are walking up and down the “normal” aisles of the grocery store a lot less and spending much more time in the produce sections as well as the organic sections.  We make weekly trips to the farmer’s market to get our week’s veggies.  Buy local!!!

This recipe represents several of our changes.  Not every attempt has been a hit, but this one definitely was!

The Pros of this recipe:

  • of course, first, that everyone liked it
  • low in calories
  • high in taste
  • I only had to buy two of the ingredients
  • I was able to use the basil and chives from my garden

The Cons of this recipe:

  • a LOT of dishes to measure and cut the ingredients and a big mess to clean up
  • though I only had to purchase two things – there were a LOT of ingredients, several of which you may not have in YOUR cupboard
  • the magazine said 35 minutes and it certainly took me longer to prepare and cook this dish

You definitely want to get the ingredients ready in advance as you can see in my picture below.  Stir-frying is quick moving cooking and things will certainly go awry if you are hunting down the bottle of lime juice


Changes I made (many of which were to not have to purchase more than was necessary):

  • I could not, for the life of me, find tempeh and still don’t know exactly what it is; however, in researching online, I learned that it is similar to TOFU, so I figured that would substitute just fine (I think it did)
  • I’m not sure if there is a difference between an English cucumber and the “regular” kind, so I just used a cucumber
  • I didn’t use banh pho rice sticks; I used the oriental noodles I had in my pantry
  • I didn’t use mint or cilantro because I didn’t have the fresh herbs (I am sure this would make it a very different tasting meal) and I didn’t use any lime wedges


My favorite quote of the night:

“Mommy, this chicken tastes weird.”  I never did tell them it was TOFU.  I was not a huge fan of it myself, but it wasn’t terrible.  The taste was fine, it was the consistency.  Next time, I will still probably go with TOFU (so that should tell you that it was perfectly ok), but I will crumble it up instead of cutting it into cubes.

The most important thing that I am learning as I do more cooking around the house is that it is all about whatever you want.  I still need recipes to guide my way though.  I would NEVER think of something like this on my own.  I have really enjoyed cooking out of Cooking Light.  They do a great job of making a low fat or healthy meal taste fantastic.  I have only that the subscription a few months and I have already cooked several recipes, including their low calorie banana pudding.  Hubby LOVED that one too!!!


Thanks for dinner Mom!  Little K was the first one done!  This is definitely a keeper and needs to go in the file with all the other usual suspects around our house.

Oh, I suppose you want the recipe, hmm??

Rice Noodle Salad

  • 8 ounces uncooked wide rice sticks (banh pho) any old oriental style noodles will work
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sesame oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup organic vegetable broth
  • 6 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili sauce you can find this in most grocery stores in the ethnic food section
  • 8 ounces tempeh, cut into 1/2-inch cubes I used firm TOFU, which I  recommend crumbling while you cook if you are a consistency person
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced English cucumber
  • 5 thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 1/2 cups matchstick-cut carrots
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves I omitted
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro I omitted
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
  • 12 lime wedges  I omitted, not to mention, surely this must be a typo and they only meant 2 wedges as it says in the directions below
  • 1. Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain and toss with 1 teaspoon sesame oil.
  • 2. Combine broth and the next 4 ingredients (through chili sauce), stirring with a whisk.
  • 3. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; swirl to coat. Add tempeh, and stir-fry 3 minutes or until lightly browned. whoa!  huge splatter of oil, much more than usual when I stir-fry!  be careful and have a shield ready Add garlic and shallots; stir-fry 1 minute or until shallots begin to soften. Add eggs; stir-fry for 30 seconds or until soft-scrambled, stirring constantly. Add soy sauce mixture, and bring to a boil. Add noodles and bean sprouts; toss gently to coat. Cook 1 minute or until sauce is thickened.
  • 4. Remove from heat, and top with cucumber and the next 5 ingredients (through fresh cilantro). Sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon dry-roasted peanuts and the juice from 2 lime wedges.

I highly recommend it and can’t wait to make it again myself!


3 Responses

  1. Jen
    | Reply

    That actually looks really tasty. I am the same way you are with tofu…it isn’t the taste that bothers me it is the consistency. I am going to have to try this and definitely try the banana pudding…yum! If you love Cooking Light you should look into Simple and Delicious too. The recipes aren’t always lowfat but a lot of them are. I also love Clean Eating but only get about one recipe a magazine that we all really like.

  2. Jen
    | Reply

    Also, I noticed that it looks like the page is torn out. How do you organize your recipes that you get from magazines? Right now mine are just marked in the magazine but my magazine basket is overflowing and I need to clean out. I just can’t decide and am not excited about rewriting recipes…

  3. Debbie
    | Reply

    I put tofu in the same category as mushrooms …

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