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February 18, 2014

Tofu and Brussels sprouts fried rice recipe {vegan}

Tofu and Brussels sprouts fried rice (#vegan), from The Perfect Pantry.

To be honest, if it weren't for my occasional complete and utter laziness in the kitchen, I might never have considered Brussels sprouts for any stir-fry dish. Yes, it's easy to trim the woody bottoms of a few sprouts and thinly slice them for this recipe, but it's even easier to grab a package of shaved Brussels sprouts from the grocery store shelf. I'm not a huge fan of cruciferous vegetables, so to get them into my diet, I cook them with seasonings I know I will like. There are a dozen fried rice recipes on The Perfect Pantry, and now a baker's dozen, as this tofu and Brussels sprouts fried rice is going into permanent rotation in my kitchen. With a quick stir-fry, the sprouts turn bright green and sweet, making them irresistible, even to me. If you don't like tofu, you can swap in any other protein (shrimp, pork, even leftover rotisserie chicken). Remember to cook your rice ahead of time, so it can cool; you can make it days ahead, and store it in the refrigerator. If your rice is pre-cooked, and you sneak into the grocery store for a package of shaved Brussels sprouts, this dish comes together in minutes.

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January 28, 2014

Recipe for tofu stir-fry with cabbage and cashews {vegan}

Tofu stir-fry with cabbage and cashews (The Perfect Pantry).

Recently our friend Bev stayed with us for a week-plus while recovering from foot surgery, and this made her a captive audience for my cooking experiments. Working with what I had in the pantry one day, I whipped up a turkey version of this vegetarian tofu stir-fry, with cabbage and cashews and mushrooms, and we loved it so much (and ate so much of it) that I had to make it again for you. Bev doesn't like very spicy food, so instead of adding chili paste, which might have been my first instinct, I used a bit more sesame oil, to enhance the nutty flavor of the cashews. Though I've never been a huge fan of cooked cabbage -- I love raw cabbage, in slaws and salads -- I've decided to work harder at liking it. And, as it's so nutritious, I'm making a special effort to incorporate cabbage into our diet more often, starting with soups and stir-fry dishes. Serve this tofu stir-fry over white or brown rice.

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December 10, 2013

Quick and easy Thai curry coconut soup recipe with tofu and vegetables

Quick and easy Thai green curry coconut soup (dairy free).

Every Monday at lunch time, my husband Ted surprises his office staff with soup I made on the weekend. I can't remember exactly when this Monday soup ritual began, but I love it, because I am a Sunday soup maker, a big pot soup maker, and always cook far more than the two of us need. Inspired by whatever is in the pantry, and leftovers from the weekend's cooking, I begin tossing ingredients into the stock pot. Most often, there's no plan; in this case, I knew at the outset that I wanted to make a quick and easy spicy Thai curry coconut soup. With tofu in the refrigerator, the decision to go meatless was a no-brainer. Leftover chicken or turkey, or shredded rotisserie chicken, would be a fine addition. Both coconut milk and tofu stand ready to absorb any flavors from the surrounding soup, so make sure you use enough fragrant Thai green curry paste, fresh lime and cilantro. (I like the Maesri and Mae Ploy brands of curry paste, which are all-natural.) This dairy-free soup will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator, in a container with a tight-fitting lid.

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March 12, 2013

Recipe for Thai red curry tofu and broccoli with basmati rice

Thai red curry tofu and broccoli, easy restaurant take-out to make at home.

My husband Ted, more than three-and-a-half decades into our life together, still doesn't understand the very specific food cravings I get from time to time. I don't want chocolate; I want a Hershey's milk chocolate bar. Or shrimp salad, or Wheat Thins, or ice cold cantaloupe. (Am I the only one who craves?) At least a couple of times a month, I absolutely must have a quick-and-easy Thai curry. I can't explain it, and I never know when the craving will strike, so I make sure my pantry is always up to the task. With a tub of red curry paste in the refrigerator and cans of coconut milk in the cupboard, I toss in whatever protein and vegetables I have on hand, for color and texture. I make rice in the rice cooker, up to a few hours in advance, so this Thai red curry tofu and broccoli with basmati rice comes together in less than 30 minutes.

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April 1, 2012

Broccoli tofu stir-fry recipe with brown rice


Are you old enough to have one of those hippie-dippie days, when you listen to Rubber Soul (on Pandora), throw on a poncho (or a hoodie), go shopping in your Earth Shoes (Birkenstocks?), and get an irrational craving for "health food"? I had one of those 1960s days recently, which might have inspired this broccoli tofu-stir fry with brown rice. I used to cook something just like this on a hot plate in my college dorm room. This stir-fry packs a double whammy of broccoli (florets, and store-bought broccoli slaw), along with healthy soy tofu, ginger and brown rice. Peanuts add crunch, and sesame oil bumps up the nutty flavor. My friend Bob and I had leftovers for lunch the next day; by then, my hippie mood had passed, but the stir-fry was as good as ever.

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  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my tiny kitchen in Boston's South End, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives. Thanks so much for visiting.

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