Wednesday, October 10, 2012

VeganMoFo Day 10 - Chinese Apricot Stir Fry

As mentioned previously, this is the day of the week we traditionally have what our son calls Chinese Rice, and luckily I found a recipe that fits the bill on the Fuhrman web site that's very similar.

This recipe comes from the book Cholesterol Protection for Life, a book that must have had a limited run because the only place to obtain a copy at a decent price now is to get it as an e-book directly from Dr. Fuhrman's web site. I've seen copies going for over a hundred dollars on and Amazon book vendors. Wow!

Here's the recipe:

Chinese Apricot Stir Fry

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

2 blocks of extra firm tofu, cubed into bite sized pieces
4 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons Dr. Fuhrman's VegiZest
4 teaspoons apricot preserve (100% fruit, no sugar added)
4 tablespoons cooking wine
1 teaspoon Bragg Liquid Aminos
2-3 packages of frozen mixed oriental vegetables
1/2 teaspoon salt free Chinese seasoning

Place 2 tablespoons of water in a pan and add the tofu. Put on medium heat and once the pan is hot, lower the heat. Sprinkle garlic powder over tofu. Turn the tofu frequently at first to prevent sticking. Eventually, the water from the tofu will be released and it won’t have to be turned so frequently. In a cup, mix the VegiZest, apricot preserves, cooking wine, 2 tbsp. water and the Braggs aminos. Sprinkle half of this mixture over the tofu and continue to simmer. Defrost the frozen vegetables in a microwave or steam on stovetop. Once defrosted, add vegetables to the tofu. Sprinkle the remaining sauce over tofu-vegetable mix and add the Chinese seasoning. Continue to simmer until the liquid is largely cooked off.
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As I mentioned in a previous post, the VegiZest is a powdered vegetable product used as a seasoning/soup mix and you can substitute any no-salt-added broth powder or seasoning, like plain Mrs. Dash if you don't have any.

I'm using only one 1-pound block of Nasoya Extra Firm tofu, pressed, because I've found this amount is more than enough for the two of us. 

I don't keep any wine in the house so I use broth.

I'm using 2 different bags of stir-fry mix - one has broccoli, green beans, sugar snap peas, carrots, celery, red pepper, onion and water chestnuts, and the other has broccoli, green beans, carrots, mushrooms, onions and red pepper. Between the 2 I get some G-Bombs and cruciferous veggies.

The closest I can figure the "Chinese seasoning" to be is the Chinese 5-Spice powder, which consists of Szechwan pepper, star anise, fennel seeds, cloves, cinnamon, salt and white pepper. I had a jar of this once and didn't like the taste and tossed it out when it got a few years outdated, and don't plan on buying any more just for this dish. People who commented on the recipe on Dr. Fuhrman's site said they just omitted it, and so will I. 

To make the sauce I put the ingredients in a jar and take my whisk to it to break up the preserves into tiny pieces and make sure everything is well mixed. That VegiZest does like to settle to the bottom if not kept in motion!

Served over brown rice, it's a delicious and filling meal for a cold, dreary day. The apricot sauce taste is similar to the packets of pinkish duck sauce (as opposed to the more yellowish ones that taste more like pears) you get when you order Chinese food delivery but without that cloyingly sweet taste. We used to use jarred duck sauce a lot years asgo when I made our weekly rice and veggie dish, but when it started to contain HFCS in larger and larger quantities we just gave it up and went more for the salty sauces, like soy and teriyaki (both low sodium versions). This is a nice home-made alternative that's quick and easy to make, and don't forget, much healthier.

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