Stir-fry is a fantastic meal-in-a-pinch idea.

Picking and choosing from various veggie tofu stir-fry recipes over the years, I’ve finally combined the best of all with this Meatless Monday hit. Full of nutrient rich vegetables and topped with caramelized tofu (reminiscent of grilled halloumi cheese), the peanut sauce is almost unnecessary (but I love it too much to omit it)! In our house, we serve it with brown rice and chopped iceberg lettuce and call it a veggie bowl.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice (approximately one lime)
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy or tamari sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil (plus more for stir-frying)
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1-4 tbsp water (depending on thickness desired; optional)
  • 12 oz. (340 gram) block of firm or extra firm tofu, blotted dry and cut into large cubes
  • Large skillet-full of fresh veggies (here I have about 3 cups broccoli, one yellow pepper and one red pepper) cut into bite-size chunks
  • Brown rice (optional)
  • Chopped iceberg lettuce (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F and line a baking tray with parchment paper. In a medium bowl (I use a cup-sized glass measuring cup), place peanut butter and honey and microwave long enough to soften, about 10 seconds. Whisk until smooth.
  2. Add in lime juice, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and red pepper flakes and whisk until smooth.
  3. Add water until thick, pourable sauce is created. (I don’t add any water, leaving the sauce closer to paste than pourable liquid.) Pour half the sauce over the cubed tofu in a bowl, and toss to cover the tofu. Allow to sit while oven preheats. (Keep the other half of the sauce. You’ll need it later.) Place the coated tofu cubes on the parchment paper and bake until edges begin to caramelize, about 20 minutes, turning half way through baking time. (My oven runs hot, so I turn each cube over after 10 minutes, and let them bake on the other side another 5 minutes only.) Watch closely as cooking time varies depending on size of the cubes.
  4. Meanwhile, chop your vegetables of choice into bite-size chunks. Heat a large cast-iron skillet or non-stick frying pan with a teaspoon or two of sesame oil over medium-high heat. Depending on veggie choice, you may want to stage slower-cooking veggies ahead of the faster-cooking ones. For example, onions would go on first, stirring for a minute or two, then broccoli, stirring for another 1-2 minutes, then zucchini or peppers. Stir-fry the vegetables, adding a teaspoon of garlic and ginger from a jar part-way through (optional), until the desired crisp-but-not-soft texture happens. Turn off the burner, remove the skillet from the heat, and pour in remaining sauce. Stir to coat. Then add the baked tofu to the skillet.
  5. Garnish with sesame seeds or chopped peanuts and chopped fresh basil if desired. Then divide into 4 bowls along with chopped lettuce and brown rice.

If you have any leftovers (sadly, we rarely do), create a delicious brown bag lunch in a to-go container. Enjoy!

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