Monday, February 6, 2012

Everyday Kung Pao

Whenever I start chopping vegetables for a stir-fry, which is often, Rick looks at me hopefully, and asks, Kung Pao??? He's so sweet, I hate to say no, but the truth is, my recipe for Kung Powerful Tempeh is a bit labor intensive for a work night. What Rick is really asking for is the flavor of the spicy sauce, and the crunch of peanuts. By swapping out the tempeh for tofu, and skipping the marinating step, this can be a much simpler, faster dish to make. Just mix up the sauce ingredients, chop whatever veggies you have on hand, and make a batch of rice, or stir-fry some leftover rice in with the veggies. A quicker alternative to making rice is to throw on a pot of quinoa. Not only is it a complete protein, it cooks in about 15-20 minutes and tastes great wherever rice is normally used.

OK! So let's have some spicy Kung Pao for dinner tonight! And maybe tomorrow night too. It's that good, and that easy.

Everyday Kung Pao

3 T sesame oil (you can use part hot pepper sesame oil if you have it)
3 T tamari
3 T maple syrup (or agave)
1 T ume plum vinegar (or white or cider vinegar)
3 T grated fresh ginger (or the chopped kind that comes in a jar)
1 lg clove garlic, chopped fine (again, the kind in a jar is good too)
1 T arrowroot powder

Mix sauce ingredients, adding the arrowroot gradually and mixing in well to get the clumps out. Set aside.

1/2-1 cup each: onion, celery, carrot
1-2 cups each: broccoli, greens (kale, chard, spinach, cabbage, etc)

Other Ingredients
1/2-1 package extra firm tofu, crumbled or cut into cubes
1/2-1 cup peanuts
1-2 tsp red pepper flakes to taste
coconut oil for cooking

Heat the coconut oil in a heavy skillet or wok over medium to medium-high heat.
(I use a big cast iron skillet with a glass lid, and on my cheap electric stove, I set it on "6")
Don't let the oil smoke!
Throw in the tofu, peanuts, and red pepper flakes. Stir them around for 1-2 minutes.
Add onion, celery, and carrots, and stir for 1-2 minutes.
Add greens, and stir in till just wilted.
Add broccoli and stir for about 1 minute, until it's bright green.

Pour the sauce over the veggies, but don't stir it yet.
Cover, turn off the heat, and let it steam for 5-10 minutes.
Stir in the sauce to coat the veggies, and serve over rice.