Pepper Garlic Vegetable Tofu Stirfry

One of the participant of the South Arm Women Community Kitchen asked for stir fry recipes as her stir fry usually comes out bland.

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So, Michelle shared the above Pepper Garlic Vegetable Tofu Stir fry in this session.

Michele shared the following article from EatingWell.com:

You can get what your body needs just by eating a colourful variety of fruits and vegetables. Nature has found a clever way to highlight the nutrients in foods. Different nutrients actually impart different colours to the foods they’re in.

For instance,

  • the anthocyanins that turn blueberries blue can also keep your mind sharp.
  • the lycopene that turns watermelon and tomatoes red may also help protect against prostate and breast cancers.
  • the beta carotene that makes carrots and sweet potatoes orange can help keep your bones strong, your eyes healthy and boost your immune system.

While fresh fruits and vegetables are great in season, frozen ones are convenient to keep on hand and just as nutritious.

Ingredients

This is her general formula of stir fry:

Protein + Onion + Green Vegetable + colourful vegetable + homemade sauce + some crunchy topping

  • Protein: pressed tofu, chicken or beef
  • Onion: yellow, white or green onion (both green and white parts)
  • Substantial green vegetable: broccoli, bok choy or gai lan
  • Colourful vegetable: bell peppers, carrots, celery, mushrooms, frozen peas or edammame
  • Crunchy topping: cashews, almonds, sesame seed

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Ingredients for the Pepper Garlic Stirfry Sauce

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper or more to taste
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger

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This recipe is easily adapted to the vegetables and protein you have on hand. It is a great way to use up the leftover vegetables in the fridge at the end of the week.

The stir fry can be served with steamed rice or noodles. This recipe yields about 4 to 6 cups of stir fry vegetables.

Source: South Arm Women Community Kitchen

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Simple Sauteed Chard

Michelle shared another not so common vegetable in the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club; Chard.

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Chard really tends to cook down significantly, so start with a huge pile of greens.

Ingredients

  • 2 large bunches of chard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (not the powdered version)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup (or a touch of tomato sauce or a tomato, chopped)

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Notes on preparing chard:
Let chard soak in water for a few minutes and swish around to remove debris. Rinse.
Rip stems from leaves. Separate into stems and leaves. Finely cut stems. Roughly chop leaves.
Cooking the stems for a few minutes before the leaves makes them much more tender. Small, tender chard stems do not need this treatment and can be roughly chopped and cooked with the greens.
Source: South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club

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Brussels Sprouts Stir Fry with Onion and Mustard Seeds

The second Brussels sprouts dish demonstrated in the Gilmore Park Church community kitchen was a warm side dish.

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How do we maintain a vibrant green on Brussels sprouts when cooking them?

Ingredients

  • 8 cups (about 2 pounds/1 kg)  small Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper each
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

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Source: this recipe is adapted from Canadian Living

Serves 6

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Swiss Chard and Mushroom Stir Fry

The second dish that Minoo prepared for the South Arm Community Kitchen is a stir fry vegetable dish that incorporated Swiss Chard. Swiss Chard is a fall vegetable but it is easily available in winter in the groceries stores. This is a hardy and versatile vegetable that can be used in soup or stir fry. It is rich in dietary fiber. It is high in vitamin A, K and C.

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We love the color of this stir fry dish, which is very Christmasy. The sesame seeds add crunch and nuttiness to it.

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches Swiss chard
  • 1 sweet red or yellow pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped mushroom
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • soy sauce to taste

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Source: Minoo

The other 2 recipes had been covered before; i.e. Salmon and Potato Chowder and Oatmeal Blueberry Muffin.

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Sesame Green Beans

Minoo prepared a second side dish to go with the pasta. This week’s recipes were mostly vegetables which is a good thing.

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The Sesame Green Beans are aromatic with sesame oil and the sesame seeds add nuttiness and texture to this simple stir fry vegetable dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans, washed and trimmed
  • olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons or more sesame seeds (a handful)
  • soy sauce to taste

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Source: via Minoo

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Ian Lai’s Healthy Asian Cooking: Broccoli and Beef Stir Fry

Are you overwhelmed when you shop at the sauces aisle in Chinese groceries? I am. There are so many types of sauces that even as a Chinese I have not try all of them.

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Ian Lai shared some of the more common sauces that he uses in the Healthy Asian Cooking workshop. They include soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, hot bean sauce,  etc.

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One of the sauces that stands out is the Korean Gochujang Hot Pepper Paste because Ian Lai said it is MSG free. As for soy sauce, the Japanese Tamari is also MSG free.

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The last recipe in the Healthy Asian Cooking is Broccoli and Beef. Ian’s Lai take for the popular Broccoli and Beef you find in Chinese restaurants is very different. He cooks the beef separately and he added multigrains and goji berries into this dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 flank steak
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into flowerets, slice stem to same bite size so that they cook evenly
  • 1 package of snow peas
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, rough chopped
  • 1 bunch of green onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch of water crest, rough chopped
  • 1 handful of goji berries, re-hydrated in cold water for a few minutes until plump
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 whole garlic clove
  • 2 slices of ginger

Marinate for flank steak

  • salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1 big tablespoon Gochujang
  • 1 big  tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar

Sauce

  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1/2 block of soft tofu
  • 1/4 teaspoon of togarashi (Japanese spice mix)
  • salt to taste

Grains

  • 2 cups of multigrains
  • 3 cups of water

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The above is the package of multigrains that Ian used. You can get them from T&T or Osaka Supermarket. The 2 kg package costs around $1o to $12.

It’s a very cultural thing for Chinese to eat steamed white rice with dishes. The rice is usually washed a number of times until the water runs clear. Ian shared with us that their family gradually changed to not washing the rice as it’s his daughter’s responsibility to cook rice. After much complaints, they forgo the washing of the rice. Nowadays, they try to eat other grains instead of white rice. White rice has the least nutrients as all the good nutrients have been polished away.

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Ian Lai’s Healthy Asian Cooking: Garlic Green Bean

In the Healthy Asian Cooking, Ian Lai described the Chinese cooking as lots of greens and a little meat. Chinese likes to cook with quick stir fry which is quite oily in the sense of splattering and strong odour. That the reason why in many Chinese homes, they have two kitchens where one of the kitchen is located outside the house for stir frying.

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Chinese likes to use lots of green vegetables like mustard green, sweet peas, snow peas, green beans, broccoli, water crest, green onions, cilantro, etc.

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Here is the recipe for the Garlic Green Bean:

Ingredients

  • 1 pound green beans
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 slices of ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon pf togarashi (a Japanese Spice Mix)

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The above is the bottle of the Togarashi. You can click on image to view it larger.

Togarashi is typically made of coarsely ground red chili pepper, ground sichuan pepper, roasted orange peel, black and white sesame seeds, hemp seed, ground ginger and seaweed.

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Ian Lai’s Healthy Asian Cooking: Potato Noodle with Mustard Green and Chinese Sausage

The Richmond Food Security Society organised a Healthy Asian Cooking workshop in conjunction with the Asian Heritage Month celebrations. The 2 days workshop is hosted by Chef Ian Lai. Chef Ian Lai is a Chinese who grew up in South Africa. Chef Ian Lai told us that he became more comfortable with the Chinese culture only after he came over to Canada which is very cosmopolitan.

The Chinese culture evolves around the kitchen. Whether it’s a birthday, baby full moon, marriage and even funeral will evolved around food. Besides his Chinese background, Ian Lai is married to a Japanese lady. Therefore, his cooking is more of a global Asian cooking and not traditional Chinese cooking.

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Ian Lai prepared 3 recipes for the workshop. The first recipe is Potato Noodle with Mustard Greens and Chinese Sausage.

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The Potato Noodle with Mustard Greens and Chinese Sausage is more like a salad noodle dish. I did not have the step by step picture of this recipe. But here is the what I learned from the workshop.

Ian Lai likes to use potato noodle because the noodle remain soft even the next day, unlike other noodle which will harden if leave overnight. Ian Lai likes to prepare extra food so that he can used them for lunch or dinner the next day.

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The Potato Noodle Salad dish has a distinctive flavour which comes from the hot bean sauce as shown above. It is fermented soy bean or broad bean and you can get them spicy or plain version.

Here’s the recipe for the Potato Noodle with Mustard Greens and Chinese Sausage: Continue reading

Chinese Assorted Vegetable Stir Fry

Joanna decided to demonstrate a Chinese Assorted Vegetable Stir Fry at the Caring Place Community Kitchen when approached by Minoo. She told us that she just watched this stir fry recipe on the TV and want to put it to practice. Joanna had demonstrated Fried Magu Rice Vermicelli in this kitchen earlier.

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This Chinese Assorted Vegetable Stir Fry is a vegetarian dish. Joanna got the inspiration from another TV show to add lily bulb into the stir fry.

Ingredients

  • 2 carrots, peel and thinly slice
  • a small bag of snow pea, destring and cut into half
  • a handful of dry lily bulb, soak in cold water overnight
  • 6 to 8 fresh shiitake mushroom, slice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 green onion, green part only, slice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • salt to taste

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If you use dried shiitake mushroom, you will need to reconstituted in warm water for 2 hours.

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Dry lily bulb can be bought from Chinese herbal or groceries stores. Fresh lily bulb is also available from Chinese groceries stores. Lily bulb looks like garlic and the bulb is made with layers that resemble onion. It is a crunchy texture.

According to Joanna, lily bulb is good for the skin, cancer control and prevent inflammation. From my earlier post on Ching Po Leung, lily bulb benefit includes moisten the lung, cooling the body, stop cough and sore throat, lower fever, etc.

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Joanna came from the province of Jiang Xi, China. Joanna told us her province has beautiful mountains. Her village has a small river but the people there do not like picnic at the river because there is no facilities like picnic table and toilet.  The villagers have rice fields and raise their own chicken, grow their own vegetables and fishing for food. She said the life there is hard as there is not enough food. When asked if she misses her hometown, she said she usually feels homesick during Chinese festivals like Chinese New Year, Ching Ming, Dragon Boat Festival and Moon Cake Festival.

Source: Joanna

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Indian Cauliflower (Phool Gobi)

Santoosh shared three Indian recipes in the Caring Place Community Kitchen. We were very eager to learn from Santoosh. We love to cook ethnic food. Such demonstrations broaden our knowledge on the multicultural cuisines we find in Vancouver.

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The three recipes were Indian Cauliflower, Dal Mong and Indian Roti. These are her staple food.

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Santoosh is seen here demonstrating how to make Indian Roti. I will not blog about how to make roti because I had blogged about how to make roti here.

Can you guess how old is Santoosh? We were surprised when she told us she will be 80 years soon. Her secret to have such good complexion is to apply milk on her face daily 30 minutes before she takes her bath. She also shared with us that she eats a clove of raw garlic daily and she incorporates lots of garlic and onions in her cooking. She never had a cold for the longest time.

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The above is an Indian Cauliflower dish that Santoosh shared called Phool Gobi. The bright yellow colour comes from turmeric.  Cauli in from Latin which means cabbage. Cauliflower is low in fat, high in dietary fiber, folate, water and Vitamin C. Cauliflower contains sulforaphane which protect against cancer. It also contains Indole-3-Carbinol, a chemical that enhances DNA repair and acts as an estrogen antogonist which slow the growth of cancer cells.

Turmeric is used as an anti-inflammatory agent and remedy for gastrointestinal discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders. Some may use turmeric in skin creams as an antiseptic agent for cuts, burns and bruises.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 medium size head of cauliflower, cut into flowerets
  • salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • cinnamon powder for sprinkling

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Source: Santoosh

Serves 4 to 5

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