Let's be honest, we have all ordered our fair share of Chinese take-out food and we all know that it never ends well for our stomachs. It either leaves you feeling bloated and gassy or sends you straight to see your dear friend John (if you know what we mean). Take-out Chinese food is usually LOADED with sodium and a lot of the food is fried. Yes, even those delicious vegetables! A plate of General Tso’s chicken, for example, is loaded with about 40 percent more sodium and more than half the calories an average adult needs for an entire day! And raise your hand if you ever wondered if you're really eating chicken or if it's some mystery meat...yup, us too.
Now if we are still being honest we have to admit that despite knowing how unhealthy Chinese take-out is, we still crave it time to time. But instead of falling victim to those cravings we've taken matters into our own hands and have started to recreate our favorites. As we know with any type of food, it is always best to make it yourself. This way you get to control the quality of ingredients as well as how much sodium and sugar is being used.
And that is how we came upon this delicious rice bowl of sweet and spicy tofu and veggies. We used fresh, high-quality ingredients and made sure the sodium and sugar levels weren't too high. We also opted to use tofu instead of meat to keep this meal mostly plant-based. Tofu is a great alternative to meat being that it's cholesterol free, low in sodium, and high in protein and contains all eight essential amino acids It is also an excellent source of iron and calcium and the minerals manganese, selenium and phosphorous.
But we believe that not all tofu is created equally. Since soy is one of the most commonly genetically modified foods in the world and tofu being primarily made from soybeans, it is super important that you find a brand that is non-GMO. We personally only buy organic sprouted tofu. Now you may be wondering, "what is the world in the difference?" Simply put, regular tofu is made from whole soybeans, but sprouted tofu is made with sprouted soybeans. When beans or seeds are sprouted they're more nutritious and easier to digest than the regular beans and seeds. Sprouted tofu may be higher in calories and, but it also has double the protein and calcium. So it is a total win in our book! Wildwood Organic is the only company we found that makes sprouted tofu and we found ours at our local Whole Foods.
This stir-fry bowl is totally customizable to your preferences so if you have a favorite veggie feel free to toss it in! Also, the good news is that if you are a complete carnivore and simply can't stand tofu, it is extremely easy to sub chicken in for the tofu. All you have to do is take the tofu out and sauté a boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into small pieces and then add it in when you mix the veggies in with the sauce.
So say goodbye to your favorite Chinese take-out restaurant and say hello to this delicious and healthy stir fry bowl!
8 oz. tofu, cubed
5 oz. shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
3/4 cup asparagus, chopped
2 T sesame oil
2 T arrowroot powder
1 cup of cooked brown rice
1 T arrowroot
1/4 cup low sodium tamari
2 T rice vinegar
2 T sesame oil
1/4 cup honey
1 T minced ginger
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 T sesame oil
1/4 cup honey
1-2 T Sriracha (depending on how spicy you like your food)
White sesame seeds
1.) First make sure to squeeze excess liquid from tofu cubes as well as the bell pepper slices. In a large bowl place tofu, red peppers, mushrooms, and asparagus with 2 T arrowroot and toss, making sure everything is evenly coated with the arrowroot powder.
2.) In a wok or large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of sesame oil on medium-high heat and sauté the tofu veggie mixture about 5-6 minutes until crisp but tender. Transfer onto a plate while you make the sauce.
3.) In a small bowl, add rice vinegar, tamari and 1 tablespoon of arrowroot. Stir to dissolve and set aside.
4.) Add 2 tablespoons of sesame oil to the wok on medium heat. Add minced ginger and garlic and sauté about 30 seconds to a minute. Add honey and bring mixture to a low boil. Reduce heat then add the Sriracha and the contents of the small bowl of rice vinegar, tamari, and dissolved arrowroot. Stirring to mix well and until the sauce starts to thicken.
5.) Toss vegetable/tofu mixture back into the wok and stir to combine with sauce. Serve over brown rice and top with sesame seeds and scallions. Enjoy!