Lazy Woman's Stir-Fry

>> Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Wow. First: THANK YOU! We've had quite a lot of feedback on our reader survey from this morning's post. As always, I appreciate the (sometimes brutal) honesty. We want to make this site as great and useful as it can be for you all. And I'm seeing that the new site design isn't well received. It isn't totally hot over here either, but it's difficult to change quickly, unfortunately.

I was frustrated that the new template had the whole "read more" and click option (some of you mentioned I might be trying to get more clicks -- which isn't actually the case, I just wasn't savvy enough to tool around with the template). Anyway, I was able to somewhat remedy it (still a few kinks) with some crafty trial-and-error editing this afternoon. But I'm still 50/50 on if I want to keep the slider with the featured sections.

Oh, yeah. I want my old banner back, too. I need to figure out HOW to get the header section to take an image of that same size. None of this is your concern. I just want you to know I'm listening. Keep those survey comments coming!

Onto more exciting things. Like this stir-fry.

I call it the "Lazy Woman's Stir-Fry" because despite how much I love to play with sauces and spreads, the secret ingredient that makes this dinner great is this:

Now that we're on a super tight budget (hell, when HAVEN'T we been?), I make almost everything from scratch. Everything. It gets ridiculous when I've whipped up some hummus for lunch and have to "quickly" get a batch of naan going so I have something to eat it with. Or when guests come to our house only to find raw ingredients, no snacks.

My mom told me the other day that the one critique she has of this blog is that my recipes are often too involved for the "normal" cook. I can completely see where she's coming from.

Truth is -- full-time worker or not -- I love to cook. I often whipped up elaborate meals for dinner when I worked a 9-to-5 because I love time in the kitchen. It helps me relax. I love the creation process. It gave me time to think. Now that I'm home all day, you'd think I'd have tons of time. Well, I'm home all day with a baby . . . a baby who's starting to get into everything, all that "time" I have is segmented. I'm discovering I need to find time-saving measures and clever shortcuts more than ever.


What you'll need . . .

  • 1 cake tofu, drained well and cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 2 small heads of broccoli, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup white mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or stir-fry oil, if you have it)
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce

Method . . . 

  1. In a fry pan over high heat, toss in the sesame oil and heat until sizzling. Then lower heat just a bit and add tofu. 
  2. Cook, stirring often to get all sides, until well browned. Set aside. 
  3. In another, larger frying pan or wok -- toss in the olive or stir-fry oil. Then add the onions and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until glassy. 
  4. Add the broccoli and green pepper. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, then add the mushrooms, soy sauce, and sweet chili sauce. 
  5. Stir well and cover for 5 to 7 minutes. Until broccoli is softened, but still slightly crisp. 
  6. Stir in the tofu and cook until warmed. 
  7. Serve immediately. With brown rice!
Some lazy busy woman tricks for this dinner:

  • Cut veggies into chunks on Sunday afternoon. Toss everything you plan to use for a meal in a large zippered bag. Date and label for the week. 
  • Or even consider buying a few pre-sliced and cleaned items -- like mushrooms -- so you can just toss them in. (With mushrooms, I still give them another quick rinse.) 
  • Drain tofu early in the day so it's ready and dry at cooking time. Or just deal with tofu that's slightly soggy. I did the latter. 
  • Cook double so you can enjoy the next night or night after. I'm not a huge leftovers fan, so I wouldn't go beyond the next evening. 
  • As already mentioned -- use a store-bought sauce to flavor. More expensive, yes. But sometimes well worth the extra pennies because you only need very little to flavor an entire meal.
How do you find time to cook yourself/your family quality meals mid-week? I'd love to add to these tips. Just leave a comment or email us at

And don't forget to fill out our reader survey! (And if you have comments on how I changed the main page, send those along, too!)

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