Tuesday, April 3, 2007

General Tso’s Tofu, and Roasted Turnips, Onions, and Garlic

Today I am going to share a couple of recipes that turned out really well. I’ll finish the diet secrets tomorrow.

General Tso’s Tofu

This recipe is based on a similar recipe from VegWeb. I made some changes to lower the calories, substituted a few ingredients (not strictly vegan), and was thoroughly happy with the delicious result. This recipe has lots of flavor and a delicious sauce. The next time I make it I will add some pineapple making it more of a traditional sweet-sour dish.


1 box of firm tofu (I used NaySoya Lite Firm Tofu)
6 T cornstarch (reserve 1 T to thicken sauce)
3 chopped green onions (with green parts too)
1 T grated ginger
1 T pressed garlic
10.5 oz. very low sodium chicken broth (for vegan version, use vegetable broth)
1 T low sodium soy sauce
5 T sugar (or other sweetener)
2 T white wine vinegar
1 red bell pepper coarsely chopped
red pepper to taste

Steamed broccoli (to serve with the main dish)

I prepared the tofu by freezing it overnight (this optional step gives it a chewier texture), let it defrost, and pressed the water out of it between two plastic cutting boards with a weight on top for 30 minutes. I cut the tofu loaf in half from the top and then into eight slices, I cut those slices into four pieces (essentially cubes) making 32 pieces. I put 5 tablespoons of the cornstarch in a press-to-close plastic bag and added the tofu cubes in batches, shaking to coat.

I then sprayed a skillet with olive oil pan spray, heated to medium low, and added the tofu. When one face of the cubes was golden brown, I turned the cubes so eventually all side of the tofu were a golden brown. In another skillet, also sprayed with olive oil pan spray, I tossed the green onions, garlic, ginger, and red bell pepper over medium heat for two minutes and set it aside.

I added the chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar, red pepper, and vinegar to the vegetables. I mixed ¼ C water with 1 T cornstarch and added it stirring well. While the sauce was thickening, I added the browned tofu. I served it with the broccoli over brown rice. Serves 4.

One-fourth recipe (about 8 cubes with sauce) has 174.15 calories, 10.6 g protein, 18.7 g carbohydrates, 2.07 g fat, and 213.46 mg sodium.

Roasted Turnips, Onions, and Garlic

I know of few vegetables that aren’t enhanced by roasting. It seems to enhance their natural flavors. Roasting, and the vinegar, brings out the natural sweetness of the turnips and onions. Accompanied by the onions and garlic, it becomes a robust side dish. I served it with the tofu dish, and found that both recipes reheat well and made a great lunch reheated in the microwave at school. The aroma when it was reheating brought lots of positive comments so you might want to take enough to share. The proportions aren’t critical so you can use what you have on hand. Serves 4.


3 medium turnips peeled and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 medium head garlic
3 small sweet onions cut into wedges
1 t. poultry seasoning
4 T white or balsamic vinegar
ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add turnips, onions, poultry seasoning, and vinegar to a roasting pan and stir to distribute the vinegar and spices. Add the garlic head whole, or if you prefer, simmer the garlic for 7 minutes in water, peel, and add the garlic cloves whole. Roast for about 45 minutes stirring three times and increase the temperature to 425 degrees. Bury the whole garlic head under the vegetables or add the previously prepared garlic and roast until the vegetables are nicely browned. Finish by grinding black pepper to taste, and serve hot.

This dish contains 105.25 calories, 3.3 g protein, 24.26 g carbohydrates, .31 g fat, and 77.75 mg sodium per serving.

When these two dishes are served together with the broccoli, they make a veritable feast that is low-sodium, low-calorie, and very low fat.

Here is my recap for the lst two days.

Daily Dietary Recap-4/1//2007
Calories Protein Carbohydrates SodiumFat % Calories from Fat
1104 63.10 g 154.11 g850.53 mg 14.05 g 11.45%

Daily Dietary Recap-4/2//2007
Calories Protein Carbohydrates SodiumFat % Calories from Fat
1346.98 68.4 g 223.26 g1022.74 mg 14.78 g 9.86%


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