Broccoli & Tofu Lo-Mein

23 06 2012

Well, my life almost changed drastically the other week. I found a job on Craigslist that I was totally under-qualified for, but thought would be right up my alley. I applied and was basically hired on the spot. Cut to me sweating as a sous chef for a new restaurant in a resort town on opening night. Me apartment-hunting in a part of the country I have always dreamed of living. Culminate in me declining the job and returning to my parents house in the town I grew up in.

Sometimes almost takingĀ that giant life leap is just enough to make you have an epiphone on who you are and where you see yourself. Covered in flour, in my new chef jacket, I realized that I don’t want to be a pizza cook for the rest of my life. Even a glorified one.

So I’m taking a step back, back into my own kitchen, to focus on my recipes, my brewing, and my writing. Here’s hoping that from these things, I can salvage some sort of financially-stable career. Or at least help me into my own house because I really want a cat. All roads lead to cat.

Here’s one of my “I work all the damn time so have no time to grocery shop”-recipes. This lo-mein sauce is now my go-to stir-fry sauce; so easy and quick to make, with stuff that you almost certaintly have hanging around the kitchen. It’s savory, with the perfect level of heat, and drenches the noodles without becoming too absorbed.

Broccoli Lo Mein
Adapted from 365 Easy Vegetarian Recipes

8 oz. of whatever noodle you like (soba, rice noodles, whole wheat spaghetti, whatever)
1 tb. canola oil, divided
1 lb. broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
1 lb. firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cut into 1-inch. pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsps. fresh gingerroot, minced
1 recipe of Lo Mein Sauce (see below)

Prepare noodles according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.

Heat 1 1/2 tsps. oil in a large, heavy pan over high heat. Add broccoli and tofu. Stir-fry about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and ginger and stir-fry 1 minute. Transfer to plate and keep warm. Add remaining oil to pan and heat. Add cooked noodles and stir-fry about 2 minutes or until thoroughly hot. Toss noodles with Lo Mein Sauce.

Lo Mein Sauce

1/4 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsps. rice wine vinegar
2 tsps. sesame oil
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. sugar

Combine ingredients in an airtight container. Shake.

Ginger Cranberry Sauce

1 11 2011

Am I supposed to be posting about cranberry sauces when things like this are going on? Sometimes it’s hard to find your place in the struggle when your passion lies in making yummy-tasties.

I’ve never made a cranberry sauce before. Growing up, I had a hatred for chunky cranberry sauces. It seems that most kids have a problem with textured foods. I wanted that smooth, gelatinous, can-shaped mold. And honestly, I stick by it. On Thanksgiving, give me that tin-scented jello slop. But this sauce is in a whole different ballpark.

Sweet and with a strong backbone of ginger spice, this sauce isĀ ideal served warm over a stack of pumpkin pancakes or mixed into a bowl of oatmeal in the morning; the perfect fall condiment.

Ginger Cranberry Sauce
Adapated from Vegan Brunch

2 cups fresh cranberries
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup sugar
1 tb. ginger, grated
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Mix together cranberries, water and sugar in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Unconver and set simmer until the mixture reduces by half, about 10 minutes or so. Stir frequently. Remove from heat and grate in the ginger. Let cool for at least half an hour, then stir in the maple syrup. Serve warm.