Thursday, April 30, 2009

Jack Quesadillas with Cranberry Salsa

OK, these were surprisingly delicious. I wasn't so sure about the salsa with the cumin in it when I taste tested it by itself. But it is the flavor combination of the quesadilla and salsa together that truly is award winning. We cannot wait to make this again! We substitute leftover chicken for turkey.

Jack Quesadillas with Cranberry Salsa

This salsa is also great on turkey sandwiches. To make meatless quesadillas, use sautéed vegetables in place of the turkey.

1 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 Anjou pear, cored and finely diced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

Cooking spray
1/4 cup (2-inch-thick) slices green onions
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
2 cups chopped cooked turkey
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

To prepare salsa, combine first 7 ingredients. Cover and chill.

To prepare quesadillas, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 1/4 cup sliced onions to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Remove onions from pan; reduce heat to medium. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese over each of 4 tortillas. Top each cheese-covered tortilla with one-fourth of onions, 1/2 cup turkey, 2 tablespoons cheese, and 1 tortilla.

Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add 1 quesadilla to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned and cheese melts. Repeat with remaining quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into 6 wedges. Serve with cranberry salsa and sour cream.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 3 wedges, about 1/4 cup salsa, and 1 tablespoon sour cream)

CALORIES 356 (25% from fat); FAT 9.7g (sat 4.2g,mono 3.5g,poly 1.2g); IRON 2.7mg; CHOLESTEROL 42mg; CALCIUM 218mg; CARBOHYDRATE 47.8g; SODIUM 372mg; PROTEIN 19.4g; FIBER 3g

Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2004

Grilled Herb-Coated Chicken Breasts

Another excellent grilling recipe. The lemon buttermilk herb marinade tasted as good as it sounds. Also, I was able to put together the marinade a day ahead of time so all we had to do when I got home from work was throw it on the grill. I love those nights! We will definitely make this again.

Grilled Herb-Coated Chicken Breasts

Serve these juicy chicken breasts sliced over mixed greens, fanned out next to a grilled vegetable salad, or cold for lunch.

3/4 cup Herbed Lemon-Buttermilk Dressing
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 teaspoon honey
Cooking spray

Combine Herbed Lemon-Buttermilk Dressing and chicken in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour or up to 8 hours, turning bag occasionally.

Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

Remove chicken from marinade, and discard marinade. Sprinkle the chicken evenly with salt and black pepper. Combine fresh parsley, chives, canola oil, and honey, stirring well. Spoon herb mixture evenly over tops of chicken breast halves. Place chicken, herb side down, on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 8 minutes each side or until done.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half)

CALORIES 222 (15% from fat); FAT 3.8g (sat 0.7g,mono 1.4g,poly 1.2g); IRON 1.5mg; CHOLESTEROL 99mg; CALCIUM 44mg; CARBOHYDRATE 4.6g; SODIUM 540mg; PROTEIN 40g; FIBER 0.3g

Cooking Light, AUGUST 2005

Herbed Lemon-Buttermilk Dressing

This all-purpose dressing is similar to ranch dressing. It's great as a marinade on chicken, dressing on salad, and dip with cut-up vegetables.

This recipe goes with Grilled Herb-Coated Chicken Breasts

3/4 cup fat-free buttermilk
1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced

Combine all ingredients, stirring with a whisk until dressing is well blended.

Note: Refrigerate dressing in an airtight container for up to five days; stir well before using.

Yield: 1 1/4 cups (serving size: 1 tablespoon)

CALORIES 12 (23% from fat); FAT 0.3g (sat 0.0g,mono 0.1g,poly 0.2g); IRON 0.0mg; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 13mg; CARBOHYDRATE 1.9g; SODIUM 89mg; PROTEIN 0.4g; FIBER 0.1g

Cooking Light, AUGUST 2005

Weeknight Grill Special

Here's a simple, healthy, and balanced grilling menu that's good for any night of the week. The chicken marinade was not out of this world but the flavors were simple and worked together.

Herbed-Grilled Tomatoes

Prep: 12 minutes; Cook: 10 minutes.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 medium tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon grated fresh Parmesan cheese (optional)
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

1. In a wide, shallow bowl, combine the olive oil and next 5 ingredients (through pepper).

2. Add tomatoes, and turn to coat them on all sides.

3. Prepare grill.

4. Place tomatoes, cut sides down, on the grill rack. Brush once with remaining marinade, and then discard marinade. Grill about 5-7 minutes on each side over medium-high heat or until tomatoes begin to blister, soften, and brown. (They can burn easily, so keep an eye on them.)

5. Remove the tomatoes from grill, and top with Parmesan cheese, if desired, and parsley. Serve immediately.

Yield: Makes 4 servings (serving size: 2 tomato halves)

CALORIES 60 ; FAT 4g (sat 1g,mono 3g,poly 1g); CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 18mg; CARBOHYDRATE 7g; SODIUM 79mg; PROTEIN 1g; FIBER 2g; IRON 0.0mg

Health, JUNE 2007

Skewers of Rosemary Chicken and Zucchini

If using wooden skewers, soak them in lemon juice for 30 minutes before grilling. This moistens the skewers so they don't char during grilling, and it infuses the food with more flavor from the inside out.

2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 pounds zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
Cooking spray

Place rind, rosemary, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1 teaspoon garlic in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken; seal bag and refrigerate 1 hour.

Prepare grill.

Combine 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon garlic, juice, salt, and pepper, stirring with a whisk.

Thread chicken and zucchini alternately onto each of 12 (12-inch) skewers. Place kebabs on grill rack coated with cooking spray, and grill 12 minutes or until chicken is done, turning once. Drizzle with juice mixture.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2 skewers)

CALORIES 183 (30% from fat); FAT 6.1g (sat 1g,mono 3.7g,poly 0.8g); IRON 1.4mg; CHOLESTEROL 66mg; CALCIUM 38mg; CARBOHYDRATE 4.1g; SODIUM 370mg; PROTEIN 27.4g; FIBER 1.4g

Cooking Light, JUNE 2002

Red Wine Beef Stew with Potatoes and Green Beans

This stew is delicious and so economical. The rosemary red wine combo is such a a complimentary flavour that adds depth to this simple comfort food. This has become my go to beef stew recipe inspired by Dave Lieberman of the Food Network.

Red Wine Beef Stew with Potatoes and Green Beans

Recipe courtesy Dave Lieberman

Making an amazing stew is a whole lot simpler than most people figure. After you brown up your beef, all you basically have to do is throw a bunch of tasty ingredients in a pot and let it do its thing. Adding green beans at the end of cooking freshens up the stew and their snap is cool. You can make it completely in advance, as far as 2 days ahead of time. Just refrigerate it right in the pot and reheat it over low heat. You?ll have to stir in a cup or so of water because the stew will have thickened up. (Do the water thing if you?re reheating leftover stew too.) I use butter to brown the beef because it adds richness to the stew and makes for a creamier gravy. But you can substitute any type of oil for the butter if you want. Pretty much any decent red wine will do for stew; I like using Burgundy or Cabernet Sauvignon but the basic rule is that as long as you?d be happy drinking what you?re cooking with you?re in good shape.


  • 2 pounds beef chuck for stew, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled, halved and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 3 small onions, diced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans reduced-sodium beef or chicken broth
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 medium russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 handfuls green beans, ends trimmed


Season the beef cubes lightly with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy 6-quart pot over medium heat. As soon as the butter starts to turn brown, add half the beef and raise the heat to high. At first, the beef will give off some liquid, but once that evaporates, the beef will start to brown. Cook, turning the beef cubes on all sides until the pieces are as evenly browned as possible, about 5 or 6 minutes after the water has boiled off. If the pan starts to get too brown at any point, just turn down the heat a little. Scoop the beef into a bowl and brown the rest of the beef the same way using the remaining butter.

Scoop out the second batch of beef, then add the carrots and onions and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook until the onion starts to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour until it has been worked into the veggies and you can’t see it any more. Pour in the chicken broth, wine, and crushed tomatoes, and toss in the rosemary. Slide the beef back into the pot and bring the liquid to a boil.

Turn down the heat so the liquid is just breaking a gentle simmer. Partially cover the pot and cook 50 minutes. Stir the stew several times while simmering so it cooks evenly and nothing sticks to the bottom.

Stir the potatoes into the stew, cover the pot completely, and cook until the potatoes and beef are tender, stirring occasionally, about another 45 minutes. Add the beans and cook for another 5 minutes until the green beans turn bright green and are cooked through but still have a nice snap to them.

Turkey and Cranberry Port Wine Sauce

The sauce was pretty good but the turkey did get a little dried out. Not sure how you could correct that.

Turkey and Cranberry Port Wine Sauce

Use cranberry sauce left over from your holiday meal to make this easy supper. The recipe calls for shallots, which have a milder, sweeter flavor than onions. A sweet onion will work, as well.

1 tablespoon canola oil
4 (4-ounce) turkey breast cutlets
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup chopped shallots
2/3 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
1/4 cup port wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Whole sage leaves (optional)

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle turkey with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add turkey to pan; cook 5 minutes on each side or until done. Transfer turkey to a plate.

Melt butter in pan. Add shallots; sauté for 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium; stir in cranberry sauce, wine, chopped sage, vinegar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook 2 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.

Return turkey to pan. Cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Serve with sauce. Garnish with sage leaves, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cutlet and 1/4 cup sauce)

CALORIES 276 (23% from fat); FAT 6.9g (sat 1.7g,mono 3.2g,poly 1.1g); IRON 1.7mg; CHOLESTEROL 53mg; CALCIUM 16mg; CARBOHYDRATE 21.5g; SODIUM 428mg; PROTEIN 28.4g; FIBER 0.8g

Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2005

Santa Maria Smoked Tri-Tip

This was nothing short of remarkable. The salsa was decent but really wasn't needed. The meat was so flavorful and smokey just by itself. We will definitely make this again but without the salsa.

Santa Maria Smoked Tri-Tip

Flavorful tri-tip steak is a cut of beef also known as bottom sirloin or sirloin tip. Compared to other styles of barbecue, this recipe comes together quickly, making it ideal for a weeknight, as well as special dinners.

3 cups hickory wood chips
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 (2 1/4-pound) tri-tip steak, trimmed
Cooking spray
2 cups Santa Maria Salsa
Cilantro sprigs (optional)

Soak wood chips in water 1 hour; drain well.

Combine salt, pepper, and garlic powder; sprinkle evenly over steak. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

Remove grill rack; set aside. Prepare grill, heating one side to high and one side to medium. Place wood chips on hot coals on medium-heat side of grill; heat wood chips 10 minutes. Coat grill rack with cooking spray; place on grill.

Lightly coat steak with cooking spray. Place steak on grill rack over high-heat side of grill; grill 6 minutes, turning 3 times. Place steak on grill rack over medium-heat side of grill; grill 40 minutes or until a thermometer registers 140° (medium-rare) or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steak from grill; let stand 10 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Serve with Santa Maria Salsa; garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Wine note: Tri-tip from California's Santa Ynez Valley goes naturally with a full-throttle merlot from the same region. Gainey Merlot 2004 (Santa Ynez Valley, California), $26, is plush and plummy, with enough structure to stand up to the steak, the char-smokiness of the wood chips, and the pungency of the salsa. --Karen MacNeil

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 3 ounces steak and 1/4 cup salsa)

CALORIES 259 (46% from fat); FAT 13.1g (sat 4.8g,mono 6.9g,poly 0.5g); IRON 3.9mg; CHOLESTEROL 66mg; CALCIUM 26mg; CARBOHYDRATE 2.6g; SODIUM 544mg; PROTEIN 30.9g; FIBER 0.7g

Cooking Light, JULY 2007

Curried Beef and Onions

This is another long time favorite of ours. It's cheap, simple to make, and can be made year round. It also smells delicious while it's cooking.

Curried Beef and Onions


1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
2 cups vertically sliced onion
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 cups hot cooked basmati rice
Cilantro sprigs (optional)

Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add steak, and sauté 3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add ginger, garlic, and jalapeño; sauté 1 minute. Add onion, curry, and coriander; sauté 4 minutes. Add tomatoes, and simmer 1 minute or until liquid almost evaporates.

Remove from heat, and cool slightly. Stir in yogurt. Serve over rice. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup steak mixture and 1/2 cup rice)

CALORIES 408 (30% from fat); FAT 13.6g (sat 5.2g,mono 5.1g,poly 1.7g); IRON 5.1mg; CHOLESTEROL 56mg; CALCIUM 116mg; CARBOHYDRATE 43.2g; SODIUM 418mg; PROTEIN 27.5g; FIBER 3g

Cooking Light, JANUARY 2003

Warm Apple-Buttermilk Custard Pie

I can't believe we didn't get a picture of this. We never bake in our house but I happened to have an extra pie crust in the freezer since I had gotten a package of two when we made the vegetable and goat cheese tart a while back. Well, I definitely picked a winner of a recipe. This was delicious! Hard to believe it's a cooking light recipe.

Warm Apple-Buttermilk Custard Pie

The key to both a flaky piecrust and crisp streusel topping is to keep them as cold as possible before putting them into the oven.

1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
Cooking spray

1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces

5 cups sliced peeled Granny Smith apple (about 2 pounds)
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 3/4 cups fat-free buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325º.

To prepare crust, roll dough into a 14-inch circle; fit into a 9-inch deepdish pie plate coated with cookig spray. Fold edges under; flute. Place pie plate in refrigerator until ready to use.

To prepare streusel, lightly spoon 1/3 cup flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 1/3 cup flour, brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Place streusel in refrigerator.

To prepare the filling, heat a large nonstrick skillet coated with cookig spray over medium heat. Add sliced apple, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; cook 10 minutes or until the apple is tender, sitrring mixture occasionally. Spoon the apple mixture into prepared crust.

Combine remaining 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, salt, and eggs, stirring with a whisk. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla. Pour over apple mixture. Bake at 325º for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300º (do not remove pie from oven); sprinkle streusel over pie. Bake at 300º for 40 minutes or until set. Let stand 1 hour before serving.

Yield: 10 servings

CALORIES 317 (29% from fat); FAT 10.1g (sat 4.6g,mono 3g,poly 1.2g); IRON 0.8mg; CHOLESTEROL 76mg; CALCIUM 73mg; CARBOHYDRATE 52.6g; SODIUM 230mg; PROTEIN 5g; FIBER 1.3g

Cooking Light, MARCH 2003

Parmesan Chicken Paillards with Cherry Tomato Sauce

I'm not into breaded chicken, but chicken crusted in Parmesan? That I can get behind! This was a very simple and tasty weeknight meal and kept surprisingly well as reheated leftovers. The only real substitution we made was using red wine vinegar in place of the sherry vinegar since the only sherry vinegar we could find in the entire valley was $14 a bottle. Ridonculous! Still tasted great to me. Serve with a simple side salad.

Parmesan Chicken Paillards with Cherry Tomato Sauce

Paillards are boneless, skinless chicken breasts pounded flat and sautéed. A crust of Parmesan adds flavor. The sauce combines savory marinara sauce (which Aaron loves) with the freshness of cherry tomatoes. Serve with green beans and orzo with parsley.

4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
Cooking spray
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 cups quartered cherry tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Combine cheese and flour in a shallow dish. Dredge 1 side of each chicken breast half in cheese mixture.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 chicken breast halves, cheese side down; cook 4 minutes on each side or until done. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 teaspoon oil and chicken breast halves. Remove from pan; keep warm.

Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in broth and vinegar; cook 1 minute or until liquid almost evaporates. Add tomatoes, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and oregano; cook 2 minutes.

Wine note: These chicken breasts have a piquant Italian flavor. I love to serve them with an Italian red made from the sangiovese grape. Try the incredible Marchesi di Frescobaldi "Campo ai Sassi" Rosso di Montalcino 2004 (Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy), $20. -Karen MacNeil

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half and about 1/3 cup tomato mixture)

CALORIES 264 (20% from fat); FAT 5.9g (sat 1.8g,mono 2.6g,poly 0.9g); IRON 1.6mg; CHOLESTEROL 102mg; CALCIUM 95mg; CARBOHYDRATE 7.4g; SODIUM 504mg; PROTEIN 42.6g; FIBER 1.3g

Cooking Light, MARCH 2007

Lemon-Glazed Cranberry Rolls

These were super fun to make but I definitely screwed up the glaze. Measure and follow the directions exactly on this. It's hard to tell the true taste since they were covered in soggy lemon juice, but I did enjoy the use of the cranberries. The roll itself was a little bland but now that I've found a really tasty refrigerated pizza dough at Fresh & Easy I would be interested to give these another try.

Lemon-Glazed Cranberry Rolls


1 (10-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
1/2 cup orange marmalade
2/3 cup dried cranberries
Vegetable cooking spray
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon hot water

Preheat oven to 375°. Unroll pizza dough, and pat into a 12 x 9-inch rectangle. Spread marmalade over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle cranberries over marmalade, pressing gently into dough. Beginning with a long side, roll up jelly-roll fashion; pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends of roll). Cut roll into 12 (1-inch) slices. Place slices, cut sides up, in muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until golden. Remove rolls from pan, and place on a wire rack.

Combine powdered sugar, lemon juice, and hot water in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. Drizzle icing over warm rolls.

Note: Substitute 1/3 cup apple jelly for the orange marmalade and 2/3 cup raisins for the cranberries, if desired.

Yield: 12 rolls (serving size: 1 roll)

CALORIES 155 (6% from fat); FAT 1g (sat 0.3g,mono 0.0g,poly 0.0g); IRON 0.3mg; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 15mg; CARBOHYDRATE 34.7g; SODIUM 229mg; PROTEIN 2.9g; FIBER 3g

Cooking Light, MARCH 1996

Hoisin-Drenched Tofu and Stir-Fried Vegetables

This recipe had it's merits, but without a second thought I would not make it again. Still, it's worth sharing as I did learn a few things. Don and I do love hoisin, and I have been trying to find new ways to use tofu since it's such a cheap and sustainable source of protein. However, I've found much better hoisin sauce recipes out there, and the preparation involved was soooo not necessary. I really did not find any better flavor our texture out of the extra time spent marinating and baking the tofu prior to going into the stir fry. It would have done just as well stirfrying regularly and then adding the sauce at the end. The one thing you do want to do though is drain your tofu ahead of time which I show you how to do in another blog post How to Cook Tofu and Like It. On the other hand, the flavors and stir fry components do to well together, just not outstanding and not worth the effort. This would make a great base recipe though and you can even buy a ready made hoisin sauce at the grocery store to save some time though it will probably not be as low calorie.

Hoisin-Drenched Tofu and Stir-Fried Vegetables

A vibrantly seasoned marinade of hoisin sauce and five-spice powder is baked into the tofu, so the flavor really sinks in. Select the firm water-packed tofu, which stands up to stir-frying. Use your largest skilled for this dish.

3/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/3 cup sake (rice wine)
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
3/4 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 1/2 pounds firm water-packed tofu, drained and cut into (1/2-inch thick) slices

3 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped green onion bottoms
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons chile paste with garlic
1 1/2 cups red bell pepper strips
1 1/2 cups yellow bell pepper strips
1/2 pound snow peas, trimmed
2 tablespoons sake (rice wine) or sherry
2 cups (1-inch) sliced green onion tops
4 1/2 cups hot cooked jasmine rice

To prepare tofu, combine first 6 ingredients, stirring well with a whisk. Arrange tofu in a single layer on a foil-lined jelly roll pan; pour hoisin mixture over tofu, turning tofu to coat. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Bake tofu mixture at 375° for 35 minutes. Discard marinade.

To prepare stir-fry, combine 3 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, sugar, and 1 teaspoon sesame oil.

Heat olive oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add green onion bottoms, 2 tablespoons garlic, and chile paste; stir-fry 15 seconds. Add bell peppers; stir-fry 1 minute. Add peas and 2 tablespoons sake; cook 3 minutes or until peas are tender, stirring constantly. Add tofu, soy sauce mixture, and green onion tops; toss gently to combine. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve over rice.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup stir-fry and 3/4 cup rice)

CALORIES 427 (28% from fat); FAT 13.4g (sat 2g,mono 4.8g,poly 5.3g); IRON 5.2mg; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 170mg; CARBOHYDRATE 57.4g; SODIUM 736mg; PROTEIN 18.7g; FIBER 5.5g

Cooking Light, AUGUST 2003