Wednesday, 13 July 2011


It can be difficult to cook in the summertime, mainly because we want to avoid having the stove on as much as possible--I cannot wait until R and I own a barbecue! It can be especially tough battling the smoggy, summer city heat when you don't have air conditioning--again, I cannot wait until R and I have a barbecue!

With no barbecue and no air conditioning, R and I like to keep rising cooking temperatures to a minimum. However, with no cooking at all, salads and sandwiches can get a little boring. Alas, we turn to our friend, the stove/oven in hopes that she can offer us something more exciting.

To ward off high heat, I've been trying to use the broiler more and more to cook meat and roast vegetables (purpose: it doesn't require a lot of time, so the oven is on and off in no more than 20 minutes). However, as an alternative to fast and therefore less-time-with-the-heat-on roasting, a good stir fry can be a quick, healthy, and delicous meal.

Take, for instance, my lunch yesterday:

It's nice to switch things up, and this stir fry served with rice or your favourite
grain makes a nutritious and balanced meal.

Sweet & Spicy Tofu Stir Fry

4 oz. extra firm tofu, sliced in 1-cm thick sticks
1/2 sweet bell pepper, julienne
1/4 cup carrots, julienne
extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. agave nectar
1 tbsp. soy sauce
pinch of crushed red chili flakes
2 slices jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)
minced cilantro (optional)

1. Heat a pan on medium-high heat. Drizzle pan with olive oil (enough so the tofu won't stick--if using a non-stick skillet, add a bit of oil anyway to flavour tofu and veggies) and add tofu. Heat through, turning, until tofu is a golden brown.

2.Once tofu is heated through and golden, remove from pan and set aside. Add sliced peppers and carrots to the pan, lower heat to medium. Cook through, constantly moving the vegetables around so as not to burn or overcook them. Once vegetables are tender, remove from heat.

3. In a bowl, arrange vegetables and tofu on 1 cup rice (I like brown or wild rice). In a separate small bowl, mix agave, soy sauce, and red chili flakes. Adjust the flavour of the sauce to your liking. Pour sauce over tofu, vegetables, and rice. Garnish with minced jalapeno pepper and/or cilantro, and enjoy!

Serves 1.

Try This: In place of tofu, try boneless skinless chicken or turkey breast. Also, as this is a basic stir fry, feel free to use any vegetables you like--some of my favourites are peppers, bean sprouts, and bok choy, but you can really use whatever you have on hand!

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