Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Farmers Market Dinner

It's Wednesday which means it's Farmers Market day! Wooo! My goodies, for $10, included a bag of basil, 2 yellow tomatoes, 2 lemon cucumbers, 1 other kind of yellow cucumber I didn't catch the name of, rainbow chard, 1 summer squash and 2 purple bell peppers. Seriously people, you can get a lot of food for just $10 when you shop local - so shop smart!

So we winged dinner and made up our own little stir-fry creation using a bunch of this week and last week's Farmers Market findings and the result was a delicious sweet and spicy Thai-style stir-fry. I just gotta say, since going vegan this past January, I have realized that vegan cooking is SUPER easy. I'm amazed that so many people think it's harder to cook vegan. Our meals generally take less time to cook, are lower in cost, and there's never any fear of getting sick from not cooking something or eating something bad (it's pretty easy to tell when veggies have gone bad!).

I know many of you reading this blog are not vegan, and hey, that's totally ok! But I hope that you'll at the very least try out some of my recipes and the recipes that I try and start thinking about how the cooking part of going vegan is not the difficult part at all (at first it's really just the cheese cravings, but they go away, I promise. Especially after you take the time to learn more about the dairy industry).

Ok - so here's the recipe and dude, you should try it because it's delish and had us saying mmmmm every other bite. So do it. Go cook this up NOW!

Farmers Market Fresh Stir-Fry

1 block of tofu, drained and pressed to remove excess water, then cubed
olive oil or sesame oil
1 yellow onion, sliced into thin strips
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 bell peppers, we used purple
1/2 summer squash, sliced
1/2 zucchini, sliced
1 yellow tomato, sliced, seeds removed
1 red tomato, sliced, seeds removed
A handful of basil leaves
About 2 Tbsp shredded kohlrabi
salt & pepper to taste

2-3 Tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce
3-4 Tbsp Braggs
1 tsp Peanut Oil
1 tsp Brown Sugar
2 drops Liquid Smoke

In a non-stick skillet, dry-fry the tofu (just lay the tofu in the pan without any oil and let it simmer the water out, pressing on the tofu every once in a while to squeeze out more water). Continue to cook until all the sides are browned.

In a wok, saute onion in some oil until they are translucent. Then add veggies in the order listed in the ingredient list, sauteing each one as its added until it's fully cooked.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Then add the cooked tofu and let it sit until you're finished adding veggies to the wok. Once the veggies are cooked and the flavors have melded, dump in the tofu and sauce and mix. Saute for another minute and then remove from heat and serve! You could serve it over rice if you want, but we had fresh corn on the cob and homemade kale chips so we found it wasn't needed.


  1. Wow! You get a lot for $10 at farmer's markets in Maine! Are the veggies organic too? I belong to an organic CSA, and for about $20 a week I don't get that much more than you picked up. I miss the lemon cucumbers - we had those on the farm I interned at last summer. And purple peppers? - I never heard of those (except in the Peter Piper nursery rhyme)!

  2. Oh and as far as the cheese cravings - I read something really interesting in a vegan book once (I can't remember which book it was)....apparently casein in cow and human milk acts as a morphine-like substance to encourage infants to drink more in order to grow and develop. Casein is more concentrated in cheese than most other dairy products, which explains why cheese is more addictive than milk, for example.

  3. You know, I don't always ask and I probably should. Many of the booths have signs advertising that they are organic and I know that several are but can't advertise it because they don't have the money to go through the process of becoming certified yet. It may just be cheaper because it's Maine, lol. Either way, we consider ourselves quite lucky to have such an incredible farm system up here.

    And the cheese - yes! That's really interesting and I didn't know that. I think it's what most people fear when switching from vegetarian to vegan. I was surprised that after about a week of going off of it I was fine. And now, I find, if I'm out with friends and I have some, oh man, my stomach is NOT happy. I've learned my lesson and that rarely happens now lol.

  4. Why am I catching up on your blog the day AFTER the Paris organic farmer's market? Grar. P.S. Veggies are cheaper at the organic farmer's market here than they are non-organic at the supermarket! Yesterday I got plenty of carrots, potatoes, an onion, garlic and some not-terribly-local fair trade bananas for the grand total of 4.50.