Fresh Start Bariatric Cookbook: Healthy Recipes to Enjoy Favorite Foods After Weight-Loss Surgery

Mixed Vegetable Stir-Fry with Sesame Tofu

SERVES 6

PREP: 15 MINUTES, PLUS 30 MINUTES TO DRAIN / COOK: 25 MINUTES

TOTAL: 1 HOUR, 10 MINUTES

Many patients ask me for tips on getting more vegetables into their diets. It can be difficult post-op because most people tend to tolerate cooked vegetables better than raw vegetables, at least initially. Yet steamed vegetables get boring and bland after a while. Enter this delicious, flavorful stir-fry. And tofu is a great substitute for meat—it’s heart healthy, loaded with protein, and inexpensive, and it soaks up the flavor of all the seasonings it’s cooked in. When you use the extra-firm variety and sauté it, it even has the same texture as meat!

1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu

3 teaspoons sesame oil, divided

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, plus additional for garnish

1 medium bok choy, stems chopped into ½-inch pieces, leaves diced

½ large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 red banana pepper

1 cup chopped broccoli florets

1 cup sugar snap peas

1 cup Quick Stir-Fry Sauce (here)

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

1 Drain the tofu and place it in a paper towel–lined plate or bowl. Cover with several layers of paper towel or a clean dish towel, and set a can on top for added weight. Let the tofu sit for 30 minutes to drain some of its excess water.

2 Place the tofu on a clean cutting board. Halve lengthwise and cut into 1-by-2-inch cubes.

3 In a large nonstick pan over medium heat, heat 1½ teaspoons of sesame oil.

4 When the oil is very hot, add the tofu cubes and cook until lightly browned on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes. During the last 2 minutes, add the sesame seeds and stir frequently to prevent them from burning. Transfer the tofu and sesame seeds to a bowl and set aside.

5 In the same pan over medium heat, add the remaining 1½ teaspoons of sesame oil. Once the oil is very hot, add the bok choy, red bell pepper, banana pepper, broccoli, and snap peas. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are crisp-tender.

6 Add the stir-fry sauce and tofu to the pan, and stir to coat the tofu and vegetables.

7 Serve the stir-fry garnished with the cilantro and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Serving tip: Try this stir-fry without serving it over rice or noodles to keep it low carb. If you tolerate rice without issues, try limiting the rice to only a ¼-cup serving, and make sure to choose brown rice.

Per Serving (1 cup): Calories: 181 Total fat: 9g Sodium: 659mg Total carbs: 13g Sugar: 6g Fiber: 6g Protein: 12g

Post-Op Servings

image ½ to 1 cup