meatless monday: christine’s kitchen cupboard

Last Thursday, I helped my sweet friend and across-the-hall neighbor Christine pack up her apartment for her move home to Austin, Texas. In the process, she decided to load me up with her half-used Metrocard, and a very heavy shopping bag of her perishables that her roommates wouldn’t likely eat. Among the goodies gifted to me: sugar snap peas, organic Pink Lady apples, 2 unopened containers of hummus, half a bag of baby carrots, sun-dried tomatoes, Earth Balance Buttery Spread, 2 loaves of Ezekiel bread, an avocado, a spicy chipotle white bean dip, and a jar of organic virgin coconut oil. I’ve never cooked with coconut oil before, but Christine began singing its many virtues and I just had to try it myself.

This slightly syrupy oil is great for stir frying veggies, as it will hold a higher heat than  olive oil in your wok. Christine informs me that the research is ongoing about the numerous benefits of using coconut oil, including skin and hair care, strengthened immunity and digestion, and prevention of heart disease and certain cancers. The coconut oil gives a kiss of sweetness to whatever you’re cooking with, so you can skip the sugar altogether.

The following recipe was inspired by (and is thus dedicated to) Ms. Christine, whose veggies and virgin coconut oil  made for an extra fancy, super easy Friday lunch. Christine, I miss you already!

Tofu Veggie Stir Fry Lunch
In a wok or large saute pan, heat 2 tbsp. organic virgin coconut oil until simmering. Add a handful of baby carrots cut lengthwise in quarters (do we call that “julienne”? Kitchen vocab expanding daily, folks!), toss in a handful of sugar snap peas, a handful of halved mushrooms, and a few thick slices of extra firm tofu.  Saute until snap peas are soft and tofu is lightly browned. Serve immediately over a bed of greens or on top of brown rice. Lightly salt if desired.

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