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During the really busy time that is exams, all I want to do is cook and bake. I can hardly handle the temptation of getting up and baking muffins, making soup, or even just home-made pop-corn.

Well, you caught me. It’s true, I can’t handle it. I think I’ve made all of those in the last 3-4 days.

Now that I’ve been doing this university thing for the last 5 years, I have developed crafty ways of cooking during exam periods. I study lecture by lecture. In between each, I cook meals that I can make in little bursts of 10 minutes here and there [and I get my partner in crime to do a lot of the work, and the dishwashing is especially appreciated]. It’s my way of infusing fun into nutritional toxicology. Perhaps I can even call it studying.

This stir-fry is really fast and delicious, and can be made in maybe 3 bursts of 10 minutes each, as long as you remember to marinate the tofu in advance (the night before is best but a few hours is still ok).

Ingredients – 4 servings

Tofu marinade

-1 block tofu (extra firm is great, but sometimes I medium too for a change), sliced into 1/4 inch wedges
-3 cloves garlic, germ removed, and finely minced
-2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
-zest of 1 washed lime
-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
-2 tsp sesame oil
-juice from one lime
-1/2 cup soy sauce
-1/2 cup water

Stir-fry

-1 onion or leek, sliced
-1 Tbsp canola oil x2
-2 tsp sesame oil x2
-1 clove garlic, germ removed, and sliced
-1 carrot, cut into juliennes
-1 red and 1 green pepper, sliced
-1 zucchini, halved then sliced
-1 head broccoli, cut into florets
-1 cup sugar-snap peas, stems removed
– Salt and pepper and cayenne to taste
-1/2 washed cilantro leaves

-1 package soba noodles

Directions

To make the tofu marinade, chop the garlic and ginger, and mix in a bowl with the remaining ingredients.  Slice the tofu and add it to the marinade.  I like to use a large roasting pan because then I can cover all the tofu with marinade. Cover it and let it rest in the fridge, occasionally (once or twice) basting it with the marinade. If you can remember to marinate it the night before, your taste buds will be rewarded.

The night of, take a first 10 minutes to chop everything.  Put the onion/leek separate, the garlic separate, and then in 1 bowl keep the broccoli and peas while in another bowl keep the remaining veggies you have cut.

In a second bout of effort, heat both types of oil in a wok or frying pan over medium heat.  Add the onion/leek, and let sauté for a few minutes.  Add the garlic for one more minute and stir.  Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil for the soba noodles (or make some rice).

In a second frying pan, add the remaining canola and sesame oil over medium-high heat.  Add the tofu without any marinade, and sear each side for 2-3 minutes until golden.  Then add some of the marinating juices and simmer while you add the broccoli and peas to the wok, and stir, for 3 minutes.  Then add the remaining veggies, and cook for 2-3 minutes so they are hot and crisp. Pour in the remaining marinade, and bring to a boil quickly and stirring often. Then remove from heat and serve with the tofu, noodles, extra soy sauce and garnish with the cilantro.

-Sitelle

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