I had a ton of produce left over from my failed juice fast, so I made a pledge to use some of it this weekend, lest it go bad. In my world, letting produce go bad is a sin.
Last night, I used the extra spinach to make a Sweet Chili Tofu Spinach Stir-fry:
I based it on a recipe my friend emailed me. It's basically just firm tofu, fresh spinach, garlic, and ginger sauteed in soy sauce mixed with agave nectar and chili-garlic sauce. The original recipe called for honey, but I subbed the agave nectar. And it called for red chilis, but I didn't have any of those, so I used a teaspoon of chili-garlic sauce (a staple every Asian food lover should keep in the fridge).
I wanted to serve it over brown rice, so I tried cooking some in my pressure cooker. But no luck. It didn't even begin to cook in the 12 minutes the pressure cooker booklet (that came with the cooker) promised. I placed the rice and water in a glass oven-safe bowl, covered with aluminum foil (according to the instructions for how to cook grains). Then I poured two cups of water in the cooker around the outside of the bowl.
While it was "cooking," the kitchen smelled horrible — like burning alumnium foil. So I took the pot off the heat after 12 minutes. When the pressure came down, I opened the lid and poked into the alumnum foil, and the rice was still hard. So I cooked some rice noodles really quick since my tofu stir-fry was already done. I'll have to try again with the rice, I guess.
Then, for lunch today, I decided to use the rest of the broccoli from my fast, as well as some of the carrots.
When I tasted the veggies Jill Nussinow "The Veggie Queen" made in a recent pressure cooker cooking demo, they were the PERFECT texture. Not too firm. Not too tender. I wanted to re-create that, so I placed the veggies in the cooker with 1 1/2 cups water. Veggies cook fast, and the book said not to cook the broccoli more than 2 minutes or the carrots more than 4. Since I was cooking the two together, I decided to cook for the full four minutes so the carrots would be done. Unfortunately, that meant my broccoli was so mushy, it would barely hold shape on a fork. The carrots were also cooked too long. I think the book was wrong about the 4 minutes. Next time, I'll try two minutes on the carrots and maybe one minute on the broccoli.
I will figure this pressure cooker thing out, though.