The Leftover Queen is holding her August Foodie Joust and the three ingredients that jousters must use to prepare their royal offerings are whole grains, ginger and citrus. While the very word "grain" might strike fear in the hearts of most gluten-free diners, there are a number of safe to eat grains that are blessedly wheat- and gluten-free, including buckwheat groats (kasha), amaranth (have to try that), quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, teff (have to try that too), and millet (aka parakeet food, never want to try that again). Whole grains are wonderful sources of fiber and protein for any diet, so I wanted to be sure to joust this month.
My first stab at the joust was to cook up some kasha with a little water and salt for a supper salad. For the citrus, I had the mistaken thought that canned mandarin oranges might pair well with the kasha and I made this horrendous looking and tasting kasha salad that deserves no further description. Suffice it to say, Dan would have none of it, and I tried to make myself eat it for lunch at the bookstore, but was sufficiently turned off to just go lunchless that day.
However, a true culinary knight must keep jousting, so I thought I would do something a little less weirdo and cook up some brown rice. I made a double batch so that we'd have enough for supper to go with that awesome Barbecued Tempeh recipe and some for experimenting. The next night I planned to do something Thai-inspired with the funky yard-long noodle beans I'm growing for the first time. I am happy to report that this second whole grain experiment turned out really well and I am delighted to dedicate this recipe to the female weightlifter, Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakoon (now there's another mouthful!) who is bringing Thailand home a gold medal from the Beijing Olympics after lifting 126 kg (278 lbs) over her 53 kg frame (117 lbs). Congratulations Prapawadee!
I reheated the brown rice and topped it with stir-fried noodle beans and tofu cubes marinated in grated ginger, lemon juice, strips of basil and salt and pepper. It was really fragrant and flavorful and a wonderful light summer meal. If you don't have access to noodle beans I'm sure other slender string beans would we suitable replacements. Without further ado, here's the recipe for:
Noodle Beans with Ginger-Lemon Tofu a la Prapawadee
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 lb. yard-long or noodle beans, sliced into 1 inch lengths (makes 1 cup)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 (1 inch) piece of gingerroot, peeled and grated
1/3 lb. tofu, diced small (refrigerate and use rest of tofu the next day)
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 cup fresh basil, sliced thinly
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix together lemon juice, grated ginger, garlic, basil and salt and pepper. Add tofu cubes and stir to coat well. Set aside.
Cook rice and set aside to keep warm.
Heat olive oil in frying pan or wok. When hot add beans and stir-fry about 4-5 minutes. The noodle beans are very slender, so if you are substituting thicker, fleshier beans give them a few more minutes or until they are crisp-tender.
Add tofu cubes and marinade and stir-fry just until heated through.
Serve immediately over hot brown rice.
Serves 2. I threw some diced plum tomatoes on the side for color, but this is optional.