In my quest to discover the yummiest vegetarian restaurants in the Northeast, I was delighted to stumble upon Claire's Corner Copia in New Haven, Conn. Claire's is run by Claire and Frank Criscuolo who passionately support the Growing Connection
, a United Nations Food and Agriculture Program that teaches children to grow food and appreciate fresh vegetables while learning about the world through technology.
New Haven is a mecca of delicious food options. However, I could be happy eating three meals a day at Claire's and never run out of outstanding choices. There is a genuine warmth that emanates from the food, ambience and professional staff. By making a conscious choice to eat vegetarian, organic food, we are nurturing not only our planet, but our bodies too. Bon appetit!
Stir-Fried Vegetables with Organic Tofu over Organic Brown Rice
This colorful stir-fry is rich in beta carotene, Vitamins A and C, fiber, good fats, whole grains and flavor.
Vary the vegetables as the season allows, first cooking the hardest vegetables like winter squash and carrots, later adding the quicker cooking vegetables like tender organic baby spinach, broccoli florets, baby bok choy and shitake mushrooms.
- 2 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 one-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 1 sweet onion, cut into thick rings, separated
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into thin half rings (peeled butternut squash available at the supermarket)
- 2 medium carrots, cut into a quarter-inch slice
- Juice from 1 orange
- 2 baby bok choy, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 broccoli crown, florets separated
- 12 small shiitake mushrooms, tough stems removed
- 1 twelve-ounce package organic firm tofu, drained and cut into small cubes
- 1 seven-ounce bag organic baby spinach
- 1/2 cup tamari sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 cups cooked organic brown rice, wheat berries, or quinoa, or cooked organic black beans
- Salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a wok or a large deep skillet over medium-high heat, but do not allow to smoke. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, ginger, shallot and onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Using two large spoons, toss the ingredients to coat with the oil. Cook for about two minutes, tossing frequently to mix until the onions are softened.
Add the butternut squash and the carrots, and the orange juice and toss to combine. Cover the wok and cook for about 10 minutes, tossing frequently until crisp-not quite tender.
Add the baby bok choi, broccoli florets, and the mushrooms, tossing to combine. Cover and cook for about three to five minutes, tossing frequently until the vegetables are just tender.
Add the tofu, spinach, tamari, and sesame oil and toss to combine. Cook, uncovered, for about two minutes until the tofu is heated through. Taste for seasonings. Serve over brown rice or other good grains or beans.
Makes 6 servings.