Be the change you wish to see in the world...

- Gandhi

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What the Veg?: Bok Choy

I am a bit of a bok choy nerd.  I actually crave this stuff!  I used to be very intimidated of this beautiful vegetable, not knowing how to cook or use it in recipes.  Now, I love cooking with it.

Bok choy comes in many sizes.  Use the baby stuff when using whole or raw in recipes, and the larger varieties when chopping or cooking longer.  Here are some of my favorite ways to serve it up.

Steam it - This is by far one of the easiest and most delicious ways to eat it.  I buy the baby bok choy (Trader Joe's sells a 6 oz package that is already washed and ready to go).  Steam them for about 3 minutes.  I drizzle a bit of ume plum vinegar (available at Whole Foods) over the leaves, and top with some cracked pepper.  This is my favorite way to eat it!

Ladle it - I found this recipe in Sunset magazine and adapted it using my favorite Teriyaki tofu from Trader Joes.  It combines some of my favorite ingredients: udon noodles, ginger and bok choy!

Bok Choy and Tofu Noodle Bowl
Serves 4

1 package (7 oz) fresh udon noodles or other Asian noodles
2 teaspoon Shoyu (available at Whole Foods) or soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 cup vegetable broth
1 package of Trader Joe's Teriyaki tofu
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 tablespoon each of minced fresh ginger and garlic
4 baby bok choy (about 1 pound) - washed and leaves separated
4 green onions, trimmed and sliced

1. Cook noodles according to package.  Drain and divide among 4 bowls.
2. Combine shoyu, sesame oil and broth.  Set aside.
3. Cut tofu into 1/2-inch wide sticks.
4. Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat in a large frying pan.   Add tofu and saute until heated through.  Remove tofu and set on noodles.
5. Add the other tablespoon of oil and add garlic and ginger.  Cook until fragrant (30 seconds).  Add bok choy and cook until wilted (about 5 minutes).  Add broth mixture and cook until hot, about 1 minute.
5. Spoon mixture over noodles and tofu.  Sprinkle with green onions.

Dip and Spread it - Use the leaves as you would chips or other dippers in your favorite sauces and dips.  My personal favorites are hummus (for dipping) and almond butter (for spreading).

Layer it - Instead of spinach or lettuce, try giving your sandwich some green with bok choy.

Wrap it - Make a carb free wrap with bok choy as your base.  Get really creative and make a "sushi" roll using the bok choy leaves instead of seaweed.

If you haven't already tried it, give yourself a treat and serve up some bok choy.  I know you will love it - and when you do, please let me know if the comments section below.