Stir Fry with Tofu and Vitamin Greens

I love finding new vegetables. Yesterday’s trip to the farmer’s market yielded something called vitamin greens. The sign said they were a “mild member of the mustard family”. I wasn’t sure what to do with them but figured I couldn’t go wrong with an easy stir-fry. And I obviously didn’t go wrong because Mark claims to hate all cooked greens, but he had two servings and ate up all the greens in each of them. I still have half a bunch, so if anyone has any suggestions for other things to do with vitamin greens, let me know! And obviously you can substitute just about any other green in this recipe.

Stir-Fry with Tofu and Vitamin Greens

3 Tbsp dried fermented black beans
1/4 cup shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine) (can sub sherry)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 carrot, sliced
chili garlic sauce, to taste
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 lb tofu, chopped
1/2 bunch vitamin greens (or other greens)
3/4 cup vegetable broth
2 Tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp cornstarch + 2 Tbsp cold water
1-2 scallions, sliced thinly on the diagonal

Whisk together the vegetable broth, oyster sauce, and soy sauce in small bowl; set aside. Whisk together the cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl or cup; set aside. Put the fermented black beans in a small cup or bowl and add the shaoxing wine to soften them; set aside.

Chop the tofu.

Prepare all the vegetables by peeling (if necessary) and chopping.

These are the vitamin greens in all their glory:

Heat a wok over medium high heat, then add some oil. When it’s hot, add the onions and garlic and stir-fry for a minute or two.

Add the carrots and chili garlic sauce and stir-fry for another minute or two.

Add the bell pepper and again stir-fry a minute or two.

Next up the tofu:

Finally, the greens:

Stir-fry until the greens have cooked down.

Add the fermented black beans and cook for a minute or so, then add the broth mixture. Bring to a boil, then stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook until thickened. Top with the sliced scallions.

Serve with brown rice.

What do vitamin greens taste like? Well, I didn’t get a pure taste of it considering I hid it in a spicy stir-fry (maybe I should just cook the remainder up by themselves), but it wasn’t at all sharp or mustardy as I thought it might be as a member of the mustard family. It was definitely “mild” as stated on the sign. Really good, though. I’d say it was a bit spinach-like in flavor. They cook similar to chard. It might be a good green for trying on greens-haters, as it’s not overpowering. Mark’s getting a lot better about eating greens, but I was still worried he’d pick all the vitamin greens out of his stir-fry, however, he actually seemed to enjoy them. So vitamin greens are a huge winner in my book and I’ll be keeping an eye out for them. They tasted great and I liked the texture they had in the stir-fry. They are also apparently good in salads, which I may try tomorrow as well.

I dropped my camera this morning, heading out to the wildlife sanctuary. It only fell about a foot and it landed on carpeting, but a trip to the camera store later when I realized it was broken resulted in me finding out the lens was completely gone and the body would cost almost as much to repair as its current market value. Even though it was an entry-level dSLR, I loved it and hadn’t felt the need to upgrade, so I was kind of upset about this. It was a good camera. So, feeling sad, I went home and asked Mark if he’d bought me a birthday present yet (my birthday is this week), and when he said no sort of asked/informed him he was buying me a new camera for my birthday. So I very unexpectedly got a new camera today. What this means for you is probably an onslaught of posts, or at least a lot of pictures of my cats. Here, for example, is Torticia playing with a wax bean, which she removed from the refrigerator when I was in there getting stir-fry ingredients.

In retrospect, I should have just taken a video, which apparently I can do with my new camera. Woo!


  1. radioactivegan Said,

    October 17, 2011 @ 12:47 am

    What kind of camera did you get? It seems to take great action shots!

  2. renae Said,

    October 17, 2011 @ 9:53 am

    The camera is a Canon 60D. I was pretty surprised how well those shots of Torticia came out at ISO 6400; I’d have thought they’d be a lot grainier. So far so good!

    Stacy, when I googled vitamin greens looking for recipes I found that most people agree that the name “vitamin greens” is terrible, but I was sort of attracted to the name: I figured I’d feel enormously healthy after eating them!

  3. Stacy Said,

    October 17, 2011 @ 6:22 am

    The food looks good, although I question the purveyor’s decision to call them ‘vitamin greens’–not very appetizing!

  4. Jes Said,

    October 17, 2011 @ 12:25 pm

    Aww, Tortica! I loved it when M would play with green beans and other veggies–so funny to watch him hunt & kill it 🙂

    And the vitamin greens stir-fry looks stellar! I love fermented black beans and don’t cook with them enough. Definitely bookmarking the recipe.

  5. Josiane Said,

    October 17, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

    I’m so glad the broken camera had such a happy ending – great timing! Happy birthday to you, Renae!

  6. Becky Said,

    October 17, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

    I have never heard of ‘Vitamin Greens’ but they sure look suspiciously like chard. Chard is the only thing I have had any real success growing. It even grows successfully, year round in pots on my porch. I dont even think you can kill it! So I have plenty and might make this. Thanks.

  7. renae Said,

    October 17, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

    Becky, I think you underestimate my ability to kill plants! When I looked up vitamin greens, I learned they are a favorite of farmers because they are both heat- and cold-tolerant. So they may be as easy as chard to grow (if chard is really as easy as you claim!), if you ever come across them and want to try. I think they’d be pretty interchangeable with chard. They have a slightly different mouth-feel than chard, but they are pretty similar. They are maybe a lighter color of green, but I may have guessed they were chard if there hadn’t been a sign.

RSS feed for comments on this post

Leave a Comment