Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Snacks

"I think it's nice that there are all different kinds of lunches and breakfasts and dinners and snacks. I think eating is nice." – Albert from Bread and Jam for Frances, by Russell C. Hoban

Gabe’s Stir-fry with Toasted Orzo and Tofu

I continue to encourage my children to get involved in dinner preparation. True, I get bored and so do they, with my own quick and easy interpretations of stir-fries, grains and veggies, tofu and what generally constitutes a fast meal during the week.

Gabe, who is 14, cooked last night, with a bit of instruction and advice from me. I’m pleased to report that he made a good meal and we ate up every last scrap. I suggested that he write it down so that we could share the recipe.


(Gabe didn’t want to chop, so he used frozen vegetables even though we had plenty of interesting things in the house…you decide what’s best for you)

1 large onion, diced

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 20oz bag of frozen mixed veggies – cauliflower, broccoli and baby carrots

Dried thyme, salt and pepper and Gabe’s favorite, hot paprika

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until lightly browned. Add a healthy pinch or two of dried thyme, rubbing it between your fingers to release the oils, a pinch of salt and 5-10 grinds of black pepper. Sprinkle in hot paprika to you taste. Stir.

Add your veggies in (if you were using fresh, I might suggest sauteing some mushrooms, red peppers and zucchini, or carrots, winter squash and celery, for example) and cover. Cook until tender to your taste. Taste and adjust seasoning.


1 medium onion, diced

Yellow curry paste

3 cups orzo – we use a whole-grain, spelt variety, which is very tasty.

4 1/2 cups boiling water

Toasted sesame oil

Saute onion with toasted sesame oil. Stir in yellow curry paste to your taste – Gabe suggests 2 tablespoons which is pleasantly hot – then add the orzo and toast for a couple of minutes in the pan, stirring continuously. Pour in the boiling water – watch out for the sputter – cover, and cook on a low flame for about 8 minutes, until tender.


1 block of firm tofu, cubed

Chili oil

Canola oil

Sesame seeds


Saute tofu in canola oil with a drizzle of chili oil mixed in. As tofu begins to brown, sprinkle in sesame seeds and toast alongside the tofu, watching carefully (this will all happen quickly). Once the tofu is browned to your liking, add a few splashes of tamari to your taste.


Pile it up. Orzo, topped with veggies and a few cubes of tofu. Great job, Gabe.


About Beth Steinberg

I co-founded and run, Shutaf, inclusion programs for children and teens with special needs. I'm also a writer and internet content developer with a team called The Honey. I direct local community theater with a group called Theater in the Rough, specializing in experiential productions performed out of doors.

2 comments on “Gabe’s Stir-fry with Toasted Orzo and Tofu

  1. Lisa K
    October 29, 2007

    Yay Gabe! It sounds great. This is the blog I wanted to start but haven’t had time–can I post here too? I’ve become addicted to the podcasts of a public radio show called The Splendid Table–you would love it. The host is the queen of “seat of the pants” cooking–especially the frequent segment where she has to plan a meal based on five random ingredients that a caller suggests. And the judge? Our fave, Christopher Kimball from Chef’s Illustrated.Love,Lisa

  2. Beth Steinberg
    October 29, 2007

    We’d be delighted to have guest posters, who understand our particular style of cooking and who better than, you, a good market shopper and ‘hmm, what should I do with this today?’ kind of cook. Let us know when and spread the word about the blog.

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