Coming up with ideas for dinner 365 days a year is exhausting. So falling into a rut of familiar dishes is common. And once we’re in a rut, it’s a comfortable place to stay. Today, I want to give you a little nutrition nudge. I’d like to encourage you to try something new: tempeh. Similar to tofu but with a much firmer texture, it browns beautifully and can stand in for meat successfully in a variety of recipes. Sometimes, the best way to try a new food is to surround it with flavors you know you love, which is exactly what this recipe does. It showcases tempeh but with the familiar sesame and soy sauce flavors of stir-fry.
If you’d like to see how this recipe fits into a full week’s menu from Trader Joe’s, take a peek at A Week’s Worth of Trader Joe’s Dinners for Less than $100. And for help with shopping, you’ll find a grocery list included below the recipe.Print
This shopping list was prepared for a trip to Trader Joe’s, but any grocery store should have similar items. It was updated in 2020 with current prices and product names.
Easy Weeknight Stir-fry with Noodle Cake Shopping List
8 oz. Trader Joe’s (TJ’s) Organic 3-Grain Tempeh ($1.69)
6 oz. TJ’s Trimmed Leeks ($2.99) (This package contains 2 leeks.)
1 Red Bell Pepper ($0.99)
12 oz. TJ’s Broccoli and Cauliflower Duet ($2.49)
16 oz. TJ’s Organics Cut and Peeled Baby Carrots ($1.29)
9 oz. TJ’s Snow Peas ($2.29)
20 oz. TJ’s Island Soyaki Sauce ($3.69) or 20 oz. TJ’s San Soyaki Sauce ($3.29)
16 oz. TJ’s Italian Capellini pasta ($0.99)
5 fl. oz. TJ’s Organic Toasted Sesame Oil ($2.99)
16.9 fl. oz. TJ’s Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil Mediterranean Blend ($3.99)
17.6 fl. oz. TJ’s Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce ($2.99)
TOTAL $16.42 with accompaniment
$26.39 if you need to buy pantry staples
– Can I trim anywhere to save calories? I cut the noodle cake into four equal pieces which is reflected in the nutrition analysis above. However, I realized as I was eating it that it was quite a generous portion. To save calories, you could cut it into 6 pieces instead. I’d still divide the veggies into just four servings. Save the two extra “pieces” of noodle to enjoy a different way, like with marinara sauce. Also, oil was a big contributor to calories in this recipe. If you could get by with less, you’d knock the number down a bit.
– This recipe just happens to be vegan. I think sometimes people get apprehensive when they hear that a meal is vegetarian or vegan. If you just said “we’re having stir-fry for dinner” without announcing that it was meat-free and dairy-free, people might be surprised that they’d eaten a vegan meal and actually enjoyed it. Of course, in this case, the tempeh might give it away…
– What about protein? The tempeh, noodles, and veggies are the stars of the show here for protein; no meat required. The full meal provides 28 grams of high fiber, cholesterol-free plant protein.
I think once you cook with tempeh the first time, you’ll be convinced that it should be on your list of go-to dinner proteins. Versatile, delicious, and convenient means it’s the perfect vehicle to transport you out of your recipe rut.
Do you find you have to be stealthy to get your family to eat better? Or are they pretty accepting of new foods?
This is not a sponsored post. I bought all the groceries on my own and happily consumed them.