One-Pot Vegetables and Tofu with Sesame Rice

  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings


One-Pot Vegetables:
1medium onion
1 large head broccoli, stems removed and florets cut into bite-size pieces (about 2 cups)
1/2small butternut squash (about 1 1/4 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2medium carrots, peeled and roll-cut
1/4head green cabbage, cored and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
8ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed
3ounces small fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed
1/4teaspoon fine sea salt
1 (5-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
2/3cup mirin
1/4cup plus 2 tablespoons tamari
1 (14-oz) container water-packed firm tofu, drained and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/2 bunch watercress, stems removed (about 1 1/2 cups)
Sesame Rice (recipe follows), or soba or udon noodles, cooked according to the package instructions
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 nori sheet, cut into thin strips
Sesame Rice:
1tablespoon toasted sesame seed oil
4cloves garlic, minced
4cups cooked short-grain brown rice (recipe follows)
1/4cup sesame seeds, toasted
Brown Rice:
2cups brown rice, rinsed well
3 1/2cups water
1/4teaspoon sea salt



  1. Quarter the onion through the stem end, then place the whole cut onion in the middle of a large cast-iron skillet, doing your best to keep the onion together.
  2. Arrange the broccoli, squash, carrots, cabbage, sugar snap peas, and mushrooms in clusters around the onion, keeping each vegetable separate from the other and arranging the vegetables so that the colors are balanced and attractive.
  3. Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the skillet (about 1 cup). Sprinkle the ¼ teaspoon salt evenly over the vegetables. Cover and turn the heat to high. Bring the vegetables to a boil, then decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer until the squash is crisp-tender, about 12 minutes.
  4. Using a Microplane grater, grate the ginger over a paper towel or sheet of cheesecloth, then squeeze the pulp to extract 2 teaspoons of ginger juice into a small bowl. Mix in the mirin and tamari. Add the tofu and toss to coat.
  5. Spoon the tofu mixture over the vegetables and simmer uncovered until the tofu is hot, about 5 minutes. Add the watercress and simmer until it wilts, about 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and set it on a trivet in the middle of the dining table.
  6. Divide the rice among dinner plates or bowls and have each person pick out their vegetables, using chopsticks to place them atop the rice. With a wide spoon, spoon some of the stock over the top of the vegetables on each plate. Serve the sliced scallions and strips of nori alongside to sprinkle on top of the vegetables.

Sesame Rice:

  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the brown rice (recipe below) and sesame seeds and cook just until heated through, about 3 minutes.

Brown Rice:

  1. Combine the rice, water, and salt in a large, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat to low. Cover and simmer gently, without stirring, for 35 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff the rice with a fork. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes longer. Fluff the rice again and serve.

—From Vegan Family Meals by Ann Gentry/Andrews McMeel Publishing