This is Not a Guy Fieri Recipe

May 11, 2011

As a food blogger, I get offers from time to time.  Most of them are for things that actually make me laugh.  Why on earth would I want to publicize your product/blog/web site/personality if I have never heard of it or you?  Why would I want to give away a ham on my blog?  Here is a hint, check out my site and then ask me if I want to talk to the pork commission.

Sometimes something cool comes my way, like an offer to receive a “review copy” of a cookbook.  The thinking is that the publisher sends a copy of a new book to me, I like it, and talk it up on my blog.  Since I am always talking about cookbooks I like anyway, this is not a stretch for me.  A while back, I received an offer for Guy Fieri’s newest cookbook.  While getting a new free book in the mail was tempting, I sent a polite email back to the publisher thanking them but also explaining that Guy and I don’t really cook the same way.  I had never actually looked at any of his books, but I know enough about him and his tastes to think that others would appreciate the free book more than me.

Two weeks ago, this was sitting on my door step when I came home.  Now, I have nothing against Guy.  I have nothing against his food or his cooking.  It’s just not my style.  I know that dishes like Texas Hold ‘Em Sandwich and Crab and Asparagus Pizza and Chicken Avocado Egg Rolls might sound good to many people, but not to me.  No judgment, just not my thing.

This is more my thing.  I considered calling this post “This is Not Pan-Fried Gnocchi with Spring Vegetables” because, if I had wanted, I could have had that very dish at all three of our dinners last weekend.  Apparently, that dish is what vegetarians are offered in the Napa Valley at this time of year.  I opted out of the third night because, as good as Pan-Fried Gnocchi with Spring Vegetables can be, by the third night I was ready for a little something different.  Unfortunately, we were at Bouchon where my only other choices were side dishes and was that macaroni and cheese cheesy.  In other words, I came home feeling, as I often do after vacation, like I needed something very clean and healthy served alongside a large glass of water.

I played with this recipe a bit, making it even healthier than originally written.  If you are the type that things healthy means boring, I urge you to try this dish.  It is a 180 from the type of food we ate last weekend and probably Guy Fieri’s food, but no less flavorful.

Back to Guy.  I want to give this book away.  I don’t need it and I know one of you out there would benefit from some Guy in your kitchen.  This is the first of my giveaways to celebrate my three years blogging and 500 posts.  For that post I answered some FAQ’s.  Is there anything you want to know about me or the types of things I cook with or make?  Leave your question in the comments.  No question?  Just leave a comment with your favorite cookbook and I will pick a winner from the group.

One Year Ago:  Orange Grand Marnier Cake, 2 Amazing Sandwiches
Two Years Ago:
Noodles in Thai Curry Sauce, 2 Dips for Vegetables

Stir-Fried Sesame Broccoli and Tofu with Rice Noodles
Inspired by Deborah Madison
Serves 4

This recipe originally called for bean thread noodles but I couldn’t find any.  I substituted very thin (angle hair width) rice noodles which were great.  I would definitely try it with bean thread if you can find them.

10 ounces extra-firm tofu
6 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. roasted sesame oil
8 ounces very thin rice noodles
1 pound broccoli, cut into florets
Kosher salt
8 dried shiitake mushrooms, covered with near-boiling water
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2-inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced or grated
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced
4 scallions, including the greens, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. mirin
2 tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
Sesame seeds, for garnish

Cut the tofu into ¾-inch cubes.  In a shallow dish, whisk together 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce, the rice wine vinegar, brown sugar and the sesame oil.  Add the tofu to the dish and turn to coat.  Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours, turning occasionally.

Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to boil.  Have a bowl of ice water ready.  Put the dry noodles in a large bowl.  Add the broccoli florets to the boiling water and allow to cook for 1 minute.  Turn off the heat and scoop the broccoli into the ice water bath.  Take the very hot water and carefully pour it over the rice noodles.  Drain the broccoli and set aside.  Once the noodles are tender, drain them as well and add them to the broccoli.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the tofu (no need for any oil at this point) and dry fry until the tofu is browned on all sides.  Add the remaining marinade to coat the tofu, then scrape it out onto a plate and season with salt.

Replace the skillet to the burner.  Add the vegetable oil followed by the ginger, garlic, jalapeño, and scallions.  Stir fry for 2 minutes, then add the mushrooms and their soaking liquid, taking care to hold back any sediment at the bottom of the bowl.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Add the tofu, noodles, and broccoli and toss well to combine.  Stir together the remaining soy sauce and mirin and pour over the noodles.  Toss well again.  Stir in the cilantro and garnish with the sesame seeds.


  1. Oh how I wish that was my lunch:)

    Comment by Maria — May 11, 2011 @ 6:01 pm

  2. Over the past year I have been cooking more out of my cookbooks instead of going to the web looking for recipes. I’ve also added a few cookbooks to my small cookbook collection. I really enjoy the recipes from The Herbfarm Cookbook. It opened my eyes to may herbs and foods I had never cooked with or even had before.

    Comment by Paula Thomas — May 11, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

  3. My favorite cookbook is Simply Classic: A New Collection of Recipes to Celebrate the Northwest. Your Stir-Fried Sesame Broccoli and Tofu with Rice Noodles is making my mouth water … will be adding this to next week’s menu plan (which I keep in my head, not on paper) :).

    Comment by Emily — May 11, 2011 @ 6:44 pm

  4. I love that you cook and live healthy. I am a meat and potaoes girl, yet crave something like you posted here today. Your blog has opened my eyes to a whole new world and I am going go meatless once a week and going to use one of your recipes each time I do. Thanks for such a great blog and congrats to you on your 500 posts!

    Comment by Charlene — May 11, 2011 @ 6:50 pm

  5. this Guy cookbook looks like a fun cookbook for guys?!

    just had rice vermicelli and spring rolls for lunch (and sat outside for the first time this year) . i wish i could cook vietnamese, you never miss meat with all those noodles and veggies.

    Comment by angela — May 11, 2011 @ 7:05 pm

  6. I think I might have tried a similar dish to the one you’ve showcased here as Deborah’s Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone has always been one of my go-to cookbooks. I wish I could say it was The French Laundry Cookbook, but alas, like Bouchon, the vegetarian options are so few and far between in that cookbook, that it simply cannot be!

    Comment by Helen — May 11, 2011 @ 7:06 pm

  7. My favorite cookbook right now is Cooking Light – its helped me find healthier alternatives to every day recipes, leaving me feeling empowered over my kitchen! Love it!
    I like Guy Fieri on TV, curious about his book :)

    Comment by Erin DeHart — May 11, 2011 @ 7:22 pm

  8. I have really enjoyed your blog recently. I found it about a month ago. I became a vegetarian about 9 months ago and was in a food rut. I have enjoyed reading it and some recipes from it. My current favorite cook-book is Quick-Fix Vegetarian. As a mom with young kids, fast and healthy is a winner in my book. Guy is not really my thing either, but my brother is getting married in two months, he is a chef and loves Guy, so the book for him would be nice. Thanks for the great blog!

    Comment by Amy — May 11, 2011 @ 7:27 pm

  9. I’m all about balance that errs on the healthy side (to make room for dessert), but I’d still love to check this book out!

    My favorite cookbook? Probably Dorie’s Baking book!

    Comment by natalie (the sweets life) — May 11, 2011 @ 7:41 pm

  10. Thanks for not giving in to sponsor pressure. Even though I love giveaways, there comes a point where a blog has so many giveaways that they don’t seem genuine anymore.

    Question: Do you watch cooking or food-related tv shows? If so, which ones?

    Comment by delia — May 11, 2011 @ 8:06 pm

  11. I am not a vegetarian but I eat a LOT of vegetables. I try to get my husband and son to eat them – I am sometimes successful. I wish I could take one of your classes!

    My favorite cookbook is my Fannie Farmer’s cookbook. It’s old but it has my Aunt’s scribbling throughout the recipes and it is a great way to remember her!

    Comment by Darlene — May 11, 2011 @ 9:50 pm

  12. A classic that never fails me is my copy of Fannie Farmer. She is a special lady in my kitchen.



    Comment by heather — May 11, 2011 @ 10:41 pm

  13. My go to cookbook is a classic…Betty Crocker cookbook.

    Comment by Marsha A. — May 11, 2011 @ 11:22 pm

  14. Dana ~ I feel the exact same way after vacationing (especially visiting family on the East coast), that all I want/need is a big salad…. and a micro brew to boot!

    I dig your site sooooo much….words cannot explain! Keep up the awesomely delish recipes and witty commentary!

    As for my favourite cookbook: NOURISHING TRADITIONS by Sally Fallon. It is annotated with A LOT of information on nutrition and history, plus it has a funny/scary guess the food item where she lists the ingredients to processed foods and you guess what “food” it actually is.

    All my food love in my heart,

    Comment by Kristi — May 12, 2011 @ 12:03 am

  15. My favorite offers are definitely the ones where people tell me that they’re going to give me the “OPPORTUNITY” to promote their blog. Ha. How lucky.

    Nope, I would much rather have your fantabulous tofu dish than anything Guy Fieri has ever made. LOVE.

    Comment by Joanne — May 12, 2011 @ 2:12 am

  16. My favorite cookbook is an old Land O Lakes cookbook. The food is good and the pictures are gorgeous. A cookbook has to have good pictures!

    Congrats on 500 posts!

    Comment by Tina — May 12, 2011 @ 2:32 am

  17. I have to say my favorite cookbooks are my Rebar Modern Food Cookbook (recipes and stories from the Victoria BC restaurant Rebar) and my Windjammer Cooking. Vastly different to be sure. And like a commenter on your 500 post, I would love to know what meals you make your boys (as I’m always looking for new things to try my boy with).

    Comment by Charlotte — May 12, 2011 @ 2:52 am

  18. Dana- don’t pick me to win that cookbook! I had a chuckle when I read you were giving it away b/c I was thinking even your readers are unlikely to think that’s a good fit. We all come here to be nourished (and periodically treated) by you!
    as for favourite cookbook- I’m going to have to say Bonnie Stern’s Heart Smart.

    Comment by catherine — May 12, 2011 @ 3:06 am

  19. I have a question: have you ever done any microwave-only cooking, or do you have any microwave recipes? I’m living somewhere right now without a stovetop OR oven, so a microwave is all I have! I want to eat quality, delicious, healthy food but am limited to this cooking method. Any suggestions?

    Also, thanks for the cookbook giveaway!

    Comment by Meredyth H — May 12, 2011 @ 3:14 am

  20. My cookbook favorites change all the time. Right now it is Wayne Gisslen Professional Baking. My daughters boyfriend is a chef and he gave me his classroom book on baking. I am learning to back what I like to call the “Alton Brown Way” by weighing everything out. When he comes to visit we enjoy cooking/baking together. I’ve learned so much from him.

    Comment by Pam — May 12, 2011 @ 4:47 am

  21. I’m a little creeped out that the publisher somehow found your address after you said no to the cookbook?

    This sounds so good and I hope you write about your Napa trip! Even if the food options were lacking I’m sure the wine was not!

    Comment by Maris (In Good Taste) — May 12, 2011 @ 5:34 am

  22. I am not a huge Guy fan, but my 21 year old son is moving into an apartment at college this fall, and he loves to cook…and not the healthiest stuff! I figure he will come around to better food as he grows up. My fave cookbook changes like the wind, but right now I am all over The Produce Bible so I can find some new veggie recipes with all the cool stuff arriving at the Farmer’s Market!

    Comment by susie — May 12, 2011 @ 1:42 pm

  23. I stumbled across your blog quite by accident a few weeks ago, and have been addicted to reading it ever since.

    I’m not vegetarian, but I don’t eat a lot of meat, and not a large variety of meat because of digestive problems. (It actually took me a while to figure out ‘HEY! There’s no meat ANYWHERE on this blog!’)

    I will, however, admit an unhealthy addiction to Food Network. Including Guy Fieri. And Michael Smith. Michael Smith is definitely my favourite – I love his commitment to homestyle cooking – as well as support for local growers and producers (and knowing quite a few farmers’ children at this point in my life, that’s a biggie). Unlike most FN chefs, Michael’s stuff is things I can actually see happening in my family’s kitchen.

    So, favourite cookbook? “Best of Chef at Home” by Michael Smith. In fact, I’m making his Indian Dal and Rice for dinner tonight for my family. (I love being home from university and having a kitchen again, :)) A completely meatless dish – and not a single family member will notice, either.

    Comment by Caroline — May 12, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

  24. Would love to win this cookbook! But I also like your recipes too!

    Some veges intimidate me — ie how to actually prep them to make them work for a recipe…. Thanks and congrats on your anniversary!

    Comment by Kelly — May 12, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

  25. I am not one to pass up ANY cookbook..they look pretty on my shelves!!! LOL
    My fav….the joy of cooking!

    Comment by leslie — May 12, 2011 @ 4:21 pm

  26. Your comments were interesting. I work in PR as my day job and while I have never had to pitch to a blogger, I have done some research on it for a case study I wrote. The most important rule when pitching to a blogger was become familiar with the person you are pitching to – read their blog, know their audience, etc. This person OBVIOUSLY did not do their homework and not suprisingly, it backfired.

    Comment by Lisa @ The Cooking Bride — May 12, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

  27. my favourite cookbook is ‘Barefoot Contessa at home’ – LOVE IT.

    Comment by Lily — May 12, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

  28. Hi Dana!

    I was wondering if you ever cook any Indian food? I love Indian food and it is something I would like to learn how to cook, as well as Thai food…Yum! I get most of my recipes online but I do have a few cook books that I really like, and at the top of that list is Vegetarian Sandwiches, by Paulette Mitchell. It seems like I’m always in the mood for some type of sandwich and this book has some yummy ones in it. I wouldn’t get much use out of the Guy cookbook, but I would give it to my friend Gary…he love’s watching Guy’s shows and he loves to cook so I know he would enjoy it!

    Comment by melinda ke — May 12, 2011 @ 8:45 pm

  29. “Mex-Tex” by Matt Martinez, Jr. It is not veg-friendly but it is very Tex-Mex friendly. :)

    Comment by Erika — May 13, 2011 @ 2:15 am

  30. It’s a tie between Plenty, For the Love of Salad, and Five Ingredient Fix right now :) I suggest them all!

    Comment by Kat — May 13, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

  31. My favorite is How To Cook Everything Vegetarian. I love that all the recipes are plain enough that, while wonderful on their own, really give you an opportunity to play around and make the recipe your own.

    Comment by Jennifer — May 13, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

  32. I am not a Guy fan either… something about him and his cooking just doesn’t interest me at all.

    I have a question (and I am sorry if you already answered this in your FAQ… I will go re-read it after I hit submit) but how long have you been a vegetarian? When/how did you decide to become a vegetarian?

    By the way, your cooking/blog reminds me a lot of 101cookbooks… and perhaps you should publish your own cookbook someday? :) hint hint.

    While I am rambling… thank you for the Seattle food suggestions recently via email. I am actually flying home from Seattle to San Jose as I type this. Sadly, we didn’t end up at any of the places you suggested (there is always next time) but we did have a lovely dinner at Cafe Bastille in Ballard.

    Comment by ange lu — May 14, 2011 @ 8:30 pm

  33. y current favorite cookbook is the Baked Explorations book, I cannot get enough butter, sugar, and chocolate!

    Comment by Ashley Dodd — May 15, 2011 @ 2:04 am

  34. My all-time, favorite, battered-from-use cookbook is hands-down Crazy Plates by Greta & Janet Podleski. Awesome recipes, healthy and make my whole family happy!

    Comment by Jessica — May 16, 2011 @ 1:17 am

  35. I love your website and look forward to your new posts. What type of yeast do you use for your baked goods that require it. I have had some bad luck with yeast lately. thanks!

    Comment by Lori H — May 16, 2011 @ 6:20 pm

  36. oh woman i can’t say my fav cookbook in one answer!
    if i had to though for some cookbook contest, then i’d go with my Baked Boys. Baked cookbook rocks: modern baking at it’s best.

    Comment by vanillasugarblog — May 17, 2011 @ 12:03 am

  37. Dana,
    I’m not pandering to the judge at all, but I, like you, LOVE the Holly B’s cookbook “With Love and Butter”
    I used to work summers in the islands and would have purchased that book for its name alone, but I love almost each and every recipe in it and have expanded the waistlines of many a friend, family member, and coworker with those recipes!
    Thanks for a great blog!
    Courtney Hans

    Comment by Courtney Hans — May 17, 2011 @ 4:32 am

  38. Please tell me you made it to Ubuntu in Napa…. You would love that place.

    Comment by Beth — May 17, 2011 @ 5:39 am

  39. Love your take on Guy’s book. Although I don’t eat the way he does, I love his enthusiasm & ideas. Would love a copy of this book – great giveaway. Your stir fry looks awesome!

    Comment by marla — May 17, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

  40. I always head for my Better Homes & Gardens cookbook when I need a good recipe ;)

    Comment by Laura P — May 17, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

  41. My favorite cookbook is “Mad Hungry, Feeding Men and boys” it’s fabulous, with lots of vegetarian dishes and non-vegetarian dishes. Me and my 4 boys love it!

    Comment by chaille — May 17, 2011 @ 9:38 pm

  42. I have a few cookbooks, but haven’t opened one up in ages since the many food blogs out there! Does a baking cookbook count? If so, I would say, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar: 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone’s Favorite Treats. I have checked this one out from the library numerous times since I have had issues with dairy. Love her cupcake book as well. I should just go out and purchase it!

    What spice is your “go to” when you need that extra “umph” in your dishes?

    Comment by Midori — May 18, 2011 @ 3:48 am

  43. I had to come back and say that I made this for dinner last night, and it was delicious! I had been wanting to make it since I first read this post, but hadn’t gotten around to it. I had bean thread noodles and used them, but to be honest I think I would have preferred the texture of rice noodles. The broccoli and tofu were fantastic, and I would make them again alone and just eat them in a bowl :)

    Comment by Kathy — June 21, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

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