Easy Vegetable Recipes and Authentic Regional Cuisine

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Scroll down for Easy Vegetable Recipes and Vegetarian dishes from the state of Illinois.

Illinois grows LOTS of white soybeans, a very low-fat, high-protein food. The Illinois Center for Soy Foods has created recipes that allow easy inclusion of soy products into the American diet. Literally hundreds of soy recipes are available in their cookbooks and on their website. 

“Soy products” usually refers to tofu (bean curd made from fresh soy milk) or textured vegetable protein (TVP). Either of these can be used to make almost anything.

Tofu has a very neutral taste – mild and very slightly milky in flavor, with a smooth, silky texture. Some say the flavor is nonexistent - that the recipes do the trick. That’s a great thing about soy products. Their versatile nature allows them to mimic the “personality” of a dish, in color, shape, texture, and taste.  

Tofu lends itself to many Easy Vegetable Recipes.

Tofu & Vegetable Stir Fry


For the Stir Fry

  • 1 14-ounce package extra firm tofu
  • 2 cups roughly chopped asparagus
  • 1 cup diced red pepper
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil for sautéing (or substitute peanut or coconut oil)

For the Sauce

  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp agave or maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Drain tofu and remove it from the package.
  3. Place between two thick paper towels to absorb moisture.
  4. Place a plate on top and weigh it down with a skillet.
  5. Let it dry for about 15 minutes, changing the paper towels towels if they get too wet.
  6. Once dry, chop into roughly 1-inch cubes.
  7. Arrange tofu on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet to prevent sticking and bake for about 30 minutes, turning them once when halfway through to ensure even cooking.
  8. When the tofu is golden brown and a bit tough and firm, remove it from the oven set it aside for another 45 minutes.
  9. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients, and set aside.
  10. To a large skillet over medium-high heat, add sesame oil and swirl to coat.
  11. Then add veggies and toss to coat.
  12. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring often.
  13. When the vegetables have some color and have softened a bit, add the sauce and stir.
  14. When sauce bubbles and thickens, add the tofu and stir to coat the pieces.
  15. Cook the mixture for 3-5 minutes, stirring often.
  16. Remove from heat.
  17. Serve as is or over rice.

Scroll down for links to more Easy Vegetable Recipes. 

more Easy Vegetable Recipes and related links

Vegetarian Chili

Boston Baked Beans

7 Layer Salad

Gazpacho Soup 




Traditional Regional Cuisine from Every State 

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