Make use of citrus this season by infusing it into this fabulous bok choy and baked tofu stir fry in citrus-ginger sauce!

I judge my runs the way I judge my first dates.

By which I mean…it all comes down to the first five minutes.


My roommates are always raising their eyebrows at this philosophy.  You can’t just know, they say.

Oh.  But I can.

Call it female intuition.  Or runner’s gut instinct.  (Or some kind of psychotic condition.)

But in the first five minutes, I know whether I’m going to want you to give me a kiss goodnight.  And whether I’m going to kiss you back (or, you know…make out with you in a bar until 12:45.  AM.) when you inevitably try.

(no comment)


And then there’s running.  The most abusive, wonderful, awful, most fulfilling relationship you might ever have.

It can tear you down. And walk all over you.

It can give you the worst 8 mile run of your life one week.

And then the best 9 mile run of your life the next.

Without warning or explanation.  And all you can do is lace up your sneakers.  Hit the pavement.  And hope for the best.

And while I will never advise you to stay in a relationship that just  I am going to tell you that running (or insert your exercise of choice here).  Is.

When it’s bad, it’s awful.  But when it’s good…it’s the best.

I came home from my run yesterday practically walking on water.  And I knew that no matter what the rest of the day had in store for me. It was already awesome.  And then I had a good first date. Which was like more icing on an already frosted cake.  Always a good thing.

(And, yes. It all came down to those first five minutes.)

So I guess my Eat.Live.Be. moral of the week is: don’t give up.  Don’t give up on yourself and don’t give up on exercise (and don’t give up on men).  This week may be awful.  But next week might be awesome.  And don’t you owe it to yourself to stick around long enough to find out?

At my last physical therapy appointment last week, my PT asked why I had kept running that eight miles even though it was so terrible.  And it was because I knew that if I got through that run, there would be a better one on the horizon.  There had to be.
And I was right.


Bok Choy and Baked Tofu Stir Fry in Citrus-Ginger Sauce
Make use of citrus this season by infusing it into this fabulous stir fry sauce!
Yield: 4 servings
  • 1½ lb bok choy
  • 1 14-oz package lite firm tofu, baked
  • ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp maple syrup (or honey or agave)
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • ¼ tsp dark sesame oil
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 can water chestnuts, slivered
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 roasted sweet potatoes, or rice, barley, quinoa, etc
  1. Wash the heads of the bok choy well and trim the bottom. Cut the bottom, whitish part of the stalk into ½-inch slices. Set them aside. Slice the green leaves thinly and place on a separate plate.
  2. Cut the tofu into slices or cubes. Combine the orange juice, soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and cornstarch in a bowl.
  3. Heat a large wok or deep skillet. Spray with cooking spray. Add the bok choy stalks, carrot, and ginger. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add water chestnuts, garlic, and mushrooms, and continue to cook until mushrooms begin to soften, about 2 more minutes. Stir in the bok choy greens. Place the tofu on top and cover tightly. Steam briefly until greens are wilted and bright green, about 1-2 minutes. Stir the orange juice mixture, add it to the skillet and bring to a boil. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Serve with sweet potatoes, rice, or other grain.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ of recipe


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77 Responses to Bok Choy and Baked Tofu Stir Fry in Citrus-Ginger Sauce…Eat.Live.Be.

  1. Woohoo for a great run and a great first date! And also for a delicious recipe 🙂

  2. This post made me very very happy! So glad yesterday was a rock star day for you:-)

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Love that you served it over sweet potatoes. I also had an excellent, mostly pain free run yesterday. Hoping to continue that.

  4. Yummy. I love baked tofu and just want to dig in to that “meaty” dish.

  5. Shannon says:

    yay for a good first date!! i’m off for a run today i think… won’t be 9 miles, but i’ll be happy with whatever distance I can handle 🙂

  6. Way to go, Joanne! I can’t believe you had a first date on Valentine’s Day – oh my! While I don’t run, I know that there are good days and bad days at the gym… and in the kitchen… and in love. 🙂 The point is persistence – and hopefully you find your special someone. 🙂

  7. The stir-fry look amazing! I love that you made it citrus, you dont see that to often!

  8. Amy says:

    Wait…what? You had a good first date? That’s awesome! No doubt you can tell within minutes whether you’re going to want to kiss someone. I’m taking a break from Insanity because it’s boring me to tears (never thought I’d say that!), and just started some Cathy Freidrich workouts. Kicking my ass. I love it.

  9. Glad to hear running and dating is going well. And the meal looks colorful and delicious.
    “first five minutes” – I guess you are only talking about medium/long distance running, and the dating equivalents:)

  10. Holly says:

    This dish looks delicious and so pretty too! Love it!

  11. Gloria says:

    look lovely Joanne:) and yummy!

  12. Jenna says:

    I love how you talk about your relationship with running. And that stir fry looks awesome, though I have to admit I’d eat it over a pile of jasmine rice (not the healthiest–but I’m addicted to rice).

  13. Yay for awesome runs and even better first dates!

  14. Lyndsey says:

    It looks delicious!! My husband is a runner so to me it’s a whole other way of thinking!

  15. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, This is good old fashioned advice. I am happy to read this advice and to take it.
    As for the recipe I just love the ginger citrus sauce. I just love ginger.
    Blessings my dear, Catherine xoxo

  16. Camila Faria says:

    Gorgeous plate! I knew this in the first 5 seconds of this post.


  17. I love that there’s maple syrup in the stir fry, yum to the yum.

    While I’m not a runner, I know what you mean about that first five minutes thing 🙂

  18. Faith says:

    Love this analogy! And this dish, for that matter. Sweet potato, maple, and ginger are meant to be together.

  19. Christine says:

    Love that quote…so true. Use it or lose it. I know. This dish looks so good and loaded with good things! Nummy! Congrats on the great run!! And the date!!!!

  20. Deborah says:

    These posts are seriously always so inspiring. Along with the recipe!

  21. Being the meat-eater I am I’d sub chicken for tofu… such an interesting idea to put it over a potato! I like potatoes better than noodles or rice, and the sweet potato would add some more nutrients. Great job 🙂

  22. kickpleat says:

    I love your attitude! As for this stirfry, it looks amazing and I love that you served it over a big ol’ sweet potato. Yummy!!

  23. I love that you paired this delicious sounding meal with a sweet potato instead of a grain! I need to do that more often. Yaey for good runs and good first dates. 🙂

  24. Pierce says:

    Joanne, reading this post I can FEEL your elation when you talk about running. I really like your Eat.Live. Be. posts (and the food too!)

  25. Kudos to you for being able to run 8 miles. I can hardly run 1! This meal sounds delicious—I love that there’s so much variety on one plate.

    You’re probably the only human alive that can make sweet potatoes and bok choy look beautiful on a plate.

  26. Erica says:

    I don’t like tofu, but my husband eats tofu twice a week and this dish looks absolutely delicious!

  27. Alisa says:

    Ooh, this looks like exactly what I’ve been craving. I love doing the bok choy tofu combo too!

    Congrats on the good run, and the good first date 🙂

  28. I bet the flavors are amazing. I love ginger on anything!

  29. OohLookBel says:

    I like your thinking, five minutes is all it should take (though I’m so wishy-washy indecisive, I’d need 55 mins). Love this dish, too. Bok choy is my fave green veg.

  30. Maria says:

    I love tofu and just saw a similar recipe in another vegetarian website! Delicious!

  31. I wish I ran so I could relate to you haha! I’m loving this recipe. I’ve been looking for more tofu recipes.

  32. Raina says:

    What a healthy and delicious looking stirfry! Very inspiring post; you are so right; exercise makes you feel so much better, especially when you push yourself to your limits:)

  33. Candace says:

    A great run…a great date…and a delicious looking dinner. Things are going well in your life and I’m happy to hear that! I love this dish. While I can’t wrap my mind around tofu, I can see it prepared with chicken. My family would love this.

  34. Johanna GGG says:

    I feel a bit the same about bike riding – so often I get on and feel I will never get to work (my usual destination these days) and yet midway I am so glad to be on the bike! I have also had my fair share of pushing through with relationships (not just romantic ones) and often midway through once I have overcome the uphill slog I am really glad to be there. And I know if there are lots of good veg and protein in a stirfry you can’t go wrong – looks lovely

  35. Reeni says:

    I’m so happy for you on all counts! That means there’s hope for me yet. This looks like a bowl full of yum! I’ve been having crazy cravings for tofu. I love that it’s served over a sweet potato.

  36. Nicole says:

    I know EXACTLY what you mean about knowing how a run (or a date) will turn out just by judging how you feel in the first 5 minutes. I guess intuition is pretty powerful!

    And good for you for pushing through and kicking ass on your 9-mile run! It’s not easy to move past bad runs sometimes, but when you do, it feels AMAZING. Congratulations!

  37. citrus ginger sauce sounds REAL good. real real good!

  38. Tessa says:

    I have never read a truer running description. Got to love those endorphins from a great run! Congrats on the awesome 9-miler!!

    I have yet to try tofu. Any tips for trying it for the first time?

  39. Mary says:

    This sounds delicious and your insights are right on the mark. Have a great day, Joanne. Blessings…Mary

  40. sophia says:

    I’ve never been on dates before, so I can’t exactly know the struggles of it. All I know is the struggles of NOT having a date! Aiyah! Running, though can be tricky. The first 5 minutes is the toughie for me, until I ease up to it. Love your Asian-influenced dish! 🙂 I love bok choy.

  41. Nicole says:

    Looks amazing! I like the tofu marinade separate from the rest as well.

  42. I so agree! The first five minutes of anything set the tone for the moments to come 🙂

  43. That Girl says:

    I dunno, this “first five minutes” stuff sounds like love at first sight. And I’ve had some pretty miserable first miles!

  44. Debbie says:

    Gorgeous dish! Love all the colors. As for running, I just could never do it. I love walking and walk every day……I could just walk and walk and walk. I tried running but could never do it long enough. Plus my ankles would hurt and that is not a good thing!

  45. Barbara says:

    Yeah, I kind of know what will happen after the first 5 minutes too. But sometimes we’re surprised.
    Love this colorful, healthy dish, Joanne.

  46. Asmita says:

    Hi Joanne,
    What a gorgeous dish! Love all the flavors and colors, it’s going to be made soon at my house.

  47. What a lovely dinner! Thanks for sharing. And I totally agree with your running philosophy. I can absolutely tell within the first mile whether it’s going to be a good day or not.

  48. So does that mean you were in the bar making out until 12:45am? 😉 Glad you had a good date and a good run! This looks great. Love how you put it over a potato.

  49. So does that mean you were in the bar making out until 12:45am? 😉 Glad you had a good date and a good run! This looks great. Love how you put it over a potato.

  50. sally says:

    That citrus-ginger sauce sounds great! I love that you served the stir-fry over sweet potatoes–they would be a nice change from the rice that I always make for stir-fry.

  51. Ok, it’s about the luminosity of your photos… please give a brief dissertation on your technique ;-). Love this dish – bok choy is tragically underutilized! The citrus-ginger combo has my toes curling…

  52. Lynn says:

    I love how your posts are about life and then there’s a recipe. I LOVE your blog. 🙂

  53. Pam says:

    So true! I am glad you had a great run & a good date too. This stir fry makes me want to give tofu a second chance… it looks and sounds tasty!

  54. Suzi says:

    Joanne I love this. All my favorite veggies in there and the orange juice is a nice touch. Have a grea day!.

  55. Looks so good, I love everything that’s in there, I’d even like the tofu, if the pieces were cut really small!

  56. Geni says:

    I always read each and every post and you always entertain me Joanne. This dish looks fabulously healthy and I am so impressed with your ability to push through tough situations (running and boys). Glad you had a great first date! 🙂

  57. So true about running. When I have a good run, I try to remember exactly what I did before it so I can try to recreate it next time. It never works. But, I keep running in hopes of a good run. And, I’d like to come home from a run and have this for dinner. Love all these vegetables!

  58. That looks amazing – and I never would have thought of serving a stir fry like that with a jacket potato. Also, thanks for the (incredibly timely) words of wisdom on pushing on through the pain threshold. I needed to hear that.

  59. Dana says:

    Running always surprises me. I’ll have a day when I am feeling terrible. Tired, hungover, the weather is awful, and then I will have a good run. Other days when it’s sunny, I’m rested – I’ll have a bad run. And yes, you do know in the first five minutes.

  60. Carolyn Jung says:

    The best run I ever had was when I was still in college and had eaten a huge dinner, plus split three pieces of cake with a gal pal, all the night before. Ran longer and easier than I ever had before. Hmmm, wonder if this means I need to eat more cake? 😉

  61. I love that you’ve served it in a baked sweet potato. Thats fab! Cant wait to ehar more about the date 😉

  62. Lori says:

    You hit the nail on the head with the running. The best run ever followed by the worst run of your life. Always unpredictable. I guess that is what keeps in interesting. This is one awesome mix of goodness! Looks so tasty!

  63. Kalyn says:

    This looks like such a great recipe.

    I never could get into running. Every run for me was like one of those bad dates!

  64. I’m SO glad you had a good first date, Joanne! That’s such a cheering thing, no matter what happens down the road. 🙂 And thank you for encouraging us not to give up. Last week was hell for me, but I DIDN’T give up and I’m so glad I didn’t. It was worth the struggle to have this peace now. 🙂

  65. You are the poster child for healthy living and eating, Joanne! Not to mention inspirational. So cool about the first date 🙂

  66. Hotly Spiced says:

    Love your story! So well told. When my sister was single she would tell me the exact same thing. I’d ask her why she never gave a date a second chance and she told me she knew within the first five minutes if there was any potential. So much is determined within five minutes and most of it is non-verbal.

  67. Tofu and bok choy…talk about the healthy and tasty combination! Very gorgeous photos.

  68. YUMMM! So I have been gone all week and I get back and you have the most amazingly delicious pot of goodness just waiting on me! Love it!

  69. vianney says:

    baked tofu..yummy and a great first date, even yummier!!

  70. Jeanette says:

    What a perfectly healthy vegetarian meal. Love how you served it on top of a roasted sweet potato.

  71. Absolutely fantastic advice…running is abuse and love all in one and relationships should definitely only be the latter. Glad to hear you had a good run AND date!

  72. daphne says:

    running is indeed stamina! but so worth it! so is this dish! Love the tangy flavour on this.

  73. Chris says:

    The ginger and citrus sauce brightens every thing up and I LOVE the texture of water chestnuts in stir fries.

    Speaking of sweet potatoes:

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