The Grumpy Garbanzo vegan food for real life

Southern Stir Fry

The idea for this meal came to me on a run one day, at a time when I was too hungry to judge the strangeness of the combination. At the time, I thought the idea was brilliant. After cooling off, letting the oxygen return to my brain, and eating a much– needed dinner, it seemed less great. I tried this out mainly because I felt bad for my former self's enthusiasm over the idea, and it ended up being delicious.

While I'm not sure there was any initial logic to this combination of ingredients, it seems less strange when you realize that typical southern cooking can also consist of sweet potato, sautéed greens, and a protein source. With that thought, I decided that a golden barbeque sauce would tie the ingredients together nicely. The result was a surprisingly tasty southern play on stir– fry.





Extra– firm tofu

Sweet potato

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Golden BBQ sauce (or other sauce of choice)


Start by cooking rice.

Chop sweet potato and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Spread sweet potato into a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350ºF until cooked.

Mince garlic and roughly chop spinach.

Sauté garlic, add spinach, cook until spinach wilts, and set aside.

Drain, slice, and press tofu.

Sauté tofu with olive oil, salt, and pepper until brown and crispy.

Add golden barbeque sauce and a dash of water into the pan and stir. Cook until tofu is coated in sauce and a glaze has formed.

Mix cooked rice with the spinach and garlic sauté.

Top the mixed rice with sweet potato and tofu.

What did I use and why?

I used Trader Joe's Carolina Gold Barbeque sauce because it was featured in a display once, it wound up in my fridge, and the southern– themed name seemed appropriate. This meal would also work with regular BBQ sauce or other brands of golden, just watch out for honey. Or invent your own sauce!