Credit: Recipe from The Colourful Kitchen Collection from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition (ION). Recipe contributor: Charlotte Watts, nutritional therapist. Photography copyright @ Joy Skipper. Available to pre-order now

Charlotte says: "This is the kind of dish that I find most soothing as an early evening meal when I need a bit of immune and detoxification support. Note I don’t say ‘immune boost’ there as I am looking for regulation, and often that is to bring down immune responses that have been stuck in overactive mode (like inflammation or autoimmunity).”

Serves 2 

Vegan | Nut-free | Dairy-free | Gluten-free 


For the tofu: 

  • 200g firm tofu
  • 3 tbsp rice flour or gram flour
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground chilli
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil 

For the sauce: 

  • 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper

For the stir fry: 

  • 2-3 tbsp sesame seeds  
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ red pepper, chopped into thin batons
  • 3-4 sprigs of purple sprouting broccoli or ¼ whole broccoli, chopped into bitesize pieces
  • 1 carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 1 small bunch/5-6 spring onions, thinly sliced; the tops as rounds (to garnish), and whites as thin batons
  • 1-2 handfuls spinach
  • 5-10g coriander leaf, chopped


  1. Press the tofu for up to 2 hours – or buy extra firm and squeeze.
  2. In a bowl, make the sauce: mix the ginger and garlic with the other sauce ingredients, leaving a little lime juice for garnish, and leave to infuse.
  3. In a frying pan or wok, dry toast the sesame seeds and then set aside.
  4. Once the tofu has had sufficient pressing time to remove excess moisture, chop it into 1cm thick batons.
  5. In a bowl, mix the flour with the tofu seasoning, and add the tofu batons. Mix well to ensure the tofu is thoroughly coated.
  6. Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan or wok, and then add the coated tofu, frying for 1 minute on each side (4 minutes in total), until all the edges are golden and crisp. Set these aside on some absorbent kitchen paper to remove excess oil.
  7. Clean the pan to remove any remaining flour, and then add the sesame oil. On a medium-high heat, stir fry the red onion and pepper for a couple of minutes.
  8. Add the broccoli with a couple of tablespoons of water, cook for a few minutes, and then add carrot and cook for another 5 minutes.
  9. Add the sauce to the pan and once this begins to bubble, add the spring onion batons (keep the tops for garnish), tofu and spinach, and cook for 1-2 minutes until the spinach wilts slightly.
  10. Garnish with a generous sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, spring onion tops, chopped coriander and the remaining lime juice. 

Serving suggestion: serve hot on its own or with some wholegrain brown rice or buckwheat noodles, if desired.  

About Charlotte 

Charlotte Watts is a nutritional therapist who qualified from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition (ION) in 2000 and went on to be a tutor and year 3 programme leader there. Since, she has authored many books including Good Mood Food, The De-Stress Effect and Yoga Therapy for Digestive Health. She won the CAM (now IHCAN) Award for Practitioner of the Year in 2012. | @charlottewattshealth

About the cookbook

The Colourful Kitchen Collection is now available to pre-order! The book is packed with over 80 recipes, provided by ION's very own alumni, to promote health and wellbeing. We know how important it is to eat the right food for you, so you’ll find a mixture of meat, fish, vegetarian, and totally plant-based recipes to suit your needs and preferences. 

The book will be published in October, but you can pre-order your copy today to receive it as soon as it’s out!  

Discover more healthy and delicious recipes here.