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Earth Day Tibetan Stew

Suitable for Earth Day and every day, a seasonal, local, plant-based stew the Dalai Lama and you can enjoy. Tibetan cuisine bridges the geographic gap between China and India. Asia’s soy sauce marries with classic Indian spices Unlike both India and China, there’s little rice in the Tibetan diet — it’s not widely grown there. Like us, though, they love pasta — not long and delicate rice or bean thread oodles but good chewy buckwheat noodles, because buckwheat grows beautifully throughout the country. Substitute whole wheat pasta, also chewy and easier to come by here. Feel free to substitute the vegetables here for what’s fresh and local at your local farmers market.


  • 2 cups whole wheat or buckwheat pasta
  • 4 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 4 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspooon cardamon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger minced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 bunch of bok choy chopped
  • 1 head broccoli stems and florets, chopped
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 2 ribs celery chopped OR 8 to 10 cups chopped vegetables of your choice
  • 6 ounces 1/2 cake firm tofu (optional)
  • 1 to mato chopped or 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes halved or left whole, your choice
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 cup water or vegetable broth


  • Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add past and cook according to package directons until just al dente. Pasta will be tossed with vegetables, cooking further. You want it firm, not mushy. Rinse, drain and set aside.
  • Heat oil in wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add cumin, coriander, paprika and cardamon and stir for about three minutes, until dried spices turn dark and fragrant. Add garlic, ginger and onion, and continue cooking until they turn tender and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the bok choy, broccoli, pepper, carrots and celery OR mixed chopped vegetables or your choice. Stir and continue cooking until all vegetables are tender but retain good color and shape, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Add soy sauce, broth and tomatoes. If using optional tofu, press to drain it of water and dice into cubes. Add to vegetable mixture, stirring gently.
  • Add pasta and toss to combine.