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Okay, so maybe the title is a little misleading…but that’s only if you consider the leafy part of “leafy greens” to be the part to eat!

As it went down in real life, this was more “late night snack” than a legit meal, but, hey, sometimes that’s what the tummy and schedule of the day calls for.  I looked in the fridge and thought, “What can I throw together real quick?”  The day before I had de-stemmed some mustard greens and used the leafy parts in another dish.  Not wanting to waste the stems, I diced them up, blanched them, and threw them in an airtight container and into the fridge.

Zero-waste on my greens, and a quick and easy veggie addition to my late-night noodles.  This could easily be under $1 per serving…

Mustard greens, tofu, and rice noodles in a bowl.

Mustard Greens and Tofu with Rice Noodles

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 7 mins
Total: 12 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Greens are a great compliment to tofu and noodles.


  • 4 ounces of banh pho/rice noodles
  • 7 ounces of extra firm tofu
  • 3/4 cup of mustard green stems, diced
  • 1/2 - 1 Tablespoon of cooking oil (I used toasted sesame oil, but any relatively high heat oil will do)
  • 1 Tablespoon of chili/hot pepper oil (or 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes)
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Boil water to prepare noodles. Cook according to package instructions, but make sure you time them to be done so they can be added to the sautéing tofu and stems without delay! (Also, feel free to up the amount of noodles for a bigger meal. It was late, and I knew I wasn't going to eat it with a broth, so I kept the noodles to a minimum.)
  • Drain (if necessary, and press, if you like) the tofu. Slice it up any way you like; cubes get boring, so I like to chop it up at all sorts of funky angles. In a skillet, heat cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add tofu and sear as much as you desire, adding the hot pepper/chili oil after a couple of minutes. It may be helpful to cover with a lid, if the water still in your tofu gets all splattery with the hot oil! (I used half a typical packaged tub of tofu. Obviously, it's easy to use the whole thing and double the other amounts in the recipe to make leftovers or feed multiple mouths at the same meal!)
  • My stems were already blanched due to previous kitchen shenanigans...but assuming yours aren't, you can take care of this while the tofu is crisping up: In a small saucepan/pot bring just a cup or so of water to a boil. Once boiling, drop the stems in. Once they start to turn a brighter green, they're done. Dump the greens and water into a colander (over the sink, of course!) and splash them with some cold water to stop the cooking of the stems.
  • About 30 seconds before you think the tofu will be done, add the stems. Stir and sauté the tofu and stems, adding the black pepper at this point (and the red pepper flakes, if you didn't use the spicy oil earlier). Once that's had 30-60 seconds to combine, add the rice noodles. Stir and heat together, until thoroughly mixed and heated.
  • Serve on its own, in a broth, or accompanied with other stir-fried vegetables....say, oh I don't know, maybe some leafy greens??!! Enjoy!


This is a zero-waste meal as you can use all parts of your greens!


Calories: 421kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 10gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 170mgPotassium: 251mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 635IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 65mgIron: 2mg

Disclaimer: Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Matthew Smith
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Method: Stovetop
Diet: Vegan
Keywords: banh pho, budget, cheap, confetti, easy, fast, greens, leafy greens, mustard greens, plant-based, quick, rice noodles, sesame oil, simple, stems, tofu, vegan, vegetarian, zero waste
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂

Matthew Smith

A former math teacher, Matt is now cooking up food in a vegan restaurant in Berkeley, CA. More than 5 years into his vegan journey, he loves sharing tasty, compassionate, and healthful food with friends and family–and strangers, too, sometimes!

More about Matthew Smith

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