Speaking of iffy ingredients: okay, I know not everyone likes tofu, but then again, not everyone has had it cooked correctly. My father-in-law taught me how to cook tofu in such a way that everyone in the house eats it and asks for seconds. This is not what I would call a super-healthy meal since the tofu is sauteed in oil, but if you add enough stir-fried veggies to the mix you can make it work.
Drain a block of extra firm tofu. Lay it on a dishtowel or a few paper towels, put another dishtowel on top of it, and then stack some books or a cutting board on top to squeeze out as much of the water from the tofu as possible without crushing it. It helps to tilt it a bit to help the liquid drain out.
Once you've wrung out the tofu, cut it into bite-sized cubes. Maybe 1/2, 3/4 inch cubes are fine. You want them big enough to stay together, but small enough to cook firmly all the way through. Also chop up some cabbage, broccoli, water chestnuts, carrots, and whatever other veggies you like in a stir fry. Set all this stuff aside for now.
Prepare a pot of rice- jasmine is my favorite, for this or any other recipe, but go with what you like. When the rice is on its way, start the sauce. In a small saucepan mix together rice vinegar, soy sauce, and a fruit preserve of your choice (apricot is nice) in roughly equal proportions. You want to end up with enough to coat all of your tofu and veggies, so measure appropriately. Bring slowly to a simmer on low-medium heat. Sift in a little cornstarch to thicken it up a bit, turn the heat down to low, and keep stirring occasionally. You can start the next part while it simmers. When it's the consistency of sweet & sour sauce, take it off the heat.
Prepare a bowl of 1 beaten egg and a splash of milk, and another bowl with flour, salt, pepper, and paprika. Maybe 1/2 tsp salt, enough pepper that you can see it throughout the flour, and paprika to turn it all kind of pinky-orange. In a large skillet, heat your choice of oil (olive is fine) at about medium high. The oil should cover the bottom of the pan. Dip the tofu cubes first in the egg, then in the flour, and then put them in the pan. Cook them on all sides until they are nice and golden brown. When they are nice and firmly cooked, put them on a paper towel to soak up the excess oil.
Lastly, stir fry your veggies in a pan with a bit of oil and some soy sauce. Harder veggies go in first so they cook evenly. Keep them moving. When they are as crisp or soft as you like them, take them off the heat.
Now you can mix everything but the rice in a large bowl. Something with a lid is nice because you can close it up and shake to distribute the sauce. Serve over rice with soy sauce on the side.
This is probably my favorite recipe of any kind, meat or veggie, but I only prepare it occasionally because it's kind of complicated, not to mention fried. And I'm hit-or-miss when it comes to stir frying. If anyone has any tips for successful stir-frying, please post them!