MM: Tofu and Peanutty Quinoa Bowls

My husband and I have been together for exactly 5 years and last night he told me something I never thought I would hear come out of his mouth.

“Is there any more tofu?”

My omnivore husband has always been tolerant of my vegetarian ways, but given the choice, he’d love to eat steak, lamb, bacon, chicken, duck, and pretty much any kind of meat on a regular basis.  Which makes his tolerance of my diet one of the many reasons why I love him.  Occasionally I will make a vegetarian dish that he really enjoys and even requests to have again, but I never ever thought I’d hear him ask for more tofu.  I mean, I don’t even like tofu.

But in the husband’s efforts to be healthy, he has requested that I consider preparing dishes with a little more protein.  So he posted this link of high protein vegetarian dishes on my facebook.  (Ironically, I already make one of them on a fairly regular basis: Vegetarian Split Pea Soup.  With such a short ingredient list, I can’t help but turn to this delicious soup regularly.)  I decided to take his not-so-subtle hint to heart and try out one of the recipes from the list. First up: Peanutty Qunioa Bowls with Baked Tofu.

This recipe stole my heart by combining two flavors I’ve been in love with lately: peanut butter and ginger.  I hadn’t really combined them before, but I had to try.  And since my dishes lately have been trending slightly Indian (like this and this) I figured it was about time to move the flavor profile a little further east with the likes of tamari and lime juice.

Obviously, we were not disappointed!  I doubled the recipe to use all of the baked tofu and make intentional leftovers.  If you’re a pretty organized person (and/or pinched for time during the week) consider making the baked tofu recipe ahead of time or purchasing pre-baked tofu from the store.  The rest of the recipe comes together pretty quickly.

tamari, maple syrup, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper2014-01-26 19.22.482014-01-26 19.38.18

Baked Tofu

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp tamari (soy sauce works)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Pinch of ground pepper
  • 1 15-oz package extra-firm tofu

Instructions

1. Drain the tofu, slice into 8 equal slices and press the water out of the tofu for 30 minutes.  (Place tofu slices between kitchen towels with paper towel liners and set a solid cutting board on top.  Add a heavy jar or skillet on top of the cutting board for extra weight if your cutting board isn’t very heavy.)

2. While the tofu is being pressed, whisk together the marinade ingredients.  Dump the marinade in a baking dish that will just fit all of the slices of tofu.  Place the tofu in the marinade.  Let each side soak up the marinade for 15 minutes (30 minutes total).   When you flip the tofu, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray with baking spray) and arrange the tofu slices on the sheet.  I dumped the remaining marinade on top of the slices to make sure I got maximum flavor.  Bake the tofu for 40 minutes, flipping halfway through.  (I actually turned the oven off after 40 minutes and left the tofu in for a few minutes before I remembered and took them out.  No damage.)

quinoa, olive oil, tamari, broccoli, lime juice, red pepper, peanut butter, ginger, coconut sugar, salt and pepper2014-01-26 19.21.182014-01-26 19.21.252014-01-26 19.32.30

Tofu and Peanutty Quinoa Bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 red peppers
  • 2 heads of broccoli
  • 4 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp tamari (soy sauce works)
  • 1 tsp coconut or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 slices baked tofu (see above recipe)
  • 4 tbsp chopped peanuts

Instructions

1. Prepare the baked tofu. While tofu is marinating and baking, you should be able to throw the rest together.

2. Wash and chop the red pepper and the broccoli. Cook the quinoa according to package directions (2 cups water, bring to boil, then simmer for 15 minutes).  While the quinoa cooks, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the red pepper for about 3 minutes, until soft.

3. Dump the red pepper into a large bowl.  Add the broccoli and about 3-4 tablespoons of water back to the skillet.  Cover with a lid and let the broccoli steam for about 2 minutes.  Add the broccoli to the bowl with the red pepper.

4. Mince the ginger (I used a mini food processor).  Whisk or process together the ginger, peanut butter, lime juice, water, tamari, and sugar.

5. Add the cooked quinoa and peanut butter sauce to the red pepper and broccoli and combine together.  Season with salt and pepper.  Divide the quinoa mixture among 4 bowls and add 2 slices of tofu and a tablespoon of chopped peanuts to each bowl.

2014-01-26 19.38.06

One year ago: Deconstructed Fish Tacos

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