A few weeks ago, my husband and I were talking about what to prepare for dinner that would use tofu and a bunch of vegetables that were in the fridge. Since he had eaten a really big lunch that day, he requested I make something “lighter” and without the use of pasta or rice. To the pantry I went to see what else I could use. As I surveyed my grain options, my eyes fell on the quinoa and I instantly knew it was the perfect choice. Now, after a few weeks of playing and tweaking I present to you this recipe for Sesame Vegetable and Tofu Quinoa Bowl! It’s delicious and it’s vegan and gluten free, too.
A few notes about the recipe:
1. For the sauce, I used a different type of sugar. I used Sucanat which stands for Sugar Cane Natural made by Wholesome Sweeteners. You can use it in place of brown sugar in just about anything and it adds a bit of a deeper molasses flavor, which I love. Plus, it’s organic and much less processed than other sugars.
2. I used a wok for this recipe. It isn’t essential and you can use a wide, deep sauté pan instead. But, using a wok saved me (or my husband) from cleaning one more pot or pan because I blanched the carrots and broccoli in the wok rather than an additional large saucepan or pot.
3. The recipe for the sauce yields around 1½ cups but you only need around 1 cup for this recipe. You can store the remaining sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Here are some ideas for how to use the extra sauce.
- Sesame Quinoa Bowl
- Yields 6-8 servings
For the sauce:
- -⅓ cup tamari
- -⅛ cup Wholesome Sweeteners Fairtrade Organic Sucanat
- -2 teaspoons molasses
- -⅔ cup water
- -⅛ cup vegetable oil
- -1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or rice vinegar
- -2 teaspoons ground ginger
- -2 teaspoons garlic powder
- -Sriracha or other red chili sauce, to taste
For the vegetables, tofu and quinoa:
- -1½ cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
- -2½ cups water
- -3-4 shallots, thinly sliced
- -2 carrots, peeled and chopped into ¼-inch cubes
- -5-6 mushroom caps, wiped clean and chopped into ¼-inch chunks
- -¼-½ head of broccoli, chopped into ¼-inch chunks
- -1 pound extra firm tofu (pressed if desired), sliced into ¾-inch sticks (Click here for How To Press Tofu)
- -1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- -Around 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Heat the oven to 400°
Make the sauce:
Whisk together all of the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl or shake them up well in a 2 cup mason jar. Pour 1 cup of the sauce into a gallon sized Ziploc bag.
Marinate the tofu:
Add the tofu to the bag. Seal the bag and gently shake bag to coat the tofu. Lay flat in the fridge to marinate for at least 20 minutes or up to an hour, flipping halfway through.
Blanch the carrots and broccoli:
Fill a wok ¾ full with hot water and salt well. Bring to a boil. Prepare an ice bath for the vegetables by filling a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes. Add the chopped carrots to the boiling water. Around 30 seconds later, add the chopped broccoli. After another 15-20 seconds, scoop the vegetables out of the water and place them in the ice bath to stop the cooking process. You should use a large mesh spoon for this. After around 5 minutes in the ice bath, remove the vegetables and drain on a kitchen towel.
Bake the tofu:
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove tofu sticks from the bag, shake off the excess marinade and arrange them in a single layer on the baking sheet. Pour the marinade into a small bowl or cup and set aside. Bake tofu sticks for 25-30 minutes, flipping them halfway through cooking. Once finished, let cool to the touch and chop the sticks into small pieces or crumbles.
While the tofu bakes, cook the quinoa:
Into a medium, saucepan, combine the quinoa and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, fluff gently to release steam and spread out onto a dinner plate so the quinoa doesn’t keep cooking and turn mushy.
Stir fry the vegetables:
In a wok, heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add the shallots and stir them around for 1 minute. Then add the broccoli and carrot mixture. Stir for another minute and add the mushrooms and a couple spoonfuls of the sauce. Mix vegetables and sauce around for around 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the tofu and a spoonful of sauce. Stir and begin adding the quinoa around ¾ cup at a time, mixing frequently. Add 1-2 spoonfuls of sauce at a time until all the quinoa and sauce are incorporated into the vegetables and tofu. Remove from heat and mix in the sesame seeds.