For my “eat for dinner once then bring for lunch the whole week” meal this week, I wanted to use up some of the bulk grains that I bought from Whole Foods awhile back. I had Israeli couscous, barley, and quinoa to choose from and decided to go with the quinoa. Quinoa and I have a love-hate relationship. I love it because it’s a complete protein, is also loaded with vitamins and minerals, and it has a light and fluffy texture thats a nice change from rice. I hate (okay, strongly dislike) it because even though every website I have found claims it is easy to cook, I still haven’t found a good way to strain it after the essential 15 minute rinse. This straining period supposedly gets rid of its bitter flavor, but every time I try to strain it, it ends up sticking to the sides of the mesh strainer, making it difficult to put the quinoa back in the pot to cook. If anyone has some good tips on how to strain quinoa, do share! I ended up just cooking the quinoa for this dish in the water I soaked it in. Call me lazy, but it worked.
Now, let’s talk about the tofu. When I make tofu, I usually marinate it in something like teriyaki or peanut sauce, and then bake it in the oven until it gets nice and chewy. I came across a breaded version of tofu, and wish I would have thought of this sooner! The bread crumb coating gave the tofu a nice crunch along with the chewiness, and it really stood out from the quinoa. Overall, this was a tasty and healthy alternative to the more traditional greasy fried rice.
Tofu and Quinoa “Fried Rice”
1 block extra firm tofu
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 tbsp peanut oil (sesame oil or olive oil would work fine too)
1 small white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 1/2 cups frozen pea, carrot, and corn mixture
1 stalk broccoli, chopped (or 1 cup frozen broccoli)
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 tbsp soy sauce, optional
2 green onions, sliced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
To make quinoa, combine 1 cup dry quinoa and 2 cups of water. Let sit 15 minutes. While this is happening, you can press the tofu. After 15 minutes, either strain quinoa and return to pan, or just cook over medium heat until all liquid is absorbed. If you strain the quinoa, you should combine it with 2 cups of water again to cook. Set aside.
Press tofu for 10 minutes to drain excess liquid. After the tofu is pressed, cut tofu into cubes. Place in shallow bowl with soy sauce and let sit for 10-15 minutes. In large ziploc bag, combine the breadcrumbs and tofu and lightly toss until breadcrumbs are coated. Spread tofu onto prepared baking sheet and bake 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add red pepper flakes, garlic salt, and vegetables and cook until vegetables are done, about 5-7 minutes.
Scramble the 2 eggs in small bowl and add to cooked vegetables. When egg is almost completely cooked, add 2 cups cooked quinoa. Add extra soy sauce and toss to combine (optional).
When tofu is done in the oven, serve with quinoa fried rice. Top with sliced green onions.