Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What's for Dinner? Wednesday: A Bowl of TQR (Tofu, Quinoa, and Red Peppers)


Wondering what to make for dinner tonight? You're in luck and just in time for What's for Dinner? Wednesday! This week's recipe is a vegetarian dish, a Bowl of TQR (Tofu, Quinoa, and Red Peppers). I think the recipe sounds more fun as initials, because then your dinner guests have no clue what you're up to while you work. Maybe you're making The Quintessential Recipe or planning your own version of The Quiet Revolution.  They will never know until they sit down for dinner or catch you in the act of whipping up a bowl of the stuff.  Either way a little mystery never hurt anyone.

This recipe has your oven and stove working for about 30 mins, but you'll only actively involved for about 5 mins.  Gotta love that! Even better? Your bowl of TQR will be brimming with protein from the tofu and quinoa.  I'm not a tofu cooking pro yet, so the recipe I'm sharing with you today has been modified from one I found on Pop Sugar, but the more I use it the more respect I have for it.

If you're buying a bag of quinoa for the first time and are worried that it will just take up space in your pantry after you try this meal, you might want to check out one of my other favorite quinoa recipes, Lemon Chicken with Red Beans and Quinoa>>.

Getting back to our bowl of TQR, here's what you'll need to serve a Bowl of TQR to Four:

10 oz of tofu, cubed
2 red peppers, sliced
cooking spray
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1.25 cups quinoa
3 cups water
1.5 cups shredded carrots
1.5 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1.5 tsp apple cider vinegar
1.5 tbsp sesame seeds
1.5 tsp fresh ginger
1 clove fresh garlic, minced

Putting it all together:

Step One: Preheat your oven to 450°F and grab a large bowl. Don't put the bowl in the oven. Do add your cubed tofu, sliced red peppers, sesame oil, salt, and pepper to the bowl and mix them together.  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and spread out the ingredients from the bowl on your baking sheet.  Once your oven is ready, cook your tofu until it has browned slightly.  Your total cook time should be 15-20 mins.

Step Two:  You know what else takes about 20 mins to cook? Quinoa! It's almost too convenient....Set up a pot that has a cover on your stove and cook your quinoa and water on high until the water starts to boil.  Then turn the heat down so your protein-packed grain is set to simmer. Cover the pot and allow it to cook for 10 mins before adding your shredded carrots.  After another 10 mins the water should be absorbed by your quinoa and you'll be ready to take it off the oven.

Step Three: By now your tofu should almost be done with its first round in the oven.  Check on it and then prepare the secret sauce that you'll add to the top.  In a small bowl, combine your soy sauce, maple syrup, and vinegar.  Drizzle this liquid mix over your tofu and then sprinkle sesame seeds on top before returning your your tofu to the oven for a final 8 to 12 minutes of roasting.

Step Four:  Stir your ginger and garlic into your quinoa and then divide it evenly among four plates. Check that tofu one last time and when it's done, divide it up and place each serving of tofu on it's own bed of quinoa.

And you're done! Announce to your dinner friends that their Bowl of TQR is ready and see if they are intrigued by the mystery name, or not.

Does this recipe sound delicious? Share it so others can find it too.  Will you try it out tonight or later this week? Share your thoughts on making a Bowl of TQR with a comment below: