Sweet Chili-Lime Tofu with Arugula and Quinoa

And now, for something completely different.
I know, I know.  There isn't anything in this dish that is baked, and this is the bionic baker, after all.  Don't worry, I haven't entirely jumped the shark here.  I'll still be posting lots of baked goods (I have a delicious nectarine tart for tomorrow).   However I am going to start including some food that is not necessarily baked.

One reason is that there are some really delicious recipes that I'd like to share with you that don't involved baking.  This recipe, for example is great.  It has so much flavor, chili, lime, soy sauce, a little sweetness and it all comes together in an amazing way.
Another reason I am doing this, is because I am hoping posting will help motivate me to cook more (I live within a block of 10 cafes/restaurants), to find new recipes and ingredients, to eat more local, fresh produce and different grains.  I realize I get busy and I get lazy and my eating habits reflect that.  I think this is something other people have to struggle with too, so maybe I will inspire you to pay more attention to what you eat (and also enjoy it more!).
In an effort to get more fresh and local produce, I've signed up for a CSA share.  CSA, community supported agriculture, for those not familiar is a great way to support local farmers.  You buy a share in the farm for a season and get a selection of produce each week.  The general idea is to distribute the risk/cost to a wider community.  In exchange, I get really fresh produce.  I know where it is from and I know I'm supporting local farmers.  This week, I got kale, carrots, arugula, butter lettuce and cherries.
This is quinoa, which is beginning to get more attention and is a great ingredient.  It is not technically a grain (actually more closely related to spinach).  It has really high protein and has a balanced set of essential amino acids.  It is also super delicious and really easy to make (similar to cous-cous).  You should definitely give it a try.
That fresh arugula looks so tempting, doesn't it.  Arugula isn't even one of my favorite vegetables but it is hard to resist this dish.  I tossed it in a tiny bit of rice vinegar.
The best part is the entire meal took about 35 minutes to make!  I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Sweet Chili-Lime Tofu with Arugula and Quinoa

3 tbsps brown sugar
3 tbsps soy sauce
2 tbsps lime juice
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
4 mint leaves, chiffonade

1 block extra firm tofu (14 oz)

3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed in cool water and drained
1/2 tsp lime juice
1 small piece of a cinnamon stick (optional)
2 bruised cardamom pods (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/3 cup water

1 bunch arugula, washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces.
1-2 tsps of rice vinegar

1. Drain tofu between two plates.  I usually put a can of tomato sauce or something similar on top.
2. Combine quinoa ingredients in a pot.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover.
3. Simmer quinoa for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit 10 minutes before opening the lid.
4. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce.
5. Cut it into small triangles: slice the block into 8 rectangles, then each rectangle in half to make two squares per rectangle, then each square diagonally to make four triangles per square.
6. Heat a well-seasoned cast-iron pan (no oil needed) or a non-stick pan with a little bit of oil, over med-high heat.
7. Spread the tofu out in one layer in the pan. Using a spatula, press the tofu to cook off the liquid, gently at first.  The tofu will begin to to turn golden.  Flip after several minutes.  Cook for about 10 minutes.
8. Once tofu is golden, turn heat to high and let pan get really hot.  Keep turning the tofu or it will burn.
9. Pour in the sauce and let it simmer a minute or two, then turn off the heat and keep stirring until the sauce thickens into a glaze.  If it isn't thickening, put it back over the heat.
10. Toss the arugula with the rice vinegar.
11. Serve tofu over quinoa and arugula.
Adapted from VeganYumYum.com

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1 comment:

  1. I just made this with my 5-year-old daughter. It took us about 30-40 minutes to make and we both loved it! She loved it so much, she poured the rest of the quinoa into the pan with the little bit of sauce that was left. After she finished that off, she tried to devour the tofu we saved for my husband and asked to have it for dinner again tomorrow. Victory! Thanks for the great recipe!