Experimenting with Tofu

Lunch

I’ll start off with lunch today…a southwest turkey burger spinach salad. I crumbled up a southwest turkey burger from Sunday in the skillet and added a little olive oil and some more texas pete just so it wouldn’t be too dry.

spinach salad with crumbled southwest turkey burger, grape tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower drizzled with balsamic

By the time I made it to the lake after work it was already 6:15.  I squeezed in a 20 min elliptical sesh and a p90 chest, shoulders and triceps workout while watching E News…I prefer that over the local news sometimes…ok, a lot of times…I’m taking full advantage of having control of the t.v. while John is gone.  :) I’m also taking advantage of being able to test out foods I know he would refuse to eat solely based on principle…hence the tofu experiment. 

Dinner

So for dinner, I made a “smoked tofu and quinoa bowl.” 

I know there are those of you who may shudder at the thought of tofu, but this baked version is gooooood.  I mean, it takes on the flavor of anything you put on it…I could see someone being weirded out by the texture, but with all of the other stuff in the bowl you should be able to get over that. This meal ended up working out very well preparation and time wise, which is rare for an experiment. 

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 block of extra firm tofu
  • smoked paprika
  • olive oil
  • tupelo honey
  • cracked pepper
  • 1/2 cup red quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp minced garlic (from the jar)
  • 1/4 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup grape tomatoes, cut into fourths
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped vidalia onion

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • put half the amount of water suggested on the quinoa bag in the pot so it will be ready to boil (I cut everything in half from the instructions on the bag because it was just me eating)
  • Press the tofu between your hands over the sink to get rid of excess water
  • Take 1/2 block of tofu and cut in half and then into thirds and place in a greased baking dish (cut in half again and put on cookie sheet if you want it to be more firm)
  • drizzle olive oil and tupelo honey first, then sprinkle with smoked paprika and cracked pepper – flip and do the same to the other side
  • place in oven to bake for 25 minutes
  • bring water to a boil in a saucepan, add quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the water has been absorbed – 15 to 20 minutes.
  • while the tofu and quinoa are cooking, chop up your bell pepper, onion, parsley and tomatoes

  • then whisk together the olive oil, pomegranate vinegar, garlic and fresh cracked pepper in a small bowl 

    "dressing"

  • let quinoa sit for 5 minutes, fluff, and put in large bowl
  • pull the tofu out of the oven to cool

    • cut these pieces into smaller cubes then add to quinoa along with the dressing, onion, parsley, pepper and tomato
    • mix it all together and you’re done!

quinoa and smoked tofu bowl = goodness

This dinner was definitely a success.  I loved the smokey flavor of the tofu with the sweet vinaigrette.  I also really liked the crunchiness that the peppers added.  On top of getting protein without cholesterol and fat from the tofu, the quinoa adds a host of benefits.  I used EDEN Organic Red Quinoa – heart healthy and an excellent source of dietary fiber. It is also rich in magnesium and folate (B9) with 25% DV (daily value). It’s a good source of protein, iron, thiamin (B1), and riboflavin (B2), very low sodium, saturated fat free, and cholesterol free.

I wanted dessert, but have banned myself until the weekend.  This doesn’t count, does it??…

sunbutter with carob chips

Gah I love the nutty flavor of carob chips (all natural, caffeine free alternative to chocolate chips) and am a HUGE fan of sunbutter (all natural sunflower seed spread that’s peanut free, so it’s awesome when baking for people with peanut allergies).  Even this little bit satisfied my craving for a little sweetness…even though I technically cheated on my own challenge.  Oh well…you win some, you lose some.  Bedtime…toots!