Kitchen Adventures: Quinoa with Tofu and Basil

Or should I say basil with quinoa and tofu?  Basil is clearly the star of this dish, and the delivery of a massive amount of fresh basil from the Ward’s garden (thanks, Sarabeth!) inspired me to go this route in the first place.  This is by far the most complicated dish I’ve ever made without having to go to the store on the way home – a major accomplishment in my book, unlikely to be repeated anytime soon.

This dish is perfect for a summer night like last night – it’s refreshing, light, and doesn’t involve too much time over the stove.  And the way I portioned it, it makes six servings that will last me for lunch and dinner the rest of the week.  Less time cooking later, more time enjoying those late summer evenings!  What’s your go-to summer meal?  Here’s how mine came together (inspired by this post):

Quinoa with Tofu and Basil

  • 1 cup of uncooked quinoa
  • 1 pack of tofu (I used Trader Joe’s Extra Firm High Protein kind – better than I expected!), chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange would work), cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 20 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (optional)
  1. Start by cooking the quinoa – put 1 cup of uncooked quinoa along with 2 cups of water in a pot, and heat to a boil.  After boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.  If quinoa doesn’t seem soft by that point, add a cup of water and continue to simmer until water is absorbed – repeat as needed.  When soft, remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, heat oil over medium heat and then add tofu, stirring until lightly brown (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add onion and garlic to the pan with tofu – stir.  After about 2 minutes, add in peppers and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and basil to tofu and vegetables – then mix together with quinoa.

Serve it hot or cold, with grated Parmesan on top as desired.  (1 serving = 1/6 of the total = 7 PointsPlus)

You can adapt this to whatever you have around the house – tomatoes, squash, tempeh, etc. – the same basic recipe is a great start to any veggie and quinoa stir-fry.  Enjoy!

Want more quinoa?  Check out my quinoa and cheese recipe here!

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3 thoughts on “Kitchen Adventures: Quinoa with Tofu and Basil

    • Yum! I will have to give it a try with the basil that is FINALLY ready for picking at my garden. Growing it from seed was slow 🙂 Your picture is so beautiful – can you photograph the food I cook so I can enjoy it after I snarf it down?

      My favorite summer go-to is a vegetable stir-fry over rice or noodles. I have more than enough cooking greens through my CSA to supply several people’s greens needs and have found that sneaking them into things like mac n’ cheese doesn’t use them up quickly enough.

      I chop up carrots, snap peas, mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, eggplant (whatever I have on hand, about 4 cups total veggies is good) and then I will chop up swiss chard, bok choy, or kale (about 4-6 cups). Heat the oil (I like sesame oil) on high (if you have a pan that can handle it, make sure you have oil that can handle high heat, too), add slow cooking veggies like carrots, broccoli and egg plant, after 1 minute add squash, next add peas and peppers and mushrooms. After another minute add the greens. You should stir constantly. If you want to add a lid for a minute after adding the greens that can speed up the process. Depending on the style you’re going for you could add soy sauce, italian seasoning spices, ground cayenne pepper or ginger. The beauty of the hot pan is that everything cooks quickly so you don’t have to stand over the HOT stove forever in your HOT kitchen.

      If you only have non-stick pans, use medium heat and give everything an extra minute or two to cook. Also, equip yourself with a fan.

      Then the best part – you eat it!!

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