Before you go telling me you don’t like tofu- hear me out! I myself am not a huge fan of tofu. The texture has always been kind of off putting to me and I’m not dependent on it for protein, so I hardly ever buy it or eat that much of it. But a few weeks back I came across this method of baking tofu that allows you to make it really crispy. The process is super simple, just some extra draining (similar to strained yogurt( and a solid bake time are all that’s needed. I’m a huge fan of it in this Thai quinoa bowl. Yes you could totally do chicken or even scrambled egg, but I love the crunch of the tofu nuggets against the rest of the ingredients. That and it soaks up this addictive sauce really well. The other great thing is that this dish works just as well hot as it does cold- making it the perfect thing to have on hand for healthy lunches throughout the week!
Thai Tofu Quinoa Bowls adapted from How Sweet It Is
For the quinoa:
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 package extra firm tofu ( 15 oz), diced
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 2/3 cup chopped scallions
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
For the Sauce:
- 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon Srircha
- 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon creamy peanut butter
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 lime, juice
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
30 Minutes Before Cooking: Drain and rinse the block of tofu. Wrap it in a clean dish towel (or paper towels), and place it on a rimmed dinner plate. Place another plate on top and weight it down with something heavy, like a can of tomatoes or a heavy skillet, to press out some of the excess liquid. Let sit 15 – 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Toss the tofu, soy sauce, and sesame oil in bowl. Place the tofu in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes tossing every ten minutes to crisp the tofu on all sides.
Toast the quinoa: Place a medium sized saucepan on medium low heat. Add in the dry quinoa and toast for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and nutty in scent.Pour toasted quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly. Return to pot and add in the broth, lower heat slightly, cover, and cook for 12-15 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Fluff quinoa with a fork once cooked, and set aside.
Make the sauce: Place the peanut butter in the bowl first and throw in the microwave for 10 seconds to melt slightly. Add in remaining ingredients and whisk well to combine. Set aside.
Toast the almonds: Place the almonds, sesame seeds, and vegetable oil in a small saucepan. Cook or medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until the almonds are a deep golden brown.
Toss together the quinoa, vegetables and herbs, tofu, and 3/4 of the nut mixture. Pour over the sauce and toss well to combine. Spoon into bowls, top with remaining nuts, extra lime and Sriracha if desired. Can be stored in fridge up to one week.