Saturday, March 17, 2012

Baked tofu and veggie quinoa salad

I don't know about you, but my experience with store-bought tofu is that it never tastes as good as it does when served at restaurants. Probably because I don't deep fry it, and restaurants are obviously using some sort of secret tofu that's not available to the public. How frustrating! Well here's a tip to make your tofu taste about ten million times better than it usually does: freeze it. Simply place your tofu package into the freezer and it'll take on a much denser, meatier texture when it defrosts. Then marinate using fresh ingredients and bake until golden brown.

Baked tofu & veggie quinoa salad

After taking my tofu out of the freezer, I let it sit on the counter for about 20 minutes before slicing it into thirds across the middle. I then let the tofu slices continue to defrost wrapped inside a clean kitchen tower, draining out any excess liquid. After half an hour, I cut the tofu into cubes and tossed them with the best marinade. (See below for the recipe!)

Baked tofu & veggie quinoa salad

Once the tofu had marinated for at least an hour, I spread the flavour-infused pieces onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, being careful to arrange them in a single layer. I popped them in the oven at 400° F (200° C) for 30 minutes, flipping the pieces over midway through.

Baked tofu & veggie quinoa salad

I also tossed in some slices of carrots and mushrooms during the last 10 minutes of baking. Broccoli and cauliflower would have been good, too!

Baked tofu & veggie quinoa salad

Once everything was baked to a glazed golden brown, I mixed the roasted goodies in with some cooked quinoa, a few handfuls of shredded cabbage, fresh cilantro, and another serving of the marinade.

Baked tofu and veggie quinoa salad

Baked tofu & veggie quinoa salad, adapted from Cookie + Kate
Serves 3

Marinaded tofu & Dressing
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp ginger, finely chopped or grated
3 tbsp garlic, finely chopped or grated
3 green onions, chopped
1 block extra firm tofu, frozen, defrosted, drained and cubed

1 cup dried quinoa
6 mushrooms, sliced
3 carrots, sliced
2 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds

In a large bowl, mix together rice vinegar, tamari, sesame oil, honey, ginger, garlic, and green onions. Set half aside to use as the dressing. Mix the other half with the drained tofu cubes and place in fridge to marinade for at least an hour. Overnight would be even better.

Arrange the marinated tofu in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake in a pre-heated oven, at 400° F (200° C) for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Add carrots and mushrooms during the last 10 minutes of baking.

Cook quinoa according to package directions then place in a large bowl. Mix in baked tofu and veggies, cabbage, cilantro, and reserved dressing. Season with freshly cracked black pepper, and serve sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. And enjoy the mix of flavours!

Baked tofu & veggie quinoa salad

What makes this dish so good are the opposing tastes and textures. The meaty bite of the baked tofu with the crisp cabbage. The combination of fresh ginger, sweet honey, salty tamari, and peppery cilantro. The honey also helps caramelize the tofu, adding to its roasted texture, so make sure you don't skimp on it.

All artwork and photographs copyright © 2012 Jasmine Habart.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Copyright © 2012/2013 Jasmine Habart