Peanutty Quinoa Bowls with Baked Tofu

I follow Oh My Veggies on Facebook which lead me to their website where I was searched for a meatless meal to make for our Whatever! We Can Do Without Meat Wednesday. Now typically, I am not a fan of tofu; I know, weird, right? A Vegetarian who doesn’t like Tofu. It’s the texture of the stuff. And the appearance of it. And the feel of it when you take it out of the package. I am grimacing as I type this…too many vivid thoughts about Tofu. But hey, this recipe made it taste sooooo good! Once I got through all the hurdles: got it out of the package, sliced and got it marinating,  it was easy street after that! And I am pleased to say that it was VERY easy to eat! Too easy! I could easily have had seconds!

Now, of course, I was missing half the ingredients, but I never let that stop me from trying something new! I used what I had on hand: subbed in julienned carrots for red pepper, edamame for the broccoli, yellow pepper just because I had it. And  guess what? Last night when I went grocery shopping? I bought more tofu just so I could make this again!!   Are you now convinced this is good? Go on, give it a go!

peanutty quinoa bowl with baked tofu
Peanutty Quinoa Bowl with Baked Tofu

3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (or Tamari)
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 clove Garlic, mashed
1 (425g) package Extra Firm Tofu, drained, pressed for 30 minutes and cut into 8 slices.

1/2 cup Quinoa
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
1 small Red Pepper, diced
1 small crown of Broccoli, cut into small florets
2 Tablespoons Peanut Butter
1 Tablespoon Water
1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
1 teaspoon Soy Sauce (Tamari)
1/2 teaspoon Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh Ginger, grated
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Splash of Sriracha, to taste
4 slices Baked Tofu (recipe above)
2 Tablespoons Roasted Peanuts, chopped
Green Onions, garnish

30 minutes to Overnight before you want to make this recipe, prepare the Tofu Marinade:
Whisk together soy sauce, maple syrup, olive oil, garlic and pepper in a large zip lock freezer bag.
Lay the tofu in the bag, seal, transfer to fridge and let marinate for 30 minutes or longer, flipping over at least once.
The tofu should soak up almost all of the marinade.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Place tofu on prepared baking tray and bake for about 40 minutes. or until edges are dark and tofu is chewy, turning over halfway through the cooking time.

While the tofu is baking, prepare the Quinoa according to package directions. (1:2 Quinoa: Water; cook for 15 to 20 minutes)
Depending on what I am making, I might use Vegetable Broth instead of Water to cook the Quinoa for extra flavour in the finished product.
While quinoa is cooking, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the red pepper and cook for a few minutes, until softened.
Transfer to a mixing bowl.
Add the broccoli to the skillet with a bit of water, cover with tight fitting lid and steam for just a couple of minutes.
Transfer broccoli to mixing bowl containing the red pepper.
In a pyrex measuring cup or a small bowl combine peanut butter, lime juice, water, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger,sriracha,  salt and pepper; whisk until smooth.
When quinoa is cooked, transfer to mixing bowl containing prepared veggies; toss everything together with the peanut sauce.
Divide quinoa into two bowls, top each with 2 slices of baked tofu, chopped peanuts and chopped green onions,

Serves 2

“Steak” Fried Rice

Just after Christmas I cleaned out my refrigerator freezer; lots of odds and sods in there! Multiple bread bags containing heels of bread waiting to be made into breadcrumbs, a couple containers of leftover rice, a few little containers of leftover mashed potatoes, container of chopped green pepper…What to do with all this stuff? Well, I crumbed the heels of bread and condensed to one container; I will remember to use the mashed ‘taters the next time I make a soup or stew. Same goes for chopped peppers…spaghetti sauce, stew or Hot Pepper Pot Soup. Ah, the rice…??

I just so happened to have had some “beef” strips in the crisper so I used them to make this Steak Fried Rice that came through my Canadian Living Facebook feed. Please do make the real beef version that I have linked for you but I recommend that you also try the meatless version!

I did have to make a few substitutions to make it Vegetarian…used faux beef, obviously; I was out of mushrooms so left them out but will definitely use the next time I make this; not so obvious: I left out the oyster sauce with no subs in. I cannot eat that stuff unless I want to have a major allergic reaction…food intolerance…reaction? ! Is there such a thing?  My children are forever saying that they are going to MAKE me eat meat and I won’t even know the difference…my body WILL know and I will react simply because my system no longer knows what meat is! I have been without for 30+ years and I don’t think there is any going back after this long. The thought never crosses my mind…espeically now that I cook meat for my husband…reinforces all the reasons I DON’T eat meat! Thanks for making it so much easier for me to stick to my convictions, dear 😉

steak fried rice
“Steak” Fried Rice

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 Onion, diced
3 Green Onions, chopped, separated- greens and whites
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh Ginger, minced
4 Mushrooms, sliced
1 Carrot, peeled, julienned
1 rib Celery, finely diced
1/2 Sweet Red Pepper, diced
5 cups cooked Rice
1 pkg Beefless 
1/2 cup frozen Peas
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon Sesame Oil

In large, deep skillet (28cm) heat oil over high heat.
Stir fry onion, whites of green onion, garlic and ginger for about a minute.
Add mushrooms, carrot, celery, red pepper; stir-fry until the veggies are tender-crisp, about 4 minutes.
Stir in rice, “beef”, peas, soy sauce; stir-fry for about 3 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Stir in green bits of green onion and sesame oil.
Serve with a sprinkle of Sesame Seeds.

Serves 4 – 6

Slow Cooker Garden Vegetable Spaghetti Sauce

When living in Australia we had a garden that produced an abundance of fresh produce! Garden Vegetable Spaghetti Sauce was a perfect way to use up some of the bounty of the garden.

Gather up all the ingredients
Gather up all the ingredients
Slice, dice, chop, grate...
Slice, dice, chop, grate…


1 Onion, diced
4 cloves of Garlic, crushed
4 stalks Celery, some leaves included, sliced
1 large Carrot, grated
1 Zuchinni, grated
1 Green Pepper, diced
1 Red Pepper, diced,
6 – 8 Mushrooms, sliced or chopped
1 (800g) can Diced Tomatoes
1 (410g) can Tomato Sauce
1 (800g) can of water
* If you happen to have heaps of Tomatoes ripe in  your garden, you can use a kilo of fresh, peeled, chopped tomatoes instead of canned ones
2 – 4 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 Tablespoon each dried: Basil, Oregano, Parsley
1/2 teaspoon Chili Flakes
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons Brown Sugar
Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper, to taste


Combine all your ingredients in the Slow Cooker
Combine all your ingredients in the Slow Cooker
Cover and cook on High
Cover and cook on High
If needed, add tomato paste to thicken. You may add more spices, to taste. Stir in any additions and heat through (15 minutes, while you boil your pasta)
Top with Fresh Basil, a side of Garlic Toast
Top with Fresh Basil, a side of Garlic Toast