Sometimes inspiration comes from unexpected places. In the case of this yummy dish, it was an excellent price on quinoa at Costco the other week. I haven’t been making quinoa as much as I used to, but we do eat it and I bought the bag. Then I came home and realized that I still had an almost-full bag sitting in the pantry already. The solution? Eat more quinoa! Fortunately, we really like the stuff, so the challenge was finding yet another great way to serve it.
I hunted around on-line for recipes, and found a few things that looked pretty good, but I felt the need to tinker with pretty much everything I found. This is the result.
A few comments:
Baked Tofu – YES! If you haven’t tried this before, do yourself a favour. I know tofu has a not-so-yummy reputation, but trust me. You marinate it in soy sauce and sesame oil for a while, then bake it till it’s crispy, and you’ll never look back. My beautiful daughter, whose motto is “I’m not going to like that,” has requested that I make it for her school lunches.
Quinoa – First and most important rule: Rinse it. Rinse it well. Quinoa has a bitter coating, and you don’t want to eat that. Rinse it off. Then it’s really delicious. You can cook quinoa like rice, in twice the quantity of water (eg. 2 cups water for each cup of quinoa), but it’s so easy to make in a rice cooker. When I bought my rice cooker, I never imagined I’d use it as often as I do, but it’s on the counter every week, usually with quinoa inside. It wasn’t expensive or fancy, and it works like a charm.
Mango – if you find fresh and wish to chop up a mango, more power to you. I’m lazy and keep frozen mango in the freezer, because it’s convenient and always there when I need it. And it makes a great snack.
My lovely new bowls – The day I decided to try this dish for the first time, I happened to buy my ingredients at a supermarket attached to a mall with a fun shop full of Japanese and other East Asian products. I was really just browsing, but these bowls were so pretty, I bought four, each with a different colour glaze inside.
Teriyaki-Style Quinoa Bowl with Vegetables, Baked Tofu, and Mango
- 2 scoops quinoa in the rice cooker (this works out to about 1 1/3 cup quinoa)
- 1 block extra-firm tofu
- 1 TBSP soy sauce
- 1 TBSP sesame oil
- 1 bell pepper, in thin wedges
- 1 large carrot, julienned
- 1 cup snow peas
- splash of vegetable oil
- 1 cup diced mango
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 2 TBSP soy sauce
- 1 TBSP sesame oil
- 1 TBSP rice wine vinegar
- ½ TBSP honey or maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- ½ TBSP ginger, minced
- 1 tsp lime juice
- Cook the quinoa according to package directions. If doing it on the stove-top, use 1 1/3 cup quinoa and 2 1/2 cups water.
- Bake the tofu: Cube the tofu and let marinate in the 1 TBSP soy sauce and 1 TBSP sesame oil for at least 10 minutes. Transfer everything, liquid and all, to a baking sheet that’s been covered in parchment and bake 40 minutes at 375F, flipping part-way through. It you like it crispier, bake a few minutes longer.
- Meanwhile, stir-fry the carrots in a splash of oil for a few minutes to soften them, then add the snow peas and bell peppers.
- Mix the sauce ingredients in a small container and whisk together well.
- When everything is ready, prepare your bowls. Scoop some quinoa into a bowl, top with the sautéed veggies, the mango, tofu and green onions, and drizzle with about 1 TBSP of the teriyaki sauce on each one.
Makes enough for 4.