It feels so good to be home! Finally, we have an oven. And a table. And more than one room.. Aaaand I guess the people are okay too. Just kidding, I’m so happy to see everyone! We missed you guys.
Now that I have a full kitchen again, I have been cooking up a storm and recipe testing and I am loving it. About this latest creation, quinoa on it’s own is pretty boring but dressed up with a few simple ingredients, it can transform into the perfect canvas for a super healthy and delicious meal.
These thai quinoa bowls are wonderfully fresh and flavorful. I’ve made them about 5 times now with different variations and they get better every time! The crunch of the peanuts, freshness from the carrots, crispy tofu and sweet, tangy sauce create the perfect balance of flavors.
Now for all you tofu-haters, I know you’re out there. I understand the struggle, it’s a weird texture and if cooked improperly, it can be unpleasant. However, properly cooked and seasoned tofu can be so, so delicious. My sister typically doesn’t like tofu, but she liked the tofu in this recipe! Follow my tips and give it a shot. There are two main keys to getting it right:
- Buy Extra Firm Tofu, (NOT SILKEN). This can be confusing because “extra firm silken tofu” does exist. Again, this is NOT what you want. The texture is completely different and it is literally impossible to get crispy. Double check your package does not say “silken” anywhere on it. Silken tofu has it’s uses, they are not here.
- You have to use a non-stick pan and you have to leave it alone. You have to just let it sit for a few minutes without touching it so the side touching the pan can get crispy and firm and won’t crumble. So, it just takes a little patience. It can be done without a non-stick pan, it just requires a little more effort (see the recipe).
Once the tofu is crispy, we just toss it in some sesame oil and soy sauce so it can soak up all that delicious flavor and bam, there you have it, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside little bursts of flavor to throw your quinoa bowl over the top.
This comes together really quickly. The tofu and quinoa each take 15-20 min on the stove, and you can knock those out at the same time. Then all you have to do is throw all the sauce ingredients together, and do a little shredding/chopping and you’re done. Easy peasy.
These super healthy and flavorful quinoa bowls are a perfect make-ahead lunch or quick weeknight dinner. crispy tofu + crunchy peanuts + fresh carrots + sweet, tangy sauce = delicious
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 T olive oil
- 15 oz extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2" cubes and patted dry
- 2 T soy sauce
- 1 T sesame oil
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 6 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2/3 cup chopped peanuts
- For the sauce:
- 6 T coconut milk
- 3 T natural peanut butter
- 2 T rice vinegar
- 1 T chili garlic sauce or sriracha
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 T brown sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 T apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
Adapted from this recipe