Happy Meatless Monday! Last week, we posted this photo (via Facebook and Twitter) of our delicious vegan dinner — here’s the recipe if you want to make it at home.
Ingredients (for 2 servings):
1/2 cup of quinoa
1 cup of vegetable broth
1 bunch of kale
Minced ginger (optional)
Salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 brick organic firm tofu
1 Tbsp mirin
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a seed rich in protein and high in fiber. Commonly used as a substitute for grain, quinoa is actually not a grain at all and is related to Swiss chard and spinach! It’s easy to prepare – just rinse, drain, and throw in a pot with water in a 1 part quinoa to 2 part liquid ratio. However, we prefer to use vegetable broth instead of water for added flavor. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes until all of the liquid has been absorbed. The quinoa should have a firm but slightly chewy texture when done. It is deceptively filling, so we abide by the serving size of 1/4 cup (dry) per person.
Kale is a beautiful dark green leafy vegetable rich in vitamins A, C, and K. I’ve always been mystified by how to cook it (it’s not a common ingredient in Asian cuisine), but we put together a sauteed kale dish that turned out similar in flavor and texture to the sauteed gai lan in Chinese restaurants. First rinse the kale leaves under cold running water. Cut or shred into pieces (I used scissors and sliced every inch or so along the leafy part and every 1/2 inch along the stem part). In a pot, heat a bit of olive oil. Toss in the kale. It’ll look ambitious at first, but trust me, it wilts down.
Season with salt and pepper (we used Himalayan pink salt which adds a more delicate flavor and interesting crunch). Turn the kale; otherwise the leaves at the bottom start to burn while the leaves on top have yet to wilt. Add some minced ginger (or ginger paste!) and minced garlic for flavor. Serve the kale, juices included, over the bed of quinoa.
I found a brick of “high protein, super firm” organic tofu at Trader Joes. This is PERFECT for stirfrying as the tofu brick is very dense and is less prone to breaking while cooking. If you can’t get your hands on this super (firm) tofu, any firm or extra firm will do. Be sure to pat dry with a paper towel after removing from the package. Cut into small bite-sized cubes and throw into a bowl.
In a smaller bowl, mix together the mirin, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Pour over the tofu cubes and toss to coat. Meanwhile, heat a bit of olive oil in a pan. When the pan is hot, add the tofu cubes including any remaining “marinade” and let it fry/simmer until warm. Serve on top of the kale and quinoa. Enjoy!