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Curl Up with a Vegan Quinoa Bowl Topped with Rich Tahini Sauce
The meal-in-a-bowl has become a mainstay of vegan restaurants. A successful bowl achieves a harmonious balance between a grain, a protein, vegetables and a flavourful sauce. Last week's tahini sauce adventure left me with a fierce desire to mingle all that lemon-sesame goodness with quinoa and cubes of firm tofu. So that's what I did this week. I added roasted broccoli for colour and almond slivers for some extra crunch.
The main challenge in making this dish is getting everything in the bowl, cooked and hot, at the same time. It's not such a big deal, but it involves roasting the broccoli first, lowering the oven temperature, baking the tofu, then adding the broccoli back in with the almond slivers at the end. The recipe below yields four generous servings.
700 g extra firm tofu (about 1 1/2 pounds)
700 g broccoli crowns, cut into florets (about 1 1/2 pounds, crowns only)
2 Tbl olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 1/2 cups quinoa
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced with a little salt
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/3 cup slivered almonds
salt and ground pepper to taste
1 3/4 cups tahini sauce (see linked recipe for details)
Make the tahini sauce and let it rest in the fridge while you make everything else.
Preheat the oven to 500°F.
Cut the broccoli into smallish florets, rinse and drain.
Place the florets in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, mixing well.
Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lay out the broccoli in a single layer. Try to lie each floret on its side so that the delicate part isn't in direct contact with the foil.
Place the broccoli in the oven for 15 minutes.
When the broccoli has 5 minutes left to cook, heat the 2 Tbl olive oil over medium heat in a medium-sized pot. Fry the onion for a few minutes until turning translucent and then add the garlic for a few minutes more. Add the quinoa and vegetable stock to the pot, mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and let it cook for about 20 minutes.
When the broccoli is finished roasting, remove it from the oven and immediately transfer to a bowl so that it doesn't burn on the baking sheet.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
Next, prepare the tofu for baking.
Slice the tofu into 1/3" slices, approximately 3"X3". Lay the slices on paper towel.
Firmly press a second paper towel on top and squeeze as much moisture out of the tofu as possible.
Chop the tofu up into bite-sized cubes, place it in a bowl, and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Prepare another baking sheet, this time with parchment paper, and spread the tofu out in a single layer.
Place tofu in the 350°F oven for 25 minutes.
When the tofu has been cooking for 10 minutes, remove it from the oven and add the broccoli and slivered almonds on top.
Return it to the oven for the last 15 minutes.
When the quinoa has finished cooking, fluff it with a fork, mix in the parsley, turn off the heat and put the cover back to keep it warm.
After 25 minutes (total), remove the tofu, broccoli and almond slivers.
Serve in large bowls, with quinoa on the bottom, tofu and broccoli on top and tahini sauce mixed in to taste.
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Posted: Saturday, February 13, 2016