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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

"Cheezy" Quinoa with Broccoli

Hey Babes!

When I cook grains, I like to make up a big batch of them so I have lots and lots leftover for other dishes throughout the week.  Last night, I whipped up a huge batch of quinoa and used some of it to make a yummy and comforting supper:  "Cheezy" Quinoa with Broccoli.  Kind of like mac and cheese with broccoli, but gluten free, low fat, high protein and of course, vegan!  It was so luxurious and rich but yet so nutritious, I knew I would have to share it with you right away!  I used some of the leftover quinoa in my lunch today, a salad with spinach, avocado, sunflower seeds and a lime-macadamia dressing - so good!  The rest of the leftover grains will either get rolled into nori to make veggie sushi rolls or baked into quinoa omelet breakfast muffins!  Recipes will follow. . . <3

"Cheezy" Quinoa with Broccoli
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups broccoli, chopped into itty bitty florets
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 tbsp white miso paste
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar (or both!)
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- S&P to taste

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan and stir in the quinoa.  Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover the pot with a lid.  The quinoa should be cooked in about 15 minutes.  You'll be able to tell when it's cooked as the little "tails" become present and the grains have doubled in size.   

Turn off the heat, add the broccoli and cover with the lid while you make the sauce.  This steams the broccoli ever so slightly, so the texture is more tender but the nutrients are better preserved.

Whisk together all the other ingredients except the nutritional yeast and season with salt and fresh ground pepper.  If you find that your sauce has turned into a super thick paste (tahini can be funny that way), just add a tablespoon of water at a time and stir it well until a saucier consistency is reached.  

Stir the sauce and nutritional yeast into the quinoa and broccoli and re-season with salt and freshly ground pepper.  



Sunday, March 10, 2013

Thai Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Cucumber Carrot Slaw

Hello Lovelies,

Lately I have been giving cooking lessons to ATM's cousin Steffie who recently went vegetarian (woohoo!).  Yesterday, when she was deciding what she would like me to teach her to cook, she mentioned her disdain for tofu.  She is certainly not alone in the Tofu Haters Club, more often than not I meet people who shudder at the mere mention of the word.  I believe that almost everyone can like tofu because tofu can taste like anything: chicken-y nuggets, feta cheese, ricotta cheese, chocolate mousse, ranch dressing. . . the possibilities are endless!  Tofu on its own is pretty sad and boring, so preparation is key when winning people over to bean curd love.  Steffie and I made super simple, super delicious Thai tofu lettuce wraps and guess what?  She sure doesn't hate tofu anymore!

Thai Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Cucumber Carrot Slaw
- 1 head of romaine lettuce, or iceberg lettuce, or collards, or savoy cabbage for wrapping
for the tofu:
- 1 package of extra firm tofu
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 tbsp Thai green curry paste
- 2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tbsp coconut oil or veg oil 
for the sauce:
- Juice of one lime
- 1 tbsp agave syrup
- 1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
- Sriracha sauce, or Sambal Oelek, or other chili sauce
for the slaw:
- 1 large English cucumber
- 1 large carrot
- 1 minced shallot
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tsp agave syrup
- 1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
- 1 small minced Thai chili (or a sprinkle or dried chili flakes)
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Let's start with the slaw.  Using a vegetable peeler, make the carrot and cucumber into ribbons by peeling and rotating the veggies until there is nothing left.  Toss the ribbons, with the shallot, lime juice, agave, tamari, chilies and cilantro and set in the fridge to get cold and crisp and well marinated.

For the sauce, simply whisk the lime juice, agave, tamari and chili sauce (to your discretion).

For the tofu, place all ingredients except for the coconut oil into a food processor and pulse until the mixture is well combined.  Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, add the coconut or vegetable oil and the tofu mixture.  Saute for a few minutes, or until slightly browned and heated through.    

Separate the lettuce, or leaves of choice, and arrange them on a platter.  To make a wrap, layer a few spoonfuls of the tofu on a leaf, drizzle with the sauce, and top with the cucumber carrot slaw.

Vivacious Vegan