Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Recipe: Pesto Quinoa with Tofu

This recipe was based on Heather's Quinoa Recipe from the 101 Cookbooks blog—thanks to my faithful beta reader Amy for the suggestion!

Wow, my first new recipe in ages…inspired by the necessity that Meat-Free May be an excuse to try new things, instead of just removing the animal bits from my usual dinner standards. This recipe has a lot of steps, but it's not too tricky. Took me 45 minutes to prep and cook. Serves 2–3.

There is a reason I'm not a food photographer.
You'll need:

½ cup grape tomatoes (a dozen or so)
1 tsp olive oil
½ tsp brown sugar
few shakes salt
- - - -
½ cup brown rice
½ cup quinoa
- - - -
1½ cups firm tofu, cut into cubes
½ tsp olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
½ cup corn
1 cup spinach, finely chopped
⅓ cup pepitas (or pumpkin seeds)
½ cup pesto

1. Roast the cherry tomatoes: heat oven to 350°. Slice tomatoes into halves. Mix 1 tsp olive oil with ½ tsp brown sugar and a few shakes of salt. Toss tomatoes thoroughly in mixture then lay them all cut-side-up in a baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes, until they're shrunken and sweet.

2. While tomatoes are baking, prepare the grains by bringing the rice and 2 cups water to a boil, then reduce to simmering. Cook rice for fifteen minutes then add quinoa and cook for another ten minutes, until grains are tender. Drain any excess water.

3. Also while the tomatoes bake and the grains simmer, brown the tofu: pan-fry the cubes in olive oil until they're golden brown, then set aside.

4. In a large pan or skillet, heat olive oil, salt, and shallot over medium high heat, stirring for two minutes. Stir in the prepared rice and quinoa, corn, spinach, and pepitas, and cook until hot and sizzling. Add salt to taste.

5. Remove pan from heat and thoroughly stir in pesto, then gently fold in the browned tofu. Serve topped with roasted tomatoes.


  1. Yea! It does have a lot of steps but it's so worth it. I saw that another one of your followers also recommended author's recipes rarely disappoint.

  2. This was such a kick-ass suggestion! Tonight I'm trying out my cousin's African sweet potato and red bean stew. Got excited for an excuse to buy green chiles at TJ's yesterday.