If you’re the chef of your household, then you’ve probably had what I like to refer to as the weekday blues. Those days when you’ve just gotten home from work, want to make something delicious and healthy, but simply don’t have the energy to do so. This recipe is one of my staples on weeknights where I want to have a really satisfying dinner, but don’t want to hassle myself with tons of different ingredients and a big mess to clean up.
The best part about this recipe is that there’s minimal prep work involved. I like to buy bags of frozen broccoli and carrots to add to the convenience, but using fresh is an option as well. We’re only going to be lightly steaming them for this recipe, so it’s less overwhelming to just open the frozen bags and toss them right into any steaming vessel.
What’s also great about this recipe is that the marinade for the tofu doubles as the sauce for the entire dish. It also doesn’t take a lot of time to get the tofu to be full of flavor. I like to use a device called a tofu press which removes all the excess water from the tofu before throwing it in the marinade. This allows it to soak up all the flavors super quick, usually in a matter of 15-30 minutes. I also cut the tofu into large cubes after pressing which results in more surface area for flavor absorption.
To make things quicker and easier, the tofu marinating steps can occur earlier in the day or be done the night before.
Without further ado, here are the ingredients you’ll need and the steps to follow:
- 2 lbs of broccoli
- ½ lb of carrots
- 2 blocks of tofu
- ½ cup of tamari or soy sauce
- ½ cup of rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup of lemon juice
- 1 bunch of about 4-6 green onions
- 1 tbsp of sesame oil
- ½ tsp dried ginger
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- 3/4 cup quinoa
- 3/4 cup brown rice
- Open your blocks of tofu and start draining the water. You can either use a tofu press as described or if you don’t have one, try to pat it as dry as possible with paper towels. You can make a tofu press at home in a pinch with some plates and weighed objects as well. You can also not press it, but you’ll just need to marinade it longer.
- Make your marinade in large container or bowl by adding the tamari, rice wine vinegar, lemon juice, green onions, sesame seeds and ginger. Make sure the green onions are sliced thinly into circles. Use a whisk to thoroughly mix.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Throw the cubed tofu into the marinade and let it sit for around 15-30 minutes.
- Once 15-30 minutes has past, you can stop draining your tofu and slice it into thick cubes. Do this by laying it flat on the table, cutting it in half long ways and short ways, and then proceed to slice the blocks until they’re cubed. In the meanwhile, you can proceed to the remainder of the steps and come back to step 6 once the tofu is done.
- Spread the tofu blocks out on a parchment paper lined oven tray and bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until the tofu is slightly crispy, but not burnt.
- Take the quinoa, brown rice, and 4 cups of water and cook on the stovetop or in a rice maker. This usually takes around 10 minutes.
- Take all your veggies and throw them into a pot or large pan where you can lightly steam them with a little bit of water on the bottom. You can do this process slowly while you prep the rest of your ingredients. Make sure everything is cut bite-sized.
- Use this time to do any clean-up so that you won’t be overwhelmed after dinner!
- Once everything is clean, start mixing your quinoa and brown rice in with your veggies in a large pan. Toss the excess marinade in and lightly stir fry everything.
- Once your tofu is done, assemble everything and serve! Garnish with extra sesame seeds if desired.
- You don’t have to add in all the grains at once on step 10. You can add little by little until you get the ratio of grains to veggies that you want. You can save any excess grains for leftovers to work with on another night.
- Even though the tofu absorbs flavors fast, marinating it the night before is an extra time saver.
- Although the ingredients are step by step, you can get everything done once you have the tofu marinating and the oven pre-heating. The way the recipe is written makes it seem longer than it actually takes.
- I intentionally don’t use much oil when making this, but you can add a little extra during the stir frying process, preferably a heat stable one.
- Some other bonus ingredients that would work well are mushrooms, sugar snap peas, and water chestnuts.
About the author: Joey Bruno is the co-owner and cook of Thrive Cuisine. Thrive Cuisine is dedicated to making cooking with fruits and vegetables simple and easy to understand. In his spare time, he likes practicing jiu jitsu and hanging out with his wife and dog.