Green quinoa salad with steamed vegetables and baked tofu
This quinoa salad is a great one-pot meal, which transports really well and could be a great dish to take to work for lunch. The inclusion of tofu, peanuts, cashew nuts and quinoa makes it a real high-protein meal which will certainly keep you going all afternoon. Try and get British-grown quinoa if you can, and use whatever vegetables are in season. I've used pak choi and carrots, but asparagus, spring greens or kale would all work really nicely here too. If you're short of time, you could just throw in some raw vegetables instead of cooked and if you have leftover rice or noodles, the dressing also works well with those instead of quinoa. I've also used the coconut milk from a carton rather than a can, which is just a less concentrated form of coconut. If you only have the canned variety, you could use half canned coconut milk, and half water.
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp tamari soya sauce
100g pak choi (or any greens)
60g fresh coriander
60g peanut butter
60ml coconut milk (I use Alpro coconut milk from the carton)
2 cloves of garlic
Zest and juice of 1 lime (I just peel the zest off with a grater)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp agave (or any liquid sweetener)
- Cook the quinoa according to packet instructions. I use 250g quinoa to 375ml water and a pinch of salt. I steam the quinoa on a low heat for about 15 minutes until the quinoa has soaked up all the water. Then, in a colander, run the quinoa under cold water until it is cool.
- For the tofu, pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C. Slice the block of tofu in to slabs around 1cm thick and place on a baking tray. Smother with the vegetable oil and tamari, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in the oven and bake for around 30-45 minutes, until it is beginning to develop a crispy exterior. Remove from the oven, allow to cool and cut in to bite size chunks.
- For the vegetables, cut the carrots in to chunks and roughly chop the pak choi. I tend to cook these together, with the carrots boiling in some hot water in a pan for around 10 minutes and the pak choi steaming in a sieve above the carrots, with the saucepan lid tightly on. This way, both vegetables are cooked together, and are just tender at the same time. Like you did with the quinoa, drain the vegetables and run under cold water until they are cool; this will halt the cooking process.
- For the dressing, I use a food processor to whiz up the coriander, peanut butter, coconut milk, garlic, lime zest and juice, salt, chilli flakes, pepper and agave until a smooth consistency if formed.
- Finally, combine all the ingredients. I use my hands to incorporate the quinoa, tofu, vegetables and dressing to make sure everything is mixed in.
- Garnish with roasted cashew nuts, lots of chopped coriander, extra chilli flakes (if you want) and a wedge of lime.