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30 Minutes or Less: Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

I made this recipe for lunch and stretched it out for about 4 days.  It's so simple and delicious and the perfect combination of vegetables and quinoa.

Quinoa is an excellent source of protein, fiber, and calcium and priced comparable to rice.  According to The World Health Organization, quinoa is a better source of protein than cow's milk because your body is better able to digest vegetable protein than those from animal properties. 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups dry quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (other other cooking oil)
  • 1 medium cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup olives, minced (I skipped this ingredients because I didn't have olives on hand)
  • 1/2 cup basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • sea salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Rinse quinoa and add 3 cups of water to either a rice cooker or sauce pan on a stovetop.  Cook for 25 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.
  2. Dice the cucumber, tomatoes, olives, and basil, and add to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Once the quinoa is cooked, fluff and add to the bowl of vegetables.
  4. Whisk together oil, lemon juice, and sea salt and pour dressing over quinoa mixture. 
  5. Let flavors marinate for 5-10 minutes before serving

 

Recipe adapted from Daily Garnish 

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Tofu: The Love and Hate



What is tofu?

Tofu is made in much the same way as cheese, except that it is made from soya beans rather than milk. It is entirely plant-based, which means that it is an ideal food for vegans and for people who are intolerant of dairy products. Because it is prepared by separating the curds of the soya 'milk' from the whey, it is sometimes referred to as bean curds.

(source)

Before eliminating chicken from my diet, my favorite way to eat it was in stir-fry with lots of rice and green peppers.  Like chicken, tofu takes on the flavor of whatever you marinate or season it in.

I remember the 1st time I tried to make a tofu stir-fry at home.  I failed to research, took the tofu from the container and began to cook with it without extracting the water. Oops.  The consistency was horrible and my overconfidence led me to feeding it to my boys that night for dinner. I wish I took more time perfecting this process before serving it to them. As expected, they haven’t been too enthused about eating it since that failed attempt.  I remember reading somewhere that most people don’t like tofu because they had it prepared incorrectly (like my boys) and didn’t grow up eating it like turkey and hamburgers.

I never gave up in my quest to enjoy tofu because of the nutritional benefits. Tofu is an excellent source of protein, aids in heart health and helps to subside menopausal symptoms. Also, it's very inexpensive-a 14 oz tub will run about $3.50.

Prepping Tofu

There are many options on how to prepare tofu.  I’ve eaten it raw, fried and baked.  Before preparing it, you will need to prep it by draining the water. Some use TofuXpress, but I stick to the old-fashioned option of using a stack of books.



Cut the block in half



Wrap in a cloth



Stack a few books on top to soak up the water-I repeat this process twice with each half

Here’s a recipe I enjoy with tofu and rice:

Marinate:

3 tablespoons of honey (I used raw honey, even though this is a cooked recipe)

2 tablespoons of tomato ketchup

2 tablespoon of tamari sauce  (soy sauce)

1 clove of garlic, minced

garlic salt (optional)

All-season salt

Mix all ingredients together. Marinate tofu cut into cubes for at least an hour before cooking.



Fry the marinated tofu with a bit of oil and eat with rice-I also tossed in red onion and peppers

Enjoy some tofu! Here's a wonderful tutorial with more detailed information.

Don't hesitate to contact me @brownvegan on Twitter if you have any questions.

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