Sesame Tofu with Spring Vegetables and Quinoa

Sesame Tofu with Spring Vegetables and Quinoa

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Quinoa with stir fried tofu and fresh vegetables,

Now that the Easter bunny has hopped on to other places, it is time to embrace Spring (unless you live in Utah and are still covered in snow.) You guys can enjoy sunny flavors virtually with us here in California. The market are filled with fresh vegetables, fruits and loads of things grown under the sun. My seven year old and hubs suggested I take a pause from my impassioned baking kick to bring you savory. So here it is!

Homemade tofu stir fry with peas and carrots with sesame seed sauce

When I saw peas at the market the other day I got so excited. Peas have a little snap and are a smidge sweet. They are delicious raw or cooked. When combined with tofu, carrots and a savory sesame sauce all is right. This dish is a simple, colorful and quick to prepare meal.

Kids color Easter eggs bright and festive

What would all this Spring talk be without a peek back to Easter? We had so much fun decorating eggs and looking for those “hidden” by the Bunny in a big open field. A true celebration of life!

Pre school boy in orange gingham checked shirt

My friend Da from Kitchen Corners shared her darling kids on Easter and she inspired me to share our day too. Even though the sky was overcast and grey the bright colors popped that much more. When hunting for Easter eggs it really does not matter what color the sky is!

First grade girl with silver tiara and white Easter basket

I have been experimenting with different cooking methods and ingredients to embrace all kinds of lifestyles. I will be working on some vegan posts in the upcoming months. I also have a few guest posters coming up that will knock your socks off with their vegan creations. You will be impressed with how much freedom you have in your cooking even without animal based ingredients. (I am not going that route, but I do see it’s value.) In this recipe you can choose to use the fish sauce or swap in some extra tamari for a vegan dish. Either way is great.

Quinoa with stir fried tofu and fresh vegetables.

This recipe works for vegans or vegetarians, or if you are just looking for a meatless meal. Tofu absorbs any marinades, sauces, seasonings and spices you put on it. It is a versatile and inexpensive ingredient that you can stow away in the fridge and pull out in pinch.

Quinoa with stir fried tofu and fresh vegetables.

Quinoa is a great side dish. Most of us think of it as a grain but it is actually a protein packed seed. It is an adaptable ingredient that I use often. We love it in my Quinoa Salad with Basil and Blood Orange. The Inca’s believed that the quinoa crop is sacred and that it is the “mother of all grains.” I like how the light, fluffy texture of quinoa pairs with the tofu and veggies. It is a nice alternative to brown rice, pasta and heavier grains.

Quinoa with stir fried tofu and fresh vegetables.

How do you like to prepare tofu and quinoa?

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Sesame Tofu with Spring Vegetables and Quinoa

Makes 4 servings

NOTES:

  • Tamari is wheat free soy sauce. You can also use a regular soy sauce if you do not need to stick to gluten free ingredients.
  • Mirin is a Japanese sweet rice wine for cooking.
  • You can find the above ingredients at Whole Foods, Asian markets, my Amazon Store. Many large markets have Asian food sections too.
  • Adjust ingredients according to taste. This recipe is more a method. Use any veggies you have on hand and you can also change the ratio of sauces according to taste preference.
  • You can toast your own sesame seeds by putting them in a wide frying pan over medium heat. Shake the pan occasionally. Seeds are done toasting in about 3-5 minutes when they are slightly browned and fragrant. Take them off the heat and let cool. Store in a tightly covered jar at room temperature.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup dry Quinoa, prepare according to package directions
  • 2 cups Snow Peas, rinsed, cut off ends
  • 1/2 cup diced Carrots
  • 14 ounces Extra Firm Organic Tofu, pat dry with paper towels and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 cloves minced Garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari
  • 2 tablespoons Mirin
  • 1 tablespoon Fish Sauce (omit this and use 3 tablespoons Tamari if you want to keep this vegan)
  • 1 tablespoon Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Toasted Sesame Seeds

OPTIONAL GARNISH

METHOD

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Set aside.

In a medium bowl make sauce by combining garlic, tamari, mirin, fish sauce, sesame oil and sesame seeds. Add tofu pieces to sauce and let sit a few minutes to absorb flavors. Pre heat a wok or large non stick fry pan over medium high heat. Carefully add carrots and tofu-sauce mixture to the pan/wok. Let it boil for about 6-8 minutes until the carrots soften, toss gently with tongs often. Add snow peas last. Loosely cover the pan with a lid and cook for about 2-3 minutes longer until the snow peas turn bright green but remain crispy.

Serve with quinoa. You can season the quinoa with more of the sauces if you wish and top with the above suggestions.

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61 Responses to Sesame Tofu with Spring Vegetables and Quinoa

  1. Oh I love to have fresh peas right out of the pod. One of my favorite snacks. Looking forward to the vegan recipes Marla. Just today I was looking for a eggless cookie recipe for friend and realized how I have never bothered with vegan baking. As usual as great and healthy recipe!

    • Kulsum: I am so excited, Monday I will be posting a vegan cookie recipe that is out of this world. It has an ingredient that I have never used before but am now addicted to. Stay tuned……The texture is amazing even without the egg.

    • Allison, isn’t that tiara a hoot. She loves that thing and I so enjoy watching her wear it. Not everyday we can be a princess, well I guess you can when you are 7.
      Love my tofu in salads too.

  2. I really love tofu. Even thought people think of me as such a meat eater I actually eat a lot of tofu… when the hunt doesn’t go well ; ) Do you have any thoughts on the reports that soy isn’t so great for you? I can’t tell who is right. I supposed everything in moderation!

    • Georgia, I am with you-everything in moderation is something I live by. As you know I LOVE to eat my meats, cheese & butter. Just in mindful portion sizes. As far as the soy thing goes, we do not eat it very often. All that phyto estrogen stuff concerns me too. The one thing they always say is to be sure to purchase non-GMO soy. For variety it is great to have this stashed in the fridge – as you said for those sketchy hunting days.
      By the way are you ever gonna take down a bison? If so save me some meat 😉

  3. I was so excited as well when I saw peas again at the farmers market! I love to eat them raw with a dip in some hummus. So delicious! :)

    This dish looks yummy as well. I’ve tried a few tofu recipes to convince the boyfriend it really can be tasty, but no luck yet. So, maybe this one will be my last chance.

    Love the pictures of your children egg hunting! Amazing memories.

    • Morgan, oh I do hope you can convince your boyfriend that tofu can be super yummy. I love the extra firm variety, it reminds me the most of meat based meals. It also has more flavor and staying power. Let me know how it goes. So happy I could share those Easter memories of my kids with you guys :)

  4. Oooh. love the pics of this gorgeous dish! I love Japanese cuisine, so this looks right up my alley, complete with quinoa as a whole grain. Love it! :)

  5. Love the tofu recipe and the pics. I adore snap peas and peapods and in tofu and stir frys, they are a must-have. I cook tofu lots…I recently did a big Tofu Tips Post. Quite extensive b/c I always get people who write to me telling me their tofu didnt turn out or they dont like it..which I have remedies for, including great marinades as yours is! It sounds stellar.

    Love the pics of your kids…just beautiful!!!

    And the napkin/linen with the tofu, perfect photography and styling!

  6. Yum, yum in my mouth NOW please!
    That tofu dish looks so darn good.

    I love a good tofu recipe. and this one looks different.
    Definitely need to try it out.

    Thank you!

  7. What a beautiful dish, Marla! It really pops with color and nutrition…love those spring veggies! By the way, the pics of your kiddos at the Easter egg hunt are adorable! XO

  8. This looks so fresh and delicious, Marla. My only regret is that the organic snow peas and sugar snap peas in my garden just pooped out in the summer-like heat we’re already having. Can’t wait to try this with store-bought, though.

    • Barbara: I know how much you love to pull fresh fruits and veggies from your garden. Sorry to hear about your peas this season. I bet something else out there will more than make up for those dud peas 😉

  9. Your daughter with her tiara, so freakin cute! I just want to pinch her little cheeks. And your son too, so handsome. And the recipe looks amazing too

  10. Marla, your kids are so precious! Great photos from Easter and a wonderful recipe to compliment them. This looks so fresh, healthy and wholesome. After a long winter of heavy meals, my tummy is craving something like this! Thanks for sharing, and have a great weekend.

    • Georgia: I do love the complex heavy flavors & spices of winter, but Spring ingredients are a fun change. Thanks for your sweet words about my kiddos. xo

  11. The kids look adorable and like they had a super fun Easter!

    I love a good, quick, easy and veggie-ful tofu dish and this one does NOT fail to please! Definitely makes me feel like spring is here when I see a dish full of snow peas!

  12. This one looks really lovely and simple. I call them easy weeknight meals. It’s nice to see things other than baked goods, although I drool over those always.

    • Marci: Easy weeknight meals are essential over here, especially ones that I can prepare ahead and re-heat when needed. Glad to read you always like the baked goods too. Many more of those coming up in the next few weeks.

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