Quinoa bowls are kind of amazing. Endlessly versatile, packed with nutrients, and incredibly satisfying, they make for an ideal packed lunch, especially on days where you’ve hit the gym before even getting to the office.
They’re also a lot of work.
Okay, let me rephrase that. Making all of the individual elements which make up your bowl is a lot of work, but it’s a labour of expediency. Put in the time to pull everything together on the weekend, and you’re set for lunches for the rest of the week. I would never make a single-serving quinoa bowl – it takes the same amount of time to make a small batch as a large, so why not do future you a favour and avoid having to make a lunch every night?
This recipe hardly even deserves the name. It was born of a nearly empty fridge and a little creativity, and I must say I surprised myself with how well it turned out.
You might be wondering why there isn’t any sauce – quinoa bowls must have sauce, you say – but I was really happy with the taste as is, and it wasn’t lacking for flavour or nutrients. The sundried tomatoes add some great tang and are coated in enough oil to “dress” the quinoa just fine; raw beets are also really flavourful on their own and add some moisture and crunch to the mix. And finally, cooking the quinoa in vegetable stock makes it pretty well irresistible.
I really feel like every bite of this bowl has something to offer – the tofu is really nice and meaty, the quinoa savoury, the beets fresh, and the avocado creamy. Add in some romanesco cauliflower – the coolest looking vegetable I have EVER seen – and a handful of seeds, and you’ve got yourself a pretty great one-dish meal.
Just be sure to store the quinoa separately from your raw vegetables, so when you’re bringing it to work you can reheat it before adding in everything else.
Romanesco and Crispy Tofu Quinoa Bowl (makes approx. 4 servings)
~ gluten free, vegan, sugar free ~
For the quinoa
- 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1.5 cups no-sodium-added vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
For the tofu
- 1.5 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 pkg organic, non-GMO tofu, cubed
- 1 head of romanesco or other cauliflower, steamed
- 1/2 cup oil-packed sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 large beet, peeled and grated
- sliced avocado
- sunflower sprouts
- pumpkin seeds
- In a small pot, bring the vegetable stock to a boil. Add the quinoa, reduce to a low simmer, and cook, covered, until tender – about 12 minutes.
- Prepare your veggies – shred the beets, steam the cauliflower (and season with sea salt and black pepper), and slice the sundried tomatoes, reserving a little of their oil.
- Heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the tamari, sunflower oil, and garlic powder. It should form a fairly thick paste. Toss in the tofu cubes and mix well to coat.
- Add this to the frying pan, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides. Add a splash of water to the pan if it gets too dry. Set aside when finished.
- When the quinoa is cooked, toss in the nutritional yeast, season with salt and pepper, and lightly fluff with a fork. Let cool slightly.
- Add the tofu and sundried tomatoes to the quinoa.
- To make one portion, place 1/2 cup of the quinoa and tofu mixture in a bowl, then add 1/4 cup shredded beets and a few cauliflower florets. Top with a handful of sunflower sprouts, some sliced avocado, and 1 tbsp of pumpkin seeds.