Maple-Balsamic Tofu & Spinach with Saffron Quinoa Pilaf

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I have always valued a quick and delicious meal but now it is more important than ever! This was a great meal where I could cut and marinate the tofu in just a few minutes while the kiddos were playing and then whip this all up as soon as they went to sleep. Perfect! I was also able to use the marinade twice; cooking the spinach quickly after the tofu. I have always loved Saffron Rice Pilaf  and thought a quinoa twist on it would be fun!

Maple-Balsamic Tofu & Spinach with Saffron Quinoa

Tofu & Spinach

  • 1 block of tofu, pressed to remove water and cut in triangles
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • dash of salt
  • 6 ounces of baby spinach

Combine and marinate anywhere from 1 hour to overnight. Heat a frying pan and sear the tofu for a few minutes on both sides. Remove from pan and add spinach and any remaining marinade. Stir for just a few brief moments to wilt spinach and coat in the sauce. Remove and serve.

Quinoa Pilaf

  • 2 cups quinoa (4 cups water or stock)
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • lemon juice to taste
  • sriracha, to taste (optional) (I love that extra kick!)

Combine water and quinoa in a pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat, add saffron, tumeric and salt, and cover to cook for 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Stir in other ingredients and serve.

Sesame Ginger Maple Baked Tofu

OMG! So Simple and So Amazing! This was one of the best dinners. So healthy (paired with steamed Kale! YUM!) deeeeeeelish and simple! These were amazing to keep in the fridge and soooo good cold even! I doubled the recipe and wish I had quadrupled it!!! So good!

Sesame Ginger Maple Baked Tofu

adapted from Averie’s recipe from Love Veggies and Yoga Thanks!

1 Tbsp Ground Ginger

1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

1/4 Tsp Black Pepper

1/8 cup Sesame Oil

1/8 cup Maple syrup

2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

Optional: Garlic, Onions, Salt, Nama Shoyu/Bragg’s Liquid Aminos/Soy Sauce, to Taste

Optional: bake and/or garnish with sesame seeds

  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. Blot the tofu with paper towels & cut into uniform slices
  3. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, stir and pour over tofu slices.
  4. Bake for 35 Minutes, flipping over halfway through baking.

Italian Potluck Night!!

As you know I LOVE Potlucks! And now we have a pretty regular Vegan Themed Potluck Party happening 🙂 Last nights theme was Italian Night! (last month was Asian) SUPER YUM! Not kidding this meal was out of control. We didn’t end up having dessert, but we all happily had seconds of the deelish food!

Lisa Dawn made this OUT of this world lasagna! We have seen her amazing Ricotta Cheese in her Stuffed Shells, but to taste this you would think that this was gourmet ricotta cheese made in Italy. But happily it was Vegan (but still super gourmet :)) And the homemade tomato sauce was also deelish!

Joey made this amazing pesto pasta sans cheese of course. It was so gorgeous with the fresh grape tomatoes and basil! Beautiful and super tasty!

I made my favorite Raw Crisp Caesar Salad with Pinenut parmesan and Artichoke Guacamole with mulit-grain pita chips. Yum!!!

On a side note, I can’t help but brag about Lisa & Paul’s overly impressive and adorable son Luke! Lisa had this great deck of cards with all the US Presidents pictures on them. Luke was able to go through all of them and name them!!! SO CUTE!! And he is under 2 years old!

Such a super great night with friends and deelish vegan food!

Amazing photo courtesy of Lisa's fabulous husband Paul!

Spinach & Orange Salad with Maple Sesame Dressing

Simple, fresh, tasty and quick! Perfection! And despite what Scott Conant says on Chopped, I totally Heart Raw Red Onion!! YUM! It is often the star of my salads besides the frequent appearances of avocado 🙂

Spinach & Orange Salad with Maple Sesame Dressing
Makes 2 servings

4 cups raw baby spinach
1/2 small red onion, sliced
1 orange, peeled and segmented
fresh black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted (in a dry skillet, toast for a few minutes, stirring frequently)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons tamari
1/4 teaspoon water

  1. Place spinach in a large bowl. Toss onion and orange segments on top of the spinach. Season with black pepper.
  2. Whisk sesame seeds, maple syrup, tamari, and water together in a small bowl. Add to salad and toss to mix.
  3. SO simple, enjoy!

Braised Asian Tofu

In the past I had cooked meat for Michael and I enjoyed the challenge of making new dishes with different techniques. I no longer cook meat at all, but still like the challenge of trying new techniques 🙂 This was a fun way to make tofu that we both really enjoyed. It was Super perfect with my Sweet Roasted Broccoli.


Braised Asian Tofu
1 block firm tofu (I used light), cut in half lengthwise, and then sliced into 1/2 inch slices
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used canola)
1/4 cup tamari
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon sesame seed, crushed and toasted

  1. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add tofu slices and be careful not to overcrowd. Brown each side, 2-3 minutes per side. When golden, remove to a plate. Continue cooking all tofu until done.
  2. After the tofu is cooked and removed, add tamari, water, sesame oil, scallions, garlic and chili powder. Stir and place tofu slices back into the pot. During the cooking process the liquid will eventually cover all of the tofu.
  3. Place the pot over medium heat. Cover. Cook for 15 minutes over medium heat.
  4. Top with sesame seeds and enjoy 🙂

Sweet Roasted Broccoli

I love roasted veggies! I decided to go more the sweet route with the broccoli tonight. The result was deelish crispy and sweet! Roasted veggies are super easy. Prep the veggies, toss with some seasonings, pop in the oven and prepare the rest of dinner while they are roasting away. Perfect!

See here for other roasted Broccoli Recipes 🙂 Roasted Garlic & Red Pepper BroccoliRoasted Broccoli and Simple Roasted Veggies. Also check out Garlic Broccoli Rabe or Raw Broccolini with Garlic and Olive Oil.

So bright and green!! Before Roasting.

After Roasting. Sweet & Crispy goodness.

Sweet Roasted Broccoli
5-6 servings as a side

3 bunches of broccoli, cut into florets and peeled and chopped stem
drizzle of olive oil (about 3 tablespoons)
drizzle of agave (about 3 tablespoons)
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a baking dish combine all ingredients, mixing well.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes.

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