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.

Kitchari from Kurma Dasa – Challenge Recipe #4

When putting together my Kitchari Challenge, I asked some friends for their favorites. This one is the favorite of my friend Jynne and from Kurma Dasa. Click for the original recipe.

I really liked the addition and punch of flavor with the veggies added. Great choice Jynne!


Kitchari adapted from Kurma Dasa

1 cup yellow split peas or mung beans
12 cups water
2 bay leaves
finely chopped ginger
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
4 teaspoons coriander powder
2 cups long grain rice
a heap (about 3 cups) of vegetables, cut into cubes (I used edamame, colorful carrots and fresh corn)
2-3 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon asafetida powder

1. Bring split peas, water, bay leaves, ginger, pepper, turmeric and coriander to boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook partially covered for about 15 minutes

2. Add rice, vegetables, and salt, increase heat and stir as you bring to the boil, then return to a simmer, covered. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until rice is soft.

3. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over moderate heat. Add the cumin seeds and fry until a few shades darker, then add asafetida powder, then stir through the big pot-o-stuff and cook for another 5 minutes.

4.  Serve and Enjoy!

Mushroom-Barley “Risotto”

I love all things mushroom! So this was one of those amazing recipes for my house. Thank goodness I made a bunch as we were super happy to eat it for a while 🙂 The best part was that unlike regular risotto – I didn’t have to stand over the hot stove and stir this dish the whole time. And of course barley is way more nutritious than arborio rice.

Check out these other mushroom dishes from the past…Mushroom and Crumble StroganoffVegan Creme of Artichoke and Mushroom Soup with Pesto, Raw Spinach & Wild Mushroom Quiche, Chopped “Liver” Spread, Thai Coconut Bliss Soup, Mushroom Stroganoff and Raw Mushroom Cream Sushi

huge pot of goodness!Mushroom-Barley “Risotto”

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups mixed mushrooms, quartered (chanterelle, cremini, morel, and oyster)
1 cup pearl barley
3 cups vegetable stock or water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions; cook about 5 minutes and stir in the garlic and cook, 30 seconds.
  3. Add the mushrooms; cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the barley to coat.
  5. Add the stock, salt, and turmeric and bring to a boil.
  6. Lower to a simmer and cover, stirring occasionally, until the barley is tender and liquid is absorbed.

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