This quinoa recipe is an odd bird of sorts, but it was so well received that I thought I’d share it with you. Heather, my sister was on her way over for lunch. Wanting to avoid a trip to the store, I committed myself to throwing lunch together using whatever I had on hand.
Now, I rarely combine tofu with Italian-style sauces, but this (and a few other questionable culinary moves) came into play as I reached for ingredients from both fridge and freezer. Working toward a nutritious, somewhat balanced, in-the-realm-of-healthy main course here’s where I ended up. In a sentence – a skillet of quinoa, corn, chopped lacinato kale and pan-toasted tofu tossed with a big dollop of pesto and finished off with a few roasted cherry tomatoes.
I’ve cooked this many times in the years since, and it’s a great late-summer recipe that comes together quickly, especially if you keep a few of the components on hand. For example, I like to keep big jars of roasted tomatoes at the ready. Toasted pepitas are often in a bowl on the counter. And at some point during any given week there is leftover quinoa.
Heather’s Quinoa: Variations
There are infinite ways to switch this up. If I have paneer cheese on hand, I like to swap that in for the tofu. You brown the paneer in a skillet, the same way you would tofu, and it gets nice and sizzly. So good.
And while you can certainly swap in a wide range of grains here – rice, millet, etc. – I love it with quinoa. You see it pictured here with tri-color quinoa, but I often make it with the white variety. Th recipe calls for three cups of cooked quinoa, if you’re not sure how to make it, here’s a page with my preferred method of how to cook quinoa.
Pepitas are my go to for crunch. Seconds choice is toasted cashews (chopped just a bit).
If you want to make this even more substantial, you can add in a couple hard boiled eggs, sliced into quarters, around the perimeter.
I hope you enjoy this one as much as we did. The first time I made this was in 2008, and we still make it regularly. Especially when it is peak pesto season and cherry tomatoes are abundant.