Sunday, March 3, 2013

Life Gave me Lemons

So we had a delicious lemony dinner.  Lemon tofu with gravy, lemon quinoa with kale and chick peas, and avocado with lemon on the side.

Baked Lemon Tofu with Tangy Gravy
4 servings

1 block of extra firm tofu

3/4 cup of vegetable broth
A glug of soy sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
A glug of apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons cumin

5 button mushrooms, finely diced
1.5 tablespoons cornstarch
About 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
A little water
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes

This is how to quickly marinate tofu when you want marinated tofu at the last minute: Cut the tofu into blocks, place in between a folded kitchen towel to drain it, pressing down time to time or laying canned foods on top.  While that is drying out a bit whisk together the broth, soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic, cumin and apple cider in a sauce pan.  Remove the tofu and cut into smaller squares.  Place the tofu into the saucepan, bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer.  Partially cover.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper and spread a thin layer of olive oil on top of it to prevent sticking.  Start preparing the quinoa below.  Let the tofu simmer for 15-20 minutes so it absorbs the flavor.  Then fish the tofu out of the marinade and place on the prepared baking sheet, no overlapping or touching.  Put in the oven.  Let it bake while you prepare the rest of the meal.

Add the mushrooms to the leftover marinade in the saucepan and bring back to a simmer.  Cover and let simmer about 10 minutes until the mushrooms are very soft.  Add the liquid smoke, a few tablespoons of water and the cornstarch, stir to combine.  Then stir in the nutritional yeast.  Keep simmering on low, stirring frequently, while the tofu bakes.

After they tofu has been in for twenty minutes, flip them and let them bake for another 5-10 minutes.  They should be nicely browned, dried out a bit but still moist.  The gravy should have thickened (if not, keep cooking and stirring or add a bit more cornstarch and cook longer).

Serve with the gravy on the side.

Lemon Qunioa with Kale and Chickpeas
4 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion or 1 small onion, diced
About 1/3 of a red pepper, diced
4 small stalks of celery or 2 large, diced
Pinch of coarse salt
About 1 tablespoon cumin

1 cup of quinoa
Juice of 2 lemons (just over 1/2 cup)
About 1 1/2 cup of vegetable broth
1 can of chick peas, drained

1 bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped into bite sized pieces

1 avocado cut into chunks, fresh lemon juice squeezed over

Saute the vegetables in the olive oil until the onions are browned and the pepper and celery have softened.  Add a pinch of salt and the cumin and saute a few minutes more.  Stir in the quinoa and continue to saute for a bit.  Then add the liquid and bring to a boil, stirring.  Once boiling, bring to a low simmer, stir in the chick peas, and cover.  Cook for 15 minutes.

Stir in the kale.  Add additional broth if the mixture is dry at all.  Cover and allow to cook a few more minutes.

Serve with the avocado.

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