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Cajun Tofu with Dirty Quinoa

Cookbook

The Lusty Vegan

Published by Vegan Heritage Press, LLC

This image courtesy of Geoff Souder

Every now and then, I get lazy and hit the easy button. Often, this includes falling on my favorite prepared spice staple: Cajun seasoning. This rub is a nice blend of salt and red spices that can act as the undertone or the main flavor. In this recipe, it's the main flavor. Traditionally, dirty rice is made with meat, rice, and herbs. I stripped it down to the main flavors and switched the rice to quinoa for extra protein. It is an flavorful dish guaranteed to satisfy. 

Serves2

Preparation Time10 min

Preparation Time - Text10 minutes

Cooking Time30 min

Cooking Time - Text30

Cooking Methodsauteeing

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCooking for a date

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturebuttery, spiced

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa, well-rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or safflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium wheat-free tamari
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Sea salt
  • 8 ounces extra firm tofu, frozen and defrosted
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon safflower oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium wheat-free tamari
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sliced cherry tomatoes

Instructions

  1. Quinoa: In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil, then stir in the quinoa. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the water is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Be careful not to overcook. Set aside.

  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil and butter. Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly from the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking. Add the garlic, and sauté for an additional minute.

  3. Add the cooked quinoa and mix well. Add the tamari, Cajun seasoning, thyme, and red pepper flakes (if using), and mix until all ingredients are well-incorporated. Remove from the heat.

  4. Tofu: Cut the tofu into 4 slices, approximately 1/8-inch thick. Use a paper towel to press out as much water from the tofu as possible, then transfer the tofu to a shallow bowl. In a separate small bowl combine Cajun seasoning, basil, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, and sage and mix well. Use your hands to gently rub the seasoning mixture onto the tofu, coating well. Set aside.

  5. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu and sear for 3 minutes on each side, until brown and slightly crispy. Add the water and tamari to the skillet and allow to reduce for 3 to 5 minutes. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the dirty quinoa onto the plates and top with the tofu.

  6. Butter Sauce: Melt the butter in a medium skillet over high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 30 to 45 seconds. Add the Cajun seasoning, basil, and sage. Working quickly, add 1/4 cup of the white wine and the cornstarch and sauté until mixture begins to bubble rapidly. Mix continually with a whisk or fork. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of white wine and allow the alcohol to burn off. It may flambé, but the fire won't last long. Remove from the heat and stir until the sauce becomes cloudy. Immediately spoon the butter sauce over the plated quinoa and tofu and garnish with sliced grape tomatoes.

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