Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quinoa w/ roasted tomatoes, kale, tofu and pesto: A triumphant reunion with my favorite grain

Has it really been three weeks? I think in horror.

No, it can’t be. I would never allow that to happen.

Would I?

I think back over my past meals. Ramen, barley, polenta, whole wheat pasta, risotto…

My head dizzies as I make the realization – no quinoa.

I run to the window, desperately searching the sky for flying pigs. There are none in my direct eye line. I check my pulse for signs of an erratic heartbeat; feel my forehead for a temperature – but again, nothing irregular.

Completely flummoxed, I turn back to the kitchen. I know what needs to happen.

I need to make quinoa for lunch.

A quick search of 101 Cookbooks leads me to a recipe called “Heather’s Quinoa.” I don’t know Heather, but I do know Heidi and if Heidi says a recipe is good, then that recipe will most likely end up being my next best friend.

In other words, I’ll probably end up eating it six nights in a row. And then blog about it to tell everyone else to eat it six times in a row.

While the recipe is a little fussy, requiring me to slow-roast tomatoes, prepare pesto from scratch and scrub down some kale, the end result is more than worth the effort. It’s a brilliant reunion with my favorite grain, and one that I can’t wait to repeat for dinner the following night.

Quinoa is back in the dinner rotation, baby. And it’s never tasted better.

Quinoa with roasted tomatoes, kale, tofu and pesto
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
Serves 1

¼ cup quinoa, prepared according to package instructions
5 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup kale, chopped into thin ribbons
3 ounces extra-firm nigari tofu
1 shallot, minced
¼ cup frozen corn
1 tablespoon pinenuts, toasted
Olive oil

4 cubes Trader Joes’ frozen basil, defrosted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon parmesan
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon, toasted
Splash of water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place halved tomatoes in oven-safe baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and then roast approximately 45 minutes or until shriveled in appearance.

Meanwhile prepare quinoa according to package instructions, and make the pesto. Combine pesto ingredients in a food processor, or use an immersion blender to blend together. Set aside.

When tomatoes are done, heat a splash of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the shallot and tofu and cook until tofu is lightly browned (approximately 4-5 minutes). Add the quinoa, corn and kale and cook together until heated through. Reduce the heat, stir in the pesto and the serve immediately. Top with the roasted tomatoes and pinenuts.


Ashley said...

Food twins! Elliott and I have been inhaling this concoction all weekend!

Anna A. said...

Yessss! She's back! I can easily make a lent friendly version of this. I actually just bought a huge sack of black quinoa from Whole Paycheck. The bulk bin sale is going on NOW!!

Daily Gluttony said...

I LOVE the Heather's Quinoa from 101 Cookbooks!

I agree, the recipe is a little work intensive, but oh well. I actually subbed jarred julienned sun dried tomatoes for the roasted ones and it still turned out great!

Esi said...

Slow roasting tomatoes is ALWAYS worth the effort.

Jenn said...

Yum!!! I love slow roasted tomato. Delicious and healthy. I like it!!

Bianca said...

I love how quinoa is growing on a lot of people! It's so versatile!

bagnatic said...

you're truly the quinoa queen!

Diana said...

Ashley - Isn't it delish? I think I need to make it again soon!

Anna - You can definitely make a vegan version of this -- just leave out the parm in the pesto and you are in business.

Pam - Thanks for the tip about the sun dried tomatoes - I'll have to try that! I still need to make the broccoli quinoa from 101 too.

Esi, Jenn - Agreed - I've become addicted to slow-roasted tomatoes since discovering them on the TLT sandwich recipe from 101.

Bianca - It really is! The perfect substitute for rice!

Bagnatic - Guilty as charged!

Lauren said...

omg yum

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katty said...

Is very helpful to change our habits, we need to think the obesity is very danger for everybody, is like a pump that can explot any time. So is necesary to take care of ourselves, exercising and taking good and healthy food and stop eating junk food. The life is too short, so we need to take care of us every single day for enjoy the things that the life gave to us. I bought my house through costa rica homes for sale so i want to enjoy it for long time. That is why i eat healthy including tomatoes, lettuce, vegetables and fruits.