Well when I first mentioned I was going to start writing this blog, I had a few people write to me with some requests of things they’d like to see blogged about. One self-described “committed carnivore” mentioned she was interested in exposing her family to a healthier way to eat, though she still intended meat be a part of that. She had a special interest in quinoa, so I figured I would write about my most recent encounter with this very versatile super-food by featuring a recipe that require no special trips to the supermarket to look for weird and scary food.

I browsed through some of my various cookbooks looking for the perfect example. It needed to be fast, easy and had to be as good as a stand-alone dish as it would be as a side. So which recipe passed all my tests? It was a close competition, but Quinoa & Mixed Vegetable Sauté from 1000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson stood out above all the others. I would be making it alongside its recommended accompaniment: Chipotle-Painted Baked Tofu.

Now, if I learned one thing making these 2 dishes, it’s just how important it is to fully read through recipes before you start cooking, and to have everything prepped before you start heating up the pan. If you have everything prepped, you won’t be scrambling around the kitchen as I was, nearly slicing my fingers off while chop the zucchini quick enough to get it in the pan before the quinoa burns to the bottom of the pot. A feat I admittedly did not succeed in.

The chipotle tofu was a cinch to put together. I cut mine into 6 different sections, and after following the instructions to press out the extra moisture in the tofu (which felt ironically like performing CPR on it), I whipped up the marinade/sauce, and tossed it in the oven. It ended up working out perfectly and was absolutely delightful- I’ll be returning to that recipe time and time again.

As previously mentioned, had I prepped all the veggies before starting out in the quinoa recipe, it would have been a breeze as well. It made much more than I anticipated since the recipe says it makes 4 servings. It made enough to fill an ice cream pail, and looked like it could have fed a small school for lunch. The result was a hearty, fresh-tasting and highly-addictive comfort food. After clearing my plate, I realised why the recipe says it makes 4 servings- because you never want to stop eating it! Once the first bite hit my tongue, I couldn’t put down my fork until every last bit was gone.

I absolutely loved this combo, and I think it would be thoroughly enjoyed by vegans and carnivores alike.

On another note, I put together my first vegan taste-off tonight with a bunch of friends. Be sure to come back and check out the winners in Tuesday’s post.

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