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pansy jerk tofu with chinese broccoli and quinoa

Posted Jun 05 2009 5:07pm

I call this "pansy jerk" because it's very mild. I have another jerk recipe that I use for seitan, and it is powerful stuff. Being free of the trademark scotch bonnet (habanero) peppers, this jerk is more appropriate for small children and delicate adults.

I can't describe how much I love Chinese broccoli (also known as kai-lan ). You may find it at an ethnic grocery or even a well-stocked supermarket, but you're more likely to see it at a farmer's market. That's where I discovered it. There was only one farmer who sold it this year and he began to recognize me after I bought him out for the second time. He started to set aside a quantity for me and every week for the month it was in season, I asked him to give me everything he had. It is good stuff and thinking of it now, I'm craving it again and sad that I have to wait another ten months to have some.

You get a lot of bang for your buck with this plant. The stalks are like asparagus, the leaves are like spinach and the flowers are like broccolini. Like all members of the cruciferous family, it is a potent cancer fighter. It is easy to prepare, full of flavor and high in many vitamins and minerals, especially iron. It pairs very well with this simple baked tofu and the nutty complete protein of quinoa.

1 lb. tofu, pressed and cubed
1 bunch of chinese broccoli, chopped
4 c. cooked quinoa

4 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. maple syrup
2 T. blackstrap molasses
2 T. white vinegar
2 T. Bragg's or other soy sauce
2 T. olive oil
1 T. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 T. allspice
2 t. thyme
1 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. crushed red pepper

1. Combine all marinade ingredients and toss with the tofu. Preheat the oven to 400F. Set the quinoa to cook.

2. Place the tofu in a single layer in a large, oil-coated baking dish.

3. Bake the tofu for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned but not burned, turning once halfway through.

4. Heat 1 T. water in a large skillet and add the Chinese broccoli. Saute briskly until just barely wilted.

5. Top the quinoa with the tofu and broccoli and serve hot.
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