Growing up my Mom would endearingly call me a ‘Carbivore’. I had chosen very early on to not eat meat, but I was also extremely picky. No matter where we went to eat, I would order pasta with butter and “sprinkly cheese.” Obviously not able to order many other of the go to items off of the kiddy menu, this was always an off the book request that made me feel special. I was young, naive and didn’t even have to worry about all those noodles going straight to my hips.
This was further reflected in early morning breakfasts of multiple heaping bowls of cereal and packed lunches of just bread, crackers or rice cakes and other pastry pale goodness. There would be no deli meat sandwiches or lunchables for me, thank you very much, and certainly no salads either. That’s not what kids eat.
As I got older and started to prepare my own meals, I graduated from sprinkly cheese and butter to Alfredo sauce. What a chef I was. My meals stayed white, boring and bland. They gave sustenance but not much satisfaction.
Then something miraculous happened, I learned that I loved cooking. I learned that I love to try new things. I started to crave fresh salads, vegetable stir-frys, stuffed peppers, quinoa with chicks peas and beans. I started shopping mostly the outer perimeter and my grocery bill didn’t necessarily get higher it just got more fulfilling. I had so much more energy, felt greater after putting effort into a meal I truly enjoyed.
Anything green please put it on my plate. While you’re at it, add a scoop of all of those beautiful vibrant colours straight from Mother Nature’s garden. Still keep those mushrooms away (all those spores and gills, cringe), but alas we can’t be perfect.
Tofu, Bean and Quinoa Salad
This is a recipe to show to all those that ask the age-old and painfully overplayed question, “But how do you get your protein?”
Bring quinoa and vegetable broth to a boil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Simmer covered for 15-20 minutes. Broth should be completely absorbed. Allow to cool as you prep the remaining ingredients.
Cut tofu in slices, and dry between paper towels for 5 minutes. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Cut tofu in 1/4 inch cubs and add to pan; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sauté tofu until lightly browned, usually 10-15 minutes in my experience. Allow to cool as you prep toppings and dressing.
Combine dressing ingredients with a whisk. Stir in quinoa.
Drain and rinse beans, thaw edamame if frozen. Add the beans, edamame, tofu, peppers, green onions, carrot, to quinoa mixture; stir gently to combine.
Cover and cool in refrigerator until ready to eat. Makes about ten servings. Great for Sunday food prepping to have lunches throughout the week.
Recipe altered from My Recipes.