Welcome to Romeo's Food Lady! This blog contains recipes for delicious vegetarian food. Most of these are not recipes authored by me. Rather, this is just a compilation of great veggie food I've found from all over the place, usually tweaked just a little. It's intended to be a reference FOR ME so I don't lose great food I've found nor the changes I've made to suit my tastes, but I'm happy for you to use it, too. After more than 25 years of being a vegetarian, I know what tastes good.
Romeo's Food Lady is named after my friend and cat, Romeo. Romeo is not a vegetarian, but his Food Lady is!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Lemon-Pepper Tofu and Quinoa Salad

This dish was originally a non-vegetarian dish from The Food Network magazine, and it took me a couple of tries to work it into a satisfying vegetarian dish.  But it came together, and here we are!
juice and zest of one organic lemon
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil, separated
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. soy sauce or to taste
1/4 t. smoked paprika or to taste
1 lb. extra-firm tofu, chopped into 1/2-in. or 1-in. pieces (Tofu has a more pleasant texture if it is frozen first, then thawed before use.  Plan ahead.)
1.5 c. quinoa
1/2 small red onion, halved and very thinly sliced (I think scallions could easily be substituted here if you like the milder, greener flavor.)
1.5 lb. heirloom tomatoes, chopped
1 Cubanelle chile pepper or other Italian frying pepper, seeded and chopped (A green bell pepper will work, too.)
3 Persian cucumbers, chopped
2 T. vinegar of your choice (I used an orange-vanilla white balsamic vinegar.)
1.5 T. chopped fresh parsley
The night before, mix the lemon juice, lemon zest, 1 T. olive oil, salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste (be very generous with the pepper), garlic, soy sauce, and smoked paprika in a wide, shallow container.  Toss the tofu with the mixture (the tofu will likely soak it up almost right away), and marinate overnight in the fridge.

On the day you plan to eat, rinse the quinoa. 

Heat 1/2 T. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the quinoa, and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted (about 4 minutes).  Add 4 c. water and 1/4 t. salt, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes.  Set skillet aside.

Soak the red onion slices in cold water for 10 minutes, then drain.

Meanwhile, toss the tomatoes, chile or bell pepper, cucumbers, vinegar, 1.5 T. olive oil, parsley, 1/4 t. salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste in a large bowl.  Add the onions, and toss to coat.

Heat the remaining 1 T. olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Toss the tofu and lemon zest in the warm olive oil, and allow to cook until browned on one side.  Toss again, and allow to cook until browned on another side.

Fluff the quinoa with a fork, divide among 4 bowls, top with the tomato mixture, then the tofu.  Serves 4.

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