Friday, August 31, 2012

Banh Mi inspired Quinoa Salad with caramelized tofu

I'm officially broken-up with poultry & beef. Until I'm comfortable with buying local, grass-fed, well treated meat, I won't be purchasing or cooking with it...even for my bacon-loving guests & boyfriend. Right now I'm looking into Greenling, who delivers local produce & meats.

I don't trust that what is offered at the supermarket is really beef or chicken. I don't believe it's healthy for me. It's made of inhumane treatment of animals in an unhealthy environment, it's made of pink slime & other cheap fillers, it's made of's not what you think you're buying and putting into your body. And that's just one thing to worry about at the grocery store. Having to pay attention to so many words... cage -free v. free-range, organic, grass-fed...etc. etc....

It's all for the $$.

But this is just a topic I can try and hit another day. 

I just wanted to document today as the day I said "GROSS! I'm not eating that!"

But there are some things that make my mouth water & have me wondering if this new lifestyle is possible. One of those being a pork belly banh mi. I have a want that quickly turns into a need for this sandwich pretty often. When I saw this recipe I decided I need to start working on creating a veganized version to satisfy my cravings. 

I have to say... I'm really excited with the turnout! 

I started by making pickled radishes & carrots that I jarred and will be using on future meals these next couple of days. Win win!

I then cut my tofu and let it sit with a few paper towels to dry off.

What to do while you wait for a few minutes...? look at pictures from Billy's art show in Houston! 

"It's Because I Love You" by the Blue Dozen Collective.

The show was great! We had so much fun & the turn out was amazing. It's exciting to watch Billy's career as an artist really take off. 

Billy & I

Photos taken from Houston Press

All of the artists did such an amazing job! 

More photos from alexdotbarber's flickr

Okay, time's up! Your tofu is dry. Let it sit in the marinade for about 20 minutes. Fry it up and mix it with the all the fresh & delicious goodness you love in your banh mi, minus the bread & add quinoa.

Don't let the ingredient list scare you!
Try it out! I promise you, it's delicious!!

Banh Mi inspired Quinoa Salad with Caramelized Tofu
1 Cup quinoa
1 1/2 Cup water

1 bunch radishes, sliced 
1/4 pound baby carrots, sliced
1/2 cup water
1 cup apple cider
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp tamari
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp chopped lemongrass
1" ginger, chopped
1 green onion
1.2 tsp black pepper

1 package of tofu

Sliced cucumbers & fresh jalapenos to your liking.
3 tbsp vegan mayo mixed with
1 1/2 tsp sriracha 

To make quinoa: Boil 1 1/2 cup water. Mix in quinoa. Cover & simmer for about 20 minutes. set aside.

To make the pickled radishes & Carrots: Mix ingredients & let it sit for at least an hour.

Cut your tofu & pat dry. Try to release as much moisture as possible. To make the marinade, mix ingredients from maple syrup to black pepper. Pour a little of the marinade in a pan and line your tofu on top in a single layer. Pour remaining marinade over tofu. Let it stand for about 20 minutes.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Fry tofu in single layers along with marinade, about 4-5 minutes on each side or until crisp and nice golden color.

Mix quinoa with however much pickled radishes & carrots you'd like, tofu, cucumbers, jalapenos, cilantro, kale, & top with sriracha mix.


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