OMIGODYOUGUYS Somehow, allez! gourmet, my beloved little hobby blog (hobblog?), has been visited over FORTY THOUSAND times and today marks my HUNDREDTH post!
I started the blog in January 2012 as a new year’s resolution to share recipes on a regular basis, which I’d previously been doing via Facebook. Sharing on FB was neither pretty nor enjoyable. Remember Notes? Ew. Realizing how much I loved to write about cooking and food, I thought I’d better give a proper blog a try. I’m so glad I did! I have had so, so much fun working on a!g. Posting has been an exciting challenge, inspiring me to try new recipes and put my voice out into the great unknown. Putting myself out there was an intimidating prospect! “Who will read this?” I wondered. “Will anyone find it? Will my blog have critics?… Is this thing on?” Mysteriously, the interwebs worked their googly magic and people other than my mom started visiting the blog, unprompted. allez! gourmet’s biggest hit by far has been 2013’s peanut butter & cinnamon greek yogurt dip. It’s probably the simplest recipe I’ve posted and it’s viewed over 100 times a day. A day. Crazy! So, instead of learning from the peanut butter dip’s lesson that readers love simplicity, today’s 100th post is multi-stepped (but quite representative of my kitchen). Ha! Enjoy and, as always, thanks for reading!
SPICY THAI COCONUT QUINOA AND VEGGIES
For the dressing
- 1 1/2 cups cilantro leaves, washed and stems removed
- 3/4 cup unsalted, roasted peanuts
- 2-3 cloves garlic or more if you’re so inclined
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 1/4 cup sriracha
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 6 tbsp hot water
For the quinoa
- 1 3/4 cups uncooked quinoa
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 cup water and 1 tsp vegetable base, or 1 cup veggie stock
- generous sprinkle kosher salt
For the tofu and veggies
- 1 block firm, organic tofu, cut into large dice
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- kosher salt
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into coins
- 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 bag fresh broccoli florets, or the florets from 1 head broccoli
This is a classic vegan grain and veggie bowl. Make the grain, boil veggies, cook the tofu, then toss it all with a raw and incredibly flavorful dressing. You will feel healthier just by smelling this stuff. Prepping the dressing is the best part of this meal: add all dressing ingredients to a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. Voila! Set aside. If you’d like the peanuts to have a bit more oomph, toast them in a skillet first.
On to the quinoa. As the quinoa cooks, you’ll have plenty of time to par boil the veggies and cook the tofu. In a saucepan fitted with a lid, add the quinoa, water and base or broth, can of coconut milk, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer over medium low for 20 minutes. Stir this once or twice as it cooks.
While the quinoa bubbles along, dice the tofu and set the chunks on a plate lined with paper towels to drain a bit. I put two paper towels under the tofu blocks and one on top, which absorbed a good amount of excess moisture. Chop your veggies as the tofu drains. In a deep saucepan, heat the coconut oil over medium high. When hot, add the tofu chunks in a single layer, and cook for about 3 minutes before flipping. Flip each piece over and cook another 3 minutes until the tofu is a pretty golden-brown color.
Remove the cooked tofu to the same plate it was on earlier, lined with a clean paper towel, salting the tofu to taste. Add hot water to the saucepan you cooked the tofu in (no need to clean it out- hooray!) and bring to a boil. Add the red bell pepper, broccoli, and carrots, and boil for 3 minutes. Drain the veggies in a colander when three minutes is up. All done! Now to mix it together! In a large mixing bowl, mix the quinoa, drained veggies, and dressing. Fold in the tofu blocks and garnish with scallions, cilantro, or additional chopped peanuts… and serve. Delicious! A complete meal in one dish. This yummy bowl is fabulous hot and works at room temperature as well, making great picnic or packed lunch fare.
The meal was so tasty, I didn’t take any photos of my plate. Instead, enjoy two unrelated fall-themed pics from last night. November is in full swing! Thanks again for reading, and I raise my pumpkin ale to you!
Update! Here’s a picture of the next day’s lunch: