Apparently my brain is on 80s songs this week; yesterday it was Manic Monday, today it's 'and I'm a livin' in a box...' Hence my wicked awesome 80s inspired titles.
This weekend, as I have mentioned was quite the whirlwind of fun... a Boboli party (more on that later), a picnic in Fairhaven and an impromptu visit with friends.
We were invited to attend a little 'fest' put on by Music Together, a local class you can take with your small child in which you sing songs, bang on drums and dance... quite fun. Anyway, they had a little festival on Sunday with face painting, arts and crafts, music and drums, etc... our lovely friend Emily invited us to come with instructions to bring a picnic dinner. And when she says that here's what I think: Project!!
I start thinking about all the fun blog posts I could put together with a picnic dinner because whatever it was, it was going to be in a box! Ok, tupperware... but that's a food box so it counts, yes? This dish is what I came up with and it was goooooood!!! mm mm good, to be precise. I truly hope you like it as much as I did; I love finding yet another meal that I want to eat all day long for the rest of my life!
For the marinade:
1/4 cup liquid aminos (you can use tamari too but the aminos have a more mild flavor... in my opinion)
3 teaspoons curry powder
Salt and pepper
1 package extra firm tofu
1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups water (to cook the quinoa)
1 apple, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1 cup carrot, thinly sliced (I used the glorious mandoline. You could also get matchstick carrots)
about 1/2 heaping cup parsley, chopped
For the dressing:
3t agave nectar
1 Tablespoon shallots, finely chopped (you could also use the dried shallots that I lurve so much)
2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 t salt
4 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Open your tofu and slice into small cubes. Put tofu in a low container with a lid. Cover with marinade ingredients: aminos (or tamari), curry, salt and pepper. Cover the container, give it a good shake and let it sit. I let mine sit for a good 30 min.. the longer the more flavorful but you can cook it right away if you like too.
Cook the quinoa in the water as per the package instructions.
While quinoa is cooking, chop your apple, onion, carrot and parsley and put in a bowl.
In a lidded jar or other shakeable container, combine all dressing ingredients: agave, shallots, salt, lemon juice, olive oil and pepper. Put the lid on and shake the heck out of it.
Using a flat pan, heat it up and line your tofu cubes up in cute little rows. Cook on med/high heat for about 3 minutes (until toasty brown) then flip and cook again on the opposite side. Note: if you're anal about 'evenness', as I tend to be when it comes to cooking things that are cubed, you can continue the cooking process on all sides so each cube is toasty all around. This is what I did but it is a little more time consuming.
When your quinoa is done, fluff and let cool down a bit then add it to the bowl of chopped veg. Mix slightly, to combine then give your salad one more shake and pour it on. Mix well.
Ok, so if you're just going to eat it, pile it in a neat stack on your plate and add the tofu to the top. We, however, having royal picnic plans, had to make it portable... in a box!
Also, this salad is great by itself OR with a lovely simple green salad. The one you see here is greens with parsley, carrot and mushroom... so good! The dressing is a simple balsamic, olive oil combination... more about that later :)
I so so so hope you enjoy this as much as I did (and still am with leftovers!)