Spicy Southwest Tofu Quinoa Bowl with Medjool Date Lime Dressing
This spicy southwest bowl contains flavorful cubes of tofu and a sassy-sweet Medjool date & lime dressing. Paired with veggies like spinach & bell pepper topped with buttery cubes of avocado.
At least an hour before you make the dish you want to marinate the tofu. Remove the tofu from package and wrap it in a paper towel or clean dish towel. Gently squeeze tofu to remove any excess liquid. Unwrap tofu and slice into small cubes. Place the cubes in a shallow dish and pour the tamari and maple syrup over top. Toss the tofu around a bit to coat all the sides. Cover dish and place in the fridge to marinate for at least an hour - longer is even better.
Add 2 cups of water to a large pot. Add the dry quinoa. Add a pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a bowl, then cover with a lid and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer on low for 20 minutes. At the 20 minute mark, turn off heat but do not remove lid. Just allow the quinoa to sit and fluff in the steam for at least five minutes, then you can finally remove lid and fluff with a fork or spatula. Optional: add a pitch of lime zest to the quinoa!
Prepare your dressing:
Remove pits from dates and soak them in warm water for about two minutes. Drain water and add dates to blender. Add the lime juice, oil, salt and cayenne. Blend the ingredients until smooth, yet still a bit textured. For a thinner dressing, or if your dates were still a bit dry, add a splash of water to thin things out.
Warm a large skillet over high heat. Add 1-2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil. When oil is hot, add your pre-marinated tofu cubes. If there is any marinade liquid left you can add this over top, just be careful to watch for splattering. Toss tofu a bit and cook for 2-3 minutes and flip the tofu again. You want the edges to start to caramelize and become light brown in color. When you tofu is just about done, taste one cube and add salt and pepper to taste. Finally, add the smoky paprika and optional cayenne to the tofu and toss gently.
Using a spatula, remove tofu from skillet and set aside in a bowl. Turn stove to medium and in the same skillet, add the bell pepper. Saute for 2 minutes, or until tender. Add the quinoa to skillet. The bell pepper and quinoa will soak up the excess oil from the tofu. Toss together. Lastly, add the spinach to the pan. Fold gently with a spatula. Turn off the heat and allow the spinach to very lightly wilt with the hot ingredients.
Add all the skillet ingredients and the tofu to a large mixing bowl. Add 1-2 Tbsp of the dressing and mix well.
Pour the mixture into serving bowls. Add the fresh avocado on top. Add additional dressing if desired. Serve warm! For extra spiciness, add a drizzle of hot sauce on top.
This recipe was created for the “50 Plates of Tofu” campaign for the state of Arizona.