Archive for Swiss Chard

Apple Cider Tofu with Quinoa salad

Here the power grain quinoa and the ever amazing tofu come together to make a fantastic dinner (or lunch, snack, whatever you prefer). In opening my pantry, seeing a container full of quinoa, and remembering that it has loads and loads of calcium, I knew I had to make it. Other than that, I really wasn’t sure where else I was going to go from there. All I knew is that there were bricks of tofu in the refrigerator, tons of vegetables around from the farm share (need I tell you again how awesome farm shares are!?), and that I wanted to have dinner cooked for the boyfriend after he got home from class and before he had to go to work. I had precious little time to work with, and from it came this meal, which I am actually pretty proud of.

I started by cutting up a little less than quarter of a sweet red onion, and sauted it in a medium sauce pan with a clove of minced garlic. Then, I added some cut up swiss chard and a can of chickpeas. Following this, I added two cups of vegetable broth, and then one cup of rinsed, uncooked quinoa. I also added some salt and pepper, and a touch of hot sauce, since I’ve been putting it on/in everything lately. Once it came to boil, I reduced the heat. threw the lid on and let it simmer.

I then retrieved my pressed block of extra firm tofu, and cut it into eight pieces, width-wise. I began pan-frying them in a tablespoon of olive oil, not sure yet what I would be doing with them. While they were cooking, I was inspired by opening the refrigerator, when a bottle of maple syrup fell off the bottom shelf from the inside of the door. “Ok,” I thought, “I will make maple-glazed tofu.” And then, even better, I saw a quart of apple cider left in there as well, and decided to make maple apple cider glazed tofu. When the tofu was just about done, I added in 1 1/2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup, and 1/2 cup of apple cider. I let the tofu simmer in the glaze for a bit, to ensure that it would soak up all of the goodness, and then added cornstarch (you could use this or flour), teaspoon by teaspoon, until the glaze became thicker and throughly coated the tofu.

With the quinoa finished, I served it into a bowl and placed two pieces of tofu on top. I think the tofu really stole the show. Maple syrup and apple cider always go well together, and being slathered all over tofu is no exception. I think next time I would even consider marinating the tofu overnight in it, to give it even more of that great sweet, tart, maple apple flavor.

The quinoa was great as well. Cooking it in the vegetable broth with the onion and garlic really gives it more a flavor, because sometimes, in my opinion at least, quinoa can be a bit bland. The chickpeas and swiss chard went great together, and even without the tofu this would be a wonderful meal or side on its own. The mild taste of the quinoa really let the swiss chard shine, and after not having this leafy green prior to this year, I cannot tell you how much I love it, and what a distinct taste it has. I even added some of the diced stems, because I think they taste great as well, and don’t like wasting any part of the vegetable if I can help it. The quinoa salad really was great and filling, and the best part is that it is very versatile. You can add whatever vegetable or bean you’d like. Everything tasted amazing, was warm, filling, and was done just in time for the boyfriend to get home!

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Tofu, Wild Rice and Almond Stuffed Acorn Squash

A refridgerator full of squash

As mentioned before, we have a TON of squash, as you can probably tell from the above picture, and the previous one of our squash center piece (hey, it is pretty). After seeing this recipe posted on my cousin’s amazing blog, I knew I had to make it, and that it would be perfect to utilize one of our many acorn squash lying around. This really is a fantastic recipe. It is easy to make and is also very versatile, depending on what you have in your fridge that day, or what you feel like eating. It is the perfect way to present and eat the best things fall has to offer. I followed the recipe, which you can find by following the link to her blog, with a few exceptions. I threw in about a cup and half of swiss chard (we had a great bunch of it from the farm share), and added sliced almonds instead of hazelnuts.

glorious!

First of all, you can tell that is going to taste great right away, while it’s still baking, because it makes the house smell fantastic (and warms it up too!), and because it looks beautiful. The bright colors of the squash play well with the colorful wild rice, almonds, and the earthy green of the swiss chard. When you eat it you’re not surprised that it tastes amazing because it looks so appetizing to begin with. The nice chew of the wild rice is a great contrast to the soft, sweet acorn squash, and the tofu adds another level to the dish, being slightly crispy on the outside and still relatively soft on the inside. The swiss chard tastes fantastic with the almonds and with the filling as a whole. This dish alone is one of the many reasons to celebrate the fall.