Crispy Tofu with Roasted Pepper Marinara and Quinoa

 Crispy tofu on a bed of savory quinoa, covered in a delicious red pepper marinara makes for a quick and filling weeknight dinner. You can easily makes this recipe gluten free by using a gf flour blend, and gf panko. You could also use an air fryer to prepare the tofu if you have one, or try baking the tofu pieces if you prefer cooking without oil!

Crispy tofu on a bed of savory quinoa, covered in a delicious red pepper marinara makes for a quick and filling weeknight dinner. You can easily makes this recipe gluten free by using a gf flour blend, and gf panko. You could also use an air fryer to prepare the tofu if you have one, or try baking the tofu pieces if you prefer cooking without oil!

INGREDIENTS:

The Tofu

  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 flax egg
  • 1/4 cup plant based milk
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs (not all are vegan, be sure and check)
  • 1 teaspoon each of salt, paprika, garlic powder, and thyme
  • oil for frying

The Marinara

  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 -1/3 cup roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 small onion cut in quarters
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon dreid thyme
  • pepper to taste

The Quinoa

  • 1 cup dried quino
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 small onion finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried time
  • 1 teaspoon oil such as grape seed or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Remove tofu from package, and wrap in a clean kitchen towel, or a few paper towels. Put a few books on top and let sit for about 15 minutes to remove the excess liquid from the tofu.
  2. While tofu is pressing, prepare quinoa by bringing 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium sized pot, then add the quinoa. Reduce heat to a simmer and put a lid on the pot. Let quinoa simmer, stirring occasionally until all of the liquid is absorbed. 
  3. While the quinoa is simmering, heat a teaspoon of oil in a small skillet. Add the diced onion, and minced garlic, cooking until onions are translucent. Add in the pine nuts and cook just a few minutes. Pine nuts burn very quickly, so keep moving them around the pan until just until they are toasted, then remove from the heat. Once the quinoa is done cooking, mix in the onion, pine nut mixture, and seasoning. Put the lid back on and set aside.
  4. Drain the liquid from the tomatoes, and add them along with all of the other sauce ingredients to a blender or food processor. Blend for a few minutes, until the onion, peppers, and tomatoes are broken down. Heat the sauce in a medium sized pot on simmer while you prepare the tofu.
  5. Cut pressed tofu into 1/2 inch pieces, cutting from the ends of the tofu block. You will get around 8 or 9 pieces.
  6. In a shallow dish, mix 1 flax egg, and 1/4 cup of non dairy milk. Add flour to another shallow dish or plate. Then mix the panko in another dish, or plate with the seasonings.
  7. First coat each piece of tofu with flour, next the flax egg wash, and lastly the panko. Make sure to evenly, and fully coat the tofu with the flour, and flax egg wash. The panko will stick best if you press it into the tofu pieces, flipping the tofu to make sure both sides are covered.
  8. In a large skillet, heat about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of oil. You just need enough to fry each side of tofu, you do not need to cover the tofu in oil.
  9. Once oil is good and hot reduce heat to medium, add the coated tofu pieces and fry each side for 3 - 5 minutes. You want each side crispy and golden brown. Once tofu is finished frying, place on a wire cooling rack with some paper towels underneath for a few minutes.
  10. To serve, add a scoop of quinoa to each plate, top with 1 or 2 pieces of tofu, and a few spoonfuls of sauce.

Serves 4 - 6.