janet @ the taste space

Hawaiian-style Sweet-and-Sour Roasted Pineapple and Bell Peppers with Tofu

In Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) on May 9, 2011 at 5:54 AM

Bell peppers come in a variety of colours – green, yellow, orange and red. How are the multicoloured peppers different?

I am not as fond of of green peppers since they are more bitter.  I will, however, tolerate them if hidden in a larger dish.

Green peppers are harvested before they are completely ripe and will never become sweet, like its older colourful siblings. Yellow and orange peppers are more mature than green, but the most mature of all are the red peppers.

With maturity comes hidden specialties, right? Of course! After researching a bit, I found out yellow peppers have 3% of the recommended intake of vitamin A, versus 105% in red peppers. Vitamin C was nearly the same between yellow and red (although green peppers had half as much). But red peppers have 841 mcg of beta-carotene versus 110 mcg in yellow peppers. They say to eat a rainbow, but I think it just makes sense to eat red peppers! Thankfully my taste buds agree and my blog can attest with its multitude of recipes for bell pepper.

The real question is whether to plant bell peppers in the garden. Our friends (and landlords) had difficulties with bell peppers last year, and other gardeners in Toronto have told me they never fully ripened to become red. The scourge of a short summer. The quandaries… perhaps we won’t be planting bell peppers if they stay green. Who would eat them? Only if they were hidden inside this delicious dish!

Yes, I really liked this Hawaiian Roasted Pineapple with Red Peppers and Tofu.  It wasn’t one of those ooky-sweet sweet-and-sour sauces. It was light, tasty and fresh, without any cornstarch which plagues most recipes. Originally a vegetable side dish, this recipe was adapted from Supermarket Vegan (also posted on Vegetarian Times) to make a main course by adding in tofu and quinoa. I added in 1 lb of extra-firm tofu and marinaded it in the sesame oil, canola oil and agave nectar. I prepped the rest of my vegetables as it marinaded, although if I had more forethought I would have marinaded it longer. I threw the veggies and tofu together to bake for ~75 minutes, then tossed with a sprinkle of fine coconut and lime juice and sprinkled chopped cashews overtop. Perfect!  This recipe definitely warrants fresh pineapple, though (I used half a pineapple). The canned stuff won’t make this meal shine.

Hawaiian-style Sweet-and-Sour Roasted Pineapple and Bell Peppers with Tofu

This is my submission to E.A.T. World for Hawaii.

Hawaiian-style Sweet-and-Sour Roasted Pineapple and Bell Peppers with Tofu

1 lb firm or extra-firm tofu
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup
3 cups cubed fresh pineapple
1 medium red bell pepper, cubed (1½ cups)
1 medium green pepper, cubed (1½ cups)
1 medium red onion, cut into thin wedges (1½ cups)
1 Tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
1 Tbsp lime juice (or juice of 1 lime)
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
2 tbsp cashews, crushed
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well

1. Press and drain the tofu. This allows the water to escape and the tofu to absorb more of the marinade. I pressed it around 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine sesame oil, vegetable oil and agave nectar.

3. Next, cut pressed tofu into cubes (mine were 1/2-inch). Arrange them in a single layer in a shallow dish with sides. Pour the glaze over the tofu, toss to coat and marinate at least 30 minutes. I let it marinade as I chopped the vegetables, but a longer marinade would be best.

4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400F. Arrange marinaded tofu, pineapple cubes, bell pepper cubes and red onion wedges on a single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheet (I used my silpat for easier clean-up).  Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Roast pineapple mixture on center oven rack 30 minutes, or until lightly browned, turning once.

5. Meanwhile, bring 1.5 cups of salted water to a boil. Add quinoa. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until quinoa is soft and chewy. Fluff and set aside.

6. Remove vegetables from oven and sprinkle with coconut flakes, if using, then drizzle with lime juice. Remove to serving bowl, toss well to combine and sprinkle with cashews. Serve hot or at room temperature with a side of quinoa.

Serves 6.

  1. Coconut, lime and cashews? Count me in!

  2. Thanks for the bell pepper info! Sometimes I’ll grab a yellow or orange just to add some color, but it does indeed sound like it makes the most sense to stick with red! And this dish you’ve used them in sounds fantastic!

  3. Makes a wholesome and colorful plate… love all the flavors in it..
    Breakfast Club – Pancakes – Roundup

  4. First of all I had NO idea that red peppers were just super ripe green peppers! I always thought they were completely different plants! Craziness. Learn something new every day!

    Second of all, the sweet and sour of this sounds delicious! How did I miss this in Veg Times?

  5. Quite a filling and wholesome dish..lovely flavours..

  6. Mmmm this sounds like the perfect blend of flavours to beckon summer!

    • Oh, and I second what Joanne, above, said! I had no idea they were the same plant either! Oh the beauty of learning new things 🙂

  7. It’s been far too long since I’ve cooked tofu, and this sounds like the perfect way to enjoy it. Also, ever since I made the roasted mango salsa, I’ve been dying to roast some pineapple!

  8. […] sad that we decided not to grow bell peppers, because we were afraid they would never turn red (and what would be the point of non-red peppers? although we will have a chili pepper plant). We will be focusing our energies on easy-to-grow (and […]

  9. One of the dishes in regular rotation when I was growing up was “waikiki meatballs”. I really did not like them… I never liked meatballs, plus the sauce was so sticky and sweet and also sour, if that makes sense. This tofu dish on the other hand is something I think I’d really enjoy! Though I don’t relish the idea of having to chop up a pineapple!

  10. […] Hidden within a fruit salad, it can go unnoticed. Or shunned when it takes centre stage. I enjoy combining fruit into savoury dishes, and my curiosity was piqued when some friends recommended the bulgur and […]

  11. […] not to like about the fluffy pebbles? I often use quinoa as a simple side to a stir fry or curry. Anywhere you’d typically think of rice, quinoa can substitute as a quick-cooking grain. […]

  12. […] in my kitchen! I don’t cook with tofu that often, and if I do, it is usually incorporated into my meal. I’ve made a few stand-alone tofu recipes, and that was even before I went […]

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