While I didn’t make any resolutions for the New Year, one thing I am trying to improve in the kitchen is to become more flexible. Rob is good about perfecting a few key recipes or whipping up impromptu stir-fries whereas I prefer to keep trying something new. I realize this isn’t the most sustainable practice when life gets busy, so I am looking more into sauces that make the dish along with an assortment of vegetables with a grain or bean.
In this case, the sauce is a toasted sesame orange teriyaki sauce from Radiant Health, Inner Wealth. It was easy to put together, and with freshly squeezed orange juice, the orange flavour was light, not dominant or ooky sweet. It can’t really compete with my salmon teriyaki, but it is nice in its own regard.
Tess suggests serving the sauce with a stir fry of veggies including garlic-infused shiitake mushrooms, broccoli, cabbage and carrot along with tamari-marinated baked tofu and rice. I added in some cauliflower to make up for my lack of broccoli and substituted quinoa for the rice (see, I am becoming flexible…). A sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds seals the deal for this simple weeknight meal. Use any combination of vegetables with your favourite grain, top with this teriyaki sauce and you have a fool-proof dinner. You could also stir-fry your veggies with the teriyaki sauce but I preferred its bright flavours as a sauce.
I know this looks like a daunting recipe, but once you make the components – a big batch of quinoa (or your favourite grain), the teriyaki sauce, the baked tofu, and chopped veggies, you can easily whip up a quick weeknight dinner.
Toasted Sesame Orange Teriyaki Vegetable and Quinoa Bowl
1 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup fresh orange juice (save the zest if you want it even more orangey!)
3 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp tamari, soy sauce or Bragg’s
2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
5 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 cup dry quinoa, well rinsed
1.75 cups water or vegetable broth
1/2 lb extra-firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tsp soy sauce or Bragg’s
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp nutritional yeast, optional
4 tbsp vegetable broth or water
2 tsp tamari, soy sauce or Bragg’s
2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms
4 cups chopped broccoli (I subbed additional cauliflower but broccoli would be better)
1 cup sliced cabbage
1 cup chopped carrots (I grated mine but small dice would be better)
1-2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
1. To make your sauce (this can be done ahead of time), place the arrowroot in a small cup with a bit of the water and whisk together until it is smooth.
2. In a medium saucepan, place remaining water, juice, maple syrup, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, molasses, oil and optional zest. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.
3. Increase the heat to medium-high and whisk in the arrowroot mixture. Continue to cook just until it is heated through and slightly thickened. Set aside until needed.
4. Begin by cooking the quinoa: In a medium saucepan, heat on medium. Add quinoa and lightly toast until fragrant. Add in water, bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes until the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and return lid to pot to steam. Set aside until needed.
5. Preheat oven to 400F. Place pressed and cut tofu in a 9 x 13 pan lined by a silpat, toss with soy sauce and toasted sesame oil. Spread tofu in a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes, turn over and continue to bake for another 10 minutes, until browned. Toss the tofu cubes with the nutritional yeast (if using), and set aside.
6. In a medium skillet, heat the broth with the soy sauce over medium-high heat. Add the shiitake mushrooms and broccoli and saute for 5 minutes until the broccoli is a brilliant green and tender crisp. Toss in the cabbage and carrots and cook for an additional minute, stirring often.
7. To serve, Place the quinoa in a bowl, top with the veggies then the tofu and drizzle with the sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.