Some Vegetarian Options

Alternative title- keen on the quinoa 😉

After reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Matt of No Meat Athlete‘s Vegetarian Advantage series, I decided to become vegetarian during the month of December.  I’m still eating fish (though no farm raised fish) so I don’t think that qualifies me as full vegetarian.  Whatever though- I’m setting my own rules 😀 

This brings me to two new recipes, including one food that I have never tried before.  The first recipe is one that I created all by myself.  I must say, I’m quite proud 😉 

Tropical Tofu- Serves 2

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 block firm tofu, drained for approximately 15 minutes
  • 2 T oil (I used sesame oil, you can use whatever is on hand)
  • 1 small can diced pineapple
  • Tropical-y marinade    


  1. Cook rice according to directions (boil one cup water, add rice, simmer for five minutes)
  2. After tofu is drained, cut into 1/2 inch squares.  Pour marinade of choice into freezer size bag and coat tofu inside of bag.  I used this delicious marinade:image

3. In a large pan, heat up 2 T oil on medium high heat.  Add marinated tofu, reduce heat to medium and saute for 2-3 minutes on each side, until tofu is lightly browned.  Remove from heat.

4. Stir rice and add a dash of marinade plus the can of pineapple.  Add in cooked tofu and stir. 

5.  Eat!image

Easy!  It may look a little bland but I promise you, it tastes delicious!

My next cooking adventure brought me this:image

Red quinoa!  Why red quinoa, you ask?  Well, it is a complete plant-based protein, meaning that it contains all nine of the essential amino acids our body requires.  Pretty nifty from a ball looking thing, eh?  First thing’s first, though- how the eff do you say quinoa?  After looking it up, I’m fairly certain it is pronounced keen-wah.  Although if you call it quin-noah I wouldn’t judge you.  😉 

To cook quinoa:

Boil 2 cups of water.  Add one cup of quinoa, reduce heat and let simmer for around fifteen minutes.  Once the little balls (that’s what she saiddd) appear translucent and the ring of wheat germ (or whatever it is) separates, you’re good to go. 

Confession: I’ve been eating pretty well for around a year or two now.  I never felt like a weirdo until I opened the lid to stir the finished quinoa.  It looks really weird, different and just plain healthy.  😉  Dare to be different, friends!

I added some pre-made, cooked tofu (thank you Trader Joe’s, I love you) to the quinoa and added the mixture over a huge bed of greens (along with feta and tomatoes) in order to make some headway in the 20 salads in December challenge.


The verdict:  quinoa is pretty dang good!  It adds a nice healthy crunch and although it looks weird, I like it!

So, tell me- what is the weirdest healthy food you have tried?  Did you like it?  Are you a fan of the keen-wah? 😉

Have a good one friends!


Filed under 20 salads, Quinoa, Recipe, Tofu, Trader Joe's, Vegetarian

9 responses to “Some Vegetarian Options

  1. I love quinoa! I like the way it takes on & soaks up flavors. I’ve never tried the red kind but it looks yummy.

    p.s. I like your blog’s header!

  2. Loooove quinoa!! Especially the red kind:)
    that tropical tofu sounds very good!

  3. Pam

    I bought some red kwinoah (because I’m from the south and that’s how we pronounce it LOL) a few weeks ago because I read that it was supposed to be really good for you. So I brought it home and was like…. ?

    I had no idea what to do with it. I ended up just making a little bit of it and tossing it in with a veggie stirfry thingie, but it just didn’t fit. I don’t know what I was expecting it to be like when I cooked it, but I didn’t get what I expected. I guess I really expected it to be softer and to bloat more, like rice. I don’t think I let it cook long enough because I don’t remember it being translucent, and nothing separated.

    So anyway, I wasn’t impressed, and the rest of the box has been sitting in the pantry untouched. I hadn’t thought about putting it in with a salad. Maybe I’ll do that just to get rid of it. If you have any other genius ideas on what to do with it, I’ll be glad to hear ’em!

  4. That tropical tofu sounds so good! I’m always looking for new tofu recipes– thanks!

  5. lowandbhold

    I love quinoa but I never cook it at home for some reason. In fact I have a box of it I really need to use up…
    Yay for veg options! I try to eat veg as much as I can. I love meatless meals.

  6. I need to make quinoa again. I tried it for the first time last year. And while I was a fan, Hubby was not, so I have made it sparingly in the past year. Time for a ressurgence I say!!

  7. You are right, it’s pronounced keen-wah. I had some tonight. I really like it.

  8. Haha, when I first bought quinoa, I had to google how to pronounce it! I love the stuff though, it’s perfect on a side dish or mixed up with veggies, spices and some evoo!

    I never tried tofu tropical style but it sure does sound tasty. I’m long overdue for a tofu night so I think it will happen soon.

  9. Meg

    I love quinoa! Plus, it’s fun to say!

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