When I work on my blog, I like to experiment with new recipes, try out new products, invent new ways to eat ordinary foods. This worked for me for the last year or so. However, about two months ago, I started craving the same dish. Over and over again. So much in fact, that it’s starting to be a running gag in our house. My boyfriend will come home from work and say things like: “Can’t wait for my quinoa-tofu-broccoli tonight!” Yeah. That’s what I have been craving every day for two months now. Not chocolate cake (although I’ve had my days), not fancy and exotic fruits, not my mom’s food. Nope. Just quinoa, tofu and some kind of grilled veggies (it’s not my fault broccoli is so cheap), or salad greens if I want something fresh.
Now, here’s the issue. I have been feeling completely satisfied eating those quinoa bowls every day. There is something reassuring and structuring in preparing big batches of food and just having to plate your daily servings. No fuss, no rush. However, it’s difficult to blog about the exact same bowl you’ve been having. Now that the temperatures have been going up (finally), I’m hoping to crave something else and to hopefully have some variety back in my kitchen. I’m sure grilled broccoli, tofu and quinoa will stay in my heart for long though! Here’s a few tips if you are stuck in the same rut as me.
For your grilled veggies:
- I’ve been loving using infused olive oils to add an extra kick of flavour. Try lemon or rosemary infused oils for a fresh taste, or go for the classic chili oil. I usually rub about 1 tbs onto the vegetables before placing them in the oven. Yum!
- I’ve also like sprinkling some freshly ground pepper on the baked veggies. I know, it’s nothing groundbreaking (you see what I’ve done here, right?), but it’s a classic for a reason. Why not go crazy and try different types of peppers? I love white pepper for its spiciness, but pink pepper brings a whole different range of flavours. Experiment with kitchen staples!
- Add some lemon juice and lemon zest! Fresh lemon zest gives such a nice aroma to the most simple dishes. Plus, it makes me feel like a fancy chef when I zest lemons. You zest have to try it out!
For your tofu:
- Vary the type and bite size: I tend to go for extra firm tofu because I like how it crips up when you pan fry it. The smaller the pieces, the crispier they will be. If you feel like having some bacon, you can cut your tofu into small cubes and add a few drops of liquid smoke to your marinade or sauce. Soft tofu can also be a great option to mix things up a little. I love to gently cooking soft tofu in some soy sauce. Very simple, but so good.
- If you really don’t feel like cooking, you can simple cube your firm tofu and mix it with the vegetables. Put everything in the oven, and that’s it! Bing, bang, boom.
- If you really, really don’t feel like cooking, you can also substitute the tofu for canned beans. Rinse them well, and they are ready to go, but you can also cook them in some tomato sauce or curry spices for something a bit more elaborate.
For your quinoa:
- Make sure that you cook it in enough water. I usually use 4.5 cups of water for 2 cups of quinoa. I place everything in a pot on high heat. I then reduce the heat to medium once it starts boiling. I put a lid on the pot and let everything simmer for 15 minutes. Then, turn off the heat and let it sit until you are ready to eat. The result: light and fluffy quinoa! Yum.
- Add some stuff: I like adding some corn, chopped carrots or peas to the quinoa as it is cooking. It adds some bite to it and makes it extra yummy. Plus it adds a touch of colour to the mix.
- Make sure that you don’t add salt to the cooking water as it will harden the quinoa.
That’s it! This is perfect for meal prepping because you can prepare big quantities of everything and save your food in the fridge. It’s so quick to plate up and makes for great lunches to bring at work. Plus, you can add fresh veggies or sauces according to your daily cravings. So, yeah, that’s what has been going on in my kitchen lately. And guess what? I’m now heating up some quinoa, broccoli and tofu for lunch. Cannot wait!