Desert island. You can bring 3 foods with you—which foods do you bring? The first food on my list would be cashews because bringing cashews is like bringing dozens of foods. Cheesecake! Aioli! Mayo! Cashews are magic. So obviously, I am going to bring this magical nut to my desert island. I don’t even need the other 2 foods, because cashews are that versatile. But maybe I’ll take a pack of Rolos. Just in case.
With all the amazing things you can do with cashews, sometimes I forget that cashews are tasty just as cashews too. They’re especially good in stir fries, where they add a little bit of texture and crunch. These Cashew Tofu Quinoa Bowls are adapted from a Honey Cashew Chicken recipe from Cooking Light. I replaced the chicken with tofu and I used quinoa instead of rice, although just about any grain will work as a base.
When it comes to making recipes meatless, stir-fries are about as easy as they come. If a recipe calls for a pound of meat, I replace it with about a pound of plant-based protein. Occasionally, the method and cook times will vary slightly; in this case, the original recipe called for the chicken to be dredged in cornstarch, but I didn’t observe much of a difference with the cornstarch vs. making it without it, so I opted to leave it out of the final recipe. To keep the tofu from breaking up, I added the step of removing it from the pan and then stirring it back in at the end of the recipe.
The tofu, quinoa and vegetables are delicious, but the best part of this recipe is the handful of cashews you put in at the end. Don’t skimp on them! They totally make the dish.
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa rinsed
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons Tamari or soy sauce
- 2-3 teaspoons Sriracha to taste
- 1 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu, pressed and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 cup frozen shelled edamame
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 1/2 cup dry-roasted cashews
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook quinoa according to package directions, then divide it into 4 bowls.
- Whisk together the rice vinegar, honey, Tamari and Sriracha in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Add sesame oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the tofu and cook for 5-7 minutes, flipping occasionally, until the tofu is golden brown on the outside. Transfer the tofu to a plate.
- Add the grapeseed oil to the skillet and increase the heat to high. Add the broccoli, edamame, garlic, onion and red pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are slightly softened, but still brightly colored and crisp. Stir in the tofu, cashews, and sauce; season with salt and pepper if needed and serve over cooked quinoa.