Quinoa & Parsnip Salad With Balsamic Glazed Tofu
1 package extra-firm organic tofu
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups quinoa (I used a mix of red and white for color)
2 medium-sized parsnips
1 medium to large pomegranate
1 cup pistachios, chopped
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons lemon olive oil (or use regular olive oil and a little lemon extract)
1 tablespoon lemon thyme
Salt and pepper
Slice the tofu into half-inch slices and place in glass pan. Pour balsamic over, turning tofu to coat. Marinate for at least one hour or overnight, turning occasionally.
Get your grill set up if you plan to use charcoal, so it can heat up as you prepare the other ingredients. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Peel the parsnips, chopping into small bite-size chunks. Toss with sesame oil (which will bring out the earthy flavor), a teaspoon of the lemon thyme and some salt and pepper. Place in the oven for about 20 to 30 minutes, tossing occasionally to brown evenly. You want the parsnips soft, but firm.
Rinse quinoa, then prepare according to these instructions (if you need a little help). I made 2 cups, which yielded much more. I used about 4 cups of the prepared quinoa and froze the rest. It’s great for breakfast in place of oatmeal with a little chopped nuts and dried fruit, tossed into soups or as a replacement for rice in stir fry dishes.
Grill tofu, turning occasionally. It helps to oil the grill a little bit to prevent sticking. Cut pomegranate in half and carefully pick out seeds. You’ll want about one cup. Rough-chop pistachios to yield about 1 cup.
Combine quinoa, pistachio and parsnips, letting cool slightly before adding pomegranate. Stir in remaining lemon thyme, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add olive oil and/with lemon and toss to coat.
I initially served the tofu sliced on top of the salad, but these flavors are really meant to go together. I’d suggest chopping into bite-size chunks and incorporating. Can be served hot or cold.
Originally published in “Et Tu, Tofu?“