While tofu has gained a lot of popularity in the last decade or so, many people still shy away from making it on a regular basis. I’m guessing that some people just can’t get over the fact (yes, fact) that the white, jiggly cube of wet stuff that is tofu can actually be one of the best-tasting foods ever if it’s prepared well.
Enter this crispy harissa-coated tofu with almond-mint quinoa and feta. If I was going to write a song about tofu, this would definitely be my muse. This perfectly crisp on the outside, tender on the inside tofu is so flavorful, full of exotic spices, and FUN. Yes, fun! The depth and spiciness of the harissa tofu is balanced by the fresh-tasting, mint-essenced quinoa, fresh cucumbers, and feta cheese; and what results is one of the best meals you can even imagine. So go buy yourself a jiggly white block of tofu and make some magic with it!
1 package of extra-firm tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
¼ c. harissa sauce (store-bought or homemade)
1 c. quinoa, uncooked
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
Juice from ½ lemon
3 green onions, sliced
¼ c. fresh mint leaves, torn
¼ c. almonds, chopped or whole (your preference)
Salt and red pepper flakes to taste
Feta cheese (or vegan feta)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. About 30 minutes before cooking, drain the tofu, wrap it in a kitchen towel and press it. You can do this by placing a plate on top of the tofu, and then a heavy item, like a stock pot, on top of the plate for about 10 minutes. This will help remove excess water from the tofu.
Combine the cornstarch and salt in a small bowl. Combine the coconut oil and tofu in another bowl and mix together until the oil coats the tofu. Then, add the oil-coated tofu to the bowl with the cornstarch and salt and coat the tofu cubes evenly.
Spread out the tofu on a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until the tofu is crispy and golden. Remove the tofu from the oven, place in a large mixing bowl and toss with harissa (you control the amount of harissa, it’s a taste preference thing). Place the tofu back onto the baking sheet and continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until they are nice and crispy.
Cook the quinoa according to directions, but add the olive oil and garlic when you begin cooking the quinoa. When the quinoa is finished cooking, remove from the heat and place in a serving bowl. Add the lemon juice, green onions, mint, salt and red pepper flakes and stir to combine.
Divide the quinoa among two bowls. Top with the tofu, and serve with cucumbers and feta cheese. Enjoy!