I'm reminiscing about the days - not long ago - when I used to buy virtually every magazine that came out. While my mag-buying habits have not completely disappeared, I can now see small sections of the surface of my dining table because it's not covered with magazines, "Ooh, look, I forgot that the table has a glass top...*embarrassed giggle*".
Anyway, there's a food magazine (no names, but can you guess which one?) that just loves 'bakes'. Creamy pasta bake. Chilli beef and bean bake (?!). Oh my gosh I've lost the Chihuahua bake. Put some macaroni in a dish with some cream and stick it in the oven and call it a 'bake'. I think I stopped getting this mag because I couldn't take another bake.
However, there is a reason why bakes are popular. They are easy to make, hard to stuff up, and they taste good. Here's a recipe for - not a bake! - but a 'toss'. It's where lots of delicious ingredients are tossed together with an equally scrummy dressing. It's easy, hard to get wrong and tastes incredible. Yes, I like to give a toss!
You can make this dish with any vegetable or protein you have on hand, although it's good to use quinoa as a base as it's healthy as well. This one also as an Asian flavour, with teriyaki tofu and fish sauce and rice wine vinegar.
Quinoa Toss with Brussels Sprouts and Tofu
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
16 brussels sprouts, bases trimmed, and halved
1 tblsp olive oil
a handful of snow peas (about 10), sliced
1 chargrilled capsicum (red pepper), sliced (store-bought is okay)
100g marinated tofu (or cooked meat such as chicken, or haloumi/fetta), diced
2 tblsp fish sauce
1 tblsp rice wine vinegar
1 tblsp water
pinch of dried chilli flakes
caster sugar, to taste
1. For the quinoa: Rinse the quinoa in a sieve under running water to remove any husks. Put the water in a small pan and bring to the boil. Add a pinch of salt and the quinoa. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and fluff the quinoa up with a fork.
2. For the brussels sprouts: Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof skillet or pan over medium-high heat, then add the brussels sprouts. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until they brown slightly. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for another 10 minutes.
3. For the dressing: Combine the dressing ingredients in a bowl. Add sugar to taste, stirring until it dissolves.
4. If desired, heat the tofu and briefly blanch the snow peas (or ping in the microwave for 50 seconds).
5. When the brussels sprouts are done, remove from the oven and toss through the some of the dressing.
6. To serve: In serving bowls, combine the quinoa, tofu, capsicum, snow peas and brussels sprouts. Drizzle over any remaining dressing.
Ingredients. I use honey soy or teriyaki-flavoured marinated tofu.
This is a fantastic way to cook brussels sprouts. If the sprouts are small and tender, then they are less likely to be bitter. Here, I used my Microstoven baking dish to cook the sprouts on the gas flame before finishing them off in the oven.
Then just toss it all in a bowl, and eat.