Welcome to the first of my series of 5 ingredient, 15 minute meals. With a busy lifestyle, it can be hard to stick to a healthy diet. Often times, the recipes I find that claim to be ‘fast’ and ‘easy’ are either tasteless, use shortcut ingredients that are not good for you, or are simply not quick and easy at all. Well I promise not to do that to you, or myself for that matter. These recipes are going to be healthy, delicious, and truly simple to make. Checkout my introduction page to 5 ingredient, 15 minute meals, where I share some tips and tricks on how to stock your fridge, plan meals on busy nights, and use these recipes to your advantage. For example, you will find the recipes for a few basic spice blends, like the Italian Spice Blend used here, which are total life savers on busy nights when you don’t have the time to open 5 different spice jars.
For this first recipe, I aimed to solve a problem I myself have faced for a long time – dinner on gym night. After working hard to be fit and healthy, the last thing you really want to do is stuff your face with greasy take-out, but equally awful is the idea of cooking a big meal when you’re already tired and hungry. What you need on a night like this is a simple, quick, and easy meal, loaded with protein to feed those hard-working muscles of yours, and delicious enough to reward you for getting your butt to the gym in the first place! Here you have it! Soft, crumbled tofu in a delicious tomato sauce, served over a bed of quinoa. Both tofu and quinoa are rich in plant-based protein, and together they also provide you with plenty of iron, calcium, fiber. Throw in some nutrient-rich tomatoes and spinach and you have yourself a superhero of a meal!
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 onion, diced
- Two handfuls spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 brick tofu, pressed to get out excess water
- 1 tbsp Italian Spice Blend (Oregano, basil, garlic powder, chili flakes, and cinnamon)
- 1 jar marinara sauce (Try to find one that is low in sodium, I like Pastene brand)
1. Rinse the quinoa and put it in a small saucepan with 1 1/2 cups water. Add salt to the water and put it on high heat. Once it starts boiling, lower the heat, cover the pot, and set a timer to 14 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, wrap your tofu in paper towels, put it between two plates, and place something heavy on top (I used a Costco size bag of quinoa since it just happened to be around). This will get the extra water out of the tofu.
3. Heat a medium sauce pan on medium heat. Dice your onion and throw it in the pan with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. While its cooking, chop the spinach. Now add that to the pan. If you feel ambitious, chop some garlic and add that too. If not, no worries.
4. Stir the mixture until the spinach is wilted down (literally about 30 seconds). Now grab your tofu and crumble it into the pan with your hands. Fun! Add 1 tbsp of the Italian Spice Blend, and stir it all. Let it cook 1-2 minutes.
5. Add the jar of tomato sauce to the pan and stir. Cover the pan and lower the heat. You’re done! Amazing, right? Now you just have to wait for the quinoa to finish cooking while the tofu sauce simmers gently. Use this time to clean up, set the table, or kick back with a glass of wine. You’re the boss, so you decide 😉
6. When the quinoa is done cooking – a.k.a. all the water has been absorbed and it is tender (just taste a little to test it), fluff it with a fork and let it sit for a minute with the cover off. Put a big scoop of quinoa on a plate and spoon about an equal amount of the tofu mixture on top. Bon appetit!