So I’m pretty psyched about this very simple dish I put together last week for Markus and myself. Browsing through my fridgeroo, I lamented at what I did not have (something that happens often). Most of the things I DID have necessitated at least an hour of preparation. This was NOT the way I wanted to spend my evening after a grueling workout at Krav Maga. That’s right: I’m a vegan AND I practice Krav.
Getting back to my fridge, I decided to refocus on what I had as well as on the intention of a quick, delicious dinner. 🙂
Before I became vegan, my go-to quick dinner was always something pasta-based…I usually threw some fresh veggies, shrimp and a sprinkle of Parmesan together with pasta and a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Simple, healthy, delicious. I started substituting my traditional pasta with Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pastas about two years ago. Here’s the beautiful thing about this brand (other than it being gluten-free): It’s made with organic corn flour and organic quinoa flour, so 1/4 cup of the stuff has 4 gm of protein plus amino acids (from the corn). The carb count is still pretty high, but this pasta also contains 4 gm of dietary fiber. Basically, a serving of this is an amazing substitute for flour pastas. The texture is so similar, it’s near impossible to distinguish the two in a blind taste test – if you’re into an al dente pasta.
But woe was me…I had no quinoa pasta in my pantry. Instead, I had an ancient box of this. I rummaged through my crisper and Tupperware and unearthed some sweet onion, garlic, celery and a package of teriyaki-style baked tofu. PERFECT.
After chopping the onion, celery and garlic, and cubing the tofu, I sautéed these ingredients with just a bit of water and a touch of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (I am trying to implement oil-free cooking where I can!).
In a separate pot, I followed the directions for the Mushroom couscous until the grain was fluffified (that’s right…fluffified).
With my veggies and tofu sautéed to perfection and my couscous fluffified, I dumped the couscous into the sauté pan and added some dried cranberries. I let the mixture simmer while I mixed it up, allowing time for the cranberries to heat up and get a little plump.
In about 20 minutes – start to finish – I had what I came to realize was something akin to a vegan Thanksgiving leftover smorgasbord. IT WAS SO GOOD!
Markus returned to the kitchen for seconds 🙂
Vegan Delight Recipe: 20-minute Thanksgiving Couscous
- 1 box of Near East Wild Mushroom & Herb Couscous
- 1 package (6 oz) of teriyaki-style baked tofu (I used Wild Wood Organics brand)
- 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped (estimate – I just grabbed a handful of celery sticks I had pre-prepared for snackums)
- 1 handful dried cranberries
- 1/4 or less of something to sauté your veggies/tofu with. This can be vegetable stock, water, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, whatever your bones feel you should use.
If you wanna go wild, here are some more suggestions of things to add into this recipe:
- sliced, sautéed portabella or shiitake mushrooms
- fresh herbs from the garden
- cashew cheese
- diced sun-dried tomatoes
- diced vine ripe tomatoes
I will most likely make this again…and when I do…you will get a picture 🙂