Fried Quinoa is a great way to use leftovers and this recipes uses tofu to make an inexpensive vegetarian meal.
by ~ Meme Inge, MS, RDN
We have three things in this post that make my frugal heart sing: tofu, leftovers, and vegetarian.
Tofu is really under appreciated in my opinion. I know I know... most people think bland thoughts about the bland protein. But tofu can be awesome if you prepare it right. You have to make sure that you give it a healthy dose of flavor or it will most certainly come out bland.
Tofu is also an inexpensive form of protein, and it can be loved by everyone -- vegetarian or not.
Which brings me to my next point: vegetarian. In many instances, the meat is what makes a meal's cost jump. Meatless meals are usually much less expensive than a meal with beef or chicken or seafood.
Don't dare get me wrong though. I am definitely not a vegetarian, but I do think that plant based proteins are great options for your health and your wallet.
And last but not least is leftovers. I love making fried rice or fried quinoa with all the leftovers in my fridge. When I cook rice or quinoa, I always make extra so I can make this dish. You don't have to use leftovers for this dish (instead of having four cups of cooked quinoa, just prepare the quinoa using 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water), but it's a great way to use them if need be.
Don't know about quinoa? You should.
Quinoa is a lovely grain that you need to have in your pantry. I like to buy it from the bulk bins or buy a big bag of it. It definitely isn't always cheap, so be sure to check the price per ounce when you are buying it! And apparently I really like quinoa since my last Frugal Feasts post included quinoa.
What I love so much about this meal is that I really can just throw whatever is in my fridge in there. This week I used mushrooms, bell peppers and onions because that's what I had, but I've used squash, snap peas, carrots, and more! You can substitute any protein for tofu if desired.
Vegetarian Fried Quinoa
- 3 tsp coconut oil, divided
- 12 ounces firm tofu, cubed
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 4 green onion, chopped & divided
- 2 eggs, whisked together
- 4 cups cooked quinoa
- 4 TBSP tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp fish sauce
- 1/4 tsp sriracha sauce
- In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat 1 teaspoon coconut oil over medium-high heat. Toss the cubed tofu with garlic powder and ginger until well coated.
- Cook the tofu for about 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add 1 teaspoon coconut oil, chopped onion, and chopped bell peppers to the skillet. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and 2 green onions (about 1/2 cup) to the skillet. Saute until mushrooms release their juices, about 7 minutes.
- Push the veggies to the sides of the skillet. Add the eggs to the skillet and scramble, trying not to get them into the veggies. Cook for about 2 minutes and push to the sides.
- Add the remaining 1 teaspoon coconut oil to the skillet and add in the cooked quinoa. Stir together and cook for about 5-10 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Stir in the cooked tofu.
- Reduce heat to medium, and stir together the tamari, sesame oil, fish sauce, and sriracha sauce. Stir into the fried quinoa mixture and mix until combined. Taste and add additional seasoning as needed. Sprinkle with remaining 2 green onions. Enjoy!