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  • Lindsey, EDRD

Heat Wave

As a follow up to my last post, my husband and I have decided that we will start the process of finding a new church for us to attend. We live in a first-ring suburb and since we got married we've been making the drive every Sunday to an even farther suburb. We really like our church and its mission and values, but we need to find better ways to connect with a more diverse group, which our current church is definitely not. Of course, this is all once the stupid virus-that-will-not-go-away finally does.

Now. Onto the food.

Except let me digress a bit.

It has been unusually hot and humid this past week. I've been making homemade yogurt and fruit popsicles daily.

Awkward angle so as to hide her lady bits, which are on full display every afternoon. Sister will NOT keep her clothes on.

This kid is a mini Danny Tanner. Today he got out the Shop Vac and extension cord so he could vacuum up the pine needles in his playground.

The peonies have popped! Just in time for us to go out of town for a week!

Anyway- back to hot and humid. I found a recipe a few weeks ago and it's totally inappropriate for the weather. It requires both roasting in the oven and cooking over the stove. Now if you have better air conditioning than I do, you should definitely make this. Even if it's 90+ outside. It is GOOD. And so nutrient-packed. I'm a huge tofu fan and if you're still too much of a weeny to have tried it thus far in your life, THIS is the way to have it. Crispy golden tofu. Hearty protein-and-fiber-packed quinoa. The most delicious roasted broccoli you've ever had. Tangy pickled onions. This has it alllllllll, baby. Worth the sweat mustache you might get when you're cooking it.

Crispy Tofu with Quinoa and Honey Mustard Broccoli

14 oz extra firm tofu (extra firm is a must!)

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 heaping tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1 red onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar

Pinch of salt

Pinch of sugar

2 cups quinoa

2 cubes vegetable bouillon

Ground black pepper

2 large fresh broccoli crowns (or you can buy 2 bags of the pre-chopped fresh kind)

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons honey mustard

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut tofu into ~1/2 inch cubes. Arrange in a single layer on a kitchen towel. Cover with a second towel and place a heavy pan on top. The key to making crispy tofu is removing as much moisture as possible. Let the tofu sit under the pan for at least 10 minutes.

Meanwhile bring 2 cups water in a medium pot to boil. Add bouillon. Add quinoa and cook to package instructions. I'm always guilty of just eyeballing the water and I usually end up with too much. No big deal though- let any excess water just boil off.

While the quinoa is cooking, combine the vinegar, pinch of salt and pinch of sugar in a medium bowl. Add the onions and stir to coat. Set aside or in the fridge.

Back to the tofu- add the cubes to a bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, paprika, and chili powder. Add to the tofu bowl. Stir to coat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the tofu in a single layer. Place in the oven.

Rinse out any one of the numerous bowls you've used at this point (that sweat starting to bead up yet?). Whisk together 3 tablespoons olive oil and the honey mustard. Cut broccoli into florets (you want minimal stem part) and dump on a rimmed baking sheet. No need for parchment here. We are GOING for it. Pour the oil/mustard mix over the florets and just using your hands, mix it all up until the broccoli's pretty evenly coated. Put that in the oven with its friend, tofu.

Go wash some of those bowls out now. Wipe your forehead. We are almost there. After about 10-15 minutes, toss both the tofu and broccoli around a bit to ensure even cooking. Put back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until tofu is golden brown and crispy and broccoli is tender.

To assemble- place quinoa in individual bowls and top with tofu, broccoli, and a bit of the pickled onion. Serve warm. Ignore your sweaty armpits.

Makes six servings. Per serving: 440 calories, 59 grams carbohydrates (including 9 grams fiber), 15 grams fat, 19 grams protein, and 514 mg sodium.

Enjoy, then go take a cold shower.

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