Vegan Italian Night

I love the flavors of italian food - garlic, basil, oregano. When I have a hankering for these flavors I could just make some pasta and sauce (and I do), but sometimes I want something with more protein and texture. Enter tonight's meal. Inspired by the amazing Veganomicon, these recipes go great together. 

The quinoa can be made ahead and reheated, or even served cold the next day. For those who are gluten intolerant, this meal is a great way to avoid pasta but enjoy many of the flavors you like. As for the tofu, the longer you can marinate it the better, even overnight!

1 lb extra firm tofu, drained and pressed of as much liquid
1/2 cup of white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 cloves of garlic crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon marjoram

Mix all the ingredients (except the tofu) together for the marinade. After the tofu has been drained, cut into 6 or 8 pieces. Dredge the tofu in in the marinade for at least an hour (longer is better!)

Preheat the oven for 400 degrees. After the tofu has been marinated, bake on a slightly oiled baking sheet for 30 minutes. Flip the tofu, and bake for 10 more minutes. Serve immediately with the quinoa or some pasta.

Italian Quinoa

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth or water

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and add the garlic. Sauté for a few minutes and then add the tomatoes, basil, oregano, onion powder and salt. Cook the tomatoes for a few minutes and let them start to break down.

Add the quinoa and stir well. Then add the vegetable broth and stir. Turn the heat to medium high and allow the mixture to bubble. Turn down the heat to low so the mixture bubbles gently and cover partially. Cook for 18 minutes or so (check and stir). The quinoa is done when almost all of the liquid is absorbed. Serve right away, or chill and serve the next day.