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“Mediterranean Pistachio Crusted Tofu with Saffron Quinoa Pilaf”

Mark Reinfeld was awarded the 2011 Recipe of the Year from Vegan.com for a magnificent and mouthwatering gourmet dish entitled, “Mediterranean Pistachio Crusted Tofu with Saffron Quinoa Pilaf”.

This is a remarkable, healthy dish that can be prepared in a wide assortment of variations. It’s also simply one of the most delicious vegan entrees you’ll ever taste.

Reinfeld is partner with Bo Rinaldi in Vegan Fusion. Mark has over 20 years of experience preparing creative vegan and raw food cuisine and offers vegan fusion workshops and training internationally and online. He and Rinaldi specialize in vegan, vegetarian, raw food and gluten free plant-based diets.

Reinfeld is described by VegCooking.com as being “poised on the leading edge of contemporary vegan cooking”. He is also the recipient of a Platinum Carrot Award for living foods – a national award given by the Aspen Center of Integral Health to America’s top “innovative and trailblazing healthy chefs”.

Mark received his initial culinary training from his grandfather Ben Bimstein, a renowned chef and ice carver in New York City. He developed his love for World culture and cuisine during travel through Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He has Masters Degree in Holistic Nutrition.

His first cookbook, Vegan Fusion World Cuisine, coauthored with Bo Rinaldi and with a Foreword by Dr. Jane Goodall, has won several national awards, including ‘Cookbook of the Year’, ‘Best New Cookbook’, ‘Best Book by a Small Press’ and a Gourmand Award for ‘Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the USA’. In addition Mark coauthored The Taste Of The East, The 30-Minute Vegan and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Raw.

Mark and Bo currently offer online vegan cooking lessons as well as vegan consulting, recipe development, workshops, and retreats in both North America and Europe.

Mediterranean Pistachio Crusted Tofu

Ingredients

Seasoned Tofu
14 ounces extra firm tofu
2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari or other soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil or your favorite, optional
1 tablespoon water

Tahini Marinade
2 tablespoons sesame tahini
1 teaspoon wheat-free tamari or other soy sauce
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons water or more depending on consistency of tahini

Crust
¾ cup roasted unsalted pistachio nuts
1 tablespoon minced flat leaf parsley, basil or herb of your choosing
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Mediterranean Vegetables
¾ cup chopped artichoke hearts, chopped
1 and ½ cups chopped tomatoes (½ inch chop)
½ cup finely chopped arugula or spinach
3 tablespoons finely chopped kalamata olives
2 tablespoons diced green onion
1 tablespoon thinly sliced or shaved, and chopped fennel
1 tablespoon capers
2 tablespoons chiffonade basil
2 teaspoons fresh minced oregano or ½ teaspoon dried
½ teaspoon fresh thyme or ¼ teaspoon dried
¼ teaspoon lemon zest

Dressing
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
¼ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 375°F. Place the soy sauce, olive oil, if using, and water in a baking dish and stir well. Slice the tofu into 4 cutlets and place in the baking dish. Let stand for at least 5 minutes or up to 30 minutes, flipping periodically.

While the seasoned tofu is soaking in its dish, prepare the tahini marinade by placing the ingredients in a small bowl and whisking well. You are looking for a smooth spreadable consistency. Since the consistency of tahini varies greatly, you may need to add a bit more water to get a spreadable consistency.

Place the baking dish containing the tofu, along with its seasoning liquid, in the oven and roast for 10 minutes. While the tofu is cooking, prepare the crust. Pulse chop the pistachio nuts in a food processor until they are coarse crumbs. Be careful not to over-process or it will turn into a paste. Transfer to a bowl with the remaining crust ingredients and mix well.

Meanwhile, combine the topping ingredients in a mixing bowl and gently mix well. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. Add to the topping and gently mix well.

Remove the tofu from the oven and coat the top of the cutlets with tahini marinade, using a spoon. Liberally top the cutlets with the crust mixture and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

To serve, slice the cutlets into triangles and top with the Mediterranean Vegetables. Serve over a bed of arugula and alongside the Saffron Quinoa Pilaf.

Variations

Here are some great variations for this dish:

You can replace the tofu with tempeh, portobello mushrooms, or eggplant or zucchini steaks.
All or a portion of the pistachio nuts can be replaced with macadamia nuts, walnuts, pecans, or cashews. Try adding 3 tablespoons dried coconut to the crust mixture.
Experiment with your favorite spices and herbs.
Feel free to increase the quantity of fennel, olives, garlic or herbs, depending on your preferences.

Saffron Quinoa Pilaf

Creating a pilaf by adding vegetables and herbs to a grain is a simple way to take the flavor of your dish to the next level. The saffron adds a beautiful color and unique dimension to the quinoa. If saffron is not available, feel free to leave it out – you will still have a lovely pilaf to compliment the Mediterranean Pistachio Crusted Tofu.

Ingredients

1 and ¼ cups quinoa, rinsed and drained well
2 and ¼ cups vegetable stock or water
½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
¼ teaspoon saffron threads
¼ cup thinly sliced green onion
1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley, basil or your favorite herb

Directions

Place the quinoa, vegetable stock, salt, and saffron threads in a pot over high heat. Bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until all liquid is absorbed, approximately 15 minutes. Allow to sit for 5 minutes longer.

Add the remaining ingredients and gently mix well.

To serve, place quinoa in a ramekin, ring mold or 1 cup measuring cup and press firmly down. Flip on to each serving plate before adding Pistachio Tofu and Mediterranean Vegetables.

For more information including free holiday recipes visit: http://veganfusion.com/

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2 COMMENTS

  • Faith Christine on December 2, 2011

    Gosh I miss the PDX food scene…

    Reply
    • Jessica on December 4, 2011

      It was that fabulous huh? If this is any indication…. yum!

      Reply

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