Baked Tofu & Quinoa with Chickpeas and Spinach

by Koko on January 30, 2012 · 24 comments

in Cooking, Grains, Main Course, Recipe

Yesterday, I woke up inspired. I had this vision in my head for this dinner and I was a lady on a mission. And I am thrilled with the result (does that ever happen?).

I accidentally made a vegan dinner. And it was good. I’m confused. I’m not a huge meat person. I will always pick carbs over protein. But vegan? Not really my thing…until this dish came along.

For the baked tofu, I used some Korean BBQ sauce in our fridge for the sauce, but any asian inspired sauce will do (homemade or store bought, I won’t judge you). I am thinking something along the lines of teriyaki, Ginger Miso, etc.

Tips for baking tofu:

Pressing my tofu with whatever I had on hand (a tea container)

  1. Always press your tofu before you use it (I just use lots of paper towels and something heavy to press the water out, but I am really thinking of buying this masterpiece). Tofu is SUPER watery, so you need to really dry it out for it to hold flavor and cook well.
  2. Use Extra Firm tofu (holds its shape) for baking.
  3. Don’t forget to use baking spray on your aluminum foil and end up with tofu that sticks…not that I know what that’s like…

Tips for Cooking Quinoa in the Rice Cooker: 

  1. Clean your quinoa first. Do not  just think you can use your hand and stir water around the pot to clean it and end up with quinoa and water everywhere (a friend told me that happened to them…). Use a fine strainer the first time around.
  2. When cooking quinoa in the rice cooker, I think “mixed” is the best setting, “brown” cooks it a little too long and “white” not long enough. Whichever way you cook it, check your quinoa about 45 minutes in. Mine was ready about 10 minutes before it was supposed to be (this is adjusted in the recipe below, but check anyways!)
  3. If you don’t have a rice cooker, cooking quinoa according to its package on the stovetop is totally fine as well!

Baked Tofu

Serves 3


  • 1 block of firm tofu, pressed and dried
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup Asian sauce (we used Korean BBQ)


  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray or lay a piece of aluminium foil over the baking sheet and grease that with cooking spray (the aluminum foil keeps your baking sheet nice and clean).
  3. Cut tofu into 1 cm pieces (approximately 10 pieces).
  4. Coat each slice of tofu in flour. *Tip: use a medium sized bowl, fill it with flour and roll the tofu in it
  5. Dip each slice of floured tofu in a bowl holding the Asian sauce. Make sure each slice is completely covered (sometimes the flour will try to create a barrier, just keep pouring that sauce on). *Tip: similar to the flour, I use a medium sized bowl, poured my sauce in it and dip the tofu in that.
  6. Lay tofu slices in rows along the greased baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes and serve. If you are waiting on your quinoa to cook, cover tofu with aluminum and set aside.

Adapted from Hungry Hungry Hippie

Quinoa with Spinach and Chickpeas

Makes 6 cups


  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa
  • 1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion (I used 1/2 yellow onion)
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups spinach
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of fresh ground pepper


  1. Clean your quinoa using a fine strainer by pouring the quinoa into the strainer and running water over the it until the water comes out clear.
  2. Pour the cleaned quinoa into a rice cooker along with the chickpeas and add enough water as if you were cooking rice on the “mixed” setting (So for 1 1/2 cups quinoa I added water between the 1 and 2 lines in the cooker). Turn the cooker on and let sit.
  3. While the quinoa cooks, heat a medium sauté pan to medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and let sit until the oil glistens. Add chopped onion to the pan and saute for 4-5 minutes until onion turns translucent. Add garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute and then add spinach. Add another tablespoon of olive oil if needed and let spinach cook down, 3-5 minutes. Once cooked, remove from heat and cover.
  4. Once your quinoa is cooked and your rice cooker beeps, add cooked spinach mixture to the quinoa. Add salt and pepper, stir and close the rice cooker. Let sit for 3-5 minutes. (This allows the flavors to mix before serving).

To Serve:

  1. Platter  aproximately 1 cup of quinoa per plate. Place 2-3 slices of tofu over the quinoa. Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of Asian sauce over the top and serve.

Optional additions: chopped green onions or peanuts. 

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Marissa Lee March 13, 2014 at 7:01 am

Absolutely mouth-watering. I’m not usually a tofu fan but I would eat this up in 2 minutes! Adding this right now to my Pinterest collection. 🙂
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Nicole@HeatOvenTo350 January 31, 2012 at 8:14 am

I wish I woke up with an inspiration for food like this. It looks delicious. I love quinoa, so you pretty much had me at hello. 🙂

Sophie @ LoveLiveAndLearn January 31, 2012 at 4:08 am

Mmm this sounds really good, it’s so full of protein too! The tofu looks particularly delicious 🙂

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