Marinated Tofu & Vegetable Bowl over Quinoa

Marinated Tofu and Vegetable Bowl over Quinoa. Seriously one of the best things I've ever eaten!

So this post has the potential of being told with one of three stories.

1. The huge production I made over this dinner made just for myself.

2. The type of food I eat when I’m just cooking for me.

3. The wine that I “accidentally” spilled

into my dinner… no but really, it was an accident… a yummy one!

Okay, so I can’t choose. I’m doing them all.

{story 2} So I have to know. How differently do you eat when you are just making food for yourself? No one else. No spouse. No kids. Just you. Is it super different from what you normally cook for your family or loved ones? For me, when I’m cooking for my kiddo and wife, it’s generally something like healthy-ish comfort food. Mexican food. Chili. Pastas. Things that families like. When it’s just me… bring on the veggies!! Seriously, I eat so many veggies when it’s just me. I feel so much better about what I’m putting into my body when I feel like I’m eating cleaner. So since I’m just cooking for myself this week (and many weeks after), it is veggie central around here! Two nights ago, I had a kale, zucchini, mushroom, and black bean scramble. And last night was this delicious meal that I’m about to share with you.

Marinated Tofu & Vegetable Bowl

{story 1} Speaking of – who the heck makes such a production out of dinner when it’s just for themselves?? Apparently this girl! Much of it had to do with all the photography I wanted to have take place right at the stove, rather than the normal photo set-up I have going on in my office space. So I had to bring down my lighting, my diffusing board, and my reflecting board, as well as any props I wanted to use. And then I had to get it all propped up using some chairs and a cabinet door held open. It was quite the set-up. (If you want to see what’s up, check out Instagram. That’s where all the fun happens anyway.) I wanted it to be just perfect, so what should have been a simple little meal ended up taking me almost an hour. Luckily for you, you get to just make and eat. None of this photo crap!

{story 3} So I’m cooking away. Everything’s delicious-smelling. And I really wanted to get a shot of this tofu searing up. It looked awesome. Before I knew it, I had a white wine sauce….  yup, my wine glass was knocked over by my reflecting board right into the frying pan. The ironic thing is that the marinade I was using for this dish was White Wine and Herb. I guess that was no joke! Thank goodness I drink wine and not soda. Not sure that would have had the same effect.

That one time I "accidentally" spilled my wine into my marinated tofu and it was perfect.

Are you ready to get to it? This week, I am determined to convince you that tofu can be amazing, if prepared and cooked correctly. Yesterday I told you how to take care of all the tofu prep. Super simple stuff. Today, I’m going to give you a few guidelines to create a yummy Marinated Tofu and Veggie Bowl that will totally win you over.

Now I want you to keep something in mind. The recipe I’m about to share are just guidelines. You don’t have to use the marinate I used. You don’t have to use the veggies I used. This is more about the tofu searing technique that will take away any of that mushiness that  seems to happen when some people prepare tofu.

nating and Searing Tofu Properly to avoid the mushiness that sometimes happens with Tofu

And I can’t leave you with the recipe before RAVING over it. Seriously. Maybe it was because I was post-workout and dinner was taking forever to prepare, but really. I couldn’t get enough. The tofu was perfect. The veggies. Crisp, but tender. Fresh. Light. Clean. Ahhh, I’m in love!!

Go! Make this! I want you to fall in love too! 

Marinated Tofu & Vegetable Bowl over Quinoa
  • 1 block tofu , (frozen, thawed, pressed, cubed - for full instructions, see this post)
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil , in liquid form
  • 1 envelope/package of your favorite marinating spices (I used a White Wine & Herb blend this time)
  • approximately 1/2 cup of white wine (optional)
  • A variety of veggies , cut to bite-sized pieces (I used carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, and broccoli)
  • about 1 cup of cooked quinoa (see this post)
  • salt and pepper , to taste.
  1. In a small bowl, combine coconut oil and 1/4 cup water with the marinating spice blend. Place prepared and cubed tofu in a container or resealable plastic bag and pour marinade on top. Let sit for about 30-60 minutes. Tofu takes on the flavor of marinades very quickly, so too long on a salty marinade could end up being overpowering.
  2. After the tofu has had a chance to rest, add to a large non-stick frying pan or skillet that's heated to medium high. (If you don't have non-stick, you will want to spray the pan down with a non-stick spray). You want the tofu to be in a single layer so that each tofu piece is being browned on one side. Add white wine at this point, if you are using it. This will give it plenty of time to cook out.
  3. The key to getting non-mushy tofu is to get all the liquid out and to crisp up the sides to no more liquid can get back in. In order to do that, you are going to press down on each tofu piece with the back of your spatula or wooden spoon. The tofu will sizzle as the water is released. Continue to do this to each piece.
  4. Once each tofu is browned on the one side (about 5-7 minutes), flip each piece to the opposite side. I find tongs to be the best helper in this move. You'll do the same thing on this side, pressing until all the water has been released and the majority of the tofu has browned up and become tough/crispy. At this point, the tofu itself is complete.
  5. You can add all the chopped veggies to the same skillet. Toss them around and add a small sprinkling of water. Just enough to create some steam. Nothing that will drench the tofu in any way. Once you've added the water, salt and pepper to taste, and place a lid on the skillet, and let steam for about 7-10 minutes, or until veggies are slightly tender and bright in color. The flavor from the marinate will transfer right to the veggies while they're steaming.
  6. Once everything is complete, serve over about 1/3 cup of cooked quinoa.

Marinated Tofu and Vegetable Bowl - Seriously one of the best things I've ever eaten!




  1. says

    Sometimes I get carried away when I cook for myself, too, hahah. It’s hard to not want to add every type of vegetable in the fridge! And I’ve never thought of using an herb mix to season tofu, as I typically stick to Asian sauces, so this is a refreshing change-up! Looks delicious 🙂

    • Holly Waterfall says

      I know what you mean, Gina. I’m guessing we do that because we feel like we can. Not cooking for someone else means that we can go crazy. All those veggies our family members might turn their nose up at are fair game for us 🙂
      As for the marinate mix.. YES!! The options are endless. You can truly make your tofu taste very similar to the chicken you may be grilling up for everyone else. It’s totally a game-changer.

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