When you hear “high protein”, the mind naturally plays a stereotyped little game of word-association, & you come up with things like ‘barbecue’, ‘chicken breast’, ‘juicy steak’ etc. You certainly wouldn’t think ‘vegetables’. But certain plants, grains and seeds are vast oceans of protein; quinoa & tofu, are two such oceans, making them the a fabulous dietary ingredients to complement your training regime, and to accompany a healthy lifestyle. My quick and easy 320-calorie stir-‘fry’ pictured above shouldn’t take longer than 15-20 minutes to throw together, it’s significantly lighter than a traditional stir-fry, full of nutritional goodness and I think it tastes just as yummy! For extra protein-factor, I’ve added some egg as well. Click MORE to get the low-down on the ingredients, and the ‘how-to’. Hope you enjoy it! Faya x
Tofu, Quinoa & Carrot Stir-Fry Dish
As you might have guessed from my Nutrition page, I LOVE quinoa and today I used the black variety as my base for this “Tofu, quinoa & vegetable stir fry’. Quinoa is exceptionally healthy, (great for veggies) because it supplies your body with all 9 essential amino acids (making it a complete protein), whilst being low -GI /slow realease, gluten-free, cholesterol-free and very low in sodium. It’s also rich in magnesium (for energy release & good circulation) and phosphorus too (for cell repair and energy storage). For reference the USDA calculates that 100g of cooked quinoa contains c. 120 calories, 1.9g of fat (0.2g saturated), 3g of fiber and a chunky 6g of protein!
What a wonderful little foodstuff! Like quinoa, it’s rare from the perspective that it contains all essential amino acids, including ones your body cannot make! Its origins stretch back over two thousand years to imperial China, and it was supposedly the staple ingredient of the veggie Buddhist monks. It’s made from soybeans, by curdling soymilk so that its proteins coagulate, and then it gets pressed into a slippery soft little rectangle. After that process, you’re left with a food that’s very low in Cholesterol and Sodium; a 120g portion of pork will have 25g of fat (10g saturated) and 105mg cholesterol, whilst 120g of Tofu has just 6g of fat (no saturates, all omega fatty acids) and zero cholesterol! It is also an exceptional source of Protein (17grams per 100grams) – for muscle cell repair, Calcium – for strong bones, and a very good source of Manganese too (for calcium absorption and blood sugar regulation).
3) THE REST
Egg – a good source of Protein (14grams per 100gams), Vitamin B12 – helps your body to produce DNA.
Broccoli – full of vitamin C & fibre – for healthy immune system & digestive health.
Grated carrot – a rich great source of beta carotene – for healthy sight; + fibre.
HOW TO ???
A) Quinoa – treat it like rice
1. Cover it with water or vegetable broth and boil until soft for about 10 – 15 minutes.
2. Drain and rinse. It’s lovely on it’s own or add some olive oil, sea salt, lemon juice & spices.
B) The marinated tofu
Requires: 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 lime, zest & juice, chilli flakes, and tofu, cut into pieces (or pretty patterns if you’re feeling artistic!)
1. Mix together all the ingredients of the marinade in a bowl & let it marinate for 10minutes.
2. Heat a wok over a medium heat & add the tofu & fry in olive oil until it’s a lovely golden colour.
3. Add the broccoli, garlic, chilli, spring onions, and carrots. Stir-fry for 2-3 mins.
4. Finally add the lime juice and heat through for a further 3-4 minutes.
5. Serve the quinoa with the tofu resting gently on top, and throw in some rocket for a peppery pick-up to the flavour!
6. Devour and then rest! 🙂