October 4, 2010

“Sesame Society” – Quinoa Tofu Veggie Bowl (The Foundation)

I love going to dine at The Foundation, a vegetarian funky, hippie/retro restaurant in Vancouver on Main street where the nachos are always satisfying with a HUGE portion of double layer of cheese, with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. Oh so good, but I digress. The one thing that I get there all the time is their dish called Sesame Society. It’s made using healthy ingredients: quinoa that’s high in protein and amino acids, spinach- calcium and iron, other veggies- vitamins and minerals, tofu- yumminess, with a delicious tahini sauce.

One day, I was really craving this dish, but didn’t want to wait in the usual long line up of hipsters and art students (often synonymous), and had no patience for the service there (sometimes a little slow), so I made it at home! It’s super simple, tasty and you can feel good about eating healthy!
Ingredients: (The ingredients are mostly organic)
1/4 head of Cauliflower, small florets
1/2 head of Broccoli, small florets
1 Carrot, sliced thin
1 cup Cooked Chickpeas, drained and washed
1 Zucchini, cut into small slices
1 pkg Extra Firm Organic Tofu, Cubed
Handful of Baby spinach
2 Cups Quinoa
3 Cups Water
Salt and Pepper
4 Tbsp of Olive Oil
Sesame Seeds

Tahini Sauce:
1/2 Cup Tahini
3 tsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
1” Ginger, pressed
2 tsp Rice Vinegar
1/4 Cup Water
Pinch of salt
1. Measure out 2 Cups of Quinoa and add it to a pot with 3 cups of water. Stick a lid on it and set it on high to boil. Once it boils, take the lid off and stir it now and again until the water has been completely absorbed by the quinoa and it’s cooked through and fluffy. Turn the heat off and stick the lid back on to keep warm.
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2. Open a package of extra firm tofu over the sink (it’s packed in water) and cut it into 1/2” cubes.
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3. Put 2 Tbsp of Olive oil in a small pan, add salt and pepper, and fry the tofu cubes until golden brown.
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4. Cut the Broccoli and Cauliflower into small florets
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5. Cut up Zucchini and carrots
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6. Heat up a larger pan with 2 Tbsp of Olive oil and add all veggies. Salt and pepper it. Add 1/2 cup of water when the pan’s hot and put a lid on it to steam. Cook all vegetables until cooked through but with a little bite. Add chickpeas at the very end of cooking with the lid off just to warm it up.
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7. Stir around the tahini with a spoon in the jar to mix it up. (sometimes the sesame and oil separate)
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8. Peel the 1” of ginger and press it to get the juices but not the fibrous part.
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9. Add soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, and salt. Mix it up. This mixture will be fairly thick, and to thin it out, slowly add little amounts of water to it until it’s the consistency that you want it to be.
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10. Chop up the spinach leaves and assemble the dish. Mmm, the spinach wilts a bit because of the heat, the sauce heats up with the residual heat of the vegetables, and it’s a great mixture of crunchy tofu and veggies on delicious fluffy quinoa.
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Quinoa on Foodista


  1. Great recipe- thanks for posting this!

  2. Hi, I live far from Vancouver now (Paris) and miss the dishes of the Foundation, which I had gone to since it opened years ago. I'm wondering if you have recreated any of the other dishes and have recipes to share?