Coconut-Cilantro Quinoa Bowls

Welcome to the latest installment of “things to do when your due date is a week away with no baby in sight.”
1. Hit the gym. Be super tempted to stay on the elliptical until you go into labor.

2. Make bagels. Decide that while they’re pretty good, Peter Reinhart’s recipe is better, so they don’t deserve a blog post of their own.

3. Toast said bagels and top with cream cheese, capers, red onion, and heirloom tomatoes. Repeat more times than is probably healthy within a 24 hour period.

4. Practice changing diapers. Or take a picture of your husband while he practices.

5. Go see Our Idiot Brother. (It’s adorable)

6. Make this for dinner.

I hate it when people tell me “you HAVE to make this immediately, it’s SO good!!!!!!!” so I’m not going to do that to you. I will be thinking it very hard, however. It really was one of the best dinners we’ve had in awhile (yeah, I probably say that too often…)

I started with a recipe for swordfish with cilantro-coconut chutney. Obviously I don’t eat swordfish so I used slabs of tofu instead. Then I served it over quinoa, cooked in vegetable broth with a squeeze of lime. With a raw vegetable salad on the side (or mixed in), it’s a complete meal in a single bowl with a great mix of textures and flavors, and a nice amount of protein.

This was the first time I tried dredging the tofu slices in a little flour, corn starch, and salt before pan-frying them. Mike loved it, I wasn’t quite as sold, so that step is optional.

I know the ingredient list looks a little daunting because there are four different components to this meal, but it actually comes together pretty quickly.

(adapted from Ani’s Raw Food Asia and A New Way To Cook)

2 small red bell peppers, julienned
2 Persian cucumbers (or 1 English cucumber), seeded and julienned
1 large carrot, juliened
1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
pinch salt

2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup quinoa
pinch salt
juice of half a lime

a drizzle of vegetable oil
2 tbsp all purpose flour (optional)
1 tbsp corn starch (optional)
pinch or two of salt (optional)
1 lb extra firm tofu, well drained, and cut crosswise into 1/2″ thick slices

about 2 cups fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 serrano chile, roughly chopped
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
2 tbsp unsweetened, dried coconut

Start with the vegetables: Put the julienned vegetables, olive oil, vinegar, and salt in a medium bowl, toss to combine, and set aside.

Bring the broth and a pinch of salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, stir in the quinoa, cover, and cook over low until all the liquid is absorbed, 15-20 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and fluff with a fork.

If you’re using flour, cornstarch and salt for the tofu, place them in a shallow dish and mix well. Dip each slice of tofu in the mixture and brush off any extra. Heat a thin layer of oil in a skillet, and cook the tofu slices until golden brown. Set aside.

To make the sauce, combine the cilantro, chile, cumin seeds, sugar, and lime juice in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the coconut milk and process until nearly smooth. Gently stir in the dried coconut, and adjust lime juice or sugar if necessary.

To assemble each bowl, put quinoa in the bottom, top with some vegetables, a slab or two of tofu, and drizzle with sauce.

12 Responses to “Coconut-Cilantro Quinoa Bowls”

  1. 1 Kristen @ The Concrete Runner August 29, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Um, yum! That all looks incredible! There must be something about pregnancy and bagels – I think I could live off of them! I am currently addicted to making my own bagel pizzas. You should try it!

  2. 2 Beth August 29, 2011 at 9:59 am

    I feel like I’m always reading your blog posts and saying “this looks so good!” but really, it does. I think I’ve saved your last 10 recipes as must makes. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  3. 3 Tasha August 29, 2011 at 10:07 am

    I love the sound of this recipe. It truly does make me want to make it right away! Also, I think the very best way to eat a bagel is with cream cheese and sliced tomaotes, so I will have to give the addition of capers and red onion a try as well!

  4. 4 Nicole, RD August 29, 2011 at 10:20 am

    These sound so flavorful! I wonder if I could get my coconut-hating husband to buy into these … πŸ™‚

  5. 5 Kate August 29, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I had a bagel for breakfast this morning! But not homemade.
    So at our birthclass yesterday it hit me – THIS WEEK. I seriously turned to J and said “Cate’s due exactly a week from today.” Which seems unbelievably incredible to me because I use you as my marker since you’re exactly a month ahead of me.

  6. 6 Page August 30, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Two things:
    1) You are the freakin cutest pregnant woman I ever. I hope I look exactly like you when I’m pregnant (10 years from now of course)
    2) Your husband changing the diaper on the bear is too cute. That photo should be framed


  7. 7 sarah k @ the pajama chef August 30, 2011 at 11:46 am

    oooh this sounds so yummy! the last couple coconut things i’ve made have flopped so this might be good for redemption. πŸ™‚

  8. 8 rachel August 30, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    I had my first baby 5 mos ago (am typing this with one hand as I pump breastmilk at work). I suggest you spend a good portion of this time sleeping! πŸ™‚ Recipe looks delicious but i hope you’re relaxing with your feet up a little…

  9. 9 elly August 31, 2011 at 6:00 am

    Oh, geez. You are just way too cute!

  10. 10 Mark September 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Great work with the meals. I do like the bagel toppings, I have had my own in the past. Try a toasted bagel with cream cheese, salami, and banana peppers. I’m drooling just typing it…

  11. 11 Brianna September 3, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    You look great, Cate! (oh, and so does the recipe, haha)

  12. 12 Vicky April 11, 2012 at 10:19 am

    This sounds delicious! After reading about all the health benefits of quinoa I’ve been on the look out for more recipes including it!

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