Pineapple Fried Quinoa (in a pineapple boat!) is on my menu today. A bright yellow pineapple and a bag of quinoa was all I needed to inspire me to dream up this tiki chic recipe.
Aloha wishes, South Pacific daydreams, Maui wowie, kowabunga and lets-luau-all-night-long-under-the-glow-of-tiki-torches, just about covers everything that is wrapped into this bowl of pineapple bliss.
These flavors will bring you to the party. Mint. Tahini. Pineapple zing. Sassy and sweet. Shiitakes. Tamari. Pepper. Jalapeno. Simple yet complex. Exotic yet so familiar.
Easy. Perky. Tiki chic. Colorful. Healthy. This quinoa rocks the beach party.
I’m doing the hula for this delicious pineapple fried quinoa. It’s healthier than the name implies. But Pineapple Sauteed Quinoa just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
This dish tastes just as sassy as it looks all dolled up in my hand-crafted, literally pineapple boat serving dish.
And FYI, you can skip the pineapple boat if you choose. Coring this darn thing was much harder than I expected. So not beachy of me to be whacking my knife into a pineapple at 10am while squealing in frustration. My coring tured into a “hacking” a massacre really.
Those Food Network fruit show piece people who hallow out pineapples and melons and chop them into snazzy zig zag designs along the sides. A hundred in like ten minutes. How do they do that?! I used tofu triangles for my zig zags.
Anyways, lets get back to this quinoa. Quinoa is the backbone of this dish. Tips on how to cook it here: How-to Cook Fluffy Quinoa Every Time.
This dish has a lot going on. Just how the tiki gods like it. Tender chunks of fresh pineapple, tofu and a creamy alluring dressing to drizzle over top. The peppery tofu triangles are flavored with tamari and maple. And the tahini mint pineapple dressing is creamy and tangy with a cool hint of mint.
Grab a pineapple and make this stuff!
And with all that leftover pineapple you may have – you can whip up my Pineapple Tahini Kale Tofu Wrap
Pineapple Fried Quinoa (in a boat!)
vegan, makes 6-7 cups
pineapple note: If serving in pineapple boat you will need whole pineapple, if not serving in boat, you just need about 2 cups fresh pineapple.
10 mini sized tofu triangles
1 Tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp tamari
fine black pepper
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cup fresh pineapple, diced
4 cups cooked quinoa (I used Trader Joe’s Multicolor Quinoa)
1/4 red onion, diced
sauteed shiitakes + red onion from tofu saute pan
1 cup kale, shredded
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp dried jalapeno (for spicy accent)
to taste: splash of maple syrup and pinch of salt
1/2 cup finely diced pineapple
1 Tbsp mint, chopped
safflower oil for sauting
Tahini Pineapple Dressing
2 Tbsp Tahini
3 Tbsp pineapple juice
1 tsp chopped mint
1. Cook your quinoa. I used 1 1/4 cups dry quinoa + 1 cup water + 1 cup veggie broth + pinch salt. Set cooked quinoa aside.
2. For your first saute, you will cook the tofu, shiitakes and red onion. Cooking them all in the same pan helps to season the tofu a bit. Start off with a thin layer of safflower oil. Add tofu triangles (dry them as much as possible). Allow to sizzle for a minute or so. Then add in tamari and maple syrup with a generous layer of black pepper. Cook on high 2 minutes on both sides. Then add in the shiitakes and onions. Cook until the veggies are tender. Remove tofu from pan and set aside. You can leave the mushrooms and onions and any excess liquid in the pan.
3. For the next saute, add the quinoa, pineapple, more red onion, mint, kale, nutritional yeast and jalapeno to the pan with a splash of safflower oil. Turn heat to high and cook for about 3 minutes – moving quinoa around so it cooks on all sides. A few crisped bits of quinoa is a good thing. Do a quick taste test and add a splash of tamari or maple syrup if needed. Transfer the fried quinoa to a bowl. Set aside.
4. Quickly saute the pineapple garnish. Just brown the edges a bit. The pineapple will pick up the flavor left in the pan.
5. Mix your dressing. Set aside.
6. To plate you can either use a pre-hollowed pineapple or a simple bowl. Add the fried quinoa.Then the pineapple garnish over top. Some fresh chopped mint on top is nice too. You can serve with the dressing and tofu on the side or you can add right over top this dish.