Sweet Chili Lime Tofu with Spinach and Quinoa


September 12, 2011 by Dana

Like any couple, Jake and I have nicknames for each other.  But this time of year, when he’s working toward a big work deadline, there’s a nickname I’d like to borrow from another blogger.  Grumpy.

I mean, it’s not that I blame him.  I’d be pretty grumpy if I was working until midnight 6 days a week, too.  And tired.  And cranky.   In fact, I’m sure Jake would have a whole slew of nicknames reminiscent of the Seven Dwarfs for me.  And they wouldn’t be pretty.

But for Jake, Grumpy definitely fits the bill this time of year.  (Luckily he’s more like Happy the rest of the year.)

The blog that I’m referring to, by the way, is  The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch, which also happens to be the blog that I was assigned for this month’s Secret Recipe Club.

When looking through Shelby’s (aka Honeybunch’s) blog, there were so many recipes I wanted to try.  From Cheesy Orzo Pasta with Basil to Mango Peach Mojitos, this blog has something for everyone.

But what really caught my eye was not a sweet recipe, a dinner recipe, or even a tasty drink.  No, it was this Sweet Chili Lime Tofu that captured my attention.


1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 lime
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups water
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 dashes cayenne pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 package extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
cooking spray
10 oz spinach
1 tablespoon sesame oil

I did make a few changes to the recipe.  I used ground cinnamon instead of fresh cardamom and cinnamon sticks, I reduced the amount of sugar, increased the amount of quinoa, and replaced the kale with spinach.


1.    In a medium sized saucepan, combine the quinoa, zest of the lime (reserve lime), cinnamon salt, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, then remove from heat.  Don’t remove the lid. Let steam for 10 minutes.

2.    In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, soy sauce, juice of the lime, cayenne pepper, and garlic, until the sugar and salt and are dissolved. Set aside.

3.    Slice the tofu into 8 rectangles, and then cut each rectangle in half to make two squares, and then each square into triangles.

4.    Spray a sauté pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.  Cook the tofu for about 10 minutes on each side. 

5.    Add the chili lime sauce and stir to coat the tofu. Turn off the heat. The sauce will bubble up, reduce, and form a glaze.

6.    In a medium sauté pan, sauté spinach in the sesame oil.  Cook until spinach is just wilted but still bright green.  Remove from heat.

7.    To assemble, divide the quinoa among four bowls or plates, followed by spinach.  Top each serving with tofu and remaining sauce.  Serve immediately.  

I was extremely pleased with how this recipe came out.  It was the perfect weekday lunch (it lasted for 4 lunches), both light and filling.  I loved the tangy sweet lime sauce, and was thrilled with the protein it packed.  I will definitely be making this again, and you should try it, too.

For more tasty recipes, check out the rest of today’s Secret Recipe Club reveals below:


31 thoughts on “Sweet Chili Lime Tofu with Spinach and Quinoa

  1. Winnie says:

    Yum! I have gotten out of the habit of pressing my tofu but it makes such a difference. This recipe looks great- awesome choice for the SRC!

  2. Carolyn says:

    I love tofu, and love new ways to prepare it. This is a good one. Great pick for the SRC!

  3. Tami says:

    I bet that the sweet and spice went nicely together in the Quinoa!

  4. Oh YUM. On my ‘make’ list. x

  5. RJ Flamingo says:

    Yup – I can taste it now! This sounds perfect for us – just the right balance of flavors. Good job!

  6. Peggy says:

    now if this doesn’t get me to like tofu, I don’t know what will! I love the flavors in this, and it’s just a beautiful dish!

    P.S. – i really enjoyed being assigned your blog this month Dana! The keema was delicious =)

  7. Looks delicious! I haven’t made tofu in ages, which is weird, considering it’s one of my favourite options for meat-free meals. Must try this out… sweet and spicy is one of my favourite flavour combinations.

  8. My Grumpy would be Grumpier with tofu, but that quinoa will be making an appearance soon!

  9. sara says:

    Ooooh, this looks super delicious! Love all the flavors going on in this dish.

  10. Oooh, yum! I’ve got some tofu that I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with!

  11. Love it , love it, love it. Looks so healty and delicious. Looks like dinner for tonight. Great choice.

  12. This looks delicious. I love quinoa!

  13. Hezzi-D says:

    We love tofu and this recipe looks wonderful! I’ve put it in my menu plan for later on in the month. Thanks for sharing!

  14. lisamichele says:

    I was just telling someoe how I just started liking tofu this past year, and boom, here’s your yummy looking and sounding chili lime tofu with quinoa. It looks fantastic – great, healthy SRC choice! Nice to ‘meet’ your blog, since I’m still a proverbial ‘newbie’ in the SRC :)

  15. Lisa~~ says:

    Great looking recipe and I love that it includes cinnamon, must have added such a great flavor.

    If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my SRC recipe this month: Welsh Cakes.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  16. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    I really love tofu but I never make it at home. This recipe looks delicious and doable! :)

  17. Reeni says:

    This looks amazing Dana! I love the flavors! I posted my 7 links – hope you have time to stop by and check them out.

  18. Camilla Mann says:

    You had me at quinoa, but cinnamon, garlic, and soy sealed the deal. Thanks for posting this to the SRC. Fabulous looking. ~ Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla

  19. Yum, this looks so good! I love the chili-lime flavor. This is a great vegetarian weeknight meal! Bookmarking.

  20. Sasha says:

    This looks so fantastic. I didn’t even realize it was tofu at first! Good job.

  21. I am glad you enjoyed the recipe! I have made this several times and Grumpy actually likes it quite a bit now. I even had him eating tofu tonight (a different recipe though). However, he and I both love the sauce in this recipe. Sorry it took me so long to get here. Tonight is the first time I have had any time to sit down and visit blogs!

  22. Veronica says:

    This sounds DELISH!!!

  23. Monet says:

    I can see why this caught your eye….it certainly caught mine! This looks delicious, my friend! I hope you are having a wonderful week. I’ve been busy baking a cake for my grandparent’s anniversary. Much love…and thanks for making me smile.

  24. I would very much be attracted by such an unusual recipe too, great choice for SRC and love the presentation…and quinoa!

  25. pursuitofhappieness says:

    This looks fabulous! I can’t wait to try it :-)

  26. Chris says:

    Looks wonderful! A Grumpy’s Honeybunch recipe? Not surprised. I am making more and more tofu and home, trying to convert myself. This will help me, I am sure! Thanks!

  27. Hezzi-D says:

    I made this tonight with jasmine rice instead off quinoa and it was so good! My husband asked if next time I would make it with 2 bricks of tofu so we would have leftovers for lunch the next day. Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe!

  28. Carroll says:

    Looks perfect, Protien packed! I love it!

  29. It's Carmen says:

    Oh my word. That looks absolutely fabulous. I’m always in need of new ways to make tofu. Plus, I love quinoa!

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