The vibrant fusion of quinoa, balsamic dressing, chickpeas, and kale in this meal prep promises a nutritious and delicious dining experience. Dive into the world of flavors and health with this simple yet exquisite Kale and Quinoa Chickpea Meal Prep recipe. You can view my full collection of plant based meal prep recipes here.
Let’s dissect the key players that contribute to the nutritional symphony. From quinoa and chickpeas to the rich balsamic dressing, each ingredient is a vital note in this gastronomic composition.
Balsamic Grilled Tofu:
Uncover the secrets behind the art of grilling tofu to perfection. Infused with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a hint of soy sauce, this tofu adds a protein-rich dimension to the meal prep.
Ensure your kitchen is equipped for culinary success. From tofu pressing to roasting, having the right tools at your fingertips ensures a smooth and enjoyable cooking experience.
Crafting the Recipe
Embark on a step-by-step journey to create this culinary masterpiece. From enhancing quinoa flavor with vegetable broth to achieving the ideal crispiness in kale and chickpeas, follow the guide for a flawless result.
Start by cooking quinoa with vegetable broth for an extra flavor punch.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Marinate tofu slices in balsamic, olive oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, salt, and pepper.
Massage kale with olive oil and add chickpeas to the baking sheet.
Roast quinoa separately, drizzling with olive oil for that perfect crispiness.
Bake both sheets, ensuring kale and chickpeas achieve the desired crispiness.
Grill tofu for 3-4 minutes per side or pan-fry if a grill is unavailable.
Prepare balsamic dressing in a mason jar, shaking to combine.
Divide tofu, kale, quinoa, and chickpeas into meal prep containers.
Top with slivered almonds and vegan parmesan cheese. Savor the delight!
Tips and Tricks
- Extend tofu marination for deeper flavor; the longer, the tastier.
- Crispy Kale Perfection: Ensure kale is lightly crisp, not burnt, for an ideal texture.
- Tofu Alternatives: No grill? Pan-fry tofu for a delightful, charred flavor.
- Quinoa Crispiness: Toss quinoa regularly during roasting for uniform crispness.
- Dressing Mastery: Shake balsamic dressing well for a harmonious flavor fusion.
While balsamic adds a unique flavor, you can substitute with your preferred vinegar for a different twist.
Aim for 10-30 minutes to allow the tofu to absorb the rich flavors, flipping halfway for an even infusion.
Fresh kale is recommended for the best texture and flavor.
Store in airtight containers; it should stay fresh for 3-4 days. For longer shelf life, freeze and reheat as needed.
High Protein Meal Prep with Balsamic Kale and Quinoa
- 2 cups veg broth or water
- 1 ¼ cups dry quinoa
- olive oil to drizzle
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp thick balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp maple syrup (reduce or remove if you like it less sweet)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 19oz can rinsed and drained chickpeas
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 large head kale
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup almond slivers
- vegan parmesan cheese
Balsamic Grilled Tofu
- 1 block extra firm tofu, pressed
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- salt and pepper to taste
- Start by cooking quinoa according to package instructions. Cook quinoa with vegetable broth instead of water for more flavour.
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
- Meanwhile, cut the drained and pressed tofu into 8 equal slices. In a shallow dish, mix together balsamic, olive oil, soy sauce, maple syrup salt and pepper. Add tofu in and allow to marinate for 10-30 mins, flipping tofu halfway.
- Cut washed and dried kale into bite sized pieces and massage for 1 minute with a little olive oil.
- Add chickpeas onto a large baking sheet with parchment paper, and toss with olive oil, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Move to one side of the sheet pan.
- Add kale to the same sheet pan as the chickpeas on its own side. Spread everything out evenly.
- Add the cooked quinoa to a separate baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to combine.
- Add both baking sheets into the oven and roast at 450 for 10-12 minutes. Check on the kale to see that it's lightly crisp. If it needs a few more minutes, toss it and place back into the oven.
- Once the kale is done, remove the kale and set aside. Spread the chickpeas evenly over the baking sheet and place back in the oven.
- Preheat grill to medium then grill 3-4 mins per side. (I grilled mine on a cast iron grill pan on the stove, but if you don't have a grill the tofu can be fried in a pan) Drizzle any remaining marinade on top of the cooked tofu.
- Toss the quinoa and chickpeas a few times to ensure they crisp up evenly. Continue roasting the quinoa and chickpeas until they are nice and crispy. This should be around another 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on them to ensure they are crispy, but not burnt. Taste the quinoa as you stir it to see if it's crisp enough for your liking.
- Meanwhile make the dressing by adding olive oil, balsamic, dijon, maple syrup salt and pepper to a mason jar and shaking to combine.
- Divide cooked tofu, kale, crispy quinoa, and chickpeas into 4 meal prep containers. Top with slivered almonds and vegan parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
Conclusion: Kale and Quinoa Chickpea Meal Prep
Indulge in the art of culinary wellness with Balsamic Kale and Quinoa Meal Prep. From vibrant flavors to a nutrient-packed ensemble, this recipe stands as a testament to the joy of wholesome eating. Elevate your dining experience with each delightful bite.