Recipes: Stewed Tofu & Beans, Quinoa Apple Salad, & More! With Desiree Rodriguez + Seed Food & Wine

We all know we need to eat more veggies in the pursuance of optimal health.

The team at Jackson Hall makes eating more veggies easy and delicious, as many offerings are full of plants and phytonutrient rich ingredients. But, what about adding more veggies to your home cooking regimen? How do you cook plant based meals at home that satisfy your palate and satiate your appetite? How can you be sure to eat a balanced diet when you don’t include the animal protein?

Seed Food & Wine Festival partners with Jackson Hall on the second Wednesday of each month to explore plant based living, cooking, and eating with featured chefs and speakers. Adding more plants to our diets has never been easier or more delicious, as we will learn with these featured Seed F&W presenters.

After switching to a plant-based diet for health reasons, Desiree missed eating the Puerto Rican dishes her family would make that were delicious but not the healthiest.  She wanted to help others create delicious plant-based meals without sacrificing the flavor so she created the food blog Rican Vegan. Desiree creates healthy plant-based versions of traditional Latin dishes for her blog and inspires more people to make the switch and experience the health benefits for themselves while enjoying flavorful food at the same time. Head over to for more of her recipes.

Thank you to @plantedinmiami for these awesome photos of Desiree cooking at Jackson Hall.

Here were the recipes we learned & tasted. 

Apple Quinoa Salad

½ c Quinoa

1 c low sodium Vegetable Broth or Water

¼ c sliced Almonds

2 Celery Sticks, diced

¼ c Dried Cranberries

1 Garlic Clove, minced

½ Pink Lady Apple, diced

1 can Pigeon Peas

¼ c Fresh Parsley, chopped

½ Lemon, juiced

1 tsp Agave Nectar or Vegan Honey

2 T Olive Oil

⅛ tsp Salt

Directions: In a small pot, add the vegetable broth and quinoa and cook according to the instructions on the package.  Let the quinoa cool down. In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa, almonds, celery, cranberries, garlic, apple, pigeon peas, parsley, lemon juice, agave nectar, olive oil, and salt. Toss all the ingredients together. Cover the salar and place in the refrigerator until ready to eat. Serve chilled.


Stewed Tofu and Beans

½ c Vegetable Broth for sauteing plus additional ½ c to add to stew

2 T Green Puerto Rican Cooking Base

1 pack Oyster Mushrooms

½ block firm Tofu, drained and cut into cubes

1 can no salt added Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed

½ tsp no salt Adobo Seasoning

1 c Tomato Sauce

½ c Spanish (manzanilla) Olives- don’t use any of the liquid brine (optional)

¼ tsp Salt

¼ tsp Black Pepper

Cooked brown rice or quinoa

Directions: Drain the liquid from the tofu block with a tofu press or place the tofu on a plate lined with several sheets of paper towels. Place some more paper towels on top of the tofu then put a weighted object on top to squeeze the liquid out and let sit for 1 hour. Heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Add ¼ c  Vegetable broth and the green puerto rican cooking base. Cook the green cooking base for one minute then add ½ c vegetable broth, adobo, oyster mushrooms, tofu, red kidney beans, tomato sauce, spanish olives, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.


Fruit Salsa with Pita Chips

1 c Pink Lady Apple, diced

1 c Strawberries, diced

1 Nectarine, diced

1 c Mango, diced

1 T Fresh Basil, diced

½  Lemon, juiced

2 T Vegan Honey

Directions: In a bowl, add all of the ingredients and toss together. Cover the bowl and store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

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