Confession time: After a hectic March we spent a little too much time drowning our sorrows on the couch drinking beers & martinis and not enough time exercising and eating our veggies. Feeling a little doughy around the middle of late, we've decided to be a little more careful with what we're eating. This doesn't mean we're going to eat nothing but rice cakes & celery or totally abandon donuts & tacos, but it does mean spending a little more quality time with our running shoes and whole food, plant-based meals.
This week we decided to whip up some Buddha Bowls inspired by Bánh Mìs, our favorite Asian sandwiches (though a yummy tofu bao runs a very close second). However, since we're aiming for healthy we skipped the bread and went with cauliflower rice instead. This dish ended up being so perfectly flavorful, crunchy, and delicious that we didn't even miss the bun!
If you're looking for a whole food, plant-based, vegan-friendly, and low calorie dinner crammed with flavor, check out our recipe below. It's around 300 calories per serving, and it's a relatively easy recipe that will leave your belly and taste buds feeling satisfied. We used the recipe below which made dinner for two with a little left over for lunch the next day.
- 2 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp Sriracha sauce
- 14 oz package extra firm tofu
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1/4 cup shredded daikon
- 1/4 cup minced scallions
- 1 large carrot, shaved or shredded
- 1 large cucumber, julienned
- 1 large jalapeño, thinly sliced
- 1/2 of a small red cabbage, shredded
- Handful of torn leaf lettuce
- 2 cups cauliflower, riced
- 1 cup rice vinegar
- cooking spray
- salt to taste
1. Begin by pressing your tofu to remove excess water. I like to wrap my tofu in some paper towels, set it on top of a plate and put a few cookbooks on top. I let the tofu press while I start to chop and slice some of the other ingredients.
2. While the tofu is pressing, combine the shredded cabbage and sliced jalapeño into a bowl with 1 cup rice vinegar (white and/or red wine vinegar will do in a pinch, but maybe stir in a tsp each of sugar & salt). This will pickle the cabbage and take a little heat off of the peppers. I usually combine these ingredients in a shallow bowl and let them chill in the fridge, stirring occasionally. You'll also want to set your oven to 350ºF while your cabbage and jalapeños are pickling.
3. Once the tofu is pressed (give it 20-30 minutes), cut it into 1-inch cubes. Spray a little cooking spray in the bottom of your no-stick sauté pan and sauté the tofu over medium-high heat, flipping occasionally, until the tofu is crispy and golden brown on all sides. Don't go crazy with the cooking spray; I use just enough to keep my tofu from sticking to the pan. If you have a pan that you can get away with using with no spray, even better, but I've found tofu can be a little tough to keep from sticking without a bit of cooking spray.
4. After the tofu is cooked, add it to a small roasting dish with the Hoisin sauce, sriracha and soy sauce. Stir to coat and combine and then put the dish in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. This will help the sauce really soak into the crispy tofu.
5. While the tofu is baking in the sauce, continue to prepare your other vegetables. You'll also want to sauté the cauliflower with a pinch or two of salt until it's tender — feel free to use the same pan you sautéed the tofu in.
*Note: many grocery stores now carry cauliflower that's already riced. I got mine at Trader Joes. If your store doesn't have it you can make your own cauliflower rice with a food processor or grater.
6. Take the tofu out of the oven after 20 minutes and allow it to cool a bit.
7. Begin assembling your bowls by putting a layer of sautéed riced cauliflower at the bottom. Top the cauliflower base with your pickled cabbage/jalapeños, some shredded lettuce, daikon, carrots, cucumber, avocado and tofu. Garnish with scallions and chopped cilantro and another dash of sriracha if you want it a little spicier.
What goes well with these delicious Buddha Bowls? A new shirt, of course! We recommend these:
That's it till next time; have a great weekend!
Peace, Love, and Buddha Bowls,