We love the mighty buddha bowl (a.k.a Macro Bowl), which consists of whole grains, veggies, greens, a source of protein plus other toppings, and a dressing of choice. 

For this recipe, the combination of green asparagus, golden beets, acorn squash, red cabbage, and a mix of beet greens and red Russian kale, comes to a well-rounded taste, but of course, any of the vegetables can be substituted with your own favorite choice. 

Pan-fried marinated tofu is added as the main protein source, and for the toppings, pumpkin seeds, and a delicious tahini-ginger-maple-miso dressing that will satisfy your taste buds.

Cauliflower, cabbage, and kale belong to the group of cruciferous vegetables; they provide cancer-fighting compounds. It is recommended to eat a minimum of 1 serving of cruciferous veggies per day. Pumpkin seeds provide healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids plus minerals, including zinc, which is important for immune health, metabolism, and nerve function. Tofu counts as a serving of beans and legumes as it is made from soybeans, and while its raw version is quite bland and boring, it turns into a delicious option when marinating it before frying or baking. Other options of plant-based protein sources that could be exchanged for the tofu are beans, chickpeas, lentils, seitan, or tempeh. 

The joy of the buddha bowl is that the options are literally endless as one can combine any type of vegetables and other ingredients to create their own favorite bowl. Use whatever is in season and at hand and try different toppings and different dressings to mix it up as well. 

Buddha Bowl with Brown Rice, Oven Roasted Vegetables, Marinated Tofu, and Ginger-Maple-Tahini Dressing

Difficulty: Intermediate Prep Time 30 min Cook Time 45 min Total Time 1 hr 15 mins Servings: 2 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Take the tofu block, put it on a plate, cover with another plate, add some weight (i.e., a big can or medium jar), and let stand for about 5 minutes to let the tofu expel its liquid. Drain the liquid and repeat a couple of times until no more liquid is expelled from the tofu.

  2. Gently take the tofu and cut it into slices, then cut those slices into triangles.

  3. In a flat bowl, combine the soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, minced garlic clove, and hot sauce and whisk the marinade until smooth.

  4. Add the tofu to the marinade and coat evenly, then set aside.

  5. In a blender or food processor, combine the tahini paste, miso paste, lemon juice or rice vinegar, maple syrup, peeled ginger, and garlic clove and blend until smooth. If needed, add a little bit of water until a creamy consistency is reached, place it into a gravy boat or serving dish, and set aside.

  6. Wash and drain all vegetables and greens.

  7. Wash and drain the rice and put in a pan, add 2-3 cups of water and a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil, stir and reduce heat to medium. Let it simmer for about 35min, stir occasionally, and cook until rice is done. Drain excess water if necessary and set it aside.

  8. In the meantime, peel the beets and cut them into bite-sized pieces, then put them on a baking sheet.

  9. Cut the acorn squash and add to the baking sheet, then drizzle the beets and squash with 1-2 tbsp of vegetable oil, salt, and pepper and bake in the oven 475F for about 30-40 minutes. Turn the veggies halfway so both sides will get tender and lightly browned. (To forgo this step, all veggies can easily be steamed instead of roasting them in the oven).

  10. Fill a pot with 1/2 cup of water, add a steaming basket, chop the cabbage and greens into bite-size pieces, then cut the hard ends off the asparagus and add all to the steaming basket, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Set the pot on one of your stovetop burners, ready to go, but don’t turn on the heat yet.

  11. Put a non-stick frying pan on a second burner on the stovetop and set the heat to high. Add two tablespoons of vegetable oil and fry the tofu on both sides until lightly browned. Add more oil as needed during the process to prevent it from sticking.

  12. Once the tofu is about halfway done, put the pot with the steaming basket on high heat and let the veggies steam for about 3-5 minutes, but don’t overcook to keep the bite a bit crunchy.

  13. Add the chopped onion to a frying pan with 2 tbsp of vegetable broth and stir-fry until fragrant, then add the cauliflower rice to the pan together with a couple more spoons of vegetable broth and stir-fry for a couple of minutes until the cauliflower is slightly tender but still has some crunch to it. Make sure to use only a little vegetable broth, just enough so the cauliflower does not stick to the pan when stir-frying.

  14. Once all is done, serve the rice and all the veggies in a bowl, placing the rice on the bottom, then placing the steamed and roasted veggies, greens, and tofu on top.

  15. Sprinkle the buddha bowl with pumpkin seeds and serve together with the miso/ginger dressing and enjoy!

Keywords: buddha bowl, plantbased, vegan
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