I feel like I have come a long way with tofu – so far in fact, that I actually crave it in dishes now, and prefer it to meat most times! I just find it is so easy to flavor, and adds the perfect amount of texture to this delicious, healthy, Buddha bowl!
With the leaves turning color, and the inevitable change of season, this dish makes the perfect addition to any fall menu. For anyone with a garden, you should have a lovely harvest of vegetables by now, and for those that do not have a green thumb, grocery stores have all kinds of fresh veg out right now. Making a healthy Buddha bowl is a great idea post summer, as it is very healthy for those of you looking to get back into a routine after all those BBQs, and it is hearty enough to fill you up on those crisp autumn evenings!
This recipe is flexible, and allows for many modifications. If you don’t like a certain type of vegetable, feel free to swap it out for something else. And, if you want to add more in, you can do that too. Lastly, if you want to use chicken or beef instead of tofu you can…but I highly recommend you try it at least once with tofu to see how you like it! This is a great dish for ensuring those veggies in the fridge don’t go to waste, and is the perfect thing to make when you’re staring into the open fridge door, and nothing else comes to mind.
I’ll let you in on a couple tips and tricks I’ve discovered while making this as well, to save you both prep time and stress! One is that I make a weekly batch of quinoa. Typically on a Sunday, I will make 1 cup of quinoa, which turns into about 1L of cooked quinoa, so that it is ready to use all week long. The second trick is that I also cut up all of my veggies as soon as I get home from the market, so that they are ready to use. It’s a bit of a hassle at the time, but then you only have to chop and clean ONCE, and you have ready to go veggies for the whole week, to nibble on when you’re hungry, and to use in any and all recipes for the week. The last tip is about the tofu – for crispy tofu recipes, you will absolutely want to drain and press your tofu first, but for these bowls, you can just drain, squeeze out any excess liquid, and use immediately. I store the portion I don’t use wrapped in paper towel in in a Ziploc bag in the fridge, for up to 1 week.
- ¼ cup cubed EXTRA firm tofu (you could replace with a hardboiled egg, or chicken/beef as the protein instead if you prefer)
- Chopped vegetables – I typically use red, orange and yellow bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, snow peas, etc.
- Sauces – I use sesame oil, apple cider vinegar, tamari (or GF soy sauce), tahini, and sweet chili sauce
- Cook quinoa as per package instructions, set aside half cup or so in a large serving bowl
- Remove and drain the tofu from packaging, cut into small cubes (1/4 cup is enough for 1 person)
- Heat sesame oil in skillet/large pan
- Add in tofu and cook on medium
- You may want to add a couple tablespoons of water so that the veggies steam a little
- Add in a dash of apple cider vinegar, and toss around until veggies are cooked to your liking
- Making sure heat is low to medium low, add in tamari/GF soy sauce (if heat is too high it starts to caramelize, which is not ideal)
- Add in seeds last – to toast briefly with veggie/tofu mix
- Remove from heat – top quinoa with the contents of the pan
- Add tahini and sweet chili sauce on top as preferred
- Serve with chopsticks and ENJOY!!
The best part of this dish is that I like to have the quinoa cooked, and veggies chopped, so that you can prepare by the serving each day/night. Rather than keep it leftover cooked, I leave everything raw and make it fresh throughout the week. With all the work done ahead of time, it really is a simple, but a delicious whole meal in minutes!