My absolute favorite restaurant here in Austin, The Steeping Room, has a fantastic entree called the Buddha Bowl. It consists of the grain of the day, the bean of the day, the green of the day, some baked tofu, a tad bit of sweet potato, and a variety of delicious sauces. It’s such a simple meal but oh so delicious! When I eat one of these I always leave with a calm, relaxed, happy feeling – a feeling that I know that I did something really kind for my body and it’s gonna keep me trucking for a long time.
Since it’s not practical for me to eat there everyday (although I would love to!), I was determined to re-create it myself. The tofu was the trickiest to master. I gotta admit – I used to be the ONLY vegetarian who didn’t like tofu but now I realize it was because I hadn’t eaten it prepared in a yummy way. When I tried to make it myself it came out mushy or too spongy. Eeewwwww. But – thanks to this recipe from Whole Foods I’ve learned to prepare it in a delicious way! YAY! And I’m going to share it with you!
Easy Baked Tofu
- 1 (14-ounce) package firm tofu, drained
- Nutritional yeast (you can get this at most health food stores – it’s an excellent source of B-vitamins and it has a nice tangy taste).
- Shoyu, tamari, or Bragg’s liquid aminos – whatever your preference is
- Natural cooking spray
- Wrap tofu snugly in 4 or 5 layers of paper towels and arrange on a plate. Cover with a second plate and balance a heavy can or two on top to weigh down the plate and press down on the tofu; set aside to let drain for 30 minutes.
- Remove and discard paper towels, then replace with dry paper towels and repeat process a second time.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut tofu into (1-inch) cubes.
- Put shoyu/tamari/Bragg’s in a bowl and dip each cube into there. Then roll in nutritional yeast.
- Arrange them in a single layer on a large parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Lightly spray tofu all over with cooking spray and bake, flipping halfway through, until golden brown and just crisp, about 40 minutes total.
While the tofu is baking you can prepare the grain and bean of your choice. I used red rice this time and it was so delicious and colorful! I had had black beans cooking in the crock put for the afternoon, but I have also done this recipe with simply heating canned beans.
When the tofu is done or nearly done, sautee or steam the green of your choice. My favorite is rainbow chard sautéed in a little olive oil with garlic. You can also make the sauce.
Sesame Tamari Sauce
- 2 T Tamari
- 2 T Toasted Sesame Oil
- 1 T Maple Syrup
- Heat all ingredients together over low heat. Pour into a bowl to pour over your Buddha Bowl.
- Arrange the grain, the brans, the tofu, and the greens in a large bowl. Use sauce as desired. YUM!
Rating: A+. Dave kept raving over this – he was so excited to take leftovers of it in his lunch today! This is one vegan meal that can satisfy a hungry meat eater!