Peanut Tofu Buddha Bowl! A healthy lunch or dinner, perfect for the New Year! Brown rice, the BEST tofu, vegetables and roasted broccoli in a simple peanut sauce.
Is there such thing as vacation coma? Even though BL and I arrived home from our trip earlier in the weekend, I feel like I’m been in a foggy daze for the past 48 hours. A mix of insomnia, apathy, fatigue and excitement.
We arrived back to our home late Friday night, wired with caffeine and buzzing from the post-vacation high. After plowing through 5 episodes of Making a Murderer (obsessed) with take-out pizza, we greeted the sunrise by finally heading up to bed.
I’m relishing these moments of zero-responsibility. Sure, there are suitcases to unpack, emails that need responding, and a zillion other to-do tasks, but right now I just want to ease back into the busy pace of life as slowly as possible.
Of course, when your vacation ends on New Year’s Day, there’s a slight sense of anxiety that follows. Is everyone making plans and goals without me? It seems like my facebook, twitter, insta, whatever has been taken over with pledges to do better, be better, look better.
I totally get the desire to want an overhaul come January 1st. I’ve spent the last three weeks sustaining on take out, cheese, and more Sauvignon Blanc than I’d care to admit. I’m sure there were vegetables in there somewhere but when you are relying on restaurant meals three times a day, healthy isn’t always what you get.
Once BL and I finished polishing off the last of the pizza, I got up the courage to head out to the grocery store to put together something that would nourish us both. These buddha bowls are my favorite way to get back on the healthy eating track. They are packed with nutrition, flavor and contain enough protein and fiber to keep me full for hours. Exactly the kind of fuel I need if I plan to continue my Netflix binge.
This tofu. Please try it. Please try it. Make this your New Year’s resolution, the year you will love tofu at home. I forget where I learned this technique but it’s pretty foolproof in creating chewy, crispy chunks of tofu that aren’t drenched in oil.
To achieve the faux-fried texture, bake the tofu until it’s almost dry then marinate in peanut sauce! Lightly saute the marinated tofu in more sauce until hot and crispy and then pile on top of cooked grains and vegetables. Or eat the entire thing straight out of the skillet. I’ve done both and they are equally good.
While we are on the subject of New Year, New You, can we pledge to enjoy food more? It’s almost impossible to have a healthy relationship with food with the words Master Cleanse, detox, diet or fasting. I can almost promise that those fads will leave you hungry, unsatisfied and more hard on yourself.
There is an easier way. Love food that loves you back. Fill your plate with colorful produce, lean protein, healthy fat and complex carbs. Eat until you are satisfied, enjoying each bite with acceptance and not punishment. I plan on sharing more of my thoughts on this idea later in the week but for now, these buddha bowls await.
- Tofu Bowl
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 cups shredded carrots
- 2 cups spinach leaves
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 2 teaspoons olive oil or additional sesame oil, divided
- 1 cup chickpeas (drained and rinsed, if using canned)
- 16 oz extra firm tofu, pressed and drained
- Peanut sauce
- 1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup 100% pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
- ¼ cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cube tofu and place in a single layer on a non-stick baking sheet and cook for 25 minutes. If you aren't using a non-stick baking sheet, lightly spray with cooking spray. Remove from oven and place in a shallow bowl.
- Whisk together the ingredients for the sauce (sesame oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, chili garlic sauce, peanut butter) until creamy and smooth. Add ½ of the sauce to the tofu bowl and let marinate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Toss the broccoli with 1 teaspoon sesame or olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes until just tender.
- Heat remaining olive or sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add tofu, in batches, along with the marinating sauce until crispy and golden browned, about 3-4 minutes.
- To assemble, divide the brown rice among 4 bowls, top each bowl with ¼ cup shredded carrots, ½ cup spinach leaves, ¼th broccoli, ¼ cup garbanzo beans and a few pieces of tofu. Drizzle with remaining peanut sauce.