Tofu Rice Bowls

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Everyone is familiar with memes, I’m sure. One of my favorite memes pertains to a tofu one that reads: “How to prepare tofu: Step one: Throw it in the trash. Step two: Grill some meat.” I loved that meme when I first saw it many years ago because I agreed, nothing could be better than a fresh grilled steak. Although tofu doesn’t have much flavor to it, I never disliked. Could just be a texture thing as to why some people dislike this protein. Meal prep has become popular among many Americans looking to live a healthier lifestyle and help in a grab and go for work lunch or a quick dinner. With the addition of Asian flavors in this recipe, it’s a meal you’ll want to prep often. First I want to give you a little bit of a background on why I’m working with Tofu.

Since July, I have made the decision to slowly decrease my consumption of meat. I’m not a vegan, nor am I a vegetarian but a Pescatarian. Food has been such a huge role in my life, I mean I went to Culinary school for Pete’s sake! Did I mention I’m also married to a Chef? So yeah, avoiding meat is by no means easy for me. I have a few reasons why I’ve made the decision to not eat (Processed) meat but the number one reason is health. I want to diminish my chances of heart disease, I want to lose weight and avoid any and all cancers, many of which are formed due to meat & dairy consumption. Trust me, I’ve done a lot of reading on this before I made the choice to switch my diet. I still continue to eat eggs (in a small amount), I drink Almond Milk over Milk (however if I am stuck drinking milk, it’s going to be whole milk) & maybe once a week I’ll sneak in a bite of pork or chicken off my husbands plate.

With the cutback on meat protein, I hadn’t noticed any bodily changes until recently. Pros: My energy levels are the same, If anything I have a little more energy.

I find my thoughts & memory have increased a bit.

I don’t feel like a pile of shit after I eat a meal. I’m happily satisfied. I’m able to eat less and get full faster. I’ve discovered that eating small healthy snacks (granola bar, nuts, fresh fruit & vegetables) through out the day helps keep me full so I’m not overeating later.

My clothes have definitely become baggy on my body. So something is working!

Cons:Β Β My digestion is getting used to the new protein intake finally, so I’ve been very gassy and bloated for a couple of weeks.

My taste buds seem to be a little off (might be lacking zinc) luckily that’s an easy fix with supplements.

Depending on where I’m eating, my choices can be very limited. Good thing I don’t do fast food!

I’ve had a lot of people tell me that what I’m doing with not eating meat isn’t healthy and that I’m not getting the correct proteins and vitamins needed to stay healthy. I’m sorry to break it to ya’ll but yes I am! The meat you eat has the protein you need because of what it eats (plants!). The only difference is my food doesn’t have crazy hormones injected into it, and is not only good for Humans but for the planet too. I am aware that a plant based diet may decrease the risk of cancer & disease, I know nothing is certain it will work.Β So I ask everyone that thinks I’m crazy and wrong for doing what I’m doing to take the time to do the research on the food you eat vs what I’m eating now and then tell me how my diet is gross.Β With all this said, any posts I put up from now on will be focused more on plant protein based meals. I would love to work on avoiding processed foods next, but one step at a time!

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Mise En Place:

  • 1 Cup Brown Rice
  • 1 Piece Fresh Ginger, sliced
  • 1 Pack Firm Tofu
  • 1/2 Cucumber, sliced 1″ cuts then cut in half
  • 1 Carrot, peeled then julienne
  • 2 Radish’s, sliced thin
  • 1/4 Yellow Onion, julienne thin
  • 1 Scallion, sliced thin
  • 1 Cup Spinach
  • 1 Garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 Eggs
  • S&P, TT
  • 2 T Fish Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2 T Oyster Sauce
  • 1 T Sesame Oil
  • 1 T Rice Vinegar
  • 2 T Sambal
  • 2 T Brown Sugar
  • 3 T Butter
  • Canola Oil

Method of Prep:

  • Cook Rice according to directions on the bag. Add fresh ginger into pot as it cooks. Once rice is finished, spread on a sheet tray and place in the refrigerator to cool (I find this prevents overcooking).
  • Mix together in a bowl, sauces for the tofu Marinade: fish sauce, soy, oyster sauce, sambal, brown sugar. Slice tofu to preferred cuts, I chose thick matchstick shapes. Add marinade to tofu and let sit for 30 minutes before cooking.
  • In a bowl add cucumber, carrot, radish and onion. Mix together with rice vinegar and sesame oil. Season with S&P, TT, set aside.
  • Saute spinach in a little bit of oil & garlic, set aside.
  • Over medium heat, add a small amount of oil to a pan and begin cooking Tofu. About 4 minutes on all sides until lightly browned. Save the leftover marinade in bowl to be used as a sauce.
  • Once all the tofu is cooked, using the same pan, add reserved Tofu marinade. Stir in 2 tablespoons butter and bring to a boil. reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Pour sauce into a bowl and set aside. Using the same pan, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and scramble the eggs.

How to Assemble:

  • First add rice, next eggs, then tofu. Pour a little bit of marinade over entire bowl. Garnish with pickled vegetables and sliced scallion.
  • Enjoy!

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Hiyayakko

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No that is not in English, in fact it’s Japanese. Hiyayakko is a chilled tofu dish with toppings. It doesn’t get much easier than that. This recipe is super simple to prepare and delicious. I enjoy eating this as an appetizer or a midday snack.Β  Very good on a hot summers day to cool you down and eat healthy as well.

 

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Mise en Place:

-1 Pack Firm tofu, drained and cut into rectangles (see above)

-Soy Sauce, TT

-2 oz Daikon or Radish, sliced thin and julienne

-Bonito (Dried fish flakes), TT

-2 Scallions, sliced

-1 Inch Fresh Ginger, Grated

 

Method of Prep:

-Cut Tofu into 1″ by .5″(inch) rectangles and press between 2 paper towels and dishcloths until dry.

-Lay tofu on a plate or sheet tray. Pour soy over each piece of tofu. Place in refrigerator and allow to chill and absorb the soy for 20 minutes.

-Garnish with toppings.

Enjoy!

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Coconut Crusted Tofu with Peach Salsa

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I’m always looking for new ways to cook with tofu. I came across a recipe similar to this one on the eating well website.Β  I made a few changes in the recipe for it to suite me. This recipe makes a very light meal and is excellent for the summer. If you’re not a fan of tofu you can substitute chicken for the protein.

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Serves: 2

Active Time: 10 Minutes

Total Time: 15 Minutes

Gluten Free/Vegan/Grain Free/Dairy Free/Refined Sugar Free (substitute maple syrup)

Mise en Place:

-2 Medium Peaches, peeled and cut in small chunks or diced

-1 Jalapeno, seeded and diced small

-1 Tablespoon fresh chopped Cilantro

-1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar

-1 Tablespoon Rice wine Vinegar

-1/3 Cup Unsweetened Coconut flakes (I used Sweetened)

-2 Tablespoons of Gluten Free Flour OR Rice Flour (AP works fine!)

-2 Tablespoons Corn Starch

-1 Package Firm Tofu, drained

-2 Tablespoons Oil

-Salt, TT

 

Method of Prep:

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

-Combine peaches, jalapenos, cilantro, brown sugar, vinegar and a teaspoon of salt in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside.

-Mix coconut flakes, flour, a teaspoon of salt and cornstarch in a shallow dish. Cut the block of tofu lengthwise into 5 thin steaks. Pat the tofu dry with a paper towel. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

-Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large saute pan on medium heat.

-Press both sides of tofu in flour mixture to coat.

-Place tofu into the frying pan. Cook until golden brown on both sides (Approximately 2 minutes each) Adjust heat to avoid burning.

-Transfer tofu to a sheet tray and bake in the oven for 5 minutes.

-Serve over rice and top with salsa.

Enjoy!

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Serving Suggestion:

-The tofu and salsa are great on their own, however I recommend cooking off some white rice and drizzling a little bit of soy sauce and sriracha on top of rice and garnish with scallions. Place 2 tofu steaks on top, spoon salsa over tofu and drizzle a little bit of the juice from salsa around the rice. (See pictures)Β  YUMMY!