Tofu Bowl Recipe

This Tofu Bowl Delight is a culinary delight that brings together the flavors of tofu, quinoa, delicata squash and lacinato kale, combined with a tangy garlic tahini sauce. It's a healthy, vegan, and gluten-free meal packed with nutrients and bursting with flavor.

Tofu Bowl Recipe
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Two key ingredients that you might not readily have in your pantry are the delicata squash and lacinato kale. Delicata squash has a sweet, buttery flavor and can be found in most supermarkets, especially in the fall. It's edible skin sets it apart from other squash varieties. Lacinato kale, also known as dinosaur or Tuscan kale, has a sweeter and more delicate taste than common curly kale. It's increasingly available at supermarkets and farmer's markets. With it's dark, bumpy leaves, it's hard to miss.

Ingredients for Tofu Bowl Delight

Extra firm tofu: This is the main source of protein in this dish. Its firm texture holds up well to baking.

Quinoa: A nutritious and gluten-free grain that adds a nice bite to the dish.

Hearty spice blend: Adds depth of flavor to both the tofu and sauce.

Olive oil: Used for roasting the tofu and squash, and sautéing the kale.

Delicata squash: Adds a sweet, buttery flavor and is full of vitamins.

Lacinato kale: This dark, leafy green is high in nutrients and adds a pop of color.

Garlic: Brings a punchy flavor to the tahini sauce.

Tahini: A paste made from sesame seeds, it adds a rich, nutty flavor to the sauce.

Lemon juice and zest: Adds a fresh, tangy flavor to the sauce.

Sesame seeds and chives: For garnish and added texture and flavor.

One reader, Elna Gil says:

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This tofu bowl delight recipe is a game-changer! The combination of crispy tofu, flavorful quinoa, and roasted squash is simply divine. The garlic tahini sauce adds a delightful touch. It's a wholesome and satisfying meal that's become a regular in my dinner rotation. Highly recommend trying it out!

Elna Gil

Techniques Required for Making Tofu Bowl Delight

How to press tofu: Wrap the drained tofu in a clean kitchen towel or a few layers of paper towels and place on a plate or tray. Place a heavy pot on top of the tofu and press for 10 minutes, checking halfway through to replace the towel if soaked through.

How to cook quinoa: Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions. Set aside.

How to season tofu: In a medium bowl, mix together the hearty spice blend, salt, and olive oil. Add the tofu and gently toss until well coated.

How to roast squash: Toss the squash rings with olive oil and season with salt. Spread the seasoned squash on a baking sheet and roast until tender and golden brown.

How to wilt kale: Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat. Add the hearty spice blend and cook until fragrant. Add the kale and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted.

How to make garlic tahini sauce: Whisk together garlic, tahini, lemon juice and zest, water, hearty spice, and salt in a medium bowl. If the sauce seizes up or appears too dry, add water and mix until smooth.

How To Make Tofu Bowl

Flavorful, healthy, and rich in fiber, this tofu bowl made with baked tofu and quinoa is tossed in zesty garlic tahini sauce for a Vegetarian-friendly bite.

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 14ozextra firm tofu
  • 1cupquinoa
  • 2tsphearty spice blend,such as McCormick®, divided
  • 1tspkosher salt,plus more to taste
  • 4tbspolive oil,plus 2 tsp, divided
  • 1large delicata squash,sliced into ½-inch rings
  • 1bunchlacinato kale,washed, stemmed, and cut into thin ribbons
  • 2tspsesame seed,for garnish
  • fresh chive,sliced for garnish

For Garlic Tahini Sauce:

  • 1garlic,minced or grated
  • ¼cuptahini
  • 2tbsplemon juice
  • 1tsplemon zest
  • 3tbspwater
  • 1tsphearty spice blend,such as McCormick®
  • 1pinchkosher salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Drain the tofu, then wrap in a clean kitchen towel or a few layers of paper towels and place on a plate or tray.

  3. Place a heavy pot on top of the tofu and press for 10 minutes, checking halfway through to replace the towel if soaked through.

  4. Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions. Set aside.

  5. Cut the tofu into 1 to 1½-inch cubes.

  6. In a medium bowl, mix together 1½ teaspoons of the Hearty spice blend, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the tofu and gently toss until well coated.

  7. In a large bowl, toss the squash rings with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt.

  8. Spread the tofu in a single layer on ½ of a baking sheet and the seasoned squash on the other ½.

  9. Bake for 20 minutes, until the squash rings are tender and golden brown and the tofu has a nice golden crust.

  10. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a medium pan over medium-low heat. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon Hearty spice blend and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant. Add the kale and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, until wilted.

Garlic Tahini Sauce:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, tahini, lemon juice and zest, water, Hearty spice, and salt. If the sauce seizes up or appears too dry, add about 1 teaspoon of water at a time and mix until smooth.

  2. Divide the quinoa between 2 wide, shallow bowls. Top with kale, squash, and tofu. Drizzle the sauce over and garnish with sesame seeds and chives.

  3. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Calories: 1192.07kcal
  • Fat: 68.33g
  • Saturated Fat: 9.45g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 31.61g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 23.59g
  • Carbohydrates: 106.50g
  • Fiber: 20.91g
  • Sugar: 2.97g
  • Protein: 55.81g
  • Sodium: 1114.68mg
  • Calcium: 1799.79mg
  • Potassium: 2394.25mg
  • Iron: 15.65mg
  • Vitamin A: 543.07µg
  • Vitamin C: 155.64mg

Helpful Technique Tip for Tofu Bowl Delight Recipe

When pressing your tofu, it's crucial to do so gently to maintain its shape. Using a heavy pot applies even pressure, ensuring the tofu doesn't crumble or break. This process helps to remove excess moisture, allowing the tofu to absorb the flavors of the hearty spice blend and olive oil more effectively. Additionally, when roasting your delicata squash, make sure to spread them out evenly on the baking sheet. Overlapping can lead to uneven cooking and prevent the squash from achieving a golden brown finish.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing This Tofu Bowl Recipe

Prep ahead: Prepare the tofu, quinoa, and hearty spice blend in advance to streamline the cooking process.

Multitask: While the tofu and squash are baking, use that time to cook the quinoa and prepare the garlic tahini sauce.

Efficient chopping: Cut the tofu, squash, and kale into uniform pieces to ensure even cooking and save time during preparation.

One-pan cooking: Consider using one large baking sheet to roast the tofu and squash together, saving time on cleanup.

Batch cooking: Make a larger portion of the recipe and store the leftovers for quick and convenient meals throughout the week.

Substitute Ingredients For Tofu Bowl Recipe

  • extra firm tofu - Substitute with tempeh: Tempeh is a fermented soy product with a firmer texture and nutty flavor, making it a great alternative to tofu in this recipe.

  • quinoa - Substitute with brown rice: Brown rice has a similar nutty flavor and chewy texture to quinoa, making it a suitable replacement in this dish.

  • delicata squash - Substitute with butternut squash: Butternut squash has a sweet, nutty flavor and a similar texture to delicata squash, making it a good substitute in this recipe.

  • lacinato kale - Substitute with Swiss chard: Swiss chard has a similar earthy flavor and tender texture to lacinato kale, making it a suitable alternative in this dish.

  • tahini - Substitute with almond butter: Almond butter has a rich, nutty flavor and creamy texture similar to tahini, making it a good substitute for the garlic tahini sauce.

Essential Tools for Crafting the Perfect Tofu Bowl Delight

  • Cutting board: A flat surface used for cutting, slicing, and chopping ingredients.
  • Chef's knife: A versatile knife used for a variety of kitchen tasks, such as chopping, slicing, and dicing.
  • Baking sheet: A flat, rectangular metal pan used for baking and roasting foods in the oven.
  • Medium pan: A versatile cooking vessel used for sautéing, frying, and simmering ingredients.
  • Food processor: A kitchen appliance used for chopping, blending, and pureeing ingredients.
  • Mixing bowl: A bowl used for combining ingredients and mixing batters and doughs.
  • Whisk: A kitchen tool used for blending and mixing ingredients together, as well as for incorporating air into mixtures.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Tools used for accurately measuring ingredients in cooking and baking.
  • Heavy pot: A large, sturdy pot used for tasks such as boiling, simmering, and stewing ingredients.
  • Tongs: A versatile kitchen tool used for gripping and lifting hot or delicate foods.
  • Spatula: A flat, flexible kitchen tool used for lifting, flipping, and spreading ingredients.
  • Oven: A kitchen appliance used for baking, roasting, and broiling foods.
  • Stove: A cooking appliance used for heating and cooking food in pots and pans.

Storing and Freezing Tofu Bowl Delight: A Guide

  • To store leftover tofu bowl delight, allow the components to cool completely before transferring them to separate airtight containers. The quinoa, kale, squash, and tofu can be stored together in one container, while the garlic tahini sauce should be kept in a separate container to prevent the other ingredients from becoming soggy.
  • When stored properly in the refrigerator, the tofu bowl delight components will last for up to 4 days. The garlic tahini sauce will keep for up to 7 days in the refrigerator.
  • To reheat the tofu bowl delight, place the desired portion of quinoa, kale, squash, and tofu in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 1-2 minutes, or until warmed through. Alternatively, you can reheat the components in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
  • Drizzle the reheated tofu bowl delight with the reserved garlic tahini sauce and garnish with fresh chives and sesame seeds before serving.
  • Freezing the tofu bowl delight components is not recommended, as the texture of the tofu and vegetables may become compromised upon thawing. The quinoa can be frozen separately for up to 3 months, but it is best to enjoy this dish fresh or refrigerate for optimal taste and texture.

How to Reheat Leftover Tofu Bowl Delight

  • Stovetop method: Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a small amount of olive oil or sesame oil. Add the leftover tofu, quinoa, kale, and delicata squash to the skillet. Stir gently to combine and heat through for about 5 minutes, or until everything is warmed to your liking. If the mixture seems dry, you can add a splash of water or vegetable broth to help steam and moisten the ingredients.

  • Microwave method: Place the leftover tofu bowl ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel to help prevent the food from drying out. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until the ingredients are heated through. Be careful when removing the bowl from the microwave, as it may be hot.

  • Oven method: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Transfer the leftover tofu bowl ingredients to an oven-safe dish and cover with foil. Place the dish in the preheated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the ingredients are heated through. Remove the foil for the last 2-3 minutes of reheating to help crisp up the tofu and delicata squash, if desired.

  • Refresh the flavors: Regardless of the reheating method you choose, you can refresh the flavors of the leftover tofu bowl by adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, or a sprinkle of fresh herbs like chives or cilantro. You can also add a dollop of the leftover garlic tahini sauce to help moisten and flavor the dish.

Interesting Fact About Tofu Bowl Delight

The delicata squash used in this recipe is a winter squash variety that is known for its creamy texture and sweet flavor. It is a good source of fiber and contains beneficial nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium. Delicata squash is also easy to prepare as it has a thin, edible skin, making it a convenient and nutritious addition to meals.

Is Making Tofu Bowl Delight at Home Cost-Effective?

The cost-effectiveness of this tofu bowl delight recipe is quite favorable for a household. Tofu and quinoa are affordable sources of protein, while the use of delicata squash and kale adds nutritional value without breaking the bank. The garlic tahini sauce ingredients are also reasonably priced. Overall, this recipe offers a balanced and budget-friendly meal option. Rating: 8/10. Approximate cost for a household of 4: $15-$20.

Is This Tofu Bowl Recipe Healthy or Unhealthy?

The tofu bowl delight recipe is a healthy and nutritious meal that incorporates a variety of wholesome ingredients. Here's why:

  • Tofu: A great source of plant-based protein, low in calories, and rich in essential amino acids, iron, and calcium.
  • Quinoa: A gluten-free, high-fiber, and protein-rich grain that provides a balanced mix of essential nutrients.
  • Delicata squash: Packed with vitamins A and C, dietary fiber, and antioxidants that support overall health and well-being.
  • Lacinato kale: A nutrient-dense leafy green that offers an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, promoting a healthy immune system and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Garlic tahini sauce: Tahini is a good source of healthy fats, while garlic offers anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.

To make this recipe even healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Reduce the amount of olive oil used in the recipe to lower the overall calorie and fat content. Instead, try using a non-stick cooking spray or a smaller amount of oil.
  • Incorporate a variety of colorful vegetables to increase the nutrient density of the dish. Consider adding roasted bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, or shredded carrots for added vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  • Experiment with different spice blends to enhance the flavor profile without relying on excessive amounts of salt. Try using a mix of herbs like oregano, thyme, and rosemary, or spices like cumin, paprika, and turmeric.
  • Boost the protein content by adding a sprinkle of chopped nuts or seeds, such as almonds, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds, which also provide healthy fats and additional texture to the dish.

Editor's Opinion on the Tofu Bowl Delight Recipe

This tofu bowl delight recipe offers a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The hearty spice blend adds depth to the tofu and squash, while the garlic tahini sauce provides a creamy and tangy finish. The use of quinoa and kale adds a nutritious element to the dish, making it a well-rounded and satisfying meal. The cooking instructions are clear and easy to follow, making this recipe accessible for home cooks of all skill levels. Overall, this recipe is a wonderful option for a healthy and flavorful plant-based meal.

Enhance Your Tofu Bowl Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Asparagus: Toss asparagus with olive oil, garlic, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese before roasting for a flavorful side dish.
Grilled Pineapple Skewers: Thread pineapple chunks onto skewers and grill until caramelized for a sweet and tangy accompaniment to the tofu bowl delight.
Creamy Mushroom Risotto: Indulge in a creamy and flavorful mushroom risotto as a rich and satisfying side dish to complement the tofu bowl delight.

Delicious Alternatives to Tofu Bowl Delight

Savory Stuffed Bell Peppers: Stuffed bell peppers with a flavorful filling
Creamy Mushroom Risotto: Rich and creamy risotto with savory mushrooms
Citrus Grilled Chicken Salad: Grilled chicken salad with a zesty citrus dressing
Berry Cobbler Delight: Delicious cobbler with mixed berries and a sweet crumbly topping
Butternut Squash Soup: Warm and comforting soup made with roasted butternut squash

Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for Tofu Bowl Delight

Appetizers:
Savory Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a mouthwatering appetizer by stuffing mushrooms with a flavorful mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs. Bake until golden and serve hot for a delicious start to any meal.
Crispy Zucchini Fritters: Whip up a batch of crispy zucchini fritters for a light and tasty appetizer. Shred fresh zucchini, mix with herbs and spices, then pan-fry until golden brown. Serve with a side of creamy dipping sauce for a delightful pre-dinner treat.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder for an elegant and decadent dessert experience.
Strawberry Cheesecake: Savor the luscious combination of creamy cheesecake filling and sweet, juicy strawberries atop a buttery graham cracker crust, finished with a drizzle of strawberry coulis for a delightful and refreshing treat.
Share your thoughts on the Tofu Bowl Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum and let us know if you have any tips or variations to share!
FAQ:
What is a hearty spice blend and where can I find it?
A hearty spice blend is a mix of warm and aromatic spices such as cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and black pepper. You can find it in the spice aisle of most grocery stores, or you can make your own by combining your favorite spices.
Can I use a different type of squash if I can't find delicata squash?
Absolutely! You can use butternut squash, acorn squash, or even sweet potatoes as a substitute for delicata squash. Just adjust the cooking time as needed.
Is there a substitute for tofu if I don't eat soy products?
Yes, you can use tempeh or seitan as a substitute for tofu. Both tempeh and seitan have a hearty texture and can be seasoned and cooked in a similar way.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the components of this recipe ahead of time and assemble the bowls when you're ready to eat. The tofu, quinoa, and squash can be cooked in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
How can I make the dish more spicy?
If you prefer a spicier dish, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the hearty spice blend or drizzle some hot sauce over the assembled bowl before serving. Adjust the spice level to your preference.

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