Healthy vegan lunch idea
Marinated tofu buddha bowl with sweet chili sauce. Easy, healthy and high in protein vegan power bowl made with sweet potatoes, bok choy, red cabbage and sesame ginger tofu. Great recipe to make ahead and meal prep to have ready for an on the go lunch or easy dinner. Full of fiber, veggies and protein.
Here’s an amazing buddha bowl for when you want to be all healthy and shit. This buddha bowl will make you feel like a veggie-munching health Goddess.
But seriously, I love making buddha bowls. I know it’s a bit of a pain in the ass to cook five separate things at the same time, but once you do, everything is ready to go for when you need an on-the-go lunch or an easy throw together dinner.
It’s an investment of time up front, to save time later sort of thing.
Tips for making this bowl
This tofu power bowl is all about timing.
In the recipe card below, I laid it out in the order that you will cook everything, so you’re not running around like those losers who cut chicken’s heads off (see what I did there? #veganhumor)
I start with the tofu first. If you want your tofu to taste amazing, you have to press it.
This pushes out all the water so that it has room to soak up the delicious sesame ginger tofu marinade. It also makes the texture a lot chewier. So don’t skip this step!
You can press the tofu either by buying a tofu press ( I waited for years before buying this and now I’m kicking myself in the ass because I didn’t do it sooner) or you can wrap your tofu in a lint-free kitchen towel or paper towel and place a heavy pan on top of it.
Either way, let the tofu press for 15-30 minutes.
If you need more help cooking tofu, check out my article called how to cook tofu for beginners.
The best tofu marinade
I just have to say, I love this marinade.
All you have to do is mix together soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, maple syrup. Then add some minced garlic and ginger.
I’ve been using this for my tofu since I was a baby vegan.
I got this recipe from my roommate way back when I was going to school in Boston. So, this marinade has been tried and tested for more than a decade.
I like to put the tofu in tupperware after pressing it and dicing it. Next, I pour the marinade over the tofu and then put the lid on. Then I turn the tupperware upside down.
This makes sure that the marinade gets all over the tofu. Then I store the tofu, upside down, in the fridge for 30 minutes. It’s better if it’s over night, but honestly, I can never remember to do that shit.
Add cornstarch to make the tofu crispier.
After the tofu has marinated, fold in the corn starch.
Grab a flat spoon, like a rubber spatula, and gently mix the tofu until you don’t see the corn starch any more.
I always stir by tucking the spatula under the tofu and then turning it over. That way it won’t break the tofu apart.
How to time it all right
Remember the timing thing? Before you pop the tofu in the oven, let’s pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
While the oven is heating up, and after you’ve prepped the tofu, it’s time to get the large sweet potato ready to bake.
You can either dice it up, or cut it in rounds. I personally like to keep the skins on, but you can peel it if you’d like.
Throw a little olive oil and salt onto the sweet potato.
Place the sweet potato on a flat, oiled or lined baking sheet. I love using my silicone baking mat because I never have to scrape nasty-ass shit off my baking sheets anymore.
Now pop the sweet potatoes and tofu in the oven at the same time. After about 25 minutes, open the oven and flip your tofu and stir your sweet potatoes.
Bake for another 20 minutes or until your sweet potatoes and tofu get nice and golden.
You may need to take the potatoes out about 5 minutes before the tofu.
Right after you place the sweet potatoes and tofu in the oven, it’s time to get our rice going. Always remember to rinse your rice before cooking.
It will make it taste a hell of a lot better and it’s crazy to see how much dust and grime gets rinsed off.
Brown rice usually takes 35-40 minutes to cook.
Once you have about 10 minutes left on your tofu and sweet potatoes, then move onto the fresher vegetables. Shred your red cabbage and then steam the baby bok choy for 5 minutes.
Once everything is cooked and assembled in your bowl, top it with a really good sweet chili sauce.
My favorite is this brand. You can easily find sweet chili sauce in the international section of most grocery stores.
A note about the dressing
I chose not to do a homemade dressing for this bowl because honestly, you’re already doing a bunch of shit and making a dressing just felt too overwhelming.
Plus, I don’t see many buddha bowls with dressings that don’t involve peanut butter or tahini, so this is a bit refreshing.
This is a great meal prep idea to take to work for a healthy lunch.
If you need some more easy vegan lunch ideas, check out my easy chickpea salad sandwich.
It’s similar to a chicken salad or egg salad sandwich but better because it doesn’t involve paying someone to kill an innocent chicken! YAY!
Enjoy, you sexy veg heads!
Try these delicious recipes next:
Delicious tofu buddha bowl
Sesame ginger baked tofu
- 1 package of extra firm tofu (drained and pressed for 30 minutes)
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 3 tbsp corn starch
Buddha bowl ingredients
- 2 cups dry brown rice
- 2 cups steamed baby bok choy
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- 1 large sweet potato (cut into rounds or diced)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Sweet chili sauce
- Sesame ginger baked tofu
- Toasted sesame seeds (optional garnish)
Sesame ginger baked tofu
- Take your tofu out of the package and drain it.
- Either press the tofu in a tofu press for 30 minutes, or wrap tofu in paper towel or towel and place a heavy pan or object over the tofu. Press for 30 minutes
- Cut tofu in cubes
- In a mug or bowl, mix together soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, maple syrup, ginger and garlic.
- Place the tofu in a storage container with a lid and pour the marinade over.
- Put the lid on the container and gently turn container upside down, to make sure tofu marinade gets on all sides.
- Place tofu in the fridge, upside down and let it marinate for at least 15 minutes. 1-8 hours is best, but sometimes we don’t have the time
- Pour corn starch over tofu and gently mix until you don’t see the corn starch
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
- Take tofu out of the marinade and place on an oiled, or lined baking sheet
- Bake for 25 minutes, then flip and bake for another 20 minutes.
- Take out of oven and off of baking sheet and let it cool for 5 minutes to let it firm up
- Wash sweet potatoes and dice, or cut into rounds.
- In a bowl, pour over 1 TBL olive oil and stir it around
- Add a pinch of salt and stir
- Place on a lined baking sheet and place in the oven at the same time as tofu.
- Whenever you go into flip the tofu, stir the sweet potatoes around as well.
- Take out once they look golden brown, about 40 minutes.
Assemble the bowl
- Right after you place your sweet potatoes and tofu in the oven, rinse your brown rice and drain
- Cook your brown rice in a rice cooker, or on the stove according to the directions on its package, usually takes 30-40 minutes to cook brown rice
- Once you have about 10 minutes left, shred the red cabbage
- Steam your baby bok choy for 5 minutes.
- Assemble everything in your bowl. Start with a base of brown rice. Then place the tofu in one corner, bok choy in another corner, sweet potatoes in another corner and sesame ginger tofu in the other corner.
- Top with sweet chili sauce or hot sauce or choice
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