Let's talk about bowls. Remember my Autumn Harvest bowl ? The idea is pretty simple: a meal-sized bowl filled with tons of raw, roasted or steamed veggies, some whole grains, a protein (beans, seeds, nuts, tempeh, tofu) and a sauce. It's also the perfect way to use your leftovers. I LOVE them! And since I found the perfect ones (thanks to Crate and Barrel!), we eat almost everything in a bowl!
My favorite bowl of all time is the "Thai bowl" from Montreal's number one vegan restaurant Aux Vivres. You have to go there if you drop by! It's a "must" for everyone! I used to eat that bowl almost every week. I just had to do my own version. After a few (!) trials, I'm finally satisfied with my peanut sauce! My husband was flabbergasted! I got it right! It tastes exactly the same! Yeah!
My Buddha bowl consist of a variety of fresh and healthy ingredients :
- Sautéed organic greens (bok choi and kale), which are packed with vitamins, fiber, iron and antioxidants.
- Quick pickled daikon and carrots
- Sprouted grains (in this case, I used a mix of wild rice, brown rice and quinoa)
- Thai peanut sauce - ginger, sesame oil, lime, peanut butter... yum! THE best peanut sauce ever!
- Crunchy peanuts
- Crispy black sesame sprouted tofu
Here are a few tips for creating the perfect bowl every time:
- When you cook a grain or beans, try to double the amount and store the leftovers for the rest of the week. That way, you will have them ready for a bowl or a quick salad.
- Try mixing the textures and the tastes : crunchy, sour, sweet, salty, gooey...
- When assembling a bowl, pick a culture for ingredients inspirations: Mexican, Libanese, Thai, Korean, Indian, "breakfast" bowl, "smoothie" bowl, etc. You can't go wrong if you choose the right ingredients and sauces that usually work well together.
- Adapt the veggies to the season! That way, you make sure your bowl provides you the most nutrients (and taste!) as possible.
Sprouted tofu, sprouted grains ? What the heck ? First of all, I have to say that regular organic tofu and brown rice will work great too in this recipe! But... most of the time, I try to eat my grains, seeds, nuts, beans or flours in the sprouted form. When I have the time to sprout my grains and when I can put an hand on sprouted tofu, here are the reasons why I choose to eat my food that way.
Sprouting your food increases their digestibility and their nutritional value, just like alfalfa, mung beans or sunflowers sprouts. I usually sprout my own foods at home. It's a very simple process. You just have to soak your grains or nuts, drain the water and rinse. If you don't want to use it on the same day, you can store your sprouted foods in the fridge in clean purified water. You can also buy sprouted grains and even sprouted flours in some natural stores like Whole Foods Market or online.
Sprouts are the most nutritious food you can eat. As I said, the process of soaking foods is a traditional practice that increases the digestibility and lower the anti-nutrients content. Phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors are really present in common vegetarian/vegan whole foods. These compounds protect the foods from sprouting in your pantry... which is kind of a good news! But when you have too much of these compounds in your diet, they can interfere with the absorption of nutrients and reduce the nutritional qualities of these great foods. Just as fermenting, soaking your food helps you maximize the nutrient density of your plant-based ingredients and diet. I encourage you do to so whenever you can!
Yield : 4-6 servings
- 1 1/2 cup sprouted rice (soaked 12-24 hours) or organic brown rice
- 1 bloc organic firm tofu (I love sprouted tofu)
- 2 tablespoons black or white sesame (optional)
- 2 bunches of greens (kale, swiss chard, bok choi, cabbage...)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup organic roasted peanuts for garnish (optional)
Ingredients for the pickled veggies:
1 small daikon, julienned
- 2 medium carrots, julienned
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
- Chilli flakes (optional)
Ingredients for the thai sauce :
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup organic natural peanut butter (smooth or crunchy) - See note for a nut-free version
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari (or soy sauce)
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (or agave, honey or maple syrup)
- Prepare the quick pickled veggies 30 minutes ahead : cover the julienned veggies with the water and vinegar. You may need to add more liquid. Keep in mind that you need to keep the 1:1 ratio (vinegar/water). Add a pinch of salt. Sweetened if desired. Set aside in the fridge.
- Cook the rice as indicated on the package.
- In a large pan, sauté the greens in olive oil at medium-high heat. Cook for about 5-7 minutes. Add a pinch of salt. Set aside. Sprinkle with chilli flakes (optional).
- Slice the tofu and sprinkle with a bit of sesame seeds. In the large pan, grill your tofu for about 5 minutes on each side at medium-high heat.
- For the sauce : blend all the ingredients together until smooth.
- Load your bowl with greens, cooked rice, roasted peanuts, pickled veggies, slices of tofu and the dressing. If you like cilantro, pour a few leaves on top!
Note : If you're looking for a nut-free version, you can do this sauce with soy butter or tahini. If you're just looking for a peanut-free version, almond butter works well too!