As far as healthy eating goes, I’d consider myself a pretty moderate vegan. I love mock meats- but I love veggies and grains even more. You won’t catch me ordering a salad, though! I’m a fiend for spices, sauces, broiling, baking, stir-frying, flash-frying and the zillion other ways that plants can be turned into a delicious main course.
I firmly believe that most people grow up hating vegetables because they grew up with the kind that bore you to tears. Think steamed cauliflower, broccoli and baby carrots, mushy from overcooking, with a dollop of butter and a pinch of salt. Plop. I can still smell it to this day.
This bowl is for everyone out there who still finds eating healthy to be a chore. I assure you, it doesn’t have to be! With salty-garlicky-turmeric tofu pan fried to perfection, savory miso-ginger toasted quinoa that will blow your expectations out of the water, and soy sauce veggies to add in a “crunch”, this dish will change your perspective. You will love eating it AND you’ll feel great when you’re done!
"Feel Better Bowl"
- 1 cup quinoa I prefer tricolor
- 1 1/2 cups Trader Joe's miso ginger broth or any vegetable broth
- 2 cups kale
- 1/2 head broccoli
- 1 block firm or extra firm tofu
- 2-3 whole green onions
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp turmeric
- To Taste Soy Sauce
- 1/2 Avocado Optional
- Start by pressing your block of firm tofu. Pressing tofu is essential for ideal taste, texture and flavor absorbency. When you press tofu, you’re squeezing out the water to make room for maximum flavor.
- Cut the tofu into small cubes. Heat your sesame oil on medium heat in a small pot and place the tofu cubes inside. Season with garlic, salt, and turmeric. Sautee the tofu gently for about five minutes. If your pot is not non-stick, you’ll need to be a bit more attentive with continuously moving the tofu to prevent damaging the skin.
- Remove the tofu and place aside. Without washing the pot, pour the quinoa inside. This step is important! By leaving the sesame oil and seasoning residue, you’re providing flavor for the quinoa to absorb. Mix the quinoa around in the pot, allowing it to lather in the flavor. If necessary, add a dash more of sesame oil. Wait until you begin to hear a “crackling” sound from the quinoa. This is called “toasting” and will make your quinoa far tastier when it’s done!
- As soon as the quinoa begins to crackle, add in your broth. (Out of broth? You can also use water with a spoonful of vegetable bouillon!) Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Set your timer for ten minutes.
- In the meantime, it’s time to start cooking up your veggies! Heat your tablespoon of coconut oil up in a pan on medium-high. Throw in your broccoli and saute for about three minutes. For ideal texture, you’ll want to see a bit of crispiness form on the broccoli’s underside. Next, add in the kale and a splash of soy sauce. Reduce to medium heat and cook for about five minutes, or until you see the kale develop a wilt. Add in green onions and continue to cook for one more minute.
- Your ingredients are all done! Pour your veggies into your quinoa, add your soy sauce, and mix in your tofu. Add avocado topping to individual servings as preferred.
Chelsea Pinkham is a long-time animal advocate, rescuer, and humane education writer. Chelsea studied Communications & Journalism with a minor in Environmental Science at Sonoma State University. She has been vegan for thirteen years, since she discovered the treatment of animals on farms in middle school. Outside of Vegan Unlocked, she works for a nonprofit farmed animal sanctuary, authors humane education children’s books, and has personally rescued, fostered and transported over 1,000 animals. She enjoys camping, hiking, learning about animal behavior, and traveling the world on a low budget!