This post is also available in: Suomi (Finnish)
In cooperation with Jalotofu.
I’ve always prefered vegetarian food, even though I’ve never been a vegetarian officially. Still, I mostly eat and cook vegetarian food as I find that it makes me feel good and vegetables are easy to cook and prepare. Vegetarian cooking also inspires me more than preparing meat or fish, and I always find myself saving vegetarian recipes from magazines, books and blogs instead of those with meat.
I usually eat quite a lot of eggs and different kinds of lentils and beans either in salads or cooked in soups or stews. When we’re eating out I like to try dishes with tofu and my boyfriend makes tofu every now and then, but somehow I’ve never made it myself. Before this post I mean. So when Jalotofu challenged me to create a recipe with tofu, I decided that it was time to move from just eating tofu to actually cooking something out of it.
There’s so much contoversial information and opinions going around about tofu and soy in general that it’s sometimes hard to keep up. Some sources say that you should avoid soy alltogether and some sources say that it’s super beneficial for your health. My own opinion about soy has also changed a few times. Sometimes I’ve tried to quit using soy completely and then at other times I’ve changed my mind and enjoyed my soy yogurt and chai latte with soy milk in good spirits. I’m still not sure who to believe in this whole debate but luckily a fellow blogger, Outi, just wrote an excellent post about soy (it’s only in Finnish unfortunately). So after reading that post I got some reassurance for the fact that eating tofu and soy in moderation is probably perfectly fine. I like tofu and when eating mostly vegetarian food, tofu is a good source of protein and it brings a nice variation to my diet. And you can make so many things out of it! I was mainly thinking of chocolate mousse, but tofu is really nice in all kinds of currys or in soups for example.
Before taking this small journey to the world of tofu I didn’t know that there are so many different types of tofu. There’s soft tofu, silken, firm, all kinds of marinades and depending on the brand different kinds of soybeans. However, when choosing tofu, quality should always be put first so that you don’t have to worry about gmo or other weird stuff. Jalotofu produces top quality organic tofu in Finland and they use this traditional and natural process to make it, which is super cool in my opinion. Take a look at their website for more information and remember to check out the delicious recipes too (like that chocolate mousse!).
Tofu can be prepared in various ways but I decided to make it in the oven, which turned out to be really easy and delicious. In order to get the tofu to have that nice crunchiness, you should drain the tofu well and marinate it for a while before preparing it. If you’re unsure of how to do all this, check out this article on how to cook tofu.
Because I’m not that experienced with tofu and what to pair it with (yet), I decided to go with something simple, nourishing and yet really delicious. So I kind of ended up making the thing that I eat on a constant basis: a bowl with all kinds of vegetables and sides. I managed to find some perfectly ripe avocados and pomegranates from the farmer’s market and paired them with broccoli (my favorite), some dark leafy greens and brown rice. Pumpkin seeds that had been hiding in the cupboards also turned out to be the perfect base for a nice and creamy sauce.
I make these kinds of bowls kind often, as they’re perfect for using those forgotten vegetables in the fridge or some leftovers. And when you double the recipe, you’ll have some delicious food ready in the fridge, which makes eating healthy so much easier.
Nourish Bowl w/ Tofu, Brown Rice & Vegetables + A Tasty Pumpkin Seed Sauce
notes: you can replace the rice with quinoa or millet or try wild ricw or red rice instead of brown. by doubling the recipe you’ll get enough for four or you can store the leftovers for upcoming days.
1 packet of firm Jalotofu (or your favorite organic tofu)
1/2 cup brown rice
1/2 head of broccoli
a couple of handfuls of dark leafy greens
1 ripe avocado
seeds of 1/2 pomegranate
1 lemon for the marinade and sauce
a handful of sprouts
+ pumpkin seed sauce for serving (recipe below)
The tofu marinade:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
1. Drain the tofu. Then wrap it into a paper towel, set to a plate and leave a heavy item on top for 15 minutes to press out excess moisture. Meanwhile cook the rice and prepare the marinade.
2. Mix olive oil, tamari, honey and lemon juice in a bowl. Cut the tofu into smaller pieces and put them in the marinade. Turn over couple times so that they coat well. Let them sit for about 10-15 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F ja make the pumpkin seed sauce (recipe below). Once the tofu is marinated, spread them to a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until the edges are golden. Prepare the vegtables while the tofu is in the oven.
4. Cut the broccoli into smaller pieces and cook for 4-5 minutes so that it’s still a bit crunchy. Peel the pomegranate and the avocado.
5. When everything’s ready, arrange the greens, vegetables, rice and tofu to plates. Serve with sprouts and the pumpkin seed sauce.
Tasty Pumpkin Seed Sauce
slightly adapted from My New Roots
notes: the recipe makes quite a lot of sauce but it will go really nicely with salads or just vegetable sticks, so there won’t be too much of it really.
1 cup / 240 ml pumpkin seeds
1 cup / 240 ml water
2 garlic cloves
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1. Toast the pumpkin seeds on a dry pan over medium heat until they start to pop. Se aside from the heat and let the seeds cool for a moment. Chop the garlic into smaller pieces. Squeeze the lemon juice.
2. Place pumpkin seeds and garlic to a high speed blender or a food processor and blend on high until for a moment. Add about half of the water, olive oil, lemon juice, honey and apple cider vinegar. Blend on high until you get a nicely smooth texture. Add the nutritional yeast, salt and pepepr and the rest of the water and blend for a short moment. Taste and allow to cool in the fridge. The sauce can be stored in an airtight glass container in the fridge.