Do you ever want a big, filling comforting bowl, but you want it to feel like something special and not just another grain bowl? Like: savory, fluffy, mashed potatoes and perfectly seasoned tofu, the kind you would have on Thanksgiving if tofu were a Thanksgiving kind of thing.
Well, this weeknight vegan comfort bowl is the perfect way to satisfy that craving for healthy comfort food without spending forever in the kitchen.
The execution of this vegan comfort bowl is all about (you guessed it)…timing! This bowl is easily doubled (or tripled?!), which yields a week of dinners for the comfort cravin’ herbivore.
So, what’s goin on in that bowl?
- Smashed cauliflower and chickpeas
- Savory breaded tofu
- Agave roasted carrots
- Garlic steamed spinach
- Maple tahini sauce
Mashed potatoes are like, my favorite thing. Correction: potatoes are my favorite thing. But I’ll admit it: sometimes I don’t want mashed potatoes (gasp!). That’s where smashed cauliflower and chickpeas come in: deliciously creamy and smooth, just like the mashed potatoes you know and love. Frozen cauliflower is a wonderful thing: pick it up in the freezer aisle, throw it in the microwave (or heat on the stove) and voila- minimal effort for maximum yum! Frozen veggies are not only great for quick meals, they’re also frozen at the peak of their ripeness, which allows for optimum nutrients. A bang for your buck and your body!
Tofu, oh tofu. So versatile, so delicious, and so easy to prepare- and so satisfying when made into savory breaded tofu. Prep your tofu by pressing for at least 15 minutes, using either a fancy tofu press or by wrapping it in a towel and using the plate/weight method. While the tofu is being pressed, prepare the marinade. Slice into six equal strips and let sit in the marinade for 15 minutes, flipping halfway through. When done marinading, pat the tofu in a bowl with bread crumbs. Cook on lightly oiled pan, about two minutes on each side.
Greens are an integral part of any well balanced bowl- especially garlic spinach. Collard greens would work beautifully well here, especially if you want to add a Southern twist (which obviously I always do!). Saute up some spinach, or greens of choice, with 1-2 tablespoons vegetable broth (no oil needed here!) and a clove of minced garlic, cooking for 2-3 minutes, or until bright greened and softened.
Crunchy agave roasted carrots are the best! Adding a little sweetener to an already naturally sweet carrot just emphasizes the flavors. Toss the carrots in the olive oil and agave and sprinkle with a bit of coarse sea salt, then bake in the bottom rack of the oven at 375 for just 15 minutes. A short cooking time yields a beautifully roasted, and slightly blackened carrot with a lot of crunch.
Top off the bowl with a sweet and savory maple tahini dressing, easily prepared with a spoon and a bowl or in a food processor.
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and enjoy your cozy peach vegan comfort bowl.
A well balanced bowl perfect for the comfort craving herbivore. Loaded with veggies and packed with protein, this bowl can be made in about an hour.
- 2 packages (14 oz) extra firm tofu
- 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- vegetable oil, for sauteeing
- 3 cups cauliflower, steamed (~1 large head of cauliflower)
- 1 cup chickpeas, cooked
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons vegetable broth, as needed (see instructions)
- 6 large carrots
- 2 teaspoons agave syrup
- 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 bunch spinach, stems removed (equivalent to 6-8 cups of uncooked spinach)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- dash of coarse sea salt
Preheat the oven to 375. Press tofu for 15 minutes (don't skip this step - it presses the extra water out and yields a chewier tofu).
Prepare the marinade by combining all ingreidents; marinate tofu for 15 minutes.
Prepare a bowl with breadcrumbs. Bread tofu by dipping each side into the bowl of bread crumbs.
Heat oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Cook the tofu until lightly browned, about two minutes each side.
Combine chickpeas, steamed cauliflower, and seasonings in a food processor. Puree until smooth, adding 1 tablespoon of vegetable broth as needed to help break down the mixture. If the mixture is not warm enough, heat it up in a microwave safe bowl.
Preheat oven to 375. Trim the ends off the carrots and cut in two three equal sized sections. Cut each section lengthwise. This yields six pieces. Repeat for all carrots.
Lay carrots out on a medium sheet pan. Using your hands, coat evenly with oil and agave. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
Roast on lower rack for 15 minutes, or until tops of carrots start to darken.
Add spinach, garlic, and vegetable broth to a pan over medium high heat. Cook until leaves are wilted and bright green, stirring as needed for even steaming.
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender, mixing until a smooth sauce is formed.