As much as I don't mean this as any type of a rain dance, I'm sat by my open window typing this, contending with the first breeze I've felt in weeks, still not quite believing it's supposed to rain for hours tonight, or the black clouds dotted all over the weather report. Without really meaning to, I started to plan this for dinner. Goodness bowls taste good all the time, of course, but this one is even more comforting when used to heat chillier kitchens and provide some source of comfort, as opposed to mimicking the effects of a sauna.
While I find it pretty hard to get excited about a stir fry, separate all the ingredients out and arrange them in a sweet way and suddenly I'm your gal. Such a sucker for aesthetics. So if your weekly homemade noodles + whatever you can get your hands on is in need of a reboot, I recommend going down a goodness bowl route. It's all very Pinterest, yes, but it's also a good way of using up the odd spring onion or small portions of leftovers that don't quite make a meal. Which I suppose is why it's a total vegan staple recipe in my flat, when my portion control is just... non-existent.
I originally put this recipe together for HelloGiggles, but I've kept the cup measurements as I think it's a good way of judging volume with something like this. You can replace pretty much everything here with your own tastes- but I'd say it's the spring onion, garlic, lime, ginger and soy sauce that bring it all together.
Chili and Sesame-Roasted Tofu Goodness Bowl
Makes enough for four portions
For the roasted tofu:
1 pack of organic, firm tofu
Vegetable oil for roasting
2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 cups dark greens such as kale, sprout tops or leaves or cavolo nero
1 chili, chopped
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 portions of vermicelli rice noodles
2cm of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large spring onion, chopped small
2 cups shredded red cabbage
4 carrots, peeled and cut into matchstick slices (aka as thin strips as you can without grating)
2 cups miso stock
Juice of one lime
Preheat the oven to 200°C. To prepare the tofu for roasting, start by pressing out any excess liquid from it by wrapping in a clean kitchen cloth or kitchen paper and stand a cook book or another heavy item on top. Make sure it’s stable and leave to soak for fifteen minutes or so while you prepare the roasting tray.
Grab a large oven-proof dish and drizzle over the vegetable oil so it is well covered. In a dry frying pan, toast the sesame seeds until they just start to darken, and add these to the roasting tray. Once the tofu has dried out a little, cut into bitesize chunks and also add to the tray. Mix in the tofu with the sesame seeds and some chili sauce, and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes. You’ll need to check on the tofu a few times and add a little more oil if needed, ensuring the pieces don’t stick to the tray/dish or burn.
While the tofu is roasting, prepare everything else to fill your bowl with. Add greens and sliced garlic and chili to a wok or frying pan with the soy sauce and cook on a high heat for about five minutes. Once cooked, set aside until you’re ready to plate everything up.
Chop up the carrots and boil for a few minutes until al dente (no-one needs soggy carrots here) and in a separate pan, boil the red cabbage until it’s just cooked through. When the tofu is nearly ready, prepare the miso stock and cook the vermicelli noodles for 2 minutes in boiling water.
Now you’re ready to plate up. Start with the drained noodles, then add in the greens, drained carrots and drained cabbage. Next pile on the roasted tofu chunks, adding in the sesame seeds for extra crunch and flavour. Top off with the chopped spring onion, ginger slices and half a cup of miso stock per bowl, and a final squeeze of lime juice.