Holy cow. Sometimes, something is so hyped up that once you actually eat it, it doesn't seem that great. THIS WAS NOT THE CASE. Buddha Bowls are all the rage. Everything in a bowl really, Poke Bowls, Banh Mi, Noodle Bowls, Rice Bowls, Quinoa Bowls.. stick it in a bowl and bam, its cool - and it's dinner. This was worth the hype. The wild thing about Buddha Bowls (also called Hippie Bowls, Glory Bowls..) is that is can be so many things. Typically, a Buddha Bowl is comprised of various greens, raw or roasted veggies, a good protein, and a healthy grain. They are super filling, and this one -- was extremely tasty as well.
When I first met my husband, I appreciated spicy things, but I did not really have a high tolerance for them. I think the turning point for me, was Nandos (oh glory Nandos, who is going to be THE one to bring Kosher Nandos to America?). Slowly, I began to enjoy heat in my food, tolerating some types over others, until eventually I actually enjoy adding some heat to enhance a flavor profile. This particular recipe is a little hot -- I won't lie. I made it work by only drizzling the peanut sauce on top of the bowl, and then adding a little raw soy sauce as well to balance it off once I dug in. But the flavor of the sauce was too good to compromise trying to dilute the heat. So, those of you who like I used to be, can not take the heat ;) Use LESS sriracha, and use a very gentle hand when drizzling the sauce.
This recipe was my first attempt at a Buddha Bowl, but as I said they can really be so many different things. So, if you dare, chop and change this to your liking. Add veggies (fresh crisp radish?, bean sprouts?), remove some, add some different greens (kale?) - change up the protein (roasted chikpeas?) change up the sauce, have fun! And let me know how yours comes out.
CRISPY TOFU PEANUT BUDDHA BOWL
1 block firm tofu, well-drained and patted dry
8oz rice noodles, cooked
4 tbsp fresh herbs such as cilantro (or basil for cilantro haters)
4 baby bok choy, halved
5 medium carrots, ribboned
1 avocado, sliced
5 green onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp black and white sesame seeds, to garnish
peanuts, to garnish
2 heaping spoonfulls natural peanut butter
3 tbsp lime juice
1.5 tbsp sriracha
4 cloves garlic
1/8 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 tsp honey
add water to thin to a runny sauce consistency (as desired)
Drain the tofu of as much water as possible. I took a dish cloth, wrapped it, and then set it in the fridge in the morning with a heavy jar on top.
Mix together all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl. Set aside.
Cut the tofu into bite-sized cubes. I made mine quite small, as I wanted them to be nice and crispy.
Put the tofu cubes in a bowl and drizzle with peanut sauce. Toss lightly to coat, but e careful not to break them apart. Marinate for 30 mins.
Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Scatter the marinated tofu pieces out onto the parchment in a single layer, and bake on the top rack for 30 mins or until crispy and golden.
Meanwhile cook the rice noodles according to package directions.
Lightly steam the bok choy for 2-3 minutes or until bright green and chop all other ingredients as indicated above. (For the carrot, I simply use a peeler. Remove the outer layer, and peel into "ribbons").
When the noodles are ready, mix in the fresh herbs and divide it between 2 bowls. Followed with the steamed bok choy, carrots and sliced avocado.
Distribute the tofu between the two bowls and top with green onion, sesame seeds and crushed peanuts.
Drizzle additional peanut sauce on top and serve. Enjoy!