Crispy Tofu Bowl with Cauliflower Rice is a delicious and easy vegetarian tofu dinner bowl ready and on the table in under 30 minutes. Drizzle with a creamy and flavorful peanut butter sauce and serve with a side of roasted broccolini for a dinner the whole family will love.
Tofu is versatile, healthy, and, lucky for us, available virtually everywhere. This Crispy Tofu Recipe is perfect for anyone who already loves tofu, the occasional vegetarian looking to try tofu, or the busy parent trying to introduce their kids to new foods.
INGREDIENTS IN THIS EASY TOFU BOWL
This awesome tofu dinner is made up of two parts- the peanut sauce annnnnnd everything else.
- Soy sauce
- Peanut butter
- Brown sugar
- Rice Vinegar
- Green onion
- Sesame seeds
- Firm tofu
- Olive oil
If you have a peanut allergy, all is not lost. You can still make the delicious peanut sauce, sans peanuts. Simply substitute peanut butter for your favorite nut butter alternative.
WHAT IS TOFU AND HOW IS TOFU MADE?
Tofu is derived from soybeans.
The production of tofu follows these steps-
- Produce soymilk (which comes from soybeans).
- Coagulate the soymilk to form curds.
- Press the soymilk curds into blocks, or cakes. Also known as tofu.
As a whole, the steps in making tofu are cleaning, soaking, grinding beans in water, filtering, boiling, coagulation, and pressing.
There are many different types of tofu available for purchase from extra soft to extra firm, silken, fermented, stinky tofu, and pickled.
IS TOFU HEALTHY?
I had no idea how hot a topic this question was until I asked Google. The results and difference in opinion were actually quite shocking. The more I read, the more I understood why it is impossible to give a simple “yes” or “no” to this question.
With that said, these are the health benefits of eating tofu-
- Contains all eight essential amino acids.
- Excellent source of protein.
- Filled with iron, calcium, and the minerals manganese, selenium and phosphorous.
- High in Magnesium and Vitamin B1.
- Lowers bad cholesterol, but does not necessarily increase good cholesterol.
So what’s the great debate about?
Some say that tofu may help combat breast cancer while others say the exact opposite.
Given that tofu is made from soybeans, tofu contains isoflavones, which is a chemical that has a similar structure to that of the female hormone estrogen. Acting almost like the doppelganger to estrogen, this isoflavone mimics the action of estrogen, binding to receptor sites in human cells including breast cells. There are receptor sites which promote breast cancer and there are receptor sites which do not. However, “…even though soy isoflavones bind to both estrogen receptors, they preferentially bind to the good estrogen receptor” (source).
My takeaway? As with all things in life, moderation is everything. But, if you’re avoiding dairy and animal products, it’s best to eat the most minimally processed soy products possible. Products such as soy milk, tofu, tempeh, etc. Products with soy additives like “meatless meat patties” or energy bars, may need to be limited.
In other words, highly processed food.
WHY I LOVE THIS CRISPY TOFU BOWL RECIPE
- It is packed full of awesome plant power. Although the crispy tofu is the main star, the rest of the dish is overflowing with vegetables packed full of vitamins and minerals.
- This is an easy tofu dinner that takes just 30 minutes to prepare.
- The sauce. It’s made with peanut butter and soy sauce and some other stuff. You’ll be licking the spoon it’s THAT good.
- Versatility. As with most tofu dinner bowls, there is no rule that says you have to cut them into triangles. Feel free to cook your tofu however you prefer or mix and match with your favorite vegetables.
- You can always add chicken or shrimp instead. Afterall, peanut sauce tastes good with everything.
CHECK OUT THESE OTHER VEGETARIAN DINNER IDEAS
- Easy Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes with Tahini Sauce
- Easy Grilled Veggie Skewers
- How to Make Refried Black Beans
- Turmeric Broth Soup with Wild Rice and Vegetables
- Fast and Easy Cilantro Lime Rice
- Ramen Glow Bowl with Miso Tahini Dressing
- Kimchi Ramen Noodle Soup
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Crispy Tofu Bowl with Cauliflower Rice
For the peanut sauce
For the Tofu Bowl
- 1 pound broccolini
- 1/4 cup olive oil - divided
- 2 packages firm tofu - drained
- 1 large cauliflower - riced
- 1 tbsp butter
- salt + pepper
- sesame seeds - to garnish
- chopped green onion - for serving
For the peanut sauce
- Add the soy sauce to a small sauce pot over medium heat. Whisk in the peanut butter with the soy sauce until fully blended. Add the brown sugar, garlic, rice vinegar, ground ginger, crushed red pepper, and green onion to the pot and mix well to combine. If the sauce seems too thick, slowly whisk in water until desired consistency is reached. Allow sauce to simmer for 1-2 minutes then remove from heat and stir in the sesame seeds.
For the tofu bowls
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place broccolini on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Gently toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer baking sheet to the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes.
- Slice tofu crosswise in half into approximately 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Cut each piece diagonally into 2 large triangles and once more into smaller triangles. Drain the tofu on top of several pieces of paper towels for approximately 10 minutes.
- As the tofu is draining, prepare the cauliflower rice. In a large food processor, pulse the cauliflower into small rice-like pieces. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and the cauliflower rice and sauté for approximately 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add approximately 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and brown the tofu for approximately 4 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and repeat with any remaining tofu.
- Prepare the tofu bowls by dividing cauliflower rice, roasted broccolini, and tofu triangles. Drizzle with the desired amount of creamy peanut sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped green onion, if desired. Enjoy!