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19 August 2016

BBQ Tofu Protein Bowl


I've really been trying to live in the moment lately, which is why I've been a bit quiet on the blogging front. I've definitely been a bit more spontaneous, and apart from work, haven't had every moment mapped out, so when I have free time I've been spending time with my friends and having fun, in my last summer before I graduate. The other day we went to the New Forest for a BBQ, which was decided about an hour or so before we went, and it's so nice sometimes just to see where the moment takes you, rather than having everything mapped out, to fit life in around a busy schedule. So, I'm enjoying the somewhat freedom whilst I can and making the most of this summer. 


Bulgur wheat, garlic, herbs, broccoli, kale, mushrooms, tofu, BBQ sauce, sunflower seeds and nutritional yeast combine in this next dish for a wonderful BBQ  tofu protein bowl. My recipe  for this dish featured as one of the daily specials at Mad Cucumber and it sold out in under 2 hours! I've since scaled back the recipe and made a few minor adjustments, to make sure that it's extra delicious. 


Here's the bowl at Mad Cucumber:




There's always someone questioning where vegans get there protein, and as a nation we actually consume too much, however sometimes you need a little boost and if you're exercising then extra is needed for muscle repair. The recommended amount of protein for the average person is 0.8g/kg body weight. Alhough this is a protein bowl, with the ingredients from the grains to the dressing containing some protein, it's also high in other essential macro and micro nutrients. Calcium, iron and B12 are other disputed nutrients among vegan diets and you'll be pleased to note that this recipe is also rich in those too, thanks to the nutrient dense ingredients like the bulgur wheat, kale, broccoli, sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast and tofu. So, if you want to use that term, yes, this is a 'super-food' bowl!


BBQ tofu was the first way I cooked tofu that I actually enjoyed it, I baked it in the oven and it went chewy and sticky and it was simply perfect. I thought it would make a great addition to this bowl in terms of nutrition but also taste and texture too. The sunflower seed dressing contributes unsaturated  (good) fat, allowing the body to absorb vitamins A, E and K in this dish, whilst also containing iron, protein, calcium and many other vitamins and minerals essential for good health. Using sunflower seeds as an alternative to my usual cashew nuts makes it not only a cheaper option, but is great for people who can't eat nuts/don't like them. When blended with garlic, salt, nutritional yeast and combined with herbs, this dressing is the perfect addition to this super charged nutrient bowl!



BBQ Tofu Protein Bowl | Serves: 4 | Time: 30 mins

You'll need

  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Measuring cups
  • Food processor/blender
  • Sieve/fine colander
  • Large frying pan
  • Non-stick frying pan
  • Large saucepan
  • Wooden Spoon/spatula

Ingredients


Bulgur Wheat:
  • 1 1/3 cups dried bulgur wheat
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms
  • 150g kale
  • juice 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • Large handful fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
BBQ Tofu:
  • 1 block firm tofu
  • 1/3 cup BBQ Sauce
Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Juice 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (B12 variety)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp dried chives
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley

Method

  1. Bring a medium sized sauce pan of lightly salted water to the boil, then chop the broccoli into small florets, slice the stem into small pieces and add to the pan, along with the bulgur wheat. Boil for around 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow to sit for a few minutes, drain and put to one side.
  2. Dice the onion and fry in a large saucepan, then crush the garlic and also add to the pan. Slice the mushrooms, add to the pan and cook until most of the water has evaporated, then squeeze in the lemon juice, add the kale and allow to wilt. Season with salt, pepper, oregano, and fresh parsley, then add in the bulgur wheat and broccoli, stir to combine.
  3. Meanwhile, drain the tofu and cut into small cubes. Then fry in a small amount of oil until slightly golden, then reduce the heat, cover with BBQ sauce and simmer until the sauce has fully reduced, so the tofu is fully coated and quite sticky.
  4. To make the dressing, blend the sunflower seeds with the juice of half a lemon, garlic, water, nutritional yeast and a pinch of salt. Then stir in the chives and parsley.
  5. Divide the bulgur wheat into 4 bowls, then top each with 1/4 of the dressing & tofu and enjoy!
Cassidy xx


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