Thursday, July 19, 2012

Citrus-marinated tofu in cauliflower rice bowl

Cauliflower rice bowl with grilled tofu, veggies and black beans
I have always been a fan of Mexican-style rice bowls. In my pre-candida past, my standing order at a Baja-style taco place used to be their rice bowl. Of course, it had white rice, few veggies, loads of meat and a delicious Baja-style sauce that I tried unsuccessfully to duplicate at home. 

Check out my healthier version. It's made with roasted cauliflower cilantro rice, grilled vegetables, citrus-marinated tofu, black beans and chunky quacamole. The cauliflower cilantro rice was so flavorful I didn't even miss the real thing. And the chunky guacamole is way healthier and tastier than that mysterious Baja sauce I used to love eating.

"Mom, what's all the commotion about?"
I mean even Bailey came out of his hiding place to see why I was dancing for joy over my Cauliflower Rice Bowl. It does take a little prep work but it's well worth the time and effort.

Ingredients for Citrus-Marinade:
  • 1 fresh tomatillo
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 Anaheim chile, seeded
  • Optional: garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup veggie broth
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

Use half this marinade to marinate 1 block extra-firm tofu, sliced lengthwise into four rectangles. Marinate tofu overnight if possible or try for a minimum of four hours. Use the other half to marinate veggies, including zucchini, red peppers and red onions. I sliced and grilled two zucchinis, 1 large red pepper and 1 large red onion. But feel free to use other veggies or more veggies if desired or if you have a large grill. Marinate the veggies for 2-4 hours.

Ingredients for Roasted Cauliflower Rice:
  1. 1 large head cauliflower, cut into small pieces
  2. 1/2 red onion, diced
  3. 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  4. Optional: garlic cloves
  5. 1-2 T. olive oil
  6. Salt and pepper
  7. Pan spray
  8. Juice of one lime
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large cookie sheet with pan spray. Toss cauliflower pieces with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Spread cauliflower and optional garlic gloves on baking sheet. Place red onion on the baking sheet but keep it separate from the cauliflower. Roast until tender and slightly blackened, about 30 minutes. Note: if you have a large barbecue, the cauliflower can be grilled.

Allow all the rice ingredients to cool, at least to room temperature. Place only the cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower resembles chunky rice. Complete the "rice" by tossing cauliflower with roasted red onion pieces, fresh cilantro and squeeze of lime juice.

Set the "rice" aside while you get the veggies and tofu on the grill, and prepare the chunky guacamole.

Ingredients for Chunky Guacamole:

  1. 2 large avocadoes, seeded
  2. large handful of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  3. fresh lime juice
  4. salt and pepper
In a medium bowl, mash the avocado. Add in the other ingredients, mix and chill until all rice bowl ingredients are ready.

Preparing a rice bowl:

  1. Drain and rinse one can of black beans.
  2. Get the veggies and tofu off the grill.
  3. Slice tofu into pieces.
  4. Optional ingredients to have: vegan cheddar cheese, toasted pumpkin seeds, fresh salsa, sunbutter dressing
  5. Use a plate or large bowl and build your rice bowl. Start with cauliflower rice on the bottom and pile on roasted veggies, tofu, black beans. Finish with chunky guac, sunbutter dressing and vegan cheese.

Yes, it was even delicious the second day when I used the leftovers to make another "rice" bowl.

A testimonial from Nika, my always hungry malamute: "I'd eat a cauliflower rice bowl and I'm not even a vegan."

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