Lunch Starts at Dinner The Previous Day!
One of the easiest and most nutritious mid-day meals is the kind that started as dinner the night before.
Whether you find yourself with gobs of leftovers or you intentionally make extras for tomorrow’s lunch, learning to creatively turn leftover food into new meals is a game-changer.
Leftover proteins and complex carbs such as beans, tofu, salmon, or quinoa are easy to turn into tasty new bites. Just add to a bed of greens and avocado for a powerhouse lunch.
For me, a plant-powered bowl includes a base of arugula, spinach, and kale, with sweet potatoes, black beans, avocado, and tahini sauce on top.
If you’re already spending time in the kitchen, you might as well chop some extra veggies to save yourself time on the next meal.
Excite your tastebuds with today’s NEW recipe… Kale and Sweet Potato bowl with plant-based protein and tahini dressing.
Kale and Sweet Potato Plant-Powered Bowl
1/2 cup Coco Aminos
1 14-ounce package extra firm tofu
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
3 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 tbsp arrowroot powder
2 tbsp water
5 cloves garlic
1 tbsp neutral oil (olive, avocado etc.)
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 medium lemon (juiced)
2-4 Tbsp hot water (to thin)
1 head kale, chopped (about 4 cups, loosely packed)
1 cup (about 1 small) cooked, cubed (about 1-inch), peeled, sweet potatoes, cooled
1 small red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1/2 avocado, sliced
BAKED TOFU INSTRUCTIONS
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- Drain the excess liquid from the tofu and dry it off with a towel*.
- Cut into 1 inch cubes and add to a large bowl.
- Toss with the cornstarch or arrowroot powder until all pieces are evenly coated.
- Add to the baking tray and bake for 35 minutes.
- During the final 10 minutes, prep the sauce.
- Mince the garlic and saute with 1 tbsp neutral oil in a small saute pan for 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Add in the soy sauce, honey or maple syrup, and sesame oil.
- Whisk together the cornstarch and water in a bowl and add to the pan.
- Heat over low heat for 3-5 minutes or until the sauce bubbles and thickens.
- When the tofu is done, toss the tofu with the sauce. Serve over Quinoa
Tips, Tricks And Notes
- The tofu requires some sort of thickening agent. I generally recommend corn starch, arrowroot starch or tapioca starch since these help thicken the quickest, but any flour will also work.
- Tofu is basically a sponge that sits in water and absorbs all of it. Pressing out the excess water does help make it more crispy and ensures it cooks evenly through the center.
- Once prepared, this sesame tofu recipe with veggies will keep in the fridge for 3 days. They are best served fresh, but you can pop everything back in the oven at 200 for 10 minutes to crisp it back up. The microwave also works, but tends to make things a bit soft/soggy.
- Be sure to use toasted sesame oil for this recipe. Regular sesame oil does not have the same flavor and won’t yield a great result
To make Tahini Dressing:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and arrange sweet potatoes and onions on a bare baking sheet. Drizzle both with a bit of oil, making sure the flesh of the sweet potatoes are well coated and placed skin side down on the sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven flip sweet potatoes and add broccoli. Drizzle broccoli with a bit of oil and season with a pinch each salt and pepper.
- Bake for another 8-10 minutes, then remove from oven and add kale. Drizzle kale with a touch more oil and season with a pinch each salt and pepper. Bake for another 4-5 minutes then set aside.
- While vegetables are roasting, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add chickpeas to a mixing bowl and toss with seasonings.
- Once hot, add 1 Tbsp oil (amount as original recipe is written // use half of total amount if altering batch size) and chickpeas and sauté, stirring frequently. If they’re browning too quickly, turn down heat. If there isn’t much browning going on, increase heat. I found 10 minutes total at slightly over medium heat was perfect.
- Once the chickpeas are browned and fragrant, remove from heat and set aside.
- Prepare sauce by adding tahini and lemon juice to a mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Add hot water until a pourable sauce is formed. Set aside.
- To serve: Slice sweet potatoes into bite size pieces. Divide vegetables between 3 serving bowls and top with chickpeas + tahini sauce.
Delicious when fresh, though leftovers will keep for a few days in the fridge.
To make Salad:
- Chop kale into small pieces and place in a large salad bowl.
- Dress kale with tahini dressing, massaging it into the leaves until well distributed. (If making two individual salads, divide dressed kale between two large individual bowls.)
- Arrange baked tofu, sweet potatoes, peas, and bell pepper on top of salad. Sprinkle with hemp seeds. (If making two individual salads, divide ingredients between two individual bowls)
- Serve immediately.