Once again, I only realized this was vegan when I was about half-way through enjoying this bowl of total yumminess. It’s a tofu rice bowl with sesame-peanut sauce, over brown rice mixed with shredded carrot. It’s like a little piece of Juice For Life imported from Toronto.
The great thing about this recipe was that it is CHEAP! I threw it together from what was in my cupboards because I didn’t want to go to the grocery store at 4:30 pm last night. I wasn’t really that sure about it . . . and neither was my partner. But even he (tofu and brown-rice hater though he is) said “It was better than I thought it would be.” Hm, thanks. “No, I mean, it was good.” High praise for a rice bowl coming from him!
Total cost? I’d say maybe 4 or 5 dollars for the whole thing, which fed the two of us heartily, our toddler, and there’s a generous portion left over for tomorrow, as well as about 1/2 cup of sauce I can use for something else. The nice thing about marinating tofu is that you don’t have to throw it out afterwards!
Oh, and though this recipe looks long, it is very very simple to prepare. Don’t let the length deter you!
Sesame-Peanut Tofu Rice Bowl
5 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
5 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
2 tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 tsp garlic teriyaki sauce or 2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 cup hot water
Put everything but the hot water into the blender and blend until smooth, gradually increasing the speed. Then, with motor running, slowly pour in the hot water. You could also substitute coconut milk for the water. I often use the whole can, which makes a very rich but yummy sauce for noodles or stir fry.
Slice 1 package of regular tofu into 1/2 inch thick slices. Put tofu slices in 1 layer in a rectangle pan and pour sauce over. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, more if there is time.
1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
1 cup shredded carrot
Rinse the rice, then add the 2 cups water. Bring to boil then simmer for 45 minutes. Fluff, then let sit for 5-10 minutes (I used this time to grate the carrot). Shred or grate the carrot. Add to rice & mix well.
5-6 inches of cucumber, peeled if not organic
2 scallions, sliced very thin
toasted sesame seeds
Slice the cucumber into 2 1/2 to 3 inch long pieces, then cut in half lengthwise. Place the half-rounds on the cutting board and slice lengthwise into several thin flat pieces. Place one half-round piece worth of cucumber slices in each bowl, then fill with rice. Spoon about 1/3 cup sauce over rice (I didn’t actually measure this), then place 2 slices of tofu on top of rice. Sprinkle with scallions then sprinkle with sesame seeds.