Bahn Mi Bowl

This bowl contains every ingredient ingredients for a happy Monday, wine on the side.

 I mean, this bowl is fully loaded with all of the goodies, and it’s so beyond colorful. I LOVE it! I love color in the dead of colorless winter.  Oddly, I also love winter white, but not when it comes to my food.

Ok wait, I take that back, give me white cheese + carbs and I’d be pretty happy.

And I mean it isn’t exactly winter (aka APRIL) but we had snow this weekend so I am going to go off of that logic. How crazy is that? I mean, don’t get me wrong I love a good snow, but everything in its own time people. Because snow in April does not seem very logical, does it? Ugh, totally over snow, but that’s just my life. I better suck it up, cause it’s going to snow through May…and possibly a little into June, but man I really hope that will so not be the case.

Another reason I may be SUPER into the spring-like eats a bit earlier this year is probably due to Easter coming so dang prematurely. I know I’ve said this already (like four times), but man this whole Easter in March thing is totally throwing me off. And passover in late April: fugetboutit

​So anyway, this bowl. Let’s talk about this bowl!

Somewhere in the last two weeks my cravings have switched to all things SPRING. I know, surprise right?! For some odd reason I have been craving really bright, fresh and healthy foods. I say this is odd because as I write this while it is actually snowing out (so you can guess I wrote this Saturday) Thinking I should be craving stews and chilis, I am actually reaching for fresh bowls and salads. It is my ultimate comfort food: a ton of veggies and a ton of chocolate

So I have a quite a thing for Vietnamese food, first and foremost. I love it all. When I lived in NYC, I scoped out the best Vietnamese food I could find (hint: it is at Saigon Shack in Greenwich Village). Now, for the most part, it has taken me a long time to figure out the right flavors of Vietnamese food. However, this bowl, usually made of things I have lying around, so it can get into my face faster (which is the point of all food tbh). Carrots, cucumbers, kale, radishes are all tossed on a bed of rice and topped with this tofu that seriously tastes like CRACK. It is so good! Finally, I kick up the spice with a Sriracha tahini sauce. Because I like the heat. I can handle the heat. The bowl is totally vegan as is, but feel free to add whatever protein you feel like (or a scoop of ice cream… you know if you’re into that.)

Bahn Mi Bowl

stuff

“Special” Spicy Sauce
​1 tablespoon tahini (or mayonnaise, if you prefer)
1 teaspoon Sriracha (or more or less, depending on how spicy you like it!)
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
water, as needed to thin

Spicy Tamari Tempeh
One 14-ounce block of tempeh, sliced into rectangles
2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon Sriracha or other hot sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon coconut oil

Bowl
1 cup cooked white or brown rice (or other grain)
1 cup chopped kale
1/2 cup thinly sliced cucumber
1/4 cup thinly sliced radish
shredded carrots
other roasted veggies
fresh, chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
chopped green onions for garnish (optional)
jalapeno slices for garnish (optional)
sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

meanderings​

Combine the tamari, lemon juice, maple syrup, sriracha, chili powder  and garlic powder in a 8×8-inch baking dish. Add the 4 pressed tofu rectangles and place them in the marinade. Flip them to make sure they are fully covered. Let them marinate for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping them once halfway through. While the tofu is marinating, you can prepare your veggies for the bowl (see instruction below under “bowl assembly.”

After the tofu has finished marinating, heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Add the tofu rectangles and let them cook for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until each side has a crisp, golden exterior. Drizzle half of the leftover marinade to the pan and let the tofu cook in the sauce for 1 minute or until the liquid has been absorbed. Flip the tofu and repeat with the remaining marinade. Once the liquid has been absorbed, remove the pan from the heat. Set the tofu aside

While the tofu is marinating, wisk together the ingredients for the sauce, adding more water as needed to thin it out. Set aside

To assemble the bowls:  While the tofu is marinating, you can chop your veggies (cucumber, radish, kale, carrot) for the bowl. Place the chopped kale in a large bowl. Season with salt and massage the kale for at least 3 minutes or until the kale is tender.

Mix the warmed rice with the kale. Add carrot, cucumber, and radish slices.Top with two tempeh steaks per bowl. Garnish with ingredients of choice (fresh cilantro, chopped green onion, sliced jalapeño, sesame seeds). Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Now I would never say no to this.