Tofu buddha bowl

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Are you looking for a healthy vegetarian meal idea that is packed with flavor? Check out this recipe for tofu buddha bowls. These tofu buddha bowls are topped with crispy lemon sesame tofu, creamy mashed avocado, hearty roasted vegetables, and hummus. 

These tofu buddha bowls are loaded with fresh fruits, vegetables, and legumes so they are as healthy as they are delicious. They also contain multiple protein sources so they are a great option for vegans or vegetarians that are looking to add more protein to their diet. These healthy tofu buddha bowls are gluten free, vegetarian, egg free, vegan, and dairy free. 

Vegan tofu buddha bowl with crispy fried tofu, hummus, grilled vegetables, and avocado.

What is in this tofu buddha bowl?

  • Brown rice. Brown rice forms the base of this tofu buddha bowl. We use brown rice because it has a higher protein and fiber content than white rice. We use this rice cooker to make sure our rice turns out light and fluffy every time. The warm setting is prefect for keeping the rice warm while you finish preparing the rest of the ingredients for the buddha bowl.
  • Crispy lemon sesame tofu. The crispy lemon sesame tofu is the star of the show in this buddha bowl – it is just so flavorful! The tofu is fried until it is nice and crispy then coated in a sauce made with lemon, toasted sesame oil, brown sugar, soy sauce, and mustard.
  • Roasted vegetables. A healthy serving of roasted veggies is added to this tofu buddha bowl. Zucchini, red onions, and red bell peppers are tossed in olive oil, salt, and pepper then roasted in the oven until they are nice and tender.
  • Hummus. The hummus adds a nice, creamy texture and a little bit of extra protein to the bowl. The hummus stopped with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil to bring a little extra flavor to the dish.
  • Mashed avocado. Just like the hummus, the avocado contributes a nice, creamy texture to the tofu buddha bowl. No grain bowl is complete without a little bit of avocado!

Grilled vegetables for a vegan tofu buddha bowl.

Is this tofu buddha bowl healthy?

Is this tofu buddha bowl healthy? Yes, this tofu buddha bowl is healthy. This tofu buddha bowl contains multiple servings of fresh fruits and vegetables so it is packed with nutrients. This bowl contains avocado, onion, bell pepper, zucchini, and lemon to name just a few of the healthy, nutrient dense ingredients. 

This tofu bowl also has multiple protein sources, which makes it great for vegetarians who are looking to add a little extra protein to their diet. The tofu, hummus, and brown rice all contribute protein to the dish.  
Cubed tofu covered in cornstarch for a vegan tofu buddha bowl.

How to make crispy tofu

How do you make tofu that is extra crispy? Here are some of our best tips for making tofu extra crispy. 

  • Use extra firm tofu. If you want to make tofu that is crispy you need to start out with the right kind of tofu. Tofu comes in multiple textures including soft, medium, firm, and extra firm. When you are making crispy tofu you should use extra firm tofu. 
  • Cut the tofu before draining it. Before you cook tofu you should press the excess water out of it. If the tofu is still in a large, thick block then it will be difficult to remove excess water from the center of the block. You should cut the tofu into smaller pieces before pressing it so that you can get the excess water out of the tofu.
  • Press the tofu. Before you cook the tofu you need to press the water out of the tofu. Wrap each piece of tofu in a thick stack of paper towels then put a heavy object on top of the tofu. This heavy object will compress the tofu and press excess water out of the tofu.  
  • Coat the tofu in cornstarch before cooking. You should coat your tofu in a layer of cornstarch before cooking it. Coating the tofu in cornstarch will dry out the surface of the tofu so that it crisps up faster. 
  • Space the tofu out while cooking it. When you are cooking the tofu you should make sure that there is some space between the pieces of tofu. The tofu releases steam as you cook it and if the pieces of tofu are too close together they will steam each other as they cook.
  • Do not flip your tofu too often. Make sure you do not flip your tofu too frequently. When you are making crispy tofu you need to let your tofu thoroughly cook through on each side before you flip it.  
  • Don’t add sauce until the end. It is difficult to get tofu to crisp up when it is covered in sauce. There is just too much excess liquid. You should get your tofu nice and crispy before you add any sauce to the dish. 

Vegan tofu buddha bowl with crispy fried tofu, hummus, grilled vegetables, and avocado.

How to store tofu buddha bowls

How do you store these tofu buddha bowls? We recommend storing all of the components for these tofu buddha bowls in airtight bags or food storage containers in the refrigerator. The ingredients will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. For best results, you should store the ingredients that do not need to be reheated such as the avocado and the hummus separately from the ingredients that do need to be reheated. 

How to reheat tofu buddha bowls

Most of the components for these tofu buddha bowls reheat well in the microwave, so we recommend reheating these tofu buddha bowls in the microwave on full power for 45 – 75 seconds. Specifically the rice, roasted veggies, and tofu will need to be reheated. 

If you want your reheated tofu to be extra crispy, you can also fry it over medium heat in a neutral oil to reheat it. If you fry the tofu, it should only take a few minutes to heat up.

Tofu buddha bowl

These delicious tofu buddha bowls are gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, egg free, and nut free.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Diet: Diabetic, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: dairy free, egg free, gluten free, nut free, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 small avocados (or one large)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup hummus
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 stalks green onion

Crispy lemon sesame tofu

  • 14 oz tofu (one standard sized package)
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp gluten free soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (for frying)

Roasted veggies

  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  • Press the tofu to drain any excess water. Cut the tofu in half along the shortest side so that you have two thin blocks then wrap both of the blocks of tofu in paper towels. Put a heavy object such as a bag of sugar on top of the tofu to press the water out of the tofu.
    Press the tofu while you prepare the other ingredients. By the time you have put the roasted veggies and rice on to cook the tofu should be ready to use.
  • Boil a pot of rice according to the instructions on the package. The exact amount of water you need and the cook time will vary depending on the type of rice you use.
    Proceed to the next step and start cooking the roasted veggies while the rice cooks.

Roasted veggies

  • Chop the onions and bell peppers into long, thin strips. Slice the zucchini. Toss the bell peppers, onions, and zucchini in salt, pepper, and olive oil.
  • Roast veggies for 20 - 25 minutes at 450 degrees.

Crispy lemon sesame tofu

  • Chop the tofu into small cubes and coat the tofu with cornstarch.
  • Cook the tofu in vegetable oil over medium high heat for 3 - 5 minutes per side until each side of the tofu has browned and formed a thin crispy crust.
  • Mix all of the ingredients for the lemon sesame sauce together and coat the tofu in the sauce. Dump any remaining vegetable oil out of the pan into a small bowl then cook the tofu in the sauce for 3 - 5 minutes.

Assemble the tofu buddha bowls

  • Slice the green onions, mash the avocado, then combine all of the ingredients over a bed of rice. Drizzle a little bit of toasted sesame oil over the hummus and squeeze a little lemon juice over the bowl before you serve it.

Substitutions for tofu buddha bowls

  • Gluten free tamari. If you do not have a gluten intolerance the you can use regular soy sauce rather than gluten free soy sauce.
  • Brown sugar. We use brown sugar in the lemon sesame sauce for the tofu so that the recipe will be vegan friendly. If you are not a vegan or if you are a vegan who is okay with eating honey then you should try substituting the brown sugar for honey.
  • Cornstarch. If you do not have any cornstarch you can also use a little bit of flour to coat your tofu. You are best off using a fluffy, starchy flour such as tapioca flour. 

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