• Emily Nicol

Green Buddha Bowl with Crispy Hoisin Tofu, Roasted Mushrooms and Red Mandarin Pickled Cucumbers



It's finally a new year and with the beginning of any year we try to be a little bit healthier. (Several of us only make it to February, but hey, its been a rough year!)

This bowl is just full of green healthy goodness, hoisin marinated tofu, pickled cucumbers and topped with a creamy ginger miso sauce. A great healthy meal for anytime during the week!

This recipe was actually inspired by a bowl that I had last week at a restaurant called Retreat. They are nestled right along the beautiful Greenlake path in Seattle. A great place to get coffee and healthy meals.

I hate to sound stuck up but a lot of the time when I order food at a restaurant I find myself thinking that "this could have been made better" or "I would alter this a bit." I am a food snob, I can admit it.

I ordered the buddha bowl and scarfed down the whole thing; no complaints.


I told Josh: I have to find a way to recreate this at home so I can have it again and again!


What was even better was my version of the bowl surpassed all my expectations. That is always a good feeling! Doesn't always happen so I savor the moment when it does.


I am a bit of a perfectionist so when I start to create a recipe I get it into my head that I HAVE to have every aspect planned out before I begin. It was one the reasons I constantly put off creating this blog. Fear of not having good enough ideas.


Through time I have learned that sometimes my best ideas come to me during cooking so I try to let go of the control and let the ideas just come to me. I think that is why a lot of people put off cooking as well.


"I could never think of that!" I hear that on a regular basis. But guess what?? Neither can I all the time, but if you start cooking the creative juices (usually) start flowing!


I wanted to make a quick pickled cucumber salad for this recipe but I wanted to change it up from what I usually make but wasn't immediately sure how! In my house I go straight for my essential oil wall and see what flavors I could mix together. I saw red mandarin essential oil and knew that was what I wanted to use. Conveniently I had a mandarin sitting in my fruit bowl thus was born my red mandarin pickle juice. So good!


But I sure as hell did not have that idea right away!!! Not at all.

The first time I tried to make tofu I tossed it with a sauce and put it in the oven to bake.

The tofu had no crisp and the sauce burned to the pan.


I didn't say all ideas were genius.


Then I discovered marinating! The tofu turns out much more crisp and flavorful. For the mushrooms I actually bought a frozen bag of premixed mushrooms and then tossed in a few fresh shitakes because it is what I had. You can basically use any combination of mushrooms you want.


The con of a recipe like this is that it is a little tedious to make the first time. Lots of little steps but the pro is that you can make it in bigger batches and everything can be refrigerated and used again and again for meals. You can make the same bowl of change it up with what you have in the fridge.


The day after I made this bowl Josh put the ingredients all in a tortilla, added extra veggies we had that needed used and made a wrap. it was delicious!

Once you have a prepared protein and sides it is very easy to come up with all kinds of combinations so you don't get bored. Josh can eat the same thing everyday if I let him but I need variety and change! I would go nuts if I had to eat the same thing over and over again. Boring....


If you make this bowl or have questions be sure to leave a comment below. Would love to hear from you. Enjoy your healthy new year!!

Green Buddha Bowl with Crispy Hoisin Tofu, Roasted Mushrooms and Red Mandarin Pickled Cucumbers


Serves 4



INGREDIENTS


  • 1 block extra firm tofu

  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • Half of mandarin orange, juiced

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 drops ginger essential oil*

  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced

  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon umeboshi plum vinegar (recipe notes)

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 4 drops red mandarin essential oil* (recipe notes)

  • Half of mandarin orange, juiced

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 pound mixed mushrooms,

  • Olive oil + salt and pepper

  • 2 tablespoons white miso

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 drop ginger essential oil*

  • 2 soft boiled eggs (recipe notes)

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice

  • Baby spinach

  • 1 avocado, sliced

  • sprouts and sesame seeds, for garnish



DIRECTIONS


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.


Take the tofu out of the package and press it between paper towels to soak as much of the water as possible. Set it aside to continue to soak while you make the marinade.


In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, olive oil, ginger essential oil, mandarin juice, and garlic. I sliced the tofu into 1/2 inch slices and then cut those slices in half again but you can cut them however you prefer.


Transfer the slices into a 9x13 inch pan and pour the marinade all over the tofu. I just took the pan and gently swooshed around the sauce to make sure all the tofu got properly covered. Let sit for 30 minutes. You can flip them after 15 minutes to make sure both sides get marinated well. Remove the tofu from the sauce (reserve the sauce!) and place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake 10 minutes.


Meanwhile transfer the sliced mushrooms to a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. After the tofu has cooked 10 minutes, take it out of the oven and flip. Add the mushrooms and the tofu back into the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and let sit while you start to prepare the bowls.


To serve, divide the rice among bowls. Add the tofu, handful of spinach, mushrooms, soft boiled egg, avocado and pickled cucumbers. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and sprouts and serve with the ginger miso sauce. Enjoy!



Red Mandarin Pickled Cucumbers

In a small bowl, combine the rice vinegar, umeboshi plum vinegar, sugar, mandarin juice and red mandarin essential oil. Pour over sliced cucumbers in a closed container. I do this step at the very beginning before the tofu so the cucumbers have time to pickle. Shake the container occasionally so cucumbers get evenly coated.


Miso Ginger Sauce

In a another small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of the leftover marinade, white miso sauce, maple syrup, olive oil, ginger essential oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.



RECIPE NOTES

  1. Umeboshi plum vinegar can be found in most Asian and health food stores. It is sour and salty and adds a delicious flavor. If you do not have it then you can omit it and adjust seasoning accordingly.

  2. If you do not have red mandarin essential oil than you can omit, add the zest of the mandarin or cut off the rind and squeeze the oil from the rind into the sauce. For ginger just replace with a couple teaspoons of minced garlic instead.

  3. For soft boiled eggs, just bring a medium saucepan to a rolling boil, add 4 to 6 eggs and let continue to boil for 6 minutes. Remove and add the a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Allow cool and then peel.





*We use doTERRA essential oils for cooking because of their high quality and purity. You do not have to use essential oils for this recipe but if you do make sure they are food grade and safe for internal consumption. Check out my recipe notes on how to make this recipe without essential oils if you so desire. Enjoy!

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We are Josh and Emily and every recipe you find on here contains essential oils. These are all tried and true recipes from our kitchen. We have discovered how easy and fun essential oils can make your cooking and we hope with our help you discover it too. So thank you for coming on this journey with us! 

 

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