A Bountiful Bowl

Budda bowls are filling dishes made of greens (raw or cooked), grains, broth and beans and are great for a quick flavourful dinner. The good thing about them is you can stick pretty much anything you want in them.

The ingredients in mine were largely sourced from the reduced bin in a local supermarket and an ethical food shop whilst I was out on the hunt for vegan cheese yesterday (another story entirely) so it was a very cheap but very delicious dinner.

Ingredients:

  • Pint of vegetable broth with a half-thumb sized piece of ginger, a clove of garlic and some fresh red chilli – all finely sliced thrown in to infuse for 10 minutes
  • Some steamed broccoli, carrot,  and sugar peas
  • Raw spinach and spring onion
  • Buckwheat noodles
  • Cashew nuts
  • Pressed tofu

Simply cook the buckwheat noodles in the vegetable broth for 5-6 minutes and put the carrots, broccoli and sugar peas in to steam (use microwave steamer to get them done in a couple of minutes).

Whilst they are cooking heat a little oil in a pan and fry some slices of tofu for a couple of minutes each side so they are golden and crispy. About 30 seconds before the end add a handful of cashew nuts to toast.

In a bowl arrange the noodles, raw and fresh vegetables and fried tofu in a bowl. Top with the toasted cashew nuts and a couple of spoons of the broth. Add a little more fresh chilli if you like your bountiful bowl hot!

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I found the vegan cheese by the way, I have yet to try it. As a cheese lover I am skeptical…..

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Sesame Fried Tofu with Creamy Coconut Rice

For me this dish is less about the crunchy vegetables or the fact this was my very first experiment with tofu, but more for the delicious creamy rice which was more like a rice pudding than a side to a savoury main course. Cooked in coconut milk, a little water and a sprinkle of saffron this rich, fragrant rice would sit well with stir fried vegetables, a light vegetarian or meat curry, some shredded duck or pulled pulled pork….I could go on.

Ingredients (serves 2 adults and a child)

For the rice 

  • 150g brown basmati rice
  • One 400g (net weight) can of coconut milk
  • One cup of water
  • A pinch of saffron

For the stir fry vegetables

  • A clove of garlic, very finely sliced
  • A 1cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • A tablespoon of cashews
  • Half a red pepper, very thinly sliced
  • A small piece of hot chilli, very thinly sliced
  • A good handful of pak choi, finely sliced
  • Teaspoon of soy sauce

For the tofu

  • 150g of plain tofu
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds

How to

In a non-stick pan put the rice, coconut milk, water and saffron. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat. Allow the rice to simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed.

About five minutes before the rice is done, heat about 1cm of oil (preferably an oil that can withstand high cooking temperatures such as coconut or avocado oil) in a wok. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the tofu, ensuring an even coating.

Add half the grated ginger and half the garlic to the oil, followed by the sesame coated tofu. Allow the tofu to become crispy before turning.

When the tofu is crispy all over, very carefully drain most of the oil from the wok into a heat proof dish. Set aside to dispose of when cool.

Add the pepper, chilli, pak choi, cashews and the rest of the garlic and ginger to the tofu tossing quickly to distribute the flavours.

Serve with the coconut rice.

When disposing of used cooking oil, check with your local authority to see if they have specific disposal methods. There may be a company who will collect larger amounts to turn in to alternative fuels. Don’t tip it down the sink as it can block drains.