A Caribbean Style Buddha Bowl that features Coconut Crusted Tofu, Pineapple Honey Mustard, Avocado, Kale, Rice, and Beans.
I underestimated how difficult it is to run a food blog. I'm not going to lie, I never read the paragraphs on food blogs. I always skip straight to the recipe to see if it's something I want to make or if it has any ingredients that I haven't tried before. Ever since I started blogging, I've realized a couple of things about myself. A. I have very little patience and B. I love when things are done quickly. When it comes to food blogging (or blogging in general), you have to give yourself room to grow and learn what works and what doesn't work. Not everyone starts out giving high quality photos and not everyone starts out with super interesting posts. I don't like to post whenever I don't have anything interesting to say. But, sometimes I feel that I am so boring in general - which makes me not write a post at all.
Besides what I said above, I am going to give myself a lot of credit. I have improved dramatically with my photographs. I went from having really bad lighting to good lighting. I still have a long way to go with this whole food photography thing. I've only had my camera (Canon Rebel T6!) for two weeks. My next thing to learn is how to master the art of food styling. In these pictures, I didn't really like the props that I used so I ended up going back to what always works - a plain solid white background. I think this looks really clean and crisp. Let me know in the comments what you think.
I know what you're thinking.... Why in the hell is she using a premade rice and beans pouch? Well, I was strapped for time and needed to make something as quick as possible. My 11-month old hates to be strapped up for too long. She refuses to stay in the crib, she refuses to stay in her chair, she refuses to stay in her rocker, and she will have a fit if I even put her in the pack and play. I enjoy cooking, I really do... but when it comes between hearing my daughter scream for 40 minutes about not being able to do whatever she wants or cooking... I'm going with my daughter. If I had the time, I would have made some from scratch. One day, I'll post my recipe for rice and beans since I think I have one of the best recipes for it. Not only that, I saw it in Earth Fare and I was curious on if it's possible for a pouch to deliver quality taste. This definitely passed the test.
Also, I think that this tofu is so versatile that it will work for any type of sauces that you decide to top it with. Tofu, in my opinion, always requires a really good quality sauce. If you don't season or sauce your tofu, it's normally really dry and lacks flavor. That is the same way that I feel about meats or vegetables in general, I don't know how people just add salt and pepper to their foods and go. I need the umami.
Edit: I am sorry that I forgot that honey isn't "vegan". I know some vegans consume honey, and some don't. If you want to make this "vegan", substitute the Honey Mustard for Dijon Mustard and add some Maple Syrup.
Island Buddha Bowl
*Remember: I season to taste, I do not measure my seasonings.
*Remember: I don't have the prep & cook times for this recipe because I didn't keep track. I normally don't keep track of my cooking times.
For the Tofu:
- 2 Slices from the block of EXTRA Firm Tofu
- 2 tbsp Flour
- 2 tbsp Coconut Flakes
- 1 tbsp Coconut Aminos
- 1 tbsp Flour
- Seasonings: Kosher Salt, Herbs de Provence, Black Pepper, Creole Seasoning, and California Garlic Powder. Use Old Bay if you want this to taste like fish
- 1 tsp Ghee
- Trader Joe's Spanish Olive Oil Cooking Spray Other Ingredients
- 1 cup Seeds of Change Caribbean Red Beans & Brown Rice
- 1/4 Avocado
- 1 cup kale
- 2 Trader Joe's Saba Plantains **It's very hard to find fresh plantain at my local stores, use fresh if you have it For the Sauce:
- 2 tbsp Organic Honey Mustard
- 1 tbsp Pineapple Juice
- 1 tsp Huoy Fong Foods Chili Garlic Sauce ~optional
- Add flour to one bowl, coconut flakes to another bowl, and coconut aminos to another bowl. Add your seasonings to the coconut aminos. Before you begin to prep your tofu, turn your pan on in the stove and add your ghee and spanish olive oil
- Drain your tofu from the water. Since we are using extra firm tofu, we don't need to press out the water. Lightly season the tofu on both sides.
- Dip your tofu into the flour then the coconut aminos and then the coconut flakes. Add to your pan. Pan fry until golden brown on both sides. Top with a sprinkle of the creole seasoning. Remove from pan and allow to cool
- Add your kale to your bowl and massage it with kosher salt (you can spray the spanish olive oil & add a squeeze of lemon if you don't prefer the bitter taste of the kale.) Chop up your avocado and follow the instructions for the rice and beans.
- Remove your plantain from the freezer. Add some spanish olive oil (or ghee or butter) and pan fry. When golden brown on both sides, top with kosher salt.
- Lastly, add some honey mustard, pineapple juice, salt & pepper, and chili sauce to a blender with a little bit of water (around a tsp or so) and blend.
- Add all of the above to a bowl and enjoy!