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Umami Buddha Bowl

Happy MWD! Historically, on this weekend I am normally at home in Boulder, Colorado as a special occasion to run the long standing Boulder Boulder 10k run with one of my best girlfriends. Memorial Day has always been sort of a reunion type day for us, even though it’s sort of a bizarre holiday to celebrate if you ask me. A good excuse to get together with friends and family and cook yummy food – never fails, but I am not much of a burger brat person.

Since Covid-19 has put a slight wrench in the usual Memorial Day 10k, Zoe and I decided to make our own day of it. Since we are both already in each others quarantine circles – we grabbed out masks, and we hiked up to Bear Peak in Boulder, Co through the Bear Canyon and West Ridge Trail. For those of you who are close to Boulder – I HIGHLY recommend this hike. It’s everything you could ever need in a hike – slow flat meadows, rocky stairs, steep above treeline climb, breathtaking views – and it’s fairly gradual on the climb. Gorgeous route to Bear Peak. 9 miles later – Zoe and I had each other chatting about what amazing Plant-Based recipe we would test for tonight, and boy do I have a Killer recipe for you.

This Umami Buddha Bowl is inspired by all of my favorite asian flavors – peanut, miso, soy and sesame. It’s got awesome flavors, but also every type of vegetable you could possibly want for a hearty and super healthy filling meal. This bowl can definitely be customizable with different vegetables – but the combo that we tried was a serious success.

As a disclaimer – I wouldn’t say that this bowl is a super easy quick meal. This meal is perfect for meal prep, when you plan to spend the afternoon cooking because a lot of the ingredients take a while to prep. However: once done, this meal is an AMAZING out of the refrigerator meal so I highly recommend trying it next time you go to meal prep.

Ingredients

For the Miso Glazed Japanese Sweet Potatoes:

  • -1 large Medium Japanese Sweet Potatoes (Purple skin, white inside)
  • -1 large purple Sweet Potato (all purple)
  • -2 tbsp black or white sesame seeds (I used black)
  • -2 tbsp soy sauce low sodium
  • -2 cloves garlic, minced
  • -2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • -2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • -4 tbsp water
  • -2 tbsp white miso
  • -1/2 tsp black pepper
  • -1 tbsp sesame oil

For the Sweet Garlic Roasted Carrots:

  • -2 large carrots, sliced
  • -1 tbsp maple syrup
  • -1 tsp fresh red pepper flakes
  • -2 garlic cloves, minced

For the Crunchy Peanut Tofu

  • 1 container of extra firm tofu (pressed & cubed)
  • -peanut butter, no sugar or salt added (1/2 cup)
  • -1 tbsp sesame oil
  • -1 tsp chilis and oil
  • -2 tbsp soy sauce
  • -1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • -1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup of gluten free breadcrumbs

For the Soy Shitake Mushrooms:

  • -One container of Shitake Mushrooms (1.5 cups)
  • -1 large shallot – chopped finely
  • For the Bowl:
  • -1/2 cup shelled edamame
  • -1 cup chopped and washed mustard greens
  • -1 cup chopped and washed purple spicy kale
  • -1/4 boiled and chopped beet
  • -1/2 cup steamed broccoli

For the Asian Vinaigrette:

  • 2 Tablespoons tamari 
  • 2 Tablespoons organic maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons tahini
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons white miso
  • Pinch red pepper flakes

Instructions:

Step 1. Make the Sweet Potatoes:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Before you start the potatoes, press your tofu (I make a homemade press by carefully removing the tofu from the package, and placing a plate on top with two cans of beans for about 20 minutes). Once your press is set up prep the potatoes. Chop the sweet potatoes into small cubes or small discs, depending on the shape of your sweet potato. In a large bowl, whisk with a fork, the ingredients for the glaze (everything put the sweet potatoes and sesame seeds). Place about 1/4 cup of the glaze aside for tossing after baking. Place the chopped potatoes in the bowl with the glaze, and toss to fully color the potatoes in the glaze. Add the sesame seeds and toss again. Spread out on the baking sheet in one even layer, and bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and slightly crispy. Once done, before bowl assembly, toss with the remainder 1/4 cup of glaze.

Step 2. Make the Carrots:

Once the potatoes are in, spread the chopped carrots out on another baking sheet lined with parchment paper and drizzle with whisked garlic, red pepper flakes and maple syrup, making sure each carrot gets slightly coated. Toss with your hands, and lay flat again. Put in the already preheated oven at 400 degrees, under the potatoes for 45 minutes.

Step 3. Make the Peanut Tofu.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for tofu and breadcrumbs. Add almond milk or water to get the consistency easy to gently toss tofu in so the tofu doesn’t fall apart. Add the tofu, and toss to make sure the tofu is covered. Once covered, add the breadcrumbs and lightly toss. I cooked these in an air fryer in one layer, two batches for 18 minutes each. Or, you can put in the oven for 40 minutes at 375 degrees on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Step 4. Make the Shitake Mushrooms.

In a large saucepan, dry sauté the mushrooms and shallot until golden brown. Once the mushrooms and shallot start to stick to the pan, add 3 tbsp of soy sauce, and sauté for 5-7 minutes until fragrant and fully cooked. Set Aside.

Step 4. Prep the rest of the ingredients.

Defrost the edamame, or boil it, set aside the greens for the base of the bowl, steam the broccoli in a steaming basket in a saucepan, and chop the cooked beet.

Step 5. Make the Vinaigrette.

Whisk all ingredients together vigorously until combined – or blend on high speed for 1 minute.

Step 5. Assembly:

  1. Mustard Greens and Kale – bottom of bowl (add 1 cup of each).
  2. 1/2 cup of steamed broccoli
  3. 1/2 cup of edamame
  4. 1/4 cup of sweet garlic carrrots
  5. 1/4 cup chopped beets
  6. 1/2 cup shitake mushrooms
  7. 1/3 cup peanut tofu
  8. 1/2-3/4 cup miso glazed sweet potatoes
  9. 2 tbsp of Vinaigrette for topping.

**If prepping ahead of time, make all of these pieces and store in fridge. Heat all ingredients except for the greens and beats before serving.