the goddess bowl
It's no secret. I'm in love with Lettuce Love Cafe in Burlington, Ontario. I spent my birthday there, and pretty much any waking moment that I'm within 20 miles of the vicinity. They're vegan and organic… and it shows! The quality of their meals is out of this world good. That is precisely why I needed to replicate my absolute favourite dish from there: the Goddess Bowl.
I typically keep things simple in the kitchen, and prepping a few things for a meal is usually how I roll. But, with this dish, there's a lot going on, and was well worth the extra work. That's why I'd like to share with YOU how I managed to recreate the most scrumptious dish there is. Be prepared; it's no simple task, but well worth the reward (of excited tastebuds!).
the goddess bowl
(as described by Lettuce Love):
Braised organic Kale on a bed of organic brown rice, with gluten-free tamari, shredded raw carrots and beets, topped with a cashew ginger sauce and marinated (orange marinade) tofu then sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Here's a list of all the ingredients, and some specified with the recipe below (and this is the order that the dish is prepared in) that you'll need:
short grain brown rice
shredded raw beets and carrots
orange marinated tofu
And, here's the list of the things you need to do, individually, to make the dish come together.
1. Prepare the marinade for the tofu so it can sit for (at least) a few hours.
Use one or one and a half packages of extra-firm tofu for this recipe. Make sure to press the water out of them prior to placing in marinade.
Orange Marinated Tofu
1 tbsp ginger, minced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
zest from 1 large orange
juice from 1 orange (~1/2 cup)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup water
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or sub in: red wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar instead)
1 tsp tamari sauce
1 tbsp oil
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk.
Place sliced tofu in bowl and place in fridge to marinate.
2. Make your dressing.
This is super simple to prepare. Bust out that blender and once prepared, move to the fridge until ready to serve. This dressing also works beautifully on salads - so make enough that you'll have leftovers! (Keeps for a little under a week because of the fresh cilantro in it.)
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup water (for a thinner sauce, double the amount of liquid)
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1/2 tsp tamari sauce
1/4 tsp agave syrup (or other sweetener of choice)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
generous handful of cilantro
Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and process until smooth.
Move to a container and let chill until ready to serve with meal.
3. Shred your carrots and beets.
This is easy enough. Grab your grater and shred one large (peeled) beet and 3-4 carrots. You could also slice up your avocado at this time, as well!
4. Get rice boiling/in the rice cooker.
I used organic short grain rice. Make enough so that there are some leftovers (depending on how much rice you think you'll eat). I make a nice base of rice for this dish, so I make 6+ servings of rice, typically.
5. Preheat oven to 350-400F for tofu.
Once the oven is preheated, add tofu with all the marinade to a cookie sheet lined with tinfoil and put in the oven for 15-25 mins, turning halfway through. For a crispier/more cooked tofu, set the oven closer to 400F. For tofu that's heated, but not crispy, set closer to 350F.
6. Get frying pan to braise kale. (This should always be your last step.)
Since kale does not take long to braise/wilt/cook at all, make sure you're doing this when your rice and tofu are almost done cooking.
1-1.5 heads of kale, stems removed and torn into pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
vegetable broth (amount will vary)
In a frying pan over high heat, add oil and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes until garlic is cooked.
Add some vegetable broth, and then add in kale.
Continue sautéing for another few minutes, adding more vegetable broth when needed, until kale begins to wilt (~5-7 minutes).
Remove from heat once kale has softened/wilted a bit (but not overly cooked).
How To AssemblE:
In this order:
Put rice as your base (spread a layer across the bowl). Sprinkle on the tamari sauce.
Add the raw beets, raw carrots and braised kale. (I do it so they are in three rows - if you can kind of see in the picture above; beets on the left, kale in the middle and carrots on the right.)
Spread on dressing (as much or as little as you'd like).
Sprinkle on sesame seeds.
Top with tofu.
Top with sliced avocado.
I call this dish a nutritional powerhouse. It really has everything you need to know that you're fueling your body super awesomely. Plus, you feel great after eating it!
If you can just get past the initial shock of how much goes into making this dish, and actually make it and shove it in your mouth, then you'll realize that it was well worth it. Even with my second time around, it didn't take nearly as long to prep as the first time. And even then, we're talking less than an hour if you prep everything at once (marinade, dressing, shredding and slicing veggies) - first OR hundredth time. Just do it, you'll thank me. Then we can both work up to being able to prep in our sleeps ;).
What's one of your absolute favourite dishes and why? What makes it so tasty to you?!