This is the first of (hopefully) many recipe posts on my blog. I’ve been cooking for myself regularly since I went vegan, three and a half years ago, because my college did not have a wealth of options in that category. I’ve discovered a lot of amazing recipes along the way, and also started to get more confident improvising in the kitchen.
I made the following dish last week while visiting a friend’s house. She had a lot of root veggies and a block of tofu to use up, so we made this hearty meal for dinner: Deep, roasty flavors, a filling grain, and a green element adding some much-need vitamins. I wouldn’t call it comfort food per se because it’s not, like, mac and cheese (stay tuned for that recipe!), but it’s definitely comforting. I don’t have much else to say other than, I hope you enjoy!
Oh, one more thing: This recipe isn’t an exact set of steps to follow as much as it is a template to use or adapt to your own needs (and current pantry contents). It’s pretty flexible, so I wrote it as such.
Roasted root vegetables, balsamic tofu, and warm kale salad with couscous
- Serves: 4
- Time: 1 hour
- 1 block (~16 oz.) firm or extra-firm tofu
- Grain of choice (we used ~1 cup dried couscous)
- Assorted root vegetables—we used:
- 1 large potato (sweet potatoes would also be great!)
- 2 turnips
- 4 small beets
- 1 bunch kale, or other dark leafy green
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Pat tofu dry and gently squeeze out any excess water. Cut the tofu into small cubes.
- Combine the balsamic vinegar, Italian seasoning, nutritional yeast, and salt + pepper (we used about a teaspoon each of the latter two) in a container with a lid. Add the tofu to the marinade and shake it around until it’s all covered. Let the tofu marinate for at least 30 minutes.*
- In the meantime, prepare your root vegetables: Wash and chop them into small pieces, roughly the same size as the tofu. Spread across one and a half baking sheets lined with silicone mats (or parchment paper). Lightly drizzle the veggies with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then use your hands to toss and coat all the pieces.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- When the tofu is marinated, add it to the other half of the baking sheet. Save the leftover marinade.
- Bake the veggies and tofu at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until slightly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
- While the veggies and tofu are roasting, prepare your grain according to package directions.
- Also while they’re in the oven, prepare the kale: Remove large stems and tear the kale into bite-sized pieces. Massage for 30 seconds, then add to a large skillet with 1 Tbsp. olive oil on medium heat. Cover the skillet and steam the kale for a couple minutes.
- Mix the remaining olive oil with the leftover marinade and pour it over the kale, stirring until it begins to wilt and get brown in a few places. Turn off and remove from heat.
- Serve the grain, kale, roasted veggies, and balsamic tofu while warm. (I didn’t do this, but I think they’d be delicious topped with a drizzle of tahini sauce). Enjoy!
*The balsamic tofu component was adapted from Bites of Wellness.