Macro Bowl with Sesame Tofu Recipe

Nutritionally dense macrobiotic meals include a balanced mix of whole grains, vegetables, beans, greens and seaweed all in one serving. The plant-based macrobiotic diet supports an Eastern philosophy of pairing foods to attain a balance of yin and yang — based on their sour, sharp, salty, sweet or bitter characteristics. It’s low in saturated fat, high in fiber and rich in nutrients. Of course, a strict macrobiotic lifestyle may not be for everyone, but just about anyone can enjoy the tasty benefits of a macro bowl once in a while.

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Sesame Tofu Macro Bowl
Photo by Perry Santanachote

Macro Bowl with Sesame Tofu Recipe

Serves 2

Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes



1 tablespoon dried wakame seaweed
½ cup cooked brown rice
¼ cup pea sprouts
2 tablespoons roasted cashews

For the vegetables:

¼ cup snow peas, halved on the bias
¼ cup broccoli florets
¼ cup cauliflower florets
½ carrot, julienned
½ celery stalk, cut on the bias into half-inch pieces
¼ cup red cabbage, shredded
2 teaspoons rice bran oil
1 teaspoon tamari soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
½ garlic clove, crushed
¼ teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

For the tofu:

6 ounces extra-firm tofu (1/2 a package)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
2 teaspoons rice bran oil


  1. Turn the block of tofu on its side and cut it into two thin slices, lengthwise. Lay one slice flat and cut it diagonally to make 4 triangles (store the other half of the tofu in the refrigerator). Wrap the triangles in paper towels and set aside on a plate to dry (it helps to put something heavy, like a baking dish or another plate, on top to speed up the draining process).
  2. In the meantime, soak the wakame in a small bowl of cold water until it expands and is soft, about 5 minutes. Drain the wakame and rinse with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water and set aside. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the snow peas, broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, celery and red cabbage and return to a boil. Cook the vegetables until they are bright and crisp-tender, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Drain the vegetables in a colander and immediately dunk it into the ice water until chilled. Drain again and transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to dry.
  5. Warm the rice bran oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tamari, rice vinegar, garlic and ginger and stir for 1 minute. Add the vegetables and quickly toss to coat. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  6. Unwrap the tofu and lightly sprinkle with salt. Spread the sesame seeds on a plate or tray and thoroughly coat the tofu with seeds.
  7. In the same skillet, heat 2 more teaspoons of oil over medium-high heat and sear the tofu until crisp and golden brown, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate.
  8. Divide warm brown rice into two dinner bowls and top with the vegetable mixture, seaweed, tofu, cashews and pea sprouts.

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Food for Thought

Rice bran oil has been used for centuries in Asia in high-temperature cooking, such as stir-fries, and is gaining popularity in the U.S. because of its health benefits. The light oil, made from the germ and husks of rice, is loaded with free-radical fighting vitamin E and polyunsaturated fat (five times more than olive oil), which helps keep cholesterol in check and cardiovascular disease at bay.

Originally posted August 11, 2013. 

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