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.
Macro Bowl with Sesame Tofu Recipe
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
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Unwrap the tofu and lightly sprinkle with salt. Spread the sesame seeds on a plate or tray and thoroughly coat the tofu with seeds.
- 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.
- 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.