2018 has been the year of learning to love tofu. Before going plant-based, the thought of voluntarily eating a tofu prominent dish was not that appealing. When I started cutting animal products out of my diet, I realized I needed to give it a second chance in order to broaden my diet, and I’m glad I did! Otherwise, we probably wouldn’t have discovered the joys of crispy baked tofu, which shines in this Sesame Orange Black Rice with Five Spice Baked Tofu.
Tofu is incredibly versatile and really takes on the flavor of any dish. When it comes to texture, I’m still a bit iffy on the soft/silken variety, but extra firm tofu crisps us beautifully when pan-fried or baked. In this dish, we chose to bake the tofu because we didn’t want to deal with the mess of frying, but it would definitely be delicious fried in a neutral, high heat oil!
Black rice is a rich source of antioxidants and makes for a nice change from brown or white rice, but if you don’t have any on hand, simply substitute with your favorite brown or white rice.
Fresh oranges add a nice pop of sweetness and acidity to counterbalance strong, fragrant five spice blend, and sesame adds depth of flavor.
Say hello to your new Meatless Monday favorite! (It’s better than takeout, we promise!)
And for more Meatless Monday inspiration, here are a few of our other favorite easy weeknight meals that skip the animal products:
- Spring Roll Bowls with Crispy Tofu
- Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza
- Veggie Burgers with Smoky Beets and Avocado
- Vegan Kale Tahini Salad with Crispy Chickpeas
Flavorful stir fried veggies + five spice tofu + nutty black rice = the vegan weeknight dinner you needed!
- 1 cup uncooked black rice – cook according to package directions
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp toasted or regular sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp sambal oelek chili garlic sauce
- 1/4 cup tamari
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp shallot, chopped finely
- 3 tbsp orange juice
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro
Mushroom and Pepper Stir Fry:
- 1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced thinly
- 3/4 cup yellow bell pepper, sliced thinly
- 1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 1/2 tbsp tamari
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sambal oelek chili garlic sauce
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
- 2 tbsp green onion
- 3 tbsp chopped cilantro
- Chopped peanuts
Five Spice Tofu:
- 1 package extra firm tofu, cubed into 1 inch cubes
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp tamari
- Cook rice according to package directions.
- In a small bowl, whisk remaining ingredients together. Pour over cooked rice and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Heat large pan to medium high. Add a bit of oil, then add mushrooms and peppers and sauté, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, whisk together sesame oil, tamari, orange juice, rice wine vinegar, sambal oelek, garlic, sugar, ginger and arrowroot.
- Pour into sauté pan and continue cooking until vegetables are tender and sauce is slightly reduced and thickened. Add in green onion, cilantro and chopped peanuts. Stir and remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Pat tofu dry and cut into cubes. Place on lightly greased baking sheet
- Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over tofu. Toss to coat and bake 20-25 minutes.
- Assemble bowls as desired and top with fresh orange segments, chopped peanuts and cilantro.