Photo: Hugh Forte
I use the word hippie with utmost endearment. I feel like sprouts, sunflower seeds, tofu, and avocado are all items that came from the original health food trends, and we are embracing them here in this light bowl meal. You can replace the millet with brown rice or the tofu for another protein if you prefer—this recipe takes well to substitutions. I’ll also note that this meal packs well for plane trips and long car rides—nothing terribly perishable and it fills you up with all its fiber and crunch. It’s Hugh’s favorite bowl and his other favorite food is cheeseburgers, so that’s enough for me.
2 (14-ounce) extra packages firm tofu
¼ cup coconut sugar
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or Tamara
3 tablespoons sambal oelek (chile paste)
1½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 cup millet
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups stemmed, chopped kale
4 cups (about 5 ounces) baby spinach
Juice of ½ lemon
4 carrots, shaved into ribbons
1 cup sprouts (broccoli, pea, or micro greens)
2 avocados, peeled and quartered
Tahini Citrus Miso Dressing (recipe below)
In a shallow dish, whisk together the coconut sugar, soy sauce, sambal oelek, vinegar, and sesame oil. Drain and press the tofu between the layers of a folded dish-towel to absorb any excess liquid. Cut each block into 1-inch squares; toss them in the marinade and let soak for at least 30 minutes—a few hours is even better—flipping them halfway through. Preheat the oven to 475ºF.
For the spiced sunflower seeds, heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and toast the sunflower seeds until just fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the salt, cayenne, and sugar and toss them around until the sugar is hot enough to stick to the seeds, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a piece of parchment and spread out in a single layer to cool. The seeds can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in an airtight container.
In a small pot over medium-low heat, add the millet and toast for a few minutes until you hear them start to pop. Add the broth, bring it to a boil, turn it down to a simmer and cover and cook for 15 to 18 minutes, until millet is tender. Turn off the heat, remove the lid, fluff with a fork, and stir in 1 tablespoon of the oil. Cover it again and let sit until ready to use.
Spread the tofu on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment; it’s okay if some of the marinade drips. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, tossing halfway through, until the edges are browned.
To sauté the greens, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet, add the garlic, and sauté until fragrant. Add the kale and spinach in batches with a pinch of salt and the lemon juice and sauté just until wilted, about 2 minutes.
Assemble your bowl with a portion of the millet, and then add your other toppings in quadrants on top: a scoop of tofu beside the warm greens, the carrot ribbons next to the sprouts. Top with some avocado, a hearty sprinkle of spiced sunflower seeds, and a generous drizzle of the tahini dressing.
Tahini Citrus Miso Dressing
Makes about 1 cup
One would think the miso here would pigeonhole this as an Asian dressing, but not so. Instead, the miso offers an incredible depth of flavor and salinity, so truly this dressing works on just about anything.
1/2 cup tahini
2 tablespoons white or yellow miso
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons Sriracha or hot sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
Juice of 1 large orange (about ⅓ cup)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Lemon juice, to taste
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the tahini, miso, honey, sesame oil, and Sriracha to combine. Whisk in the vinegar, orange juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Thin with water or lemon juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed. Taste and adjust seasoning.The dressing will keep, covered, in the fridge for 2 weeks.
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