Marinated Tofu Rice Bowls

Can I tell you a secret?

This may shock and horrify you, but…

Even though I’m a vegetarian, I’m not a huge fan of tofu.

I know, I know, blasphemy, right? So many people tout tofu as an amazing blank palette that has the ability to take on whatever flavor it’s cooked in, but usually all I can ever taste is bland tofu-iness.

Not that it stops me from eating it/cooking with it. I enjoy a good challenge, and believe me, making tofu tolerable can sometimes be a big challenge.

One of the best ways to make tofu scrum-didly-umptious? Marinate it… for a long, loooooooooong time…in something strong.

That’s why when I saw this recipe for Mexican Grilled Chicken Bowls, I knew if would be a prime candidate for acceptable tofu substitution. 6 tablespoons of spices mixed with adobo sauce soaking overnight with my tofu? Sounds like it packs a flavor punch to me!

But how can a wary foodie be sure? Well, find an unknowing taste tester, o’ course! My friend Matt from college is staying with us this week and he is a devout carnivore. Like, the kind that wouldn’t touch a vegetable willingly; the kind that thinks it’s an injustice to meat to accompany it with anything other than…meat. He’s never eaten tofu, so logically I stuffed this down his throat:

And guess what?!!

It won the carnivore stamp of approval! A solid two thumbs up from Meat-Lovin-Matt!

Aside from being an awesome way to impress your non-veggie friends, this dish is so summer. Czech it out:

Mexican Grilled Tofu Bowls With Cilantro Lime Rice (adapted from Heat Oven to 350)

  • Marinade
    • 2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced
    • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 T fresh lime juice
    • 2 T chile powder
    • 1 T minced garlic
    • 2 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
    • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 package of extra firm tofu, drained and cut into small squares
  • Rice
    • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
    • 3 cups veggie broth
    • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
    • 2 T lime juice
  • 2 medium Hass avocados, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1/2 cup green onions, sliced thin
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup queso fresco
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  1. In a small bowl, whisk the marinade ingredients. Place the tofu in a large, resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade, and refrigerate while you prepare the rice (or overnight, if you can).
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the rice, broth and salt to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Move off the burner and keep covered for 10 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Keep a lid on the rice until ready to use.
  3. Remove the tofu from the bag and discard the marinade. In a large pan, saute the tofu over medium heat until heated through, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Divide the rice evenly among individual bowls. Top the rice with small mounds of tofu, avocado, tomato, green onion and beans. Sprinkle the queso fresco on top. Serve with lime wedges.
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