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Last month we started a new blog series called meatless Monday to share more veggie forward recipes and to bring you some plant based inspirations. We’re so excited about today’s recipe–plant based, full of colors, flavorful, and hearty. Incorporating more plant based dishes means there’s less room for saturated fats that come from butter, cream, and meat. This noodle bowl used to have pan fried chicken in peanut oil and sauteed veggies but we have swapped out the chicken for tofu, used Mazola® Corn Oil instead of peanut oil, given the veggies a new life by pickling them, and reduced the amount of salt by switching to a light soy sauce. The tofu is baked with Mazola® Corn Oil, which, in a clinical study showed it reduces cholesterol 2x more than extra virgin olive oil. To learn more about this claim, see Mazola.com. Reducing saturated fat and making smart swaps doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor. Also, it’s a huge plus that Mazola Corn Oil doesn’t have any saturated fat!
This recipe does require a few separate components but they are all simple to throw together. I used sambal in the marinade to give the tofu a kick. Adding a touch of Mazola Corn Oil prevents the tofu from sticking to the pan and preserves the natural flavor of sambal since the oil has no additives and has a neutral flavor.
Laying the tofu in a single layer and baking them in the oven crisp them up so you don’t get soggy tofu. No one likes soggy tofu! The barely cooked romanesco florets and pickled veggies add textures and colors to the whole bowl.
All the ingredients complement each other to bring you a delicious, plant based noodle bowl.
A delicious, plant based soba noodle bowl with baked sambal tofu, romanesco, and quick pickled purple cabbage, carrots and cucumbers.
- 1 14-oz block of extra firm organic tofu
- 8 oz dried soba noodles
- 1 small head of romanesco cut into florets
- 1/4 of a small purple cabbage finely shredded
- 2 small carrots, thinly shaved
- 2 Persian cucumbers thinly shaved
- 2 tbsps of cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1 cup light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Mazola® Corn Oil
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsps mirin
- 1 tsp sambal
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsps granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsps mirin
- 2 tbsps water
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes and set on a plate lined with paper towel. Place another paper towel over the tofu then place something heavy on top (ie. plate or cutting board) and let them drain for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
For the tofu marinate, in a bowl, whisk the soy sauce, Mazola oil, rice vinegar, mirin, sambal, and garlic until combined.
Pat the tofu dry and gently toss the tofu in the marinade.
Lay the tofu on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 25 minutes until the edges are brown.
For the pickle juice, in a mixing bowl, whisk together water, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Divide the pickle juice between three bowls
Place the purple cabbage, carrot, and cucumber separately in each bowl and let them pickle for 30 minutes.
Bring a pan of water to a boil over medium heat, then drop the romanesco florets and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes, just until it loses its rawness but still maintains a bit of a bite. Remove the florets with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Turn the heat to high and drop in the soba noodles and cook for 5-7 minutes, according to the instruction on the package. Drain the noodles and rinse them in cold water to keep them from sticking together.
To make the soy sauce dressing, a sauce bowl, whisk together soy sauce, mirin, vinegar, and water.
When ready to serve, dive the noodles between two bowls, top each one with a handful of pickled vegetables, romanesco, and tofu. Sprinkle sesame seeds, top with chopped cilantro, and serve with soy sauce dressing.