Monday, May 6, 2013

bbq tofu bowl

I don't know about you, but I have a serious case of the Mondays today.  Then again, I feel like I'm going to have a serious case of the Mondays everyday until the middle/end of June, so maybe it is just me.  Per my mom, it's because I simply can't stand using those white cardboard cake boards from Michaels.  What can I say?  I must just bake cakes like it's my job (it's not).

With the double holiday this weekend (umm... Derby Day + Cinco de Mayo, of course!), I'm sure you celebrated at least one of the holidays, as well, and are sitting there with your own case of the Mondays, too, regardless of whether you've got any of those inconvenient cardboard cake boards bogging you down.

Saturday, I went all out and celebrated both the Derby and Cinco de Mayo with my mother, father, sister Mia, and Nick.  We had some of these slow cooker beer carnitas tacos and some of these Kentucky Derby Pie chocolate chip cookie bars while watching Orb win (Was anybody else rooting for Itsmyluckyday?).

With such a decadent weekend, here's the perfect Monday comeback:  BBQ tofu bowls.  These may be a little lighter than beer carnitas tacos or whatever you may have had over the weekend, but they're still really good.  It looks like there are a lot of steps to the recipe, but they are really easy.  Let me boil it down for you:  bake tofu, bake kale, cook rice (it cooks itself basically), and heat up some beans.  Pile it all on a plate with a sprinkle of cheese, and you're done.  Happy Monday!

Adapted from The Sweet Life.

14 oz. block extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
about 1 ⅓ cup BBQ sauce of your choice
1 {16-ounce} can blackeye peas, drained and rinsed
1 package rice of your choice (or whatever amount you want for serving; I made 2 cups of uncooked rice in 4 cups of water and had plenty of rice leftover--1 cup rice should be sufficient for two)
1 bunch kale
olive oil, salt, pepper
lime (optional)
shredded white cheddar cheese for topping (optional, but highly recommended)

  1. Slice the block of tofu into approximately 1-inch (or smaller) cubes.  Place them in a long, shallow bowl and cover them with about a cup of your favorite BBQ sauce.  You don't have to measure out the BBQ sauce so long as you ensure that your tofu is entirely coated with the BBQ sauce.  Allow the tofu to marinate for an hour or all day (I let mine marinate all day).
  2. When ready for dinner, start by boiling the water for your rice, which you will prepare per the package directions.  Prepare your rice according to package directions (even according to that package direction that says you can throw a tablespoon or so of butter at the end of cooking!).
  3. Next, get your tofu ready to bake, as this takes the longest.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper and spread tofu evenly over the baking sheet.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Bake tofu for 20 minutes.  Remove the tofu from the oven and flip.  Bake tofu for another 10 to 15 minutes or until it is brown and chewy.
  4. As you are putting the tofu in the oven, prepare the kale.  Start by tearing the kale into small chip-sized pieces.  Place torn kale in a large bowl and toss with a little olive oil (less than 1 tablespoon or so, but you don't really need to measure).  Toss kale with salt and pepper.  Spread kale on a baking sheet (you'll probably need two), and place in the oven with the tofu.  If you have to spread your kale onto two baking sheets like me, you'll probably just do one tray at a time.  Bake kale at 400 degrees F for about 10 minutes or until the chips lookscrispy.  Remove from the oven and bake the second tray the same way.
  5. As everything is baking/cooking up on the stove, dump your blackeye peas into a small saucepan.  Heat with the rest of the BBQ sauce (or more than the  cup called for above if you really like sauce).  Serve hot.
  6. To assemble the bowls, layer the rice at the bottom, then spoon hot blackeye peas over the top.  Sprinkle the blackeye peas with the toasted kale chips and then finally add the tofu.  I also highly recommend generously sprinkling some seriously sharp white cheddar on top.  Also, add sliced avocado (alas!  mine were bad.).  Enjoy with extra BBQ sauce or even some Sriracha!
Makes a little more than 2 servings (lunch!).


  1. Add Sriracha sauce (you know that I like saying "Sriracha") onto the top of the bowl for added spiciness.

  2. Also, let me just say that we had a fiasco with the cake board from Michael's on the way to Cincinnati! Also, I'm not flakey.

    1. It looked perfectly intact upon arrival. Also, I know you're not flakey; I must've inherited that from Dad! Just like my powerful abilities to be passive aggressive : )