Blackened Tofu Buddha Bowl with Creamy Avocado Sauce

This Blackened Tofu Buddha Bowl with Creamy Avocado Sauce is a hearty and delicious way to get your body back on track after travel! Tofu seasoned with chili powder, garlic, and spices is paired with fluffy quinoa, sweet potato, and avocado to deliver all the right flavors and nutrients!

Ahhh, it feels good to be back! Ray and I recently took a two week trip to China with Ray’s parents, and then followed the trip with a two-night stay in Tokyo to visit one of his best friends. In a nutshell, the trip was an incredible experience. We were in a tour group that explored Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai, and MAN were there sights to see!

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Being able to walk a portion of The Great Wall was one of my favorite things while we stayed in Beijing. Standing on and climbing that humongous, MAN-MADE wall blew my mind! People of all ages – children, adults, seniors – walked, and the view from the wall was amazing. I’d like to thank the stair mill for preparing me for that portion of the trip.

I may sprinkle more photos of our trip throughout future posts, but for now, let’s get into this Buddha bowl! This week’s Foodie Friday theme is “No Diet”, and I’m all about that. As a personal trainer, I avoid recommending any sort of restrictive or specific diet for clients.

Part of what I attempt to coach and teach is the importance of a LONG-TERM healthy lifestyle, rather than a lose-five-pounds-in-two-days mentality. I’m no RD, but if you want to eat ice cream, go for it. Feel like having pizza for dinner with friends? Do it to it. But only while considering how you can adjust your day to balance out your food choices. Maybe that means making sure you hit the gym that day, and/or eating more fresh produce around your pizza party to continue getting those nutrients. Maybe it means you eat this blackened tofu Buddha bowl with creamy avocado sauce!

Blackened Tofu Buddha Bowl with Creamy Avocado Sauce | Hello to Fit

What’s a Buddha bowl? It’s essentially a special name for a nutritious bowl that contains some sort of grain/seed as a base, topped with greens and various steamed/roasted veggies, finished with a dressing or sauce for extra flavor. The possibilities are ENDLESS, but I decided to highlight quinoa, sweet potato, tofu, and avocado for today’s recipe.

My food intake while abroad consisted of the following: minimal amounts of fresh fruit, stir-fried veggies, fried rice, fried noodles, bread, fried dumplings, steamed buns, various meats, and ice cream. That was it, save for a few KIND bars in the mix. For two weeks, that’s quite the (terrible) pattern. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner weren’t without a serving or two of simple carbs (that starchy stuff), and my body is rebelling because of it!

To bring it (my stomach) back home, I’ve been trying to nourish with all of the food groups. While my stomach still thinks fried starch is a food group, I’ve been eating loads of fresh greens, slices of whole wheat bread, eggs, and this Buddha bowl. Am I on a diet? No. A couple of days ago I had ice cream after dinner, because I felt like it! It wasn’t the normal mug-full, but it was enough to keep me going on this healthy kick while my body readjusts.

Blackened Tofu Buddha Bowl with Creamy Avocado Sauce | Hello to Fit

I know you’ve been eyeing that creamy avocado sauce, and you won’t believe how easy it is to make. Having déjà vu? That is the same sauce we used for these sweet potato black bean tacos! Simply put your avocado, plain Greek yogurt, garlic, and cilantro in a food processor and bam! A sauce so delicious you’ll want to drizzle it on everything.

And the tofu? Mm mm good. This blackened seasoning mix is a combo of chili powder, garlic, oregano, and thyme. It adds a ton of flavor to the otherwise tasteless tofu, and spices up the other Buddha bowl ingredients.

Blackened Tofu Buddha Bowl with Creamy Avocado Sauce | Hello to Fit

I didn’t have a single slice of avocado while in Asia, so excuse me while I liberally drizzle that creamy avocado sauce and top my Buddha bowl with extra slices of avocado. Healthy fats are a plus, and adding half of an avocado to your Buddha bowl will help keep you satisfied before the next meal. The garlicky sauce complements spices from the tofu, and adds flavor to the steamed sweet potato slices.

Enough chat…time to nosh!

Blackened Tofu Buddha Bowl with Creamy Avocado Sauce | Hello to Fit

Blackened Tofu Buddha Bowl with Creamy Avocado Sauce | Hello to Fit

Blackened Tofu Buddha Bowl with Creamy Avocado Sauce

Serves 3-5     adjust servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 box of firm or extra firm tofu, sliced into rectangular pieces
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 sweet potato, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, seeded and sliced
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 squeeze of lime
  • 1/2 cup water, or more, to thin
  • Extra avocado slices for topping

Instructions

  1. Remove tofu from box, drain and press for about 20 minutes to remove excess water.
  2. Cook quinoa according to directions on package, but sub ¾ cup water for ¾ cup chicken stock. Set aside.
  3. While quinoa is cooking, steam cook sweet potatoes in microwave: place slices on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Heat on HIGH for approximately 4 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through. Remove paper towel and set aside.
  4. Whisk together chili powder, salt, garlic powder, oregano, and thyme in a small bowl. Reserve ¼ cup and store the rest in a small container.
  5. Slice tofu into about ½-inch thick rectangular slices and arrange on a plate. Liberally season one side of tofu slices with blackened seasoning mix.
  6. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add tofu, seasoned side down, to the pan. Cook for approximately 5-7 minutes. Carefully flip tofu slices with a pair of tongs, and season again with spice mixture. Cook until edges are slightly crispy and golden. Set aside.
  7. To make creamy avocado sauce: place ½ avocado, Greek yogurt, cilantro, garlic, salt, lime, and water to a food processor and blend until smooth.
  8. To assemble Buddha bowls: spoon quinoa into bottom of bowls, then arrange tofu, sweet potato, and avocado slices over top of quinoa. Finish with desired amount of creamy avocado sauce. Serve immediately.
  9. Leftovers can be stored in separate containers in the fridge.

by

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 164 Calories from fat 101
% Daily Value
Total Fat 11 17%
Saturated Fat 1 5%
Sodium 5032 210%
Carbohydrate 17 6%
Dietary Fiber 7 28%
Sugars 2
Protein 3
Cholesterol 0 0%

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g


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Let’s chat!

  • Have you been to Asia? Whereabouts?
  • What ingredient would you add to this Buddha bowl?
  • Have you ever had trouble readjusting to healthy eating after vacation?
  • Plans for the weekend?

By Jess

Jess is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and yoga teacher. She enjoys sharing her passion and enthusiasm for health and fitness with friends, family, clients, and readers.

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56 comments

  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine

    May 6, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Walking on the great wall is on my bucket list! I know I would be in complete AWE!
    And love anything with the word “blackened” 😉 You just know it’s going to taste fantastic!
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Friday Finisher 5/6/16My Profile

  • Erin @ Erin’s Inside Job

    May 6, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Glad you had a good trip! This bowl looks amazing and you just reminded me that I have 21574 sweet potatoes waiting for me to eat them.
    Erin @ Erin’s Inside Job recently posted…Five Things Friday #85My Profile

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:55 pm

      Thank you, Erin!! Happy to be back, that’s for sure 🙂 hahah hope you found some good use for your sweet potatoes last week 🙂

  • Susie @ Suzlyfe

    May 6, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    A) AMAZING B) So is the Great Wall ;D C) Thank you for finally explaining what a Buddha Bowl actually is!
    Susie @ Suzlyfe recently posted…5 Ways Exercise Helps Depression and AnxietyMy Profile

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:54 pm

      HIIIII! LMAO I definitely had to look it up to make sure I know what the heck I was talking about 😛 XOXOXO

  • Ellie | Hungry by Nature

    May 6, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    The trip sounds wonderful – and so do these bowls!!! I’ll be making that creamy avocado sauce the second I get home. Srsly.
    Ellie | Hungry by Nature recently posted…Chicken Avocado Salad with Tomatillo DressingMy Profile

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:53 pm

      Ahhh hope you get to try the recipe sometime, Ellie!!

  • Annmarie

    May 6, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    This recipe is stunning, Jess! Makes me wish I could have tofu…and avocados 😛
    Annmarie recently posted…Deceptively Healthy Gluten Free Comfort Food RecipesMy Profile

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:51 pm

      GAHH I feel bad when I make FF recipes that you can’t have!!! Which I think happens a bit 🙁

  • Sam @ PancakeWarriors

    May 6, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    Jess this sounds simply amazing. Did you make extra to share with me? I might have to put a version of this on my menu for my clients! I think they would go bananas for it!!
    Sam @ PancakeWarriors recently posted…Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini DrizzleMy Profile

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:51 pm

      GIRL you know I always save a little plate for Sam 😉 come ovaaaaaa

  • Sarah

    May 6, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Oh my that photo is beautiful and it looks like you had a great trip!
    I love a good buddha bowl! I’m not sure I could make my perfect combo, it would depend on my mood for sure. This one looks amazing! Happy Foodie Friday!
    This weekend… not sure what we are doing other than going with the flow. Hoping to to go to the market with the girls or breakfast for Mother’s Day. My husband has been traveling for work and won’t be home until next weekend. The girls are upset because they can’t make me breakfast in bed as I won’t let them use the stove or Vitamix unsupervised. They are so sweet and just want to do something nice and I just want to spend the day having fun with them.
    Sarah recently posted…Pineapple Pancakes with Caramel Maple Syrup (gluten free, vegan)My Profile

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:50 pm

      Aw, thank you, Sarah!! HOW was your Mother’s Day?? And I wouldn’t let my future kids use the stove or Vitamix without supervision, either 😉 but you’re right – that is such a sweet thought 🙂 hope you have a fantastic weekend!!

  • Emma @Em-powered Wellness

    May 6, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    That Buddha bowl looks amazing! I’ve never been to Asia, but I’d love to go. Thailand is at the top of my travel bucket list 🙂

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:48 pm

      Thanks, Emma! Ahh I went to Thailand last February, it was AWESOME!! I’d go back there, for sure.

  • Joscelyn | Wifemamafoodie

    May 7, 2016 at 1:48 am

    Jess, this bowl looks and sounds absolutely amazing! Loving all of the delicious flavors going on here and then it’s topped off with a cream avocado sauce too!!! Oh my yum…I would take this over pizza ANY day, haha!!
    Joscelyn | Wifemamafoodie recently posted…Mother’s Day Brunch RecipesMy Profile

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:48 pm

      Hey Joscelyn! Happy Friday! The creamy avocado sauce was DEFINITELY the icing on the cake 🙂 SO nommy! Hope you have a fantastic weekend!!

  • Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday

    May 7, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Your trip sounds incredible and this looks so fresh and flavorful! So much flavor and texture in one bowl – and that avocado sauce sounds like perfection.

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:47 pm

      The trip was a cool experience!! Hehe yes, fresh was just what we needed coming back from China!!

  • Chrissa – Physical Kitchness

    May 7, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Oh this bowl looks tremendous!! That avocado sauce is something I could SWIM in!! Your trip sounds amazing – glad you indulged in the cultural food even if it’s hard to get back into the regular swing of things. That’s what vacations are for!!
    Chrissa – Physical Kitchness recently posted…Paleo Broccoli “Cheese” SticksMy Profile

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:44 pm

      Let’s have a swimming partayyyy hahaha. HAPPY WEEKEND, love!! xo

  • Farrah

    May 7, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Aughhh, this looks so so so good! <3 I've always wanted to try making a buddha bowl, but I have yet to do so! :O I'm gonna have to start with this! *-*
    Farrah recently posted…Ultimate Coffee Date: May 2016My Profile

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:41 pm

      I resisted for the longest time, but they’re fun to assemble!! I don’t make it look as pretty unless I’m photographing it 😛

  • Jen

    May 7, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Sounds like your trip was so fun! My husband has been dying to go to Asia for years! Plus, this bowl looks A-MAZING! Can’t wait to try it!

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:40 pm

      Oh, it was so cool!! Hope he/you guys get to go sometime!

  • Kristy @ Southern In Law

    May 7, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    I hope you had the most AMAZING trip! This bowl definitely looks like the kind of thing I couldn’t wait to come home to make 😉 I love traveling but I love being home with my kitchen, cooking my food!
    Kristy @ Southern In Law recently posted…Recent Things: Happiness, Road Trips and FavesMy Profile

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:39 pm

      YEP! Nothing like coming home to HOME SWEET HOME <3

  • Emilie @ Emilie Eats

    May 7, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    That trip sounds like so much fun! Vacation food can be tough on your system, but simple, whole foods always bring me back to normal. 🙂 This bowl looks so yummy!!! I’d sub veggie broth and silken tofu for the yogurt, but all the ingredients are SO nourishing. Bowls are the best!

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:38 pm

      Yes, my stomach was NOT having it the first week back hahaha. Mmm great idea to do veggie broth and silken tofu for the sauce! XOXO

  • masala girl

    May 7, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    I cant wait to hear more about the trip!!
    also- LOVE the blackened spices on tofu! i literally season it so many ways- why haven’t i thought of that?! haha. (i do actually use basically the same mixture on sweet potatoes though! thats a different recipe though… 😉 )

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:36 pm

      Haha it’s great on everything!! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  • jill conyers

    May 8, 2016 at 6:37 am

    Jess, blackened tofu sounds wonderful. Pinned for menu planning.

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:35 pm

      It’s great, Jill! And the recipe will leave you with extra seasoning for future cooking 😉

  • Beverley @ BORNTOSWEAT

    May 9, 2016 at 10:43 am

    omg, pinned this IMMEDIATELY. this is everything i love in a bowl. tofu can be so hard to be delicious haha and i’ve never thought of using blackening spices. cant wait to try!
    ps China sounded like it was amazing! glad you got to take a couple weeks off
    Beverley @ BORNTOSWEAT recently posted…How to Workout with a Foot or Ankle InjuryMy Profile

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:35 pm

      HI BEVERLEY!!! Thanks so much for pinning!! XOXO the blackening spices are addicting…just sayin’ 😛

  • Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner

    May 9, 2016 at 11:14 am

    I loved all your photos looked like a fabulous trip! I also love tofu and this is right up my alley yummy!
    Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…3 Bean Southwestern Quinoa Skillet DinnerMy Profile

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      Thanks, Deborah!! Hope you get to try this tofu dish sometime…it was fantastic.

  • Diana @ Live Lean Eat Green

    May 9, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    Traveling to Asia is on my bucket list! This bowl looks incredible…there really is nothing better than a good creamy avocado sauce!
    Diana @ Live Lean Eat Green recently posted…The Ups And Downs Of Marathon Training + Weekly WorkoutsMy Profile

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:32 pm

      OHH I hope you get the chance to travel there one day, Diana!! It was such a cool experience.

  • Esther

    May 9, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Welcome back! I LOVED seeing pics from your trip on Instagram! Looks like it was pretty amazing!
    This bowl looks delish! Avocados are my favorite!
    Esther recently posted…Chocolate ChippersMy Profile

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:32 pm

      Thanks, Esther!! I REALLY missed avocados while we were away, haha.

  • Lauren

    May 9, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    Yum! This looks fabulous!! Glad you had a great trip!

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:31 pm

      Thanks, Lauren!!

  • Kat

    May 10, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Welcome back!! Super jealous of your vacay. Maybe one day I’ll travel the world, but only if I somehow overcome my fear of flying! 😉
    These bowls sound amazing! I actually haven’t tried tofu before, so I’d probably swap this protein out. I’m so nervous about cooking it at home. I don’t want to mess it up then hate it forever, so I wwant my first time trying it to be at a restaurant or by someone who knows what they are doing! haha
    Kat recently posted…Pesto & Egg Power BowlMy Profile

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:29 pm

      Thanks for the welcome back, Kat!! We are happy to be back. Oh I TOTALLY bet chicken with the blackened seasoning would taste great!!

  • Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    May 10, 2016 at 10:38 am

    OMG! How did I miss this. Love everything about this post. China trip, the budda bowl (holy YUMMMMM!!!) and the gorgeous images. I’d love to see some posts on your China trip 🙂
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…2 Simple Ways to Elevate Your Lunch BreakMy Profile

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:29 pm

      Hehehe glad you caught this recipe 🙂 happy weekend!!

  • lindsay Cotter

    May 10, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    that trips sounds amazing! so cultural and always makes us appreciate history and where we are now. UNREAL! love it. oh and of course the bowls. YUM!

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:29 pm

      YES exactly. Much appreciation for the good old US of A! Hehe. XOXO

  • Mike@TheIronYou

    May 12, 2016 at 10:38 am

    I’m so jealous of you guys, I’m dreaming of going to China and visit Beijing, Shanghai, walking on the Great Wall. I need to start saving…
    Btw this Buddha Bowl looks incredible, I love all the flavors you’ve got going on here!
    Mike@TheIronYou recently posted…(Paleo) Chocolate Chip Cookie SquaresMy Profile

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      Oh it is SO worth the trip, if you can ever make it out there, Mike!! And maybe on your way back, you can stop in Tokyo too 🙂 we loved it there. The sushi? ON. POINT. Hope you have a fantastic weekend!

  • Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes

    May 12, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    What a fun trip! This buddha bowl looks delicious, especially the sauce! I let myself indulge on vacation and usually find I’m craving lots of vegetables by the time I return, so it’s fairly easy to return to healthy eating.
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…Goat Lake Hiking, Cross-Training, and Running ShoesMy Profile

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:27 pm

      YES! I definitely did a liiiiitle too much indulging while we were away. I was so excited to get back to eating greens and fresh things when we got back.

  • Lauren | Just a Pinch

    May 12, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    This looks AMAZING. I don’t know how I could go 2 weeks without eating an avocado. And you don’t have to be an RD to know that long-term health > diets! 😉

    1. Jess

      May 13, 2016 at 9:27 pm

      LOL just covering my bases 😉 hehehe. And omg I know. I’ve had avocado every day since we’ve been back LOL

  • Rachel

    May 24, 2016 at 8:52 am

    SO beautiful!!

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