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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
- 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
- Remove tofu from box, drain and press for about 20 minutes to remove excess water.
- Cook quinoa according to directions on package, but sub ¾ cup water for ¾ cup chicken stock. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- To make creamy avocado sauce: place ½ avocado, Greek yogurt, cilantro, garlic, salt, lime, and water to a food processor and blend until smooth.
- 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.
- Leftovers can be stored in separate containers in the fridge.
- 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?