If you asked what my ideal lunch would be, I would have to say it’s this soba noodle bowl with marinated tofu and peanut sauce. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat, which is naturally gluten-free, so all you GF friends, this one’s for you. The noodles have a deep, earthy flavour to them that’s beautifully contrasted with some crunchy carrots and cabbage, with the sweet crunch of sugar snap peas, the tang of marinated tofu smothered in this amazing peanut sauce that’s adapted from the Fresh Buddha Bowl peanut sauce recipe.
Â It’s legitimately the best lunch ever. I love eating all of the different colours, especially when smothered in peanut sauce. I’ve been having for lunch every day for the past 4 days, and it’s still delicious. And naturally pretty healthy with lots of protein, nutrients and great veggies.
Speaking of healthy, JSA’s been getting some link love from fitness blogs and sites, which has been awesome, but I don’t want you guys to think that I’m a health food blogger. Because… let’s be real. That’s not me. While I’m a yoga fanatic and a vegan, a #fitspo #fit4life health blogger I am not. When I crave chips, I eat chips. When I want cookies, I make a batch of cookies.
But I usually just don’t give myself the opportunity (aka the ingredients) to do these things on a regular basis because otherwise I’d literally be Netflix binging all day with cookies and chips galore. I know my limits and how to listen to my body to understand what it wants. But I don’t do any dieting, calorie counting, or workouts solely to burn off all the calories I ate in a day. Because first of all, who has time for that? And second, that’s not how I approach food.
JSA is not a diet blog. It hasn’t ever been one (c’mon, I post cupcakes and sweets on a regular basis) and will not ever be one. There’s a difference between a diet for weight loss and a diet that describes what I eat on a regular basis.Â I believe in a healthy, plant-based diet that’s ethical and sustainable. If I lose any weight, it’s because I’m making long-term lifestyle changes to my diet and exercise routine that will result in a strong, healthy body. But weight loss is not my goal, I just want to make that clear. I shared this article from the Huffington Post on my Facebook page, and I thought it would be important to share it again.
If you have goals to lose weight by eating a plant-based diet, that’s great for you. I applaud your goals, your persistence and dedication to them, and I wish you all the best. But please don’t make my recipes and expect to lose weight because that’s not how I eat. Â JSA is a food blog that documents my food adventures. Â That’s it. That’s all.
To make the traditional Fresh restaurant Buddha Bowl, instead of the cabbage, carrot, and snap peas, use some peeled and cut cucumber, tomato, and a heap of bean sprouts. But I had an abundance of carrots and cabbage, so here we are. you can also sub the soba noodles for cooked brown rice. Also delicious and an option that Fresh restaurants serve =)
Recipe adapted from Simple Pleasures
Soba Noodle Bowl with Marinated Tofu and Peanut Sauce
To make this for lunch, prep the noodles (you can also substitute with cooked brown rice), cabbage, carrots and peas the night before and layer in an airtight/sealable container. In the morning, add the drained marinated tofu, drizzle some peanut sauce on top and be on your way. When you're ready for lunch, just open up, stir, and enjoy!
For the peanut sauce:
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 inch of peeled ginger root
- 1 1/2 cups natural peanut butter
- 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 5 tbsp tamari
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 1 cup water
For the marinated tofu:
- 1 block firm tofu
- 1/2 cup coconut vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- 1/4 cup tamari
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 cup water
To assemble the bowl:
- 1 serving of soba noodles, boiled, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium sized carrot, shredded
- 1 handful of shredded cabbage
- 1/4 cup peas (I used sugar snap peas)
To make the peanut sauce:
- In a food processor, blend all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. The longer you blend it, the smoother it will be. Transfer to a clean container and set aside. (Makes 1 1/2 cups peanut sauce)
To make the marinated tofu:
- Wrap the tofu in kitchen towels or paper towel and press between two flat surfaces (I use cutting boards) and something heavy on top (I use my cast-iron skillet). Let drain for about 30 minutes. Cut, and lay flat in a shallow dish. In another bowl, whisk together coconut vinegar, tamari, maple syrup and water until combined. Pour over tofu and let marinate for at least an hour. You can also store it in a container and let it marinate in the fridge. You can reserve the marinade for up to a week to marinate tempeh or more tofu.
To assemble the bowl:
- Layer the noodles, shredded carrot and cabbage, peas, drained marinated tofu and drizzle 3 tbsp of peanut sauce on top. Mix and enjoy either hot or cold.
Love tofu and love peanut sauce! And your photos!
Lisa Le says
Aw thanks girl =) The peanut sauce is addictive!
Katie @ Produce on Parade says
Couldn’t agree more! There’s a difference between healthy blogs and weight loss blogs in my opinion. Avocados and coconut oil are healthy in normal amounts but maybe not best for weight loss. I eat copious amounts of these things, and nuts too. Living the good life! ;) Give me all the healthy fats! Also, have you seen Orange Is The New Black? Todd and I have been Netflix binge-watching…and eating Earth Balance cheddar popcorn…
Lisa Le says
Love all the healthy fats! Love the way you think, girl =)
And YES I LOVE ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. TAYSTEE 4 EVA. I can’t wait until the new seasonnnnn ><
Lisa @ Cooking with Curls says
Wow, that looks delicious Lisa! I never know what to do with tofu, so I am excited to try this recipe. I have always seen your blog as fun and vegan. I’m not vegan, but you always have delicious recipes that I can adjust if I want to. I hate that people feel the need to pigeon hole blogs into a specific category. We should be able to write about anything we like! ;)
Lisa Le says
Aw thank you Lisa! I really appreciate the time you take to read my posts, and I hope you try the recipe out! I don’t eat tofu just as a protein substitute for meat, but I actually grew up eating tofu all the time because it’s pretty common in Vietnamese cuisine. I hope you give it a try and like it this way =) The most important thing about preparing tofu in this recipe is to press the tofu for at least 30 minutes and drain all the moisture you can so that it can just soak up the marinade like a sponge.
Becca from ItsYummi! says
This looks fabulous, Lisa! I’ve still never tried tofu… it sort of creeps me out, but you’re making it awfully tempting!
Tried this recipe and it turned out amazing! Instead of the raw vegetables, I decided to blanch the carrots and cabbage which made it 10 times better. Thanks the recipe and will hope to try more from you :)
Lisa Le says
Glad you like it! I like them crunchy and raw, but they’d be great cooked too! Great idea =)
Hey Lisa this recipe looks great and we want to make it for dinner but the peanut sauce says it’s make 1 1/2 cups but you have 1 1/2 cups peanut butter in it which seems too much both for the recipe and the amount it makes!
Lisa Le says
Hiii you are totally right, I think I meant to write that it makes 2 1/2 cups of sauce… I need to retest! I’ll update the recipe when I get a chance (I won’t be able to test for a while because I have someone staying with me who is anaphylactic to peanuts right now ^^;)
Yee Fun Wong says
Made this tonight for dinner but used smoked tofu, do chua, asparagus and red peppers and it was so yummy! I eyeballed the ingredients for the peanut sauce so not exactly like the recipe but sauce is delicious! I’d drink the sauce out of a shoe! Just discovered your site a couple weeks ago researching vegan recipes for a friend and love all the ideas you have. Looking forward to trying other recipes!
Hi Lisa! Thanks for sharing this recipe. Am exploring more vegan recipes for my family and I to enjoy. Can I just check with you – for the ginger root, is it the same as ginger? Thanks in advance :)
Lisa Le says
Ginger and ginger root are the same thing :) (the edible part of ginger is the root)