Kale, Sweet Potato, & Tofu with Brown Rice

For each sugary confection you see on this blog, there are 5 healthy meals that go unposted. We're actually a really food conscious household. Dinner is a horrible time to document anything in the kitchen. The lighting is terrible, I don't use specific measurements, and telling Mike, "one more picture" when he's starving isn't the best idea.

My mother made salad every night, even if it was chopped up tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers. The dressing is always olive oil, red vinegar, salt, and pepper. My body craves leafy greens every day! It's been beaten into my system and I love it. Sometimes though... a cold salad doesn't cut it. Especially now that winter is approaching.

That's why this "oven salad" from 1big bite is so incredible. A giant bed of lightly toasted kale topped with marinated tofu and baked sweet potatoes! Heaven! The bitterness of the kale compliments the natural sweetness of the potato while the tofu provides the perfect accent flavor. You have to give it a try. I have made this meal at least 3 times since it's initial discovery, and I rarely repeat new recipes. Mike demolishes his plate and it has kale on it. Kale people!

There are a few home modifications, but nothing major. I cook the kale a few minutes longer because we like the "crisped" edges. I season the sweet potatoes with a little extra spice like black pepper, cayenne, and crushed red pepper. I also like to add entire cloves of garlic while the kale is roasting. If you have the opportunity, marinate the tofu a night in advance so it really has time to absorb the sesame oil.

Serve on a bed of brown rice (not white, it's just not the same) with a lemon wedge for seasoning. This is one meal you will feel guilty asking for seconds... but only because everybody else does too.

For the recipe, check out 1big bite's site! And again, sorry the pictures aren't the best but hey- it's dinner time!

200 g / 1 cup brown rice
100 g / 3.6 oz kale, ribs removed and chopped
200 g / 7 oz. sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite size chunks (about one medium size)
200 g / 7 oz. tofu, extra firm (about half a block)
3 Tbsp ghee (clarified butter) or olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
salt to taste
1 small lemon (juice and zest)
1 green onion, chopped

Cook brown rice: in a medium saucepan bring 500 ml / 2 cups of water to boil, add salt and brown rice and reduce heat to medium, let simmer for 45 minutes. Drain if necessary and fluff with a fork.

Drain the tofu: cover tofu with paper towels and set it on a plate, top with another plate and put something heavy on it (like a pan). Let stand for 15 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 200 C / 400 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Toss sweet potato chunks with 1 Tbsp ghee, season with salt and spread in one layer on one baking sheet. Put into the oven for about 20 minutes at first (after that you will add tofu and kale and continue cooking all together).

Cut the tofu into cubes. Mix soy sauce and sesame oil in a medium bowl and add tofu and marinate for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare kale and toss in 2 Tbsp ghee, spread evenly over the other baking sheet.

Remove sweet potato from the oven, flip them with a spatula and add the tofu cubes to this baking sheet. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F and put both baking sheets into the oven, continue cooking for 15-18 minutes.

In a big bowl bring together brown rice, sweet potato and kale, sprinkle with lemon zest and juice. Season to taste and top with green onion.