For some people, mindfulness happens via meditation, running, practicing yoga, knitting, talking to a loved one–techniques that are “natural” or enabled by some of the exciting technology apps that help you to disengage (ironically enough). All of these things have helped me move from being grade-A high-strung to something more like a B+ (I’m working on it…), but when things are feeling chaotic and out of my control around me, I know there are few things that can comfort me like standing next to the kitchen counter and chopping vegetables. I attribute my diet comprised mostly of roasted vegetable bowls to this habit, and making a big batch of roasted [insert seasonal vegetable here] on Sunday nights has become one of my favorite routines.
This bowl also features another combination I love and find particularly appropriate now, as I and so many people around the country deal with heightened emotions of all sorts. For me, it’s a fiery combination of work stress, an overdue life-audit, and the state of the nation now that we’re really in it. The food translation is: hot mains over cold greens, which when mixed together find a culinary equilibrium that suits my digestion’s highs and lows just right.
You can easily customize a bowl like this to include whatever ingredients you like, or give yourself one less decision and follow along. Either way, I hope the balance of hot and cold, spicy and sweet, to give you an hour or two of mental peace, and enough leftovers to have it carry you though the week.
Hot & Cold Roasted Vegetable Salad Bowl
- 1 block firm tofu cut into cubes
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 3 green onions thinly chopped
- 1 medium acorn squash
- 1 head green lettuce chopped
- 1 package fresh spinach
- 3 T. olive oil
- Salt and pepper
For the dressing:
- 1 T. tamari
- 1 T. apple cider vinegar
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 T. white miso
- 1 t. paprika
- 1 t. fresh grated ginger
- 1 clove garlic grated or mashed
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1 t. nutmeg
- Drain the tofu and squeeze out any excess liquid by wrapping the block in paper towel and weighing down for at least 30 minutes.
- Prepare the dressing by whisking together all ingredients in a medium bowl. Cube the tofu, and toss in the dressing. Let the tofu sit in the dressing for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
- When the tofu is ready, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Chop the asparagus spears into thirds and arrange with the green onions on a baking dish. Toss in 1-1/2 T. olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Chop into half moon slices, then in half again (something like quarters) and arrange on another baking sheet. Drizzle with remaining 1-1/2 T. oil, salt, and pepper.
- Add the tofu to either sheet (wherever you have more room), keeping everything in an even layer. Reserve the extra dressing for serving. Roast the vegetables for 25-30 minutes; you want them to be very brown and almost caramelized, but not burnt.
- To serve, wash and mix the greens and distribute evenly in large bowls. Top with roasted vegetables and tofu and remaining dressing. Let the heat from the vegetables wilt the greens slightly.