By Melissa Baker  

This “glory bowl” is inexpensive and easy to make, so it’s a great option for university students. Plus, it’s a healthy choice for many reasons.

First off, it’s packed with healthy fats and plant-based protein. The whole-grain brown rice is also high in fibre, which helps keep you full longer and may help control blood sugar. And the variety of colourful vegetables means you’re getting a wide range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals — nutrients your body needs to thrive. As we dietitians like to say, “eat the rainbow!”

What’s more, the tofu, spinach, almonds and tahini are all sources of calcium, which some vegans don’t get enough of, and the nutritional yeast can be an excellent source of nutrients, especially brands fortified with vitamin B12. This is a 100 per cent plant-based recipe that even meat eaters will love (it even passed the test with my omnivorous partner, Sam!).

Melissa Baker is the manager of nutrition and wellbeing for student housing and hospitality services at the University of British Columbia and is featured in Food for Thought, a documentary from The Nature of Things.

Recipe adapted from Whitewater Cooks by Shelley Adams

Serves 4.

Ingredients

Bowl
1 package firm tofu, cut into ½-inch cubes
4 cups cooked brown rice
grated beets
grated carrots
2 cups spinach leaves, chopped
⅔ cup walnuts, toasted

Dressing
⅓ cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 tbsp water
3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp tahini paste
1 clove garlic, crushed
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

Prepare dressing by placing nutritional yeast, water, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, tahini and crushed garlic in a blender. Blend to combine while adding extra-virgin olive oil in a steady stream.

Place tofu cubes in a shallow dish, and pour ¼ of dressing over cubes to marinate.

In a skillet over medium heat, sauté tofu and its marinade for about 5 minutes. Set aside.

To assemble, divide brown rice between 4 bowls. Top each bowl with beets, carrots, spinach, walnuts and sautéed tofu.

Drizzle remaining dressing over each bowl and serve.

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