Asian-Style Farro Buddha Bowl with Crispy Baked Tofu
Stick to your healthy eating goals with this vegetarian and vegan-friendly Farro Buddha Bowl packed with veggies and protein, and full of Asian inspired flavor.
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Buddha bowls are a big deal in the foodie world these days – according to Pinterest they’re predicted to be among the top 10 food trends of 2017.
You’ve probably seen your fair share of them across social media and for good reason – they’re easy to put together, comforting yet healthy, full of flavor, and generally speaking they’re budget friendly. That’s why it was about time I shared one of my favorite Buddha bowl combos, which also happens to be a perfect fit for this month’s Recipe ReDux theme!
How low can you go? Can you make a meal for less than $3 per serving? Whatever your budget, show us your healthy entree recipe to help keep food spending in check in 2017.
As I mentioned, Buddha bowls are great when you’re trying to eat healthy on a budget and this Asian-Style Farro Buddha Bowl is no exception. I did a rough calculation of what this recipe costs and it comes to about $2.13 to $3.20 per serving – pretty awesome, huh?!
The low price point is thanks to in-season veggies and plant-based protein, which is less expensive than seafood, poultry, and meat. And spending less does not mean you’re sacrificing on nutrition or taste – this farro buddha bowl is packed with nutrients from whole grains, lean protein, and colorful vegetables.
It’s incredibly flavorful and delicious, which makes you want to dive in over and over again, which is perfect since you’re bound to have leftovers – another money saving perk. Cook once and eat twice or even three times – can’t get more budget friendly than that!
Farro Buddha Bowl Ingredients
The stars of this farro Buddha bowl are the whole grain farro base and all the flavor-packed toppings: oven-baked crispy tofu (which you may recognize from my Veggie Cauliflower Fried Rice and Peanut Soba Noodles), roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes, shredded carrots, edamame, scallions, cilantro, and a miso-lime dressing.
One of the ways I keep the cost down while still saving time in the kitchen is by shopping at Trader Joe’s. If you don’t have a TJ’s near you, you may have an ALDI, which I have heard is similar in having high-quality products for less money than traditional supermarkets.
For this recipe, I used TJ’s shredded Brussels sprouts, shredded carrots, cooked and shelled edamame soybeans, and cilantro. Trader Joe’s also sells pre-cubed sweet potatoes, but they didn’t have them the day I was there. The other fresh ingredients and tofu I got on sale at my regular supermarket and the tofu marinade and dressing ingredients are staples I always have on hand. I love Asian flavors so rice vinegar, miso paste, sesame oil, and soy sauce are always in my house!
The crispy baked tofu is one of my favorite recipes, as you can see from how often I add it to recipes. If you’re not a tofu fan or are in the mood for a different protein, chicken and thinly sliced steak made in the same marinade as the tofu would definitely go well with this bowl. Just keep in mind it will add to the cost of the recipe!
Preparing Farro Buddha Bowls
While the tofu is baking and the Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes are roasting, go ahead and make your farro, a nutty whole grain that stands up to all the other flavors in this bowl. Again, here is a place you can modify the recipe to your liking. If you need a gluten-free bowl, make quinoa or sorghum instead. If you have other grains on hand or your family (especially the kids) prefers something else, swap it out. Pretty much any grain will work here, just aim to keep it whole grain!
These Buddha bowls are vegetarian and vegan-friendly – no dairy or eggs are used, but there is honey in the dressing, which can easily be swapped out for brown sugar or maple syrup if you’re looking for a vegan substitute. They are also nut-free, although if you’d like to add some crunch, toasted cashews would go beautifully on top!
This recipe does require prep time for all the different parts of the dish, but buying the pre-shredded and pre-cut veggies does save time. And if you’re someone who does weekend meal prep, this is a great recipe to include so all you have to do come dinner time is compile the bowls.
Another great thing about this recipe is that you can set up a bowl bar and every family member can choose his or her toppings. Don’t you just love when you can customize a dish to your liking?!
So are you ready to get the recipe for this nutritious and delicious, budget-friendly Asian-Style Farro Buddha Bowl with Crispy Baked Tofu? I thought so!
Asian-Style Farro Buddha Bowl with Crispy Baked Tofu
Whole grain farro is topped with shredded carrots, edamame, roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes, and crispy baked tofu and then tossed with a miso lime dressing for a vegetarian meal the whole family will love. Can easily be made vegan and gluten-free.
Vegetarian, Vegan-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Kosher
For the tofu:
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce (or gluten-free soy sauce)
- One 16-ounce package extra firm tofu, drained, pressed*, and cubed small, (or two 8-ounce packages cubed super firm tofu)
For the Buddha bowl:
- Cooking spray
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked pearled farro (or other grain of choice - quinoa or rice for gluten-free)
- 10 ounces shredded Brussels sprouts, (look for a bag of pre-shredded)
- 2 cups diced sweet potatoes (~10 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
- 1 1/2 cups shelled edamame (pre-cooked or cooked from frozen, 9 ounces)
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
- Toasted cashews or chopped peanuts (optional)
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons honey (if vegan, use maple syrup)
- 2 teaspoons miso paste (double check gluten-free if necessary)
To make the tofu:
- Combine sesame oil, lime juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce in a small bowl and whisk until emulsified.
- Pour marinade over cubed tofu in a medium mixing bowl and marinate for at least 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.
- Preheat oven to bake at 425 degrees. Spread marinated tofu in one layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake in the top shelf for 20 minutes; turn tofu and bake another 10 minutes until crispy.
To make Buddha bowl:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two small baking sheets with foil, coat with cooking spray, and set aside.
- Place farro in a medium saucepan and add just enough water to cover the grain (~1 1/2 cups water). Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes until the water is mostly absorbed and the farro is tender but not mushy. Cover and remove from heat for five minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
- While the farro is cooking, toss Brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon oil and spread on one baking sheet and toss sweet potatoes with remaining tablespoon oil and spread on second baking sheet. Roast Brussels sprouts for about 8 minutes until tender with some crunchy pieces. Roast sweet potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes until tender and lightly browned.
- Divide the cooled farro among bowls. Add the roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes, edamame, carrots, scallions, cilantro, and baked tofu.
- To make the dressing, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Add to the Buddha bowl and toss to combine. Serve with toasted cashews if desired.
Directions to drain and press tofu:
- If you have a tofu press, place block of tofu in the press and refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes.
- If you do not have a press, press the tofu as follows: Place the block of tofu between multiple layers of paper towel or a couple of clean kitchen towels. Place the wrapped up tofu on a cutting board or plate and top with another cutting board or heavy pan. Set aside for about 30 minutes until most of the liquid is pressed out of the tofu.
Note: I usually drain the tofu overnight and marinate it in the morning.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 371Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 404mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 9gSugar: 11gProtein: 17g
Nutrition information was calculated by Nutritionix. It may not be 100% accurate.
Have you made a Buddha bowl yet?
If so, what’s your favorite combo of ingredients?
Share with me in the comments below!
Yes! This is the good stuff! Love all of these ingredients and your recipe is PROOF that eating nourishing food doesn’t have to be expensive. Well done!
Thanks so much sara!
No surprise, this Buddha bowl is right up my alley! You’ve packed it with so many of my favorites (by the way, I love that ingredient photo)! And I love the idea of bowl bar 🙂
Thank you! I knew you’d love it sonali! Remember when you posted your recent rice bowl I told you I had a similar recipe in the works? This is it!
Yum! This reminds me of grain bowl I put together for my husband’s lunches each week 🙂
That’s awesome you put one together for hubby’s lunch!
My new years resolution: Make more farro. Love this combo of ingredients!
Great resolution Serena and I am sure you’ll be able to achieve it if you stick with me b/c I have more farro recipes to come! 😉
Love all of the gorgeous colors and flavors you’ve included!
Thanks so much Anne!
Bowls are literally my daily go to!! This is a great reminder to mix up my ingredients and I love getting in a completely plant based meal!
Once all the ingredients are prepped they are so easy! hope you’ll give this ingredient combo a try Amanda!
This sounds so yummy, especially with brussels and sweet potatoes! It’s a great dish to prep and take for lunch all week!
Thanks Kaleigh! Those roasted brussels are my favorite part of the bowl!
I could eat Asian food all day every day! I really need to get my hands on some miso!
Me too! Miso is a staple ingredient in my fridge. Can’t be without it!
This bowl is screaming my name! I love all the fresh flavors in it. I always miss my tofu especially seeing a good dish like this. I’ve been saying I want to try adding it back in on occasion but I haven’t for a few months until Friday when I made a pizza with Chicken Free Grilled Strips made with soy. Pinned this one to hopefully try soon!
Thanks so much Sarah! I’m so glad you love it and feel free to sub in your protein of choice if soy isn’t agreeing with you. Hope you get to try it soon!
This looks awesome. Bowls have become my favourite go-to dinner because they are always filling and delicious!! I love the idea of having everyone assemble their own bowls with toppings the way they like – just a great idea!!
Thanks so much Rebecca! Glad to hear you are such a fan of bowls and that you like the bowl bar idea! LMK if you try this bowl out!
YUMMY! I love farro and I love your photo with all the ingredients in little bowls…It shows how simple and easy it is to put together and delicious meal…Thanks for sharing! XOXO
Thanks so much! When I had all the little bowls of ingredients laid out ready to mix everything I thought this is a shot worth showing people. So glad you liked it!
THIS IS SO SO SO SOMETHING I wanna chow down on, however, I would swap in chicken for the tofu and cauliflowered rice for the farro! YUMM! 🙂
Both would be delicious alternatives GiGi! Hope you enjoy!
Yum! I haven’t been able to find many tofu recipes that I like, but those with a crispy tofu tend to be better for me than the softer textured ones. I’m going to try this!
Thanks Chrissy! This is my go-to tofu recipe. I rarely make the tofu any other way for anything b/c I love it so much and so do my kids and hubby! Hope you do too!
I’d probably triple this batch so I could eat it over and over again for lunches!!! I do love a nice crisp on the outside of my tofu. Great recipe!
Thanks Chrissa – that’s a great idea since I can assure you you’ll need it!! Can’t wait to hear how you enjoy it!
I love asian/ oriental style bowls!! Yours looks amazing, and i looove crispy tofu! Great addition
Thanks Abbey! Hope you give it a try and enjoy!
This sounds SO good! I’ve been trying to find tofu recipes since I never think to make it at home! I can’t wait to try this!
Thanks so much Liz! Can’t wait for you to try it and let me know how you like it!!
Is it crazy to say that I have never cooked my own tofu before? This recipe has definitely inspired me, it looks SO good! I love that picture with all the ingredients laid out too, makes it so easy to know what I need!
Wow, Emily! I can’t believe that, but I know a lot of people who don’t make tofu at home. Hope this recipe is the one that gets you in the kitchen to make it!
This looks so good! I love your pictures for this bowl! My favorite is the one where you have them all in their own bowls so you can see what all is going in!
Thanks so much Meg! I’m so glad i took that pic – seems like it’s a fave across the board!
I love this buddha bowl! It looks so delish!
Thank you so much Carmy!
I haven’t cooked with farro before! This recipe looks like a great introduction to it. Also – your method for preparing tofu looks AMAZING, I’ll have to add it to my meal plan next week.
Oh, I can’t WAIT for you to make farro! It is so delicious – I love the nuttiness of it in particular. Thanks so much for your feedback and look forward to hearing your thoughts on the recipe!
Jessica, This is making me salivate. Looks so delicious and I can’t wait to make it!
Thank you so much Colleen! Can’t wait to hear how you like it!
I love this so much! I need to add Farro in my rotation. Thanks, Jessica!
Thanks so much Betsy! Can’t wait for you to try it!
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This looks great, Jessica! I love all the colors and flavors you put into this bowl. I’ll definitely have to try it out!
Thanks Brittany! This burrito bowl is a favorite in my house and what I love the most is that we all can fill our bowls with what we want! Plus I change up what goes in it depending on the season! Let me know if you try it 🙂
Looking to subscribe to your newsletter.
Make Buddha bowls often. Love the ones with faro.
Thanks so much Steffi. There are a few places on my site you can subscribe:
On the home page there’s a blue bar that says “Let Small Bites by Jessica Come to You!”
The footer on every page also has an opt-in box. or you can go directly to https://smallbitesbyjessica.com/#subscribe. Hope you enjoy the bowl!
Does the tofu need to be pressed before marinating? Thank you!
Yes, I just added the directions for how to do that in the Notes section of the recipe. Sorry for the confusion.
Loved this dish! It was a hit with me, the hubs and the toddler. Cook your farro with some miso paste (I used red) and add a drizzle of sriracha at the end if you like a little heat .
Thanks for sharing Callie! I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed it! Thanks for your added tips!