Wild Rice Bowls with Sweet Potatoes and Spicy Tofu

Flavour packed wild rice bowls with roasted sweet potatoes, spicy marinated tofu, lacinato kale, crisp apple, and crumbles of sharp cheese.

wild rice salad in a wooden bowl with apples and cheese in the background

I’m Canadian, so, to me, Thanksgiving is in October and it’s on a Sunday.

I never really questioned that until I moved to Sweden, of all places, and formed a family of expat friends who are mostly American. We’ve got a couple of Aussies, to whom Thanksgiving isn’t a thing anyways, and a couple of other Canadians, but by numbers we are more American than anything else, and so, this week we celebrate.

wild rice, roasted sweet potato, spicy tofu, cheese, and kale on a grey background

Thanksgiving on a Thursday in November will never feel normal to me, but it’s hard to argue against it as a gatekeeper to the holiday season. Also, I look forward to the feast each year. My friend Emily makes the best g-damn cornbread stuffing I’ve ever had (to be fair, it’s the only cornbread stuffing I’ve ever had, but I’m more than confident that it’s the best). Our friend Larni is in charge of a knock-your-socks-off kale salad (this one, I believe), and our friend Alison has been working through a repertoire of increasingly impressive dishes ever since I taught her how to hold a knife some seven years ago.

wild rice salad in a wooden bowl on a grey dish cloth shot from overhead

I am in charge of pies (pumpkin; two of them), but I usually like to bring a vegetarian side dish as well. Since I pardoned the turkey over 25 years ago the sides are what Thanksgiving dinner is all about for me anyways, but I still like to make sure that I’m reasonably well balanced in my non-pie portion of the meal.

Whether you’re still scrounging up ideas for holiday side dishes, or are meal planning for the coming weeks, what I’ve humbly got on offer is wild rice bowl, and I think you might just like it.

portrait shot of wild rice salad in a wooden bowl with apples and cheese

If you’re thinking it looks like just another kale salad, well, hold your horses. We’ve got good stuff going on up in here:

  • Wild rice
  • Lacinato kale
  • Roasted sweet potatoes
  • Spicy tofu
  • Diced apple
  • Crumbled cheese
  • Balsamic vinaigrette

This wild rice bowl is good warm, cold, or at room temperature, and in case you were wondering, it does make a fine packed lunch. It’s easily vegan (just leave the cheese out), it’s gluten-free, and best of all, every component can be made in advance.

When I made this particular version (because I’ve had versions of this on repeat over the last few months trying to get it exactly right) I cooked the wild rice, roasted the sweet potatoes, and washed the kale a day in advance. The day I assembled the salad I washed the kale, prepped the tofu, whisked together the dressing. At go time all I needed to do was dice the apple, crumble the cheese, and toss the whole thing together. Easy as pie.

two wooden bowls with wild rice salad on a grey background with an apple

Regarding the tofu, can I tell you a secret? I never press tofu. Never! I honestly don’t see the point, because I don’t think that tofu turns out all that differently pressed or un-pressed. But! I will tell you that first pan-frying the tofu and then marinating it has been a total game changer in the tofu department. So I hope you’ll forgive the extra step and extra dish that creates. It’s worth it!

Wild Rice isn’t actually rice at all. Rather, it’s a type of grass, known as an aquatic cereal, which is native to Canada and the United States. It’s been part of the diet of the First Nations people in areas where it is grown for thousands of years. Wild rice is a good source of B vitamins including B1 (Thiamine), B6, B9 (Folate) and B12, as well as dietary fiber, which helps steady the pace of digestion and regulate glucose uptake.

wild rice bowls with sweet potato and spicy tofu // www.heynutritionlady.com

Other sturdy salads and bowls you might enjoy:

Wild Rice and Chickpea Salad
Kale and Butternut Squash Salad
Sweet Potato, Lentil, and Kale Salad
Winter Citrus Breakfast Salad with Quinoa and Walnuts
Kale Salad with Quinoa and Smoked Feta
Kale Tabbouleh Salad

wild rice salad in a wooden bowl on a grey dish cloth shot from overhead
5 from 2 votes
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Wild Rice Bowls with Sweet Potatoes and Spicy Tofu

Flavour packed wild rice bowls with roasted sweet potatoes, spicy marinated tofu, lacinato kale, crisp apple, and crumbles of sharp cheese. A great make-ahead meal or holiday side dish.

Course Salad
Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 43 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 401 kcal

Ingredients

Roasted sweet potatoes

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

For the tofu

  • 12 ounces firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Sriracha
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp honey or other liquid sweetener
  • 1/4 cup water

For the dressing

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey or other liquid sweetener
  • salt and pepper to taste

Remaining ingredients

  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 1 bunch Lacinato kale de-stemmed and sliced into ribbons
  • 1 apple cored and diced
  • 3 ounces sharp cheese crumbled

Instructions

To make the sweet potatoes

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 

  2. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes into 2cm cubes. Toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 

  3. Arrange the sweet potatoes into a single layer on the baking sheet, and roast for 20-30 minutes, until slightly browned and fork-tender. 

  4. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly. 

To make the tofu

  1. Cut the tofu into 2cm / 1 inch cubes. 

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and fry for several minutes on each side until browned and a bit crispy.

  3. While the tofu is frying, whisk together the soy sauce, Sriracha, sesame oil, honey, and water in a small bowl. 

  4. Once the tofu is browned, reduce the heat to low and pour the marinade over top. Allow it to simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the marinade has been absorbed.  

  5. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To make the bowls

  1. Cook the wild rice according the package directions (I used 1 part rice to 3 parts water, simmered on low, covered, for 45 minutes). The rice should be chewy and slightly firm and may have burst open. 

  2. Drain the wild rice and let cool. 

  3. Whisk together the balsamic vinaigrette.

  4. In a large bowl combine kale, wild rice, tofu, diced apple, and roasted sweet potatoes. Add the dressing and toss to combine. 

  5. Top with crumbled cheese if desired. 

Recipe Notes

This recipe serves 4 hungry people as a main, more as a side.

For the cheese, I used a strong Swedish cheese called Västerbotten. An aged cheddar would also be good.

To for a vegan dish, skip the cheese and replace the honey in the dressing and marinade with maple syrup or another liquid sweetener. 

Nutrition Facts
Wild Rice Bowls with Sweet Potatoes and Spicy Tofu
Amount Per Serving
Calories 401 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 37%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 14mg 5%
Sodium 804mg 34%
Potassium 526mg 15%
Total Carbohydrates 33g 11%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 7g
Protein 14g 28%
Vitamin A 94%
Vitamin C 71.1%
Calcium 19.9%
Iron 12.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Flavour packed wild rice bowls with roasted sweet potatoes, spicy marinated tofu, lacinato kale, crisp apple, and crumbles of sharp cheese. A great make-ahead meal or holiday side dish.
#vegetarian #wildrice #glutenfree



 

Comments

  1. This looks soooo goooood! Is that too many o’s.? Seriously, it looks like a salad/side dish I will have to try. I’ll forgive those extra tofu steps as I trust you. Have a great American Thanksgiving Day. I’ll be in London working, so probably eating something spicy on my own! I can’t remember a Thanksgiving that I wasn’t working. Maybe next year I’ll remember to take it off ????

    • Never too many o’s, Kellie! I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving even if it was alone with a bowl of spicy something – sometimes those are the best meals, even if not at all traditional.

  2. Everything about this recipe looks delicious. I love the tip of prepping veggies earlier in the day. Can’t wait to try it out.

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