Fresh Bowls from Toronto’s Fresh Restaurant

By on March 2, 2018

Buddha bowl has been on our menu since the very beginnings of Fresh and remains one of the most popular even after all these years. There’s something about peanut sauce on rice or noodles that just keeps people coming back. Serves 2.

Buddha Bowl

Ingredients
4 cups cooked brown basmati rice or soba noodles
16 Marinated Tofu Cubes
1.5 cups Buddha Sauce, heated
2 cups bean sprouts
8 slices tomato, halved
8 slices English cucumber, halved
¼ tsp Mexican chili powder
2 tbsp chopped unsalted peanuts
¼ cup fresh cilantro
2 lemon wedges

Directions
1) Divide cooked rice or soba between two large bowls.

2) Top with tofu cubes.

3) Pour an even amount of Buddha sauce over cubes in each bowl.

4) Arrange equal amounts of bean sprouts, tomato, and cucumber on top, then sprinkle with chili powder and chopped peanuts.

5) Garnish with cilantro and lemon wedges. Serve.

For the Buddha Sauce
We’ve been using this sauce on our popular Buddha bowl or over a decade now. The flavour is decadent and rich from the peanut butter, with spice and zing from the chillies, ginger, spices and lemon. Be careful when heating this sauce: stir often as the peanut butter has a tendency to burn. If making ahead of time, the sauce will thicken, so you may need to whisk in some water to get the right consistency and to prevent scorching before heating. If you don’t have a juicer, replace the carrot juice with some vegetable stock. Makes 6 cups.

Ingredients
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced onion
6 tbsp minced, peeled fresh ginger
6 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper or freshly ground crushed red chillies
1 1/3 cups carrot juice
1 cup water
3/4 cup rice vinegar
2 cups smooth natural peanut butter
2/3 cup tamari
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup sunflower oil

Directions
1) Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, ginger, and garlic and cook for a few minutes, until onion is softened.

2) Add curry powder and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds, and then remove from heat.

3) Add carrot juice, water, vinegar, peanut butter, tamari, lemon juice, sesame oil, and sunflower oil. Stir well and let cool.

4) Using an immersion blender or regular blender, blend on high speed until smooth.

5) Before serving, gently reheat in a saucepan over low heat.

Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, this sauce will last for up to five days.
From “Super Fresh: Super Natural, Super Vibrant Vegan Recipes”by Jennifer Houston and Ruth Tal owners of Fresh, a Toronto-based chain of boutique vegan restaurants and juice bars. Copyright @ Fresh by Juice for Life, Ltd., 2015. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Photography credit: Kyla Zanardi.

High Raw Thai Noodles

“High raw” is a new concept in the world of raw food, meaning almost all raw or as raw as possible. I think it’s a great development, since eating all raw all the time is difficult, and this makes it easier to embrace the parts of raw food that I love—tons of raw veggies and highly flavoured sauces. If you don’t have a turning slicer (Spiralizer) to make the spiralized zucchini, either use a julienne peeler, a regular peeler, or a knife to cut long, thin strips. Serves 4.

Red Curry Peanut Dressing
1 cup coconut milk
¼ cup gluten-free soy sauce or tamari
3 tbsp  coconut sugar or sweetener of your choice
¼ cup natural peanut butter
1 tbsp peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 tsp red curry paste (we prefer Thai Kitchen)

Bowls
8 cups spiralized zucchini
¾ cup + 1 tsp Red Curry Peanut Dressing
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped English cucumber
16 grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups bean sprouts
2 cups micro arugula
12 Grilled Tofu Steaks
Sliced red chilies, to taste
8 lime wedges

Directions
1) 1. Make red curry peanut dressing. Combine coconut milk, soy sauce, sugar, peanut butter, ginger, and red curry paste in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth. Set aside.

2) Assemble the bowls Divide spiralized zucchini evenly among four serving bowls and top each with 2 tbsp (30 mL) of dressing.

3) Top each with equal amounts of the following: red pepper, cucumber, grape tomatoes, bean sprouts, micro arugula, and grilled tofu steaks. Drizzle with an additional 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the dressing. Garnish with red chilies and lime wedges.

Marinated Tofu Steaks
We serve thousands of these tofu steaks every month. They go well on everything: salads, bowls, tacos, wraps, sandwiches… At the restaurants we grill them, but at home you can either cook them under the broiler, on a panini grill, on a barbecue, or in a frying pan with some oil. Makes 16 tofu steaks.

Ingredients
½ cup  tamari
2 cups water
2 tbsp ground coriander
4 tsp garlic powder
1 block extra firm tofu

Directions
1) Combine tamari, water, coriander, and garlic powder in a bowl.

2) Cut block of tofu in half lengthwise, then cut each half into four slices, and then cut those slices on the diagonal to form 8 triangular steaks. Add to marinade.

3) Cover and set aside for at least an hour, or overnight, to marinate (refrigerate if overnight).

4) To cook, either grill or pan-fry with 1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 mL) of oil over medium-high heat until browned on both sides.

From “Super Fresh: Super Natural, Super Vibrant Vegan Recipes”by Jennifer Houston and Ruth Tal. Copyright @ Fresh by Juice for Life, Ltd., 2015. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Photography credit: Kyla Zanardi.

Visit a Fresh restaurant near you: freshrestaurants.ca

About Charleen Wyman

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