Monday, January 4, 2016 / ... comments / ,

BBQ Baked Tofu Rainbow Bowls

Start the year with a satisfying  and detoxifying vegan rainbow bowl with BBQ baked tofu. 

My 8 year old recently informed me that her favorite meat is tofu. "Like chicken nuggets but way better!" When I told her that tofu is actually made of plants she didn't believe it. It's just so... meaty! I thought this was kind of hilarious, as up until a few years ago I didn't like tofu at all. I thought it was flavorless and had a unpalatable mushy texture. Turns out, I just didn't know how to prepare it well. Lately I have been making crispy baked tofu about once a week to add to veggie stir-frys, fried rice, for kids' lunches, and my favorite... rainbow bowls. Rainbow bowls are an easy way to get everyone to eat more veggies while cleaning out the fridge. My girls love sweet potatoes, purple cabbage, and roasted kale, so that's what I added this week. Sometimes we add corn, black, beans, salsa and guacamole for a Mexican spin. Having the kids create a "rainbow" on their plates is a fun and easy way to help them eat a variety of foods and nutrients. Some kids prefer individual foods not be mixed together as they would be in a salad, and rainbow bowls are a great solution. 

To make tofu that's flavorful, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, and nutritious, I simply cube organic firm tofu. I pat it dry and bake it on a cookie sheet with cooking spray until golden brown. This time I added flavor with BBQ sauce - other times I use teriyaki or soy sauce.

I know health concerns surrounding phytoestrogen in soy have been circulating in recent years. Here is a great read debunking that myth, written by a medical doctor. My personal take is that since the majority of soy is GMO, it's a good idea to buy organic tofu. Second, soy (along with vegetables and rice) is one of the main staples of the people living in Okinawa, Japan, where women live longer than anywhere else on earth. Okinawans have extremely low rates of cancer and other diseases prevalent in the US. (1) So... I'll have what she's having.

Veggie rainbow bowls are one of those meals that you can eat as much as you want of, and still feel fabulous. I suggest starting with the quinoa and tofu, and then making a big platter of the toppings your family likes. Let kids make their own bowls and you might be surprised by what they like. 

rainbow bowl recipe

(1) Okinawa Centenarian Study 

BBQ Baked Tofu Rainbow Bowls

Yummy Mummy Kitchen
Published 01/03/2016
BBQ Baked Tofu Rainbow Bowls
Detoxify with this satisfying and nourishing rainbow bowl filled with protein and vitamins.


  • 1 lb. extra firm organic tofu, cubed
  • favorite BBQ sauce
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 sweet potatoes, sliced and roasted*
  • 2 avocados, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 purple cabbage, shredded or sliced
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale, roasted in olive oil or sautéed*
  • favorite fresh greens or herbs such as cilantro
  • Ranch or tahini dressing (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Pat tofu cubes with a paper towels to remove some liquid. Place on a cookie sheet coated with cooking spray. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes, turning halfway through. Pour BBQ sauce over the tofu and toss to coat. You don't need to measure, just use enough to coat the tofu. Bake an additional 5 minutes.
  2. Pile tofu, quinoa, and veggies in bowls, creating a rainbow of foods. Dress with a little extra virgin olive oil and sea salt, or favorite creamy salad dressing like Ranch, if desired. Enjoy!
*To roast sweet potato slices, roast on a cookie sheet at 450 degrees F for 20 minutes coated with cooking spray or evoo and a sprinkle of salt. I make this in advance and reheat throughout the week. 

*To roast kale, remove ribs. Coat with 1 tablespoon evoo and a few pinches of sea salt. Bake at 375 degrees on a cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes.  

Yield: Serves 4 
Prep Time: 5 mins.
Cook time: 5 mins.
Total time: 10 mins.
Tags: healthy, vegetarian, vegan, rainbow bowls, salad
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