It is hot as blue blazes and my a/c is on duty nonstop and tries to keep the insight temperature at an human-appropriate level. I love my sweet treats, so I am still cranking up my oven despite the weather. I am not giving up my baking, that’s why ceiling fans are invented.
After popping cakes and cookies in my oven for weeks and eating rather cold meals like salads and sandwiches or cooking outside using the grill, I changed my strategy. I made some salads in the oven with roasted vegetables and switched to cold desserts, ice cream is in season right now.
I used tofu for this oven salad, not a stranger in my kitchen but neither a regular guest. If you like substitute tofu with chicken chunks, I’ll understand not everyone is in love with tofu in my house. The sweetness of the sweet potato and the crunchy kale work perfect together. Kale is known as a cold season vegetable but it is also very heat resistant and therefore available all year long. The other day I made a version with pearl barley instead of brown rice and loved it. As the cooking time is rather long for both, I like to double the amount and freeze half of it.
200 g / 1 cup brown rice
100 g / 3.6 oz kale, ribs removed and chopped
200 g / 7 oz. sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite size chunks (about one medium size)
200 g / 7 oz. tofu, extra firm (about half a block)
3 Tbsp ghee (clarified butter) or olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
salt to taste
1 small lemon (juice and zest)
1 green onion, chopped
Cook brown rice: in a medium saucepan bring 500 ml / 2 cups of water to boil, add salt and brown rice and reduce heat to medium, let simmer for 45 minutes. Drain if necessary and fluff with a fork.
Drain the tofu: cover tofu with paper towels and set it on a plate, top with another plate and put something heavy on it (like a pan). Let stand for 15 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 200 C / 400 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Toss sweet potato chunks with 1 Tbsp ghee, season with salt and spread in one layer on one baking sheet. Put into the oven for about 20 minutes at first (after that you will add tofu and kale and continue cooking all together).
Cut the tofu into cubes. Mix soy sauce and sesame oil in a medium bowl and add tofu and marinate for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare kale and toss in 2 Tbsp ghee, spread evenly over the other baking sheet.
Remove sweet potato from the oven, flip them with a spatula and add the tofu cubes to this baking sheet. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F and put both baking sheets into the oven, continue cooking for 15-18 minutes.
In a big bowl bring together brown rice, sweet potato and kale, sprinkle with lemon zest and juice. Season to taste and top with green onion.