Wish Upon A Dish: Marco Polo Chinese Wedding Bowl ♥ Plant Protein Power Bowls #thereciperedux October challenge

October 21, 2016

Marco Polo Chinese Wedding Bowl ♥ Plant Protein Power Bowls #thereciperedux October challenge

When I worked for Xerox in 1975, I was sent to their technical training facility in Virginia for 6 weeks.
It was one of the most modern facilities of it's time and it offered everything. Room and board included a full buffet all day and night up to 10pm.

Even though the facility was state of the art, the food, while better than that at a state college, was still cafeteria-style and it was there that I became a Vegetarian. Eventually I added fish but for 4 years I survived on vegetables. That was after the hippy health food era but way before Vegan.

In my quest for eating healthier, I knew my goal was a reduction from 25% to 10% dairy and an increase from 33% to 50% vegetarian. I probably will never visit 100% Vegetarian again, I have been trying to gradually introduce more Vegan options into our meals.

The perfect opportunity to finally "play" with tofu came this month when #TheRecipeRedux October challenge was to create a plant protein power bowl and not use one already posted.
I got the idea to take a favorite soup recipe (Italian Wedding Soup) and repurpose those ingredients for this challenge.

In place of the pasta I cooked Korean sweet potato noodles (also plant-based). No chicken broth here. I used a vegetarian broth to thin out two packages of miso broth with kombu and mushrooms.

Keeping in the spirit of the Italian version, the meatballs are made using firm tofu. I subbed out the with watercress (a more POWER green) and switched to mung beans for the white beans.
I was apprehensive makes tofu meatballs but except for making them way too large, they tasted meaty and something I know The Nudge will even like.


The only thing in this bowl that isn't vegetarian is the egg. Not your thing, just omit and in doing so takes nothing away from the dish.

I was not a fan of the mung beans. By the time they were tender they split and shed their skins. I think next time I will simply open a can of beans and go back to using the mung beans to bulk up my rice.

All in all I was happy with the result but I made the meatballs with garlic and onion salts thinking they might be too bland and after poaching them in the miso broth, they absorbed too much salt. A easy adjustment to make.
That being said let's get cooking......

While baking the meatballs, I put the stock and miso broth to a simmer.
I poached, in this order.....
1. the tofu meatballs
2. the mung beans
3. the sweet potato noodles
4. the carrots and watercress
5. the poached egg

Tofu Meatballs
makes 11-12 1" meatballs
* 1/2 pound firm tofu, drained, blotted and mashed
* 1/4 cup oat or chickpea flour
* 1/4 cup cornstarch
* 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
* 1 tablespoon Bragg's liquid amino's or 1 tablespoon soy sauce
* 1 teaspoon onion salt
* 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
* 1 garlic clove
* 1/2 small shallot
* 1 big handful watercress

Roll 1" balls and bake on parchment paper at 425° for 25 minutes. Cool.

Protein Bowl
makes 2 dinner-sized bowls

* 2 packets of miso soup with kombu and mushrooms
* 1 box vegetable broth
* 1 cup julienned carrots
* 1/2 cup dried mung beans
* 1 salad package watercress
* 2 ounces Korean sweet potato, glass or soba noodles 
* remaining watercress
* sesame seeds for garnish
* 2 eggs, poached (optional)

Place half the noodles, the beans, the carrots & watercress and the tofu meatballs in a large soup bowl. Ladle enough broth to come up to but not over, the vegetables in the bowl.
Place the egg in the middle and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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