This is a satisfying sweet and spicy bowl that makes great use of a pantry staple – the humble chickpea. While it’s not as high protein as a dish including meat, 100g of tofu gives you 8-10g and the chickpeas give another 5. Not too bad, and if you know of a good vegan protein powder to add you can bulk it even more.
gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan
Vegan General Tso-Style Protein Bowl
1 can chickpeas
1 block extra firm tofu
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch broccolini, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 thumb ginger, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp. tamari, soy sauce or coconut aminos, divided
4 Tbsp. rice vinegar, divided
1/3 c. broth (I used mushroom onion; faux-chicken or any other stock would work just as well, you just want something with a little extra flavor to layer)
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. nut butter (I used peanut, but any nut butter would do)
2 Tbsp. sweetener (I had date molasses on hand but your favorite sweetener will do – if you go for something sweeter than molasses, consider halving to 2/3-ing the amount
2 tsp. heat (don’t be like me and use ghost pepper garlic sauce unless you want a punch in the mouth – go for something saner like a nice sambal olek for the same spicy garlic without the shock)
1 tsp. + sesame oil
1 tsp. grainy mustard (y’all know I love my Maille)
2 tsp. cornstarch or arrowroot powder +
Generous grinds pepper
Toppers: thinly sliced scallions, sesame seeds
Drain the chickpeas, add to a bowl and marinate in 1 Tbsp. soy + 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar for half an hour – a couple hours.
Press the tofu, chop into half-inch cubes, and add to a large bowl. Add 2 Tbsp. soy & 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar. Let marinate alongside the chickpeas.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining Tbsp. soy & Tbsp. vinegar, broth, tomato paste, nut butter, sweetener, heat, 1 tsp. of the sesame oil, grainy mustard, 2 tsp. cornstarch and a few grinds pepper.
Chop the veggies and get everything ready.
Add a couple Tablespoons cornstarch to the tofu mix and toss vigorously to coat. Air fry 7-8 minutes, tossing often to ensure even crispiness.
While the tofu is crisping, sauté the onion over medium heat in a couple teaspoons sesame oil until translucent. Add the ginger, garlic and broccolini and continue sautéing 2-3 minutes or until the broccolini looks like it’s beginning to soften a touch.
Add the peppers and let go another 2-3 minutes until those begin to soften, stirring often to avoid burning.
Add the bowl of sauce and the chickpeas. Stir well and sauté until the sauce is nice and thick and everything is well incorporated.
Add the tofu to each bowl individually (100g gives you 8g; 1c. of the chickpeas gives you 5), top with scallions and sesame seeds and serve.