Over the weekend I became obsessed with a book, The Blue Zones Solution, by Dan Buettner. The author is a National Geographic Fellow who has traveled throughout the world, analyzing a few groups of people who are known for living the longest, healthiest lives. Only one of the groups is completely vegan, but all of them follow a mostly plant-based diet full of vegetables, fruit, grains, and limited of meat.
The book inspires me to kick my vegan lifestyle up a notch and spend more time cooking in the kitchen using the very “longevity ingredients” discussed in the book. Since I also hate food waste, I looked in my fridge to see what ingredients I already had to make a delicious meal. So below is the recipe I threw together for what I like to call a “Vitality Bowl” – it is packed with protein, filled with nutrients, and made with lots of love for one’s self. Enjoy!
About 5 Servings – You’ll need:
- Tofu, extra firm (1 block)
- Sriracha Sauce
- Red Cabbage (2 cups, sliced)
- Green Onion (3 Stalks)
- Radishes (3)
- Small piece of Ginger (optional)
- 5-6 Garlic Cloves
- Soy Sauce
- Turmeric powder
- Cayenne pepper (optional – for those who like extra spice!)
- Olive Oil (to grease the pan)
- You can buy tofu that is already coated in sriracha sauce at Trader Joe’s. If you can’t find any pre-made, buy a plain block of tofu, extra firm, and a bottle of sriracha sauce. Drain the tofu of any water. Marinate the tofu in sriracha sauce for 4-6 hours, and then slice into cubes.
- Slice the cabbage, onion, radishes, and grate the ginger.
- Lightly grease the pan on medium heat in olive oil. Toss in the tofu and cook for about 5 minutes. Add in whole garlic cloves and sliced radishes for about 2 more minutes, then add the rest of the vegetables and chickpeas until they soften (about 3-5 more minutes).
- Mix soy sauce, turmeric, and cayenne into the pan, to taste (I probably added about 3 tbsp. of soy sauce & turmeric, and about 1 tbsp. of cayenne pepper into the pan, but everyone is different! Add a little at a time and taste it as you go, until you create the perfect dish for you!)
G a r l i c – According to the book, thousands of studies suggest that garlic prevents/decreases the prevalence of chronic diseases such as stroke, cancer, immune disorders, and arthritis, among others (Buettner, 51).
T u r m e r i c – Studies suggest that turmeric may have anti-aging properties, and is an important antioxidant that acts as an anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory spice (Buettner, 51).
C h i c k p e a s – These are high in protein, fiber, and unsaturated fat (Buettner, 41) to fuel your body and cleanse your mind.
T o f u – The book states that people who eat soy foods in place of meat have been shown to have lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which reduces one’s risk for heart disease. Soy foods are also believed to protect women from breast cancer due to its presence of phytoestrogens (Buettner, 51).