Vegan Rice Bowl Recipe for Vitality

1. Soak rice in a bowl of water (soaking gives the grains a head start on cooking and helps make the rice easier to digest), at least 1 hour. Drain, then rinse rice to remove debris. In a heavy pot, combine rice, 1¾ cups water, and salt, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer and cook, 30 minutes. Turn off heat and let rest on the burner without lifting lid, 15 minutes.

2. Place tofu on a cutting board, and press it (place a heavy item, such as a pot or thick book, on a plate over the tofu), 15–30 minutes. Slice tofu lengthwise into 1-inch-thick strips. In skillet over medium-high heat, warm oil. Use tongs to add tofu to skillet, and fry until browned, 3–4 minutes per side. Carefully remove tofu from skillet and let cool. (You can also slice the tofu into thinner ¼-inch strips.)

3. In a pot with a steamer basket, boil water. Add kale, and steam, 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

4. In a saucepan, bring orange juice, lemon juice, and sugar to a gentle boil, then simmer on low heat, 1 minute. Remove from heat; add soy sauce, mirin, and vinegar. Return to a gentle boil and cook until mixture thickens, 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

5. When the rice has cooled, transfer to a wooden bowl. Pour dressing over rice, and mix until grains are coated. Serve in individual bowls topped with tofu, steamed kale, avocado, green onions, toasted nori, and sesame seeds.