This restaurant-inspired, make-ahead lunch uses tofu as the blank canvas, then yumms it all up with an amazing sauce with roasted tomatoes and poblano pepper. The depth of flavor will satisfy you all week at lunch, in the vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free, healthiest way. With Earth Day coming up April 22, don’t just go vegetarian for a meal or two a week. Give vegan a try.
So, yes. This recipe is totally Chipotle restaurant copycat. The funny part is that I made these for myself at home before I even ever tried sofritas at Chipotle. So I was really just copying the idea, but then I think I kinda nailed it. …or not. I don’t care. The whole point here is to have a feel-good lunch made for the whole week. Healthy, vegan (because we love our planet yes?), and YUMMMMYYYY. Because if we are going to make something with no meat, no dairy, no bread or such, it had better be bad-ass. 😎
Last weekend was my first tri of this year. I did the Olympic distance this year at HITS in Ocala, FL. Oly is a 1.5k swim, 26mi bike, and 10k run. It went well, was fun. Long enough to make me work for it, short enough that I didn’t have to work too hard. Unlike the half Ironman there last year. 😁
So, in getting ready for this race, I made this lunch because I wanted the protein but I really want to back off so many meat products all the time. So I went full out VEGAN. I took it as a personal challenge. 🙌🌿
Why vegan? Well, that’s a bit of a story that I will save for another post. But in a nutshell, a significant portion of our estuary where I live collapsed a couple weeks ago. An algae bloom, fueled by sewage and fertilizers, sucked the O2 from the water and all the fish for 100 square miles suffocated and died. I will explain better in another post, but in seeing this and processing it and investigating what caused it and what needs to be done about it, this lunch recipe – and whole approach to eating and living actually – suddenly had much greater meaning for me.
“Meatless Monday” is not enough. We have to do better. 🌎
So, now I’m coming from that place. With a truly great recipe I really hope you will try. No matter your motivation – health, wellness, simplicity, affordability (tofu is cheap!), fitness, or the environment. There are so many reasons to love this lunch. ❤️
This recipe is very easy (I know, I always say that). We toast up some tofu as our protein, then add some filling black beans and the DELICIOUS sauce that is really key to the whole thing. Holy cow – roast tomatoes and poblano pepper give a phenomenal depth of flavor. Finally, we top it off with fresh tomatoes, onion, herb, and healthy guacamole so we do not even miss the cheese or sour cream or whatever. This lunch will satisfy. I promise.
So that’s it kids. A truly tasty, inspired lunch – made all in advance – to make our lives easier, healthier, and to do our part for this one and only home we have. 🌻
- 12 oz organic extra firm tofu
- 2 poblano peppers
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 Tbs fresh oregano leaves, chopped
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 1 Tbs red wine vinegar
- 1 cup reduced sodium black beans, rinsed
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 Tbs fresh cilantro
- 5 single packets guacamole (or substitute avocado)
- 15 (3 per serving) small "street taco" sized corn tortillas
- 5 lime wedges
- Layer the tofu with paper towels and press under a book or pot or something for 20 minutes to get moisture out. Chop.
- Roast the poblano peppers. I did mine on the grill, turning regularly to get the skin all black and blistered. This can also be done under a broiler. Once done, transfer them to a large ziploc bag, seal, and let them steam. Once cool enough to handle, remove the skin and seeds. Place one pepper in a food processer. Dice the other pepper and set aside.
- Toss the drained diced tomatoes in 1 tsp olive oil and layer on a bake sheet. Roast in a 400F oven or on the grill (indirect heat) for 30 minutes until slightly charred and awesome. Transfer to the food processor.
- Along with the roasted tomatoes and one of the poblano peppers, add the garlic, oregano, onion, cumin, salt, chipotle pepper, red wine vinegar, and 1 teaspoon olive oil to the food processor. Process until smooth.
- Heat the last 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the tofu and cook, tossing regularly and breaking into small pieces with a spatula, until well browned.
- To the browned tofu, add the chipotle-poblano-tomato sauce and the black beans. Add the reserved diced poblano pepper. Portion out to 5 containers. Top with fresh tomato and cilantro. Serve in corn tortillas with guacamole and a squeeze of lime. Yields 5 servings.
- For the squash, I just sprayed cut zucchini and yellow summer squash with olive oil, and dusted lightly with kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, and garlic and herb seasoning, then baked for 20 minutes or so at 400F until tender.