I like to think of today’s recipe as a random gift. This is one of those recipes that just sort of wandered into my head one day. I generally map out the content for the blog well in advance. But the moment my subconscious coughed up these Buffalo Tofu Bowls, they sailed straight to the top of my todo list. Why? Because any project that involves the use of condiments to excess is something I want to be a part of. Of course, the condiment in question is Frank’s RedHot and no, I’m not affiliated with the brand. But having said that, I would be willing to accept a crate of the stuff if they felt it was in their best interest to send it. Just saying.Jump to Recipe
Okay, so I know these bowls are bound to ruffle a few feathers. I doubt there is a single wings fan who isn’t giving these bowls the side-eye right now. I know, I know. Tofu is not remotely wing-like, but let’s face it, a chicken wing is just a vehicle for hot sauce. And by that reasoning, wouldn’t tofu – which is pretty much an edible sponge – be capable of delivering MORE hot sauce to your face? I mean, I think it’s sound reasoning.
Now, I get that gnawing on a bone is part of the wing eating aesthetic, but it’s not the be all and end all. And quite frankly, I’m not saying these Buffalo Tofu Bowls should replace wings altogether. When you want a wing only a wing will do. But if you do find yourself hit with an intense craving for a certain over-the-counter, vinegar-rich, not-very-hot-hot-sauce, tofu is your friend. Embrace it. It just wants to love you.
Another bonus: these Buffalo Tofu Bowls come with pasta – lemon orzo to be exact. In what context could you possibly fit both chicken wings and a hearty helping of pasta into one meal and still feel like a rational human being? Within the context of the bowl, almost all things are possible. Seriously, who would bat an eyelash at someone chowing down of tofu perched atop a mound of lemony, garlicky orzo? No one. Now, would you garner a few stares while attempting to crush a couple of pounds of wings with a side of baked ziti? You would and you would deserve them.
Now, you might be wondering why I decided to add pasta to a bowl that definitely didn’t need pasta. I mean, I get it, the orzo sort of comes out of left field. But you see, my brain tends to live in left field, so to me orzo just felt right. You can, of course, choose any base you like. I’m sure couscous, Isreali or otherwise, would do the trick. Rice would also be an excellent carb to bring to the party. You can, of course, nix the carbs and serve the tofu over romaine lettuce or another leafy green. But if you ask me, you should invite carbs and treat the lettuce as an accent. I mean, greenery is all fine and dandy but it doesn’t hold a candle to pasta.
To keep it nice and classic – even if I’m f*cking with it – I decided to pair these Buffalo Tofu Bowls with a simple blue cheese dressing. Now, you may remember that I made a Roquefort version some time ago for a certain wedge salad. Well, say hello to its summer cousin. This blue cheese dressing gets the light and tangy treatment courtesy of our good friend yogurt. It’s a nice change of pace from the heavier mayo-versions. Plus, there is something refreshing about yogurt that mayo just doesn’t have, which kills me to say because I love mayo so so very much. From there I kept everything exceedingly simple. A little fresh parsley here, a little lemon juice there, and a whole lot of garlic everywhere. All it takes is a stir and that’s about the it.
To round out the bowl, I kept things nice and green. I brought in romaine for freshness, granny smith apples for a tart crunch, cucumber for refreshment, and finally avocado for its richness and silky texture. Oh, and because they all looked super pretty together. But aside from their fly appearance and individual talents, what I like best about this produce posse – yes, I did just coin the term “produce posse”- is the way they play off of each other. For me, when it comes to pairing fruits and veggies, it’s all about contrast.
From there it’s all about building the bowl of your dreams. My dreams told me to overdo it on the tofu and orzo, keep it light on the romaine, abandon all common sense with the avocado and apple, and keep it sensible with the cucumber. I didn’t photograph this bowl because it lacked composition and, well, sanity. So, the bowls you see in the photos are bowls I imagine level-headed people would make. But feel free to sidestep any and all sensibility when building your own Buffalo Tofu Bowls irl.
So that’s everything you need to know about these Tofu Buffalo Bowls with Lemon Orzo and Blue Cheese Dressing. Equal parts healthy and indulgent, these bowls strike the type of balance we should all strive for. Veggies with a side of spice, fun and, of course, cheese.
Buffalo Tofu Bowls with Lemon Orzo and Blue Cheese Dressing
Blue Cheese Dressing
- 1 cup full fat Greek yogurt
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lemon juiced
- 50g blue cheese crumbled
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
Buffalo Tofu Bowls with Lemon Orzo
- 1 brick extra firm tofu sliced
- 3/4 cup buffalo hot sauce
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 tbsp honey
- 225g uncooked orzo
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 small head of romaine lettuce washed and coarsely chopped
- 1 granny smith apple thinly sliced
- 1 avocado sliced
- 2-3 mini cucumbers coarsely chopped
- 1 batch Blue Cheese Dressing see above
- blue cheese crumbled for sprinkling
For the Blue Cheese Dressing
- Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Buffalo Tofu Bowls with Lemon Orzo
- Preheat the oven to °400F
- Pour the hot sauce into a small saucepan. Add the butter and honey and place the pan over medium-low heat. Heat the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts. Take the pan off of the heat and set aside.
- Arrange the tofu slices on a small baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pour the hot sauce mixture over top, ensuring that all the tofu is covered.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, turning once. Turn on the broiler and broil for 5 minutes or until golden. Take the pan out of the oven and set aside.
- When the tofu is halfway through the cooking process, place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and cook according the package's directions.
- While the orzo is cooking, pour the olive oil and lemon juice into a large bowl. Add the garlic and the salt and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Drain the orzo and add it to the large bowl containing the lemon juice mixture. Toss to coat.
- Spoon the orzo into 4 large bowls. Top the pasta in each bowl with 5-6 tofu slices, a handful of romaine lettuce, several slices of the apple, cucumber, and avocado, and a dollop of the Blue Cheese Dressing. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of crumbled blue cheese.