Listen, cranberries aren’t just for Thanksgiving anymore – but they do remind me of fall, it’s true. I work downtown in Seattle so I can see the seasons changing on menus all over town once October hits. At work, I go out a lot for lunch and there’s a couple fast and delicious salad spots that I frequent. Salad can get really boring after awhile and many people associate is as a summer-time food. I hear people say “I’ll just have a salad” like it’s something lesser than. This diet-associated food doesn’t have to have a bad reputation! Doctor up your salad with toppings you love, plenty of healthy fat and lots of protein for a filling meal that will get you through the work day without any afternoon slumps. In honor of fall and the The Recipe Redux theme of protein bowls this month, I’m posting my Tofu Cranberry Protein Bowl recipe.
For this protein bowl, I blended heartier greens like kale with softer greens like spinach in this salad for depth of texture. Since it’s fall, cranberries and almonds are a definite autumn addition. The olive oil base adds healthy fat to keep you satiated for hours. This bowl is definitely packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Plant based proteins deserve a place in salads so I loaded my Tofu Cranberry Protein Bowl up with tofu cubes and chickpeas and topped it off with a very simple and light lemon dressing. Never be a tofu/soy hater – it’s good for you and that’s the bottom line. I could go on and on about this but fellow nutrition dietitian experts Sharon Palmer, the Grateful Grazer and the Vegetarian Nutrition dietetic practice group have all the info you need.
Bonus: October is also Vegetarian Awareness Month. Celebrate plant-based proteins! I’m the Past Chair of the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group – we have awesome resources for all your veggie lifestyle related questions including safety of soy and other hot topics. I also love to talk about how to live a healthy plant-based lifestyle throughout your life, especially for kids. Check out this post from the summer, Kids Eat Right Vegetarian and Vegan! Happy Veggie month to you. I hope you enjoy this Tofu Cranberry Protein Bowl!