Mains

Tofu Tahini Salad Bowl

January 21, 2018

Tofu Tahini Salad Bowl

The quality of our sleep goes hand in hand with our diet and lifestyle choices and the Tofu Tahini Salad Bowl has been created with ingredients that are rich in the nutrients needed to help create the all-important sleep neurotransmitter, melatonin.

Tofu is a good source of tryptophan, an amino acid essential to producing the sleep hormone, melatonin.

Our sleep pathway is regulated by the production of neurotransmitters. Firstly serotonin is needed and this has to be further converted into melatonin. All of this is helped along by some specific vitamins and minerals. Sleeping in a dark room is also an essential part of melatonin production and lifestyle and dietary factors can also affect your sleep, such as caffeine, alcohol or stress.

The salad full of the nutrients you need for a good night's sleep!

Key Nutrients – Tofu Tahini Salad Bowl

Tofu:

  • The recommended daily intake of tryptophan is 3mg per kg of body weight and a 100g portion of tofu will provide approx. 23mg tryptophan.
  • Tryptophan is essential for converting amino acids into neurotransmitters to help create serotonin and melatonin.
  • Tofu is a really good source of calcium and one serve meets approx. one-third of the required daily intake (RDI is 1000mg).

Sweet Potato:

  • A mineral-rich vegetable providing some potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron.
  • Sweet potato also contains some vitamin B3 (niacin), a vitamin essential in the production of tryptophan.

Sesame Seeds:

  • A good source of tryptophan, the amino acid essential for the production of both serotonin and melatonin.
  • 1 tbsp contains 88mg calcium and calcium is needed to help convert tryptophan from an amino acid and into a neurotransmitter.
  • 1 tbsp contains approximately 10% of your daily magnesium requirements. Magnesium supports muscle relaxation and is a great mineral for improving sleep quality.

Tofu Tahini Salad Bowl

Servings 2 people

Ingredients

  • 200 g tofu (firm)
  • 1/2 cup black rice
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 12 broccoli florets
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 tbsp soy or tamari sauce (tamari is a gluten free version of soy)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1-2 tbsp sesame seeds

Tahini Dressing

  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp water
  • sprinkle black pepper

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.
  • Cook rice according to instructions.
  • Add sesame oil and soy sauce to a bowl and mix together. Slice the tofu and use a paper towel to absorb any excess water in the tofu. Then place the tofu in the bowl to marinate in the mixture. Then place onto a baking tray and top with sesame seeds and place into the oven.
  • Add the broccoli and sweet potato to the baking tray to cook with the tofu for approx 30 minutes until the tofu is browned and the vegetables are cooked through. You can dry roast the broccoli and sweet potato or add a little extra virgin olive oil.
  • Peel carrots and thinly slice into ribbons using a potato peeler or thinly slice with a knife.
  • Prepare the dressing (instructions below).
  • When all ingredients are cooked, place into a bowl and serve with the dressing.  Enjoy x

Tahini Dressing

  • Add the ingredients together and mix/stir until smooth.

Notes

Essential Equipment

Baking tray

Tips

I use a standard cup measure. If you don’t have one you can use a mug and substitute the amount for ¾ of a standard size mug.

Find your Ingredients

Tofu (firm) - fridge, usually with vegetarian foods
Black rice - rice aisle and brown rice can be used as an alternative
Soy sauce or tamari - Asian foods aisle
Sesame oil - Cooking oils aisle
Tahini - Health food aisle

Course Main Dish

If you like this recipe, you might like to try these;

Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Patties

Super Green Vegetable Noodles

Roasted Tomato & Basil Soup

 

Amy Savage is a qualified Nutritionist with a Bachelor of Health Science in Nutritional & Dietetic Medicine and is available for consultations online and in Sydney CBD. Email amy@amysavagenutrition.com for further details. 

References: 
https://www.hindawi.com/journals/apm/2017/1364387/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4440346/

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