Spicy Mango Rice Bowl with Tofu (or chicken)

I’ve been enjoying these rice bowls in my lunch all week, but haven’t had the chance to share the recipe with you.

I blame homemade yogurt, preparing for my race, and berries n’ cream parfaits.

Do you forgive me?

My eats this week have been marvelous. No complaints are coming from this stomach, that’s for sure.

My knee on the other hand, now that’s a different story.

Come Thursday morning, my right knee was so tight, I could barely get up the stairs.

Before a race? ‘Common now?!

I retraced my steps: what had made it get this bad? I hadn’t done anything out of the ordinary.

Then, a conversation with my ART Specialist came to me. He said, “It’s amazing, how many people don’t understand the impact their diet can have on their performance

:|

Then, Monday nights dinner rushed into my head…

8 strips of beef bacon, 3 eggs + ketchup.

And Tuesday nights dinner…

6 strips of beef bacon, 2 eggs + salad.

And Wednesday

Kale chips, 4 strips of beef bacon, quinoa, and a pile of roasted potatoes.

I swear I eat more than just bacon, I’ve just been dying for animal protein lately.

Anyways, it wasn’t long until I connected the dots. How could I have seriously had 18 strips of beef bacon in the last 3 days?

Beef and inflammation

If you follow me on Facebook, you were part of this conversation yesterday morning.

Beef is a pro-inflammatory food due to it’s high arachidonic acid content which is part of the PGE2 series [aka prostaglandin 2 which is a form of essential fatty acid].

You know how there are omega-3 and 6′s? Arachidonic acid; contained in beef, is an omega-6, but actually increases inflammation, as opposed to it’s other omega-6 counterpart, gamma-linolenic acid – found in hemp and walnuts to name a few.

Since I wasn’t eating any beef and then increased it to a superman portions in just 3 days, my body showed huge signs of inflammation!

Problem solved, culprit caught!?

I feel like a modern day Inspector Clueso [minus the mustache, of course]

So, out with the beef and in with the bean salad, hemp protein + another batch of tofu rice bowls, just until Sunday.

Spicy Mango Rice Bowl with Tofu [or chicken]

Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Refined sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free

Thick, sweet, and spicy mango sauce, surrounded with baked tofu, snow peas and coconut rice.

Ingredients

Spicy mango sauce

  • 3/4 cup organic apple juice
  • 1 mango, pit removed
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup coconut water vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar free ketchup
  • 1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice *see note
  • 2 tablespoon braggs liquid aminos or soy sauce
  • 1-2 jalapenos – depends how spicy you want it!
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan rock salt
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 3 tablespoon filtered water
  • 1.5 tablespoon arrowroot powder or 1 tablespoon corn starch

Veggies + protein

  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken, sliced into 1/2-inch thick strips or 2 blocks of GMO free firm tofu, pressed and cut into slices
  • 4 medium onions , diced
  • 3 cups snow peas
  • 2 red peppers, diced small
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil

High protein rice mix

  • 4.5 cups water
  • 1.5 cups brown basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup red/white quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil

Directions

To make the sauce: add all ingredients but cilantro, water, and arrowroot in a blender and process until smooth. Transfer to a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 20minutes. Meanwhile, combine water and arrowroot in a small bowl. Once simmering is complete, add arrowroot mixture and whisk. Cook for 1 minute. Add chopped cilantro and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside.

To make protein: preheat oven to 375F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper for chicken, or oil for tofu. If you’re cooking a bit of both, you can separate the sheet with a foil wall. Coat the tofu pieces in the mango sauce and bake chicken/tofu for 30-40 minutes until tofu is browning at the corners and/or chicken is cooked through with no pink.

To make veggies: Add coconut oil and onions to a large frying pan [I used cast iron]. Allow to cook for 3 minutes before adding remaining ingredients + 1/3 cup mango sauce. Cook for 1-2 minutes.

For the rice mix: Add all ingredients to a rice cooker or large saucepan and cook until soft [about 30 minutes]

Throw it all together, pour some mango sauce on top, and you have yourself a delicious dinner!

Makes 6 rice bowls and ~3 cups of sauce.

note: I just used half a grapefruit and squeezed the juice out of it like you would a lemon. I couldn’t find any store bought juice that didn’t have glucose in it, and I was too lazy to take out my juicer.

The foil wall is genius [thanks for the awesome idea, Ashley]

I could have may have eaten a bunch of veggies right out of frying pan.

Inflammation Q+A

Is all protein inflammatory?

All animal proteins will have the same affect, but I find beef and pork are a bit worse than chicken/eggs/dairy. Fish is somewhat exempt from the rule because of it’s high content of omega 3′s. Of course the best source of fish [for omega-3 intake] is Salmon!

So does that mean that someone who has rhumatoid arthritis or lupus should limit their intake of beef?

Generally speaking, yes. People with any type of inflammatory condition shouldn’t only reduce their intake of beef, but also limit their intake of inflammatory foods.

What other foods are inflammatory?

In addition to all animal proteins, refined grains, sugar, potatoes, tomatoes, and other nightshade foods, will also promote inflammation. As will overcooked foods because they create advanced glycation end products [AGES], something our bodies treat as an invader. As a simple explanation, these “AGES” are produced when a protein molecule binds with a glucose molecule, resulting in damage to the protein.

Do you have a question for me about inflammation? Ask away! If not, do you enjoy sauces on your rice bowls? What’s your favorite sauce recipe?

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