Roasted Chili Basil Lime Tofu Bowls

Roasted Chili Basil Lime Tofu Bowls |
  • Roasted Chili Basil Lime Tofu Bowls
Posted on March 20, 2017

Disclosure: I’m so happy to be able to give you all a peek into The First Mess Cookbook by Laura Wright. Thanks for letting me share this beautiful cookbook with you!

This past week I had to say goodbye to my beautiful, smart and sweet dog, Sheri.

I found Sheri (or “Dingo” as I liked to call her) at the Oakland Animal Shelter in 2010. Her previous owner had committed suicide and she was abandoned there by the other members of his family. She was melancholy, skittish and a little aggressive when I first met her, but I knew instantly that we were right for each other. Over the years, she developed into a happy, more relaxed dog. And because of her, I developed into a happy, more relaxed human.

Sheri was my trusty companion for almost seven years. We traveled across the country together three times. We walked over 10,000 miles. And we ate all the things.

Sheri |

She also healed my heart after countless breakups. And she gave me strength in more ways than I ever could have imagined. I knew that adopting Sheri from the animal shelter would improve (and ultimately save) her life. But I couldn’t have predicted how much she would improve mine.

I never treated Sheri like a person. And to claim her to be a domesticated dog even seemed like a stretch at times. She was wild to the core. And she was happiest when she was outside, running full speed and hunting anything that moved. She wasn’t keen on snuggling. And she preferred dog treats over peanut butter. But still, she was MY PERSON. And the sadness that I feel without her is profound. There is a crushing silence in my house and a void my heart.

The next few weeks are going to be all about being kind to myself (something I usually suck at) and getting into a new routine. There are no more walks to go on. No specific times that I need to be home. And no happy face to greet me at the door. It all feels very strange.

So right now I’m focusing on doing the one thing that I know how to do: cook.

Roasted Chili Basil Lime Tofu Bowls |

Laura Wright’s cookbook, The First Mess Cookbook: Vibrant Plant-Based Recipes to Eat Well Through the Seasons, arrived at my doorstep back in February. As I opened the box and flipped through it’s pages for the first time, I audibly swooned. Because the photographs are THE MOST gorgeous and the recipes are THE MOST delicious.

I’m giving away one copy of The First Mess Cookbook. Scroll down to enter!

I also enjoyed a heightened sense of giddy-ness as I held the book in my hands. I’ve admired Laura’s blog for many years now, so it kind of felt surreal to be deemed cool enough to receive an advanced copy of her first cookbook. It was like I had achieved some level of food blogging greatness.

Laura has a magical touch in the kitchen. Her recipes are both luxurious and approachable. And she has a way of creating complex flavor profiles without the need for a long ingredient list or complicated cooking techniques. It’s nourishing, wholesome food that you can make and eat everyday. The fact that everything also happens to be vegan seems like a footnote. It’s not vegan food that’s trying to be something else. It’s just good food being good. And frankly, I can’t think of anything better than that.

Roasted Chili Basil Lime Tofu Bowls |

I’ve made several recipes from Laura’s book so far (all winners!). And I even had a different one photographed and ready to share with you today. But then I made these Roasted Chili Basil Lime Tofu Bowls over the weekend and they provided me with so much comfort after the loss of my Dingo, that I knew this was the recipe that I should share instead.

I eat tofu fairly frequently when I’m out at restaurants. I always order it in my pho. And no vegetarian stir fry is complete without it. But as I prepared to make these Roasted Chili Basil Lime Tofu Bowls, I suddenly realized that I had NEVER actually cooked tofu at home. Shocking, right? But now I feel like a total tofu VIP, because with Laura’s recipe I nailed it on the first time (hooray for crispy edges!). And I didn’t even have to do any messy pan frying. That is a major win as far as I’m concerned.

The lime and oil mixture has three jobs in this recipe: it coats the tofu, it coats the broccoli and then you use the leftovers to drizzle over the final dish. I ended up making slightly more than the original recipe called for, because it was so tasty that I knew I wanted to make sure I had an extra dose for the end. If you’re a “sauce person”, I suggest you do the same.

Laura finishes this dish with sunflower sprouts, but I couldn’t find any in my grocery store so I used pea shoots instead. Any small, fresh sprouts or shoots that you can get your hands on would be lovely here. Grain bowls are usually pretty forgiving in that way. Which is why I love them so.

Roasted Chili Basil Lime Tofu Bowls |

I’m thrilled to have The First Mess Cookbook in my kitchen. I feels like it could be the last cookbook I ever own and I’d be happy. So of course, I’d love for one of you to have a copy as well! So I’m giving away a copy of The First Mess Cookbook to one lucky reader. All you have to do is leave me a comment below, telling me your favorite Spring vegetable. The giveaway will be open until April 3, 2017. After which I will randomly select a winner and notify them by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to me with their shipping address (United States and Canadian residents only, please) or I will select an alternate winner. Good luck!



Reprinted with minor adaptations from The First Mess Cookbook by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2017, Laura Wright.

Roasted Chili Basil Lime Tofu Bowls

Serves 4

Roasted Chili Basil Lime Tofu Bowls


  • 1 block (14 ounces) extra-firm tofu
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral-flavored oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tsp. lime zest
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup fresh sprouts or pea shoots
  • 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
  2. Drain the tofu of it’s packing liquid and pat it dry with a kitchen towel. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, lime zest, garlic power, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. Gently toss the tofu cubes in the lime and oil mixture. Then using your hands, remove the tofu cubes from the bowl and place them on your parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Try to reserve as much of the lime and oil mixture as possible. Transfer the baking sheet to your pre-heated oven and roast the tofu for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the baking sheet from your oven and carefully flip the tofu cubes over. Toss the broccoli florets in the reserved lime and oil mixture and then transfer them to the same baking sheet. Return the baking sheet to your oven and roast the tofu and broccoli for 20 minutes. Remove from your oven and set aside.
  5. Whisk the basil into the remaining lime and oil mixture.
  6. Divide the brown rice evenly between your serving bowls. Top with the roasted tofu and broccoli. Add some sprouts/pea shoots, sunflower seeds and a drizzle of the basil-flecked lime and oil mixture. Enjoy immediately.


  • Oh I’m so sorry to hear. Dogs are a part of the family and losing them is incredibly hard. Sending you good vibes for lots of self care this week. Thanks for sharing


    • Thanks, Karlie. XOXO.

  • Awww, Liz….even in your pain, you use your talent to give. Sending you much love, beautiful woman. And happy to tell you I crush on asparagus hardcore every spring. xo


    • Thanks, Jen. And asparagus is one of my favs as well!

  • So glad to see you playing with tofu! I so need some good recipes and will try this one. When spring finally gets here I’m all about local arugula. Sheri wouldn’t have been impressed with either of these foods! Keep your head up. Sheri was you. 100%! Keep thinking about all those good memories.


    • Thanks, Jaimie. We were definitely meant to be!

  • Liz– you already know how much I feel for you and understand love for dogs. Not much I can say will make you feel better.. but I’m sure some adult outings to beautiful places in our area could help!
    And speaking of fav spring veggies– we can seek out fiddleheads!! Mmmm


    • Oh yes! I love fiddleheads. They are so fun!

  • Looks delicious! Can’t wait to try the recipe!


    • Thanks, Kristin!

  • Laura’s recipes are the BEST for when you need a little extra comfort. I’m sending you all the love, hugs, and comforting vibes this week. So many hugs to you friend. xoxoxoxo p.s. Keep an eye on your mail, there’s a little something heading your way.


    • Thanks, girl. I can feel the hugs from over here.

  • I am sorry for your loss! I love arugula but my husband is a big fan of asparagus.

    I am interested in trying this recipe. I have not had a lot of luck with tofu but this looks pretty tasty.


    • I hope you give it a try. It’s so easy and delicious!

  • My favorite spring vegetable is asparagus, of course.


    • Asparagus is definitely one of my favorites too!

  • I love leeks this time of the year.


    • Oh yes!

  • I love anything with leeks or asparagus during the spring !!


    • Both delicious!

  • Spring peas!!


    • Oh yes! Perfect salad toppers!

  • So sorry to read about “your person” my dear. ((Hugs to you))?I can truly sympathize with you…I’ve been there before and I know initially it’s not easy. But day by day it will get a little better. And their memory will forever be with you…**the positive. ** Be kind to yourself…and do things that you wouldn’t normally do during this time. <3 On a different note…this recipe looks fabulous and I love Laura's work. I enjoy all veggies, but during the spring I love Leeks and I also adore adding pops of color with beets(yellow, orange, red, and chioggia).


    • Thank you for all the love and support. I appreciate it. XOXO.

  • Asparagus!


    • The best!

  • I’m looking forward to Laura’s book. This recipe looks sublime… quick and easy (I’m a tofu lover!)… Tight hugs to you Liz… our fur babies lives are way too short. Take it slow, one day at a time and be patient with yourself. Allow time for grieving.. give yourself space. Although time will help with pain, you’ll always have that special place in your heart. I still cry for Claire. It’s been two years. My heart is in bits for you. Sending courage, strength and much love. xo


    • Thank you, Traci. You are such a great friend and I really appreciate you. I can feel the hugs from way over here!

  • I’m so glad to hear that cooking is giving you comfort right now. Laura’s book is SO gorgeous, and this dish sounds like the perfect kind of healthy comfort food. Sending so many hugs! I’ve been squeezing and hugging my dog a little harder this past week, thinking of you. Sheri was lucky to have you, and I know you feel lucky to have had her. I truly hope you can find a new and happy routine soon. xoxo


    • Thanks for the kind words, Sara. And for the virtual hugs!

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