hometown heroes

i have to say, dc is getting *a lot* of flack right now for being a swamp and such, but i've never been more proud to call this city home. dc has long been a beacon of creativity, food, entrepreneurship, diversity, hope and change, and then some. it inspires me endlessly, challenges me to show up and contribute to make this city - and country - the place i want it to be. to me, dc is powerful not simply because of the people on the hill, but because of the people around it and below it. in the past few days, this has been made all the more clear to me.

i recently attended food tank, an event-based "think tank" for all things food, where i was surrounded by individuals pushing the envelope for better food policy. it was so energizing to be packed into a room with people who have dedicated their lives to building better, more equitable, more sustainable food systems from the ground-up. those who lived with low-income mothers around the world for months on end to make sure their voices were heard when we talk about malnutrition. those who get their hands dirty in the plots of urban gardens. these are the change-agents who have made and continue to make dc the city it is. 

roasted veggie, miso-marinated tofu and peanut sauce bowl || planting my roots
roasted veggie, miso-marinated tofu and peanut sauce bowl || planting my roots
roasted veggie, miso-marinated tofu and peanut sauce bowl || planting my roots

i've been taking a lot of pride recently too in the sheer number of young people across dc who are kickin' butt and takin' names as entrepreneurs. through my work, i've been delighted to connect with two of them and am making my best efforts to help their big dreams come true, but it's amazing the speed with which new food businesses and restaurants are popping up around here. food tank made that clear from a food policy perspective, general assembly's data for the restaurant industry underscored it from a business perspective, and my wallet is feeling it from a sheer must...visit...all...restaurants perspective.  

none of this is at all related, btw, to the recipe below. it's just to say that it's a privilege to love the place you live, and it's so powerful to have those moments where you're surrounded by people committed to making sure others feel the same level of security, comfort and peace in their home too. when you see people around you who are so deeply invested in tackling the roots of our deepest challenges, it helps show you where you fit into that puzzle too. now more than ever, we need to champion and hold those people close.

roasted veggie, miso-marinated tofu and peanut sauce bowl || planting my roots
roasted veggie, miso-marinated tofu and peanut sauce bowl || planting my roots

roasted veggie, miso-marinated tofu and peanut sauce bowl

serves 3-4
what you'll need:

for roasted veggies
1 lb. brussels sprouts, halved
1 head broccoli, florets and chopped stem (bite-size pieces)
4 tbsp evoo (2 tbsp for broccoli, 2 tbsp for brussels)
1/2 tsp kosher salt (1/4 for broccoli, 1/4 tsp for brussels)

for marinated tofu
1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, finely diced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp miso paste
juice of 1/2 lime

for salad dressing
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp ground ginger
juice of 1/2 lime
3 tbsp warm water

for remainder of salad
kale or other hearty leafy green salad
sesame seeds, optional for garnish

what you'll do:

  1. preheat oven to 350┬░ farenheit. in medium bowl, toss brussels sprouts with 2 tbsp evoo, 1/4 tsp kosher salt. pour on baking sheet, set aside. on separate baking sheet, toss broccoli (florets and stems) in 2 tbsp evoo and 1/4 tsp kosher salt. place both baking sheets in oven. remove broccoli from oven after 30 minutes, and brussels sprouts at 45 minutes. set aside to cool. 
  2. meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together fresh ginger, soy sauce, miso paste and lime juice. once thoroughly combined, pour in chopped tofu. toss to coat tofu evenly. cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, as you prepare the remaining salad components.  
  3. remove tofu from fridge, and drain excess liquid. place on non-stick baking sheet. bake at 350┬░farenheit for 25 minutes. remove from oven and set aside to cool. 
  4. to make salad dressing, place all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth and thoroughly combined. add more warm water depending on consistency preferences, or stir in more water before each serving if you're using over the course of a few days. 
  5. toss together veggies and tofu with kale in one large bowl (if eating with group) or in individual bowls if serving separately or packing for multiple meals. drizzle dressing over top immediately before serving.

ps - the recipe for the peanut hummus featured in this blog post is under lock and key. i've been part of witf's recipe testing crew, so that recipe is soon to be published in an upcoming cookbook on superfoods. i merely played a role as recipe tester, but it served as the inspiration for this dish!