Eco-friendly Lent recipe: miso mustard protein bowl

Protein bowl with miso mustard dressing (At Elizabeth's Table/Elizabeth Varga)

Protein bowl with miso mustard dressing (At Elizabeth's Table/Elizabeth Varga)

by Elizabeth Varga

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Editor's Note: In this series, Elizabeth Varga will explore how fasting from meat impacts our relationships with self, others, the rest of creation and God. Her reflections and recipes will be posted on the Wednesdays and Fridays of Lent 2022. To receive this series via email, sign up for EarthBeat Reflections.

"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?" (Matthew 6:25).

Do you find yourself worrying about food?

Do you find yourself worrying about your body?

Have you ever been food insecure?

Do you feel like you know how to feed your body well?

Is cooking stressful?

Do you have access to fresh produce and a variety of food options?

Do you resort to certain food because it is easier?

What is your experience of fasting?

How do you approach fasting? (With dread? With joy? With determination?)

If needed, how can you work to change your attitude toward fasting?

Do you see food choices and fasting as ways to unite yourself with God?

Recipe: Miso mustard protein bowl

These protein bowls are made up of a bed of kale, some butternut squash, cooked buckwheat (or grain of your choice), marinated tofu and a delicious miso sauce. Prep ahead of time for a 5-minute assembly.

Protein bowl with miso mustard dressing (At Elizabeth's Table/Elizabeth Varga)

Protein bowl with miso mustard dressing (At Elizabeth's Table/Elizabeth Varga)


  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash (1 small squash)
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 block firm tofu
  • 1 recipe miso mustard dressing, divided (see below)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked buckwheat
  • 2 bunches kale
  • sesame seeds, for topping

Miso Mustard Dressing

  • 1/3 cup white miso
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon liquid aminos
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated ginger


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.
  2. Make the miso mustard dressing. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Chop the tofu into 1/2" cubes. In a medium bowl, mix the tofu with 1/3 cup of the miso mustard dressing. Allow to marinate 5-10 minutes. Arrange the tofu on one of the baking sheets and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, peel and chop the butternut squash into a 1/2" dice. Arrange on the second baking sheet and sprinkle with curry powder. Bake in the oven with the tofu for 15-20 minutes, until soft.
  5. While the squash and tofu are baking, cook the buckwheat. Add the buckwheat groats and 2 cups of water to a medium pot and bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cook 10-15 minutes, until the water is evaporated. Watch the buckwheat carefully to avoid overcooking.
  6. While the buckwheat is cooking, de-stem the kale and chop into bite-sized pieces. Place the kale in a large bowl and massage with 2 tablespoons of the miso dressing. For best results, massage the kale several minutes.
  7. When all the ingredients are finished cooking, assemble the bowls. Place a bed of kale in each bowl, then add a scoop of buckwheat. Top with squash and tofu. Drizzle with any leftover dressing and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Find recipe notes, substitutions, and other nutritional information on

This story appears in the Recipes for an ecofriendly Lent feature series. View the full series.

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