Coconut panko bowl with turmeric quinoa


If you don’t like coconut, this isn’t the recipe for you. There’s a little bit of nutty warmth in the crispy tofu breading, and another flavor layer from the coconut oil used to toast the quinoa. I’ve made the dressing with sesame oil as listed, and sometimes coconut oil - both are delicious.

The bowl trend is nothing new, but the basic formula is my favorite way to use up leftovers - grain/carb base, some kind of protein, greens/veggies, and whatever herbs I have lying around. The good ol’ “everything but the kitchen sink” approach gets me every time.

A few “know before you go”s:

  • If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times - massage your kale people!! 30 seconds of scrunching will help break down the fibers which releases the bitterness and helps it absorb the flavors of your dressing. #neverskip, you will thank me later.

  • Turmeric really takes no prisoners when it comes to staining wood or plastic kitchen tools - speaking from personal experience after ruining my fair share. You’ll need to avoid any porous material and try to stick with metal/glass to be safe. But with great risk comes great reward - just look at that golden color. Think about the anti-inflammatory properties. Worth it, my friends.

  • Bowls are easy like Sunday morning - this is what I had in my fridge, but feel free to choose your own adventure. Sub out different herbs, and play around with fun additions like avocado or cucumber. Your bowl, your rules.



Makes 4 servings

Turmeric quinoa

1 cup quinoa

2 cups chicken broth or water

1 tsp coconut oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1” piece of grated ginger

1 tsp dried turmeric

Coconut panko tofu

1 package firm tofu

¼ cup panko bread crumbs

¼ cup dried unsweetened coconut flakes

1 tbsp coconut oil


2 tbsp sesame oil (can sub with other oils)

1 tbsp honey

2 tbsp fish sauce

Juice of one lime

(optional) 1 tbsp crushed dried red chili pepper

To serve

2 bunches lacinato kale, washed, destemmed and cut into bite size pieces

2 stalks lemongrass*

¼ cup young kaffir lime leaves*

Handful (about ¼ cup) of mint leaves, roughly chopped

2 tbsp fried shallots or other crunchy topping (cashews, peanuts, etc)

*Alternate if lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves unavailable:

¼ cup cilantro & lime zest from 2 limes - whatever you have on hand!



Turmeric quinoa

  1. Sautee garlic and ginger in coconut oil on medium high heat for 2-3 mins, until fragrant and garlic is slightly translucent.

  2. Add turmeric and cook for another 1-2 mins, then add quinoa and toast for 1-2 minutes more.

  3. Add broth, bring to boil, cover and simmer on lowest heat for 15 mins. Let rest with lid on while assembling other ingredients, then fluff with a (metal) fork

Coconut panko tofu:

  1. Cut tofu into rectangles ¼” thick. Press between layers of paper towels, getting rid of as much moisture as you can.

  2. Mix panko and coconut flakes together on a wide plate or baking dish, then press each tofu piece into the mixture to coat both sides.

  3. Heat coconut oil in a pan on medium high heat, and arrange breaded tofu in pan. Cook 3-4 mins on each side, until golden brown.


  1. Destem kale & chop herbs while quinoa and tofu are cooking

  2. Add sesame oil, honey, fish sauce, lime juice, and pepper if using in a large mixing bowl to make the dressing

  3. Throw in the kale and massage (grab and scrunch for 30 seconds or so until slightly wilted) it into the dressing. Mix in herbs.

  4. Spoon some quinoa into the base of each bowl, then top with dressed kale/herb mixture. Top with tofu, then sprinkle fried shallots over the top. Enjoy!