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Healthy Living Recipes

Natalie’s Rice Salad
Ross’ Savory Baked Tofu

Deb Morgan: Each spring and fall, we are extra busy in the Kripalu Kitchen, planning and implementing our seasonal menu changes. Although I’m the chief menu designer, it takes our entire crew of 10 chefs and an intern to create, refine, and perfect what we do here. For recipe ideas, I love looking through cookbooks and magazines, but my favorite inspiration comes from other folks that share a deep appreciation for natural foods. This month, we feature two recipes contributed by Kripalu guests that you will find on our summer menu this year—give them a try!

Check below each recipe for nutritionist John Bagnulo’s commentary.


Natalie’s Rice Salad

This salad served over a bed of cooked or raw greens is a meal unto itself. Feel free to play with various types of rice and beans to create different flavors.

Serves 2–4.
Prep time: 40 minutes to cook the rice, then 10 minutes to cut and assemble.

¾ cup brown rice
¼ cup wehani rice
1¾ cups water
½ diced green and red peppers
1 small carrot, grated
3 chopped scallions
1 tomato cut into bite-size pieces
2 stalks celery, small diced
Plenty of chopped parsley
Any other vegetables you may want
1 can chickpeas
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Fresh or dry herbs: oregano, basil, rosemary
½ teaspoon salt
Dash of black pepper

Cook rinsed rices in water using a rice cooker, pressure cooker, or saucepan—add a pinch of salt to the rice while it’s cooking. Chop all of the raw vegetables and rinse the chickpeas. Make vinaigrette from the olive oil, vinegar, herbs, salt, and pepper. When rice is cooked, either toss everything together for a warm salad (Natalie’s recommendation) or cool rice on a platter and then combine all ingredients for a lovely cold summer salad.

Read John Bagnulo’s nutritional point of view.

The herbs in this recipe have the potential to make it a significant anti-inflammatory meal. Using more scallions, oregano, and rosemary can greatly increase its ability to cool the fires of inflammation that often start to burn out of control once we reach our early forties. Using a little more extra virgin olive oil can help in this area as well.

On another note, try to find bell peppers that are raised without the use of pesticides—buy organic or find a local farmer that grows them sustainably. That way, you will get peppers that are nourishing and healthy and avoid the chemical contamination that green and red bell peppers are at risk for.


Ross’ Savory Baked Tofu

Serves 2–4.
Prep Time: 40 minutes, plus marinating time.

1 pound firm tofu
3 tablespoons tamari or natural soy sauce
½ cup water
3 tablespoons mirin or cooking wine
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon fresh basil
½ tablespoon fresh dill
Pinch of cayenne

Rinse tofu and cut into desired shape—cubes or cutlet style both work great. Make a marinade of all other ingredients and cover tofu for a half hour (or longer, up to overnight). Refrigerate tofu if marinating for longer than one hour. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Olive oil the bottom of a baking pan and strain tofu from marinade. Bake for 30 minutes, and enjoy right from the oven or cool and enjoy in a salad. This recipe also works great on the grill—just skewer the tofu, spray with oil, and grill until golden brown.

Read John’s take on tofu.

Tofu—which is simply soybean curd that has been allowed to congeal with the help of magnesium—is a good source of both calcium and magnesium, and can play a significant role in a person’s effort to build stronger bones. In addition, the replacement of meat with tofu or tempeh has been shown to reduce a person’s risk of developing heart disease and cancer.

Find more delicious and nutritious recipes in Kripalu Recipes.