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Tias and Surya Little’s Elemental Bowl Has Everything You Need for Optimal Vitality

Yoga teachers Tias and Surya Little, founders of Prajna Yoga in Santa Fe, New Mexico, share their favorite meal for supporting health and vitality.

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Our intention is to eat in a way that supports the flow of vital prana—the life force that comes from the breath and intake of nutrient-rich food. This meal is our go-to dinner because it’s delicious and has all five elements: brown rice comes from the earth; water cooks the rice and kale; fire boils the water; and air and ether, by way of a savory taste, provide lightness and space for your palate. This meal supports our optimal vitality: being of the earth while staying connected to the big sky.

See also What We’re Eating Right Now: Beryl Bender Birch’s Vegan Black Bean Soup

Learn how to cultivate prana through breathwork! Join Tias Little for his new online course, Pranayama 101



  • 1 cup short-grain brown rice

    1/2 tsp sea salt

    6 oz extra-firm tofu, drained

    1⁄3 cup coconut oil

    1 bunch kale, de-stemmed

    1/2 orange, juiced

    1/4 lemon, juiced

    1 tbsp natural cane sugar

    1 tbsp soy sauce

    1 tbsp mirin

    1 tbsp brown rice vinegar

    1 avocado, thinly sliced

    2 green onions, thinly sliced

    2 sheets toasted nori, sliced into strips

  • 2–4 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted


1. Soak rice in a bowl of water (soaking gives the grains a head start on cooking and helps make the rice easier to digest), at least 1 hour. Drain, then rinse rice to remove debris. In a heavy pot, combine rice, 1¾ cups water, and salt, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer and cook, 30 minutes. Turn off heat and let rest on the burner without lifting lid, 15 minutes.

2. Place tofu on a cutting board, and press it (place a heavy item, such as a pot or thick book, on a plate over the tofu), 15–30 minutes. Slice tofu lengthwise into 1-inch-thick strips. In skillet over medium-high heat, warm oil. Use tongs to add tofu to skillet, and fry until browned, 3–4 minutes per side. Carefully remove tofu from skillet and let cool. (You can also slice the tofu into thinner ¼-inch strips.)

3. In a pot with a steamer basket, boil water. Add kale, and steam, 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

4. In a saucepan, bring orange juice, lemon juice, and sugar to a gentle boil, then simmer on low heat, 1 minute. Remove from heat; add soy sauce, mirin, and vinegar. Return to a gentle boil and cook until mixture thickens, 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

5. When the rice has cooled, transfer to a wooden bowl. Pour dressing over rice, and mix until grains are coated. Serve in individual bowls topped with tofu, steamed kale, avocado, green onions, toasted nori, and sesame seeds. 

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1
  • Calories 640
  • Carbohydrate Content 87 g
  • Fat Content 31 g
  • Fiber Content 11 g
  • Protein Content 15 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 17 g
  • Sodium Content 669 mg