I’ll be honest with you.  This month’s Recipe Redux challenge of cooking up a “plant protein power bowl” gave me a touch of anxiety.  How many times have you gone to your fave social media feed and saw perfectly manicured, gorgeous plant based protein bowls and thought, “wow, that looks amazing. I wish my food looked like that!”  Then, you realize the recipe has a TON of ingredients, requires multiple cooking procedures and your final product just doesn’t look like the original pic that the photographer probably spent a lot of time poking and primping to look just right.  I don’t have that kind of time!!!  Therefore, I wanted to give you something that was FAST n’ EASY and something that can easily be brought to the office for lunch.

My lunch at work is often a plant protein power bowl.   Throw a bunch of ingredients into a container and nuke it in the microwave. This is what they usually look like.  Not very Instagram worthy I must say, but they are pretty darn tasty.

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“Bowl” meals aren’t about following a specific recipe.  I’d rather follow a loose formula to create a mish-mash of delicious and healthy ingredients. Plant powered bowls are filled to the brim with vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, fiber, healthy fats, and protein.  You also won’t get hungry right away after eating them.  The fiber and protein help the satiety factor linger for hours. And, what’s the best part of plant based bowl meals?  It’s a fantastic way to clean out the fridge!

Here’s my formula for delicious plant powered bowls:

Note:  Cheese, many pestos, and yogurt based sauces like tzatziki are vegetarian rather than strictly plant based.

Protein:  tofu, tempeh, seitan, beans, lentils, chickpeas, split peas, edamame

Grain/starchy vegetable:  Sliced sweet potatoes, corn kernals, quinoa, rice, wild rice, wheat berries, farro, spelt, millet, barley, sorghum, bulgur, polenta, kamut, amaranth

Grains also contain a good amount of protein.  Quinoa, sorghum, spelt, kamut & amaranth contain some of the highest amounts in the grains category.

Veggies:  anything and everything!   Veggies can be raw, sauteed, roasted, steamed, microwaved.  Personal faves include kale, red cabbage, bok choy, winter squashes, cauliflower, broccoli, roasted carrots and beets, raw cucumber

Sauce:  hummus, tahini sauce, pesto, tomato sauce, thai peanut sauce, tzatziki, salsa, pico de gallo, vinaigrette, cashew “cheese” sauce, salsa verde, extra virgin olive oil, nut oils

Garnish: avocado, sauerkraut, sliced almonds, pistachios, walnuts,  pepitas (green pumpkin seeds), sesame seeds,  sunflower seeds, hemp hearts, pomegranate seeds, strong cheeses like feta, parmesan, or blue cheese

My Curried Chickpea, Sweet Potato, Tofu & Veggie Bowl with Tahini Sauce is a staple I often bring to work and heat up in the microwave.  If you’re the type of person that hates tofu, try sprouted, high protein, super firm tofu.  The texture is so firm that it’s almost like eating cubes of cheese!  Wildwood brand is pretty easy to find at the grocery store. I only just discovered this product last year and it’s been a staple in my fridge ever since! No need for pressing to drain the water out!  Between the chickpeas, tofu, veggies, pepitas, avocado and tahini sauce, you’ll easily top 20 grams of protein for 1 bowl.

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Curried Chickpea, Sweet Potato, Tofu & Veggie Bowl w/ Tahini Sauce

Yield: Serves 1

This is a prep the night before, bring to work and heat in the microwave for lunch type of dish. Throw most of the ingredients into a container, microwave to cook and top with the sauce + garnish. Easy!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped broccoli
  • 1/3 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup packed chopped or torn kale leaves (ribs removed)
  • 3 ounces sprouted high protein tofu, cut into small cubes, about 1/2"
  • 1/2 cup diced peeled sweet potato
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon tahini
  • 1 teaspoon white miso
  • 1/4 tsp chili garlic sauce or sriracha
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • Small pinch kosher salt
  • 1/3 of an avocado, diced
  • 2 teaspoons pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)

Instructions

  1. Place the broccoli, chickpeas, kale, tofu, sweet potato, curry powder and olive oil into a microwave safe container. Place cover on top, but leave slightly ajar. Cook on high for approximately 4-5 minutes or until sweet potatoes are just tender.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the tahini, miso, chili garlic sauce, water and salt until smooth. Pour just enough sauce over the veggie-tofu mixture until everything is coated. You may have some sauce leftover.
  3. If eating at work, add avocado and pepitas to the container and enjoy!
  4. If not eating at work, place contents of container on a plate. Top with avocado and pepitas.

Notes

You can also add the avocado to the container and heat with the veggie-tofu mixture. Hot avocado tastes amazing and it's a lot easier to include it in the main bowl, rather than bring it in a separate container to work.

http://tastybalancenutrition.com/the-recipe-redux-quick-and-easy-plant-protein-power-bowl/

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Showing 50 comments
  • Reply

    I love the formula you mentioned. So helpful when it comes to building a better bowl 🙂

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      Thank you so much Chrissy!

  • Giselle Rochford
    Reply

    This is so true. I definitely spend extra time on my bowls when I know I’ll be snapping a pic for instagram but I’m a huge fan of having all the pieces prepped in advanced so the actual ‘throw together’ part of the recipe is easy to do. Your bowl formula is so perfect for that 🙂

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      thanks so much Giselle!

  • Lauren O'Connor
    Reply

    You got me at Curried Chickpea…. Love this dish! Great suggestions for building protein bowls – so many ways to put them together deliciously.

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      That’s what I love about plant powered protein bowls! 🙂

  • Deanna Segrave-Daly
    Reply

    So colorful and flavorful – also digging the bowl formula!

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      Thanks Deanna!

  • Reply

    I love this! Often times my meals are so good but look like a bowl full of weirdly chopped, thrown together ingredients. Not social media quality 🙂

    Definitely sharing this formula..letting people customize it works so much better in the long run. Great post!

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      But I’m sure they taste amazing!

  • Emily Holdorf
    Reply

    This sounds great!! I loooove bowl meals. They’re so perfect!

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      Me too!! 🙂

  • Maggie Moon
    Reply

    I’m a big fan of clean-out-the-fridge meals. Super practical. Plus, less food waste, which is a great thing. Nice post.

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      Thanks Maggie! Seriously, clean out the fridge meals are the best!

  • Amy Gorin
    Reply

    Love this idea! So easy!

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      thanks Amy! Easy is the best!

  • Nutrition a la Natalie
    Reply

    I love that you are being realistic about what bowls really look like. It doesn’t matter what it looks like–just what it tastes like! And this looks like it tastes awesome

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      Exactly! thanks Natalie!

  • Sally @ Real Mom Nutrition
    Reply

    I have gotten really into bowls lately too. They’re especially great to have in the fridge all week to put together for quick lunches when I don’t feel like making any more effort than heating something up!

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      Thanks Sally! I totally agree! Love your website!

  • Emily
    Reply

    This looks delicious, Lindsay! I too love that plant power bowls can be a mix of anything left over in the fridge – quick hand easy ☺️

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      Thanks Emily! Wish I could put some of your home grown veggies in my plant powered bowls!

  • Lauren O'Connor
    Reply

    I agree with “loose formulas”. I use what I have on hand and it’s a great way to use of leftover grains or pulses. I pretty much subscribe to your formula. It’s great to mix and match with your options to create a balanced bowl.

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      Thanks Lauren! And it’s soon easy!

  • Bethany
    Reply

    My kind of cooking… loose formula 🙂 I’m. Often not very good about writing recipes down.

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      Me too! I am absolutely terrible at writing recipes down! Perhaps we should start voice recording to keep track of ingredients??

  • Jodi Danen
    Reply

    I love the preview of your average lunch – I thought the same thing when the topic came out! This recipe looks so tasty, I look forward to trying it!

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      Thanks Jodi! No matter what I throw into the bowl, I’ve always got a great lunch to take to work!

  • Cara
    Reply

    Looks awesome! I love the endless combos for bowl-style meals. So satisfying!

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      Thanks Cara! And filling!

  • Klara
    Reply

    Love this idea! We tell our clients all the time about “bowl” type cooking, it is a great way to customize cooking for the whole family!

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      Thanks Klara! I never really thought of it that way, but you’re totally right. Have a variety of ingredients and everyone can easily throw in which ones they like

  • Shahzadi Devje
    Reply

    This is great! YUM!!

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      Thanks Shahzadi!

  • Roxana
    Reply

    That’s one tasty combination. Love it!

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      Thanks Roxana! Appreciate it!

  • Reply

    Lindsey, this is so helpful! Recipe looks amazing and love all the tips/options!

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      Thanks Shannon! The best part is how simple it is! 🙂

  • Jamie @ Dishing Out Health
    Reply

    Such a tasty combo! Veggie bowls are the best!

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      Thanks so much Jamie! I agree!

  • Charlene Pors
    Reply

    Love how colourful it is, and it looks so delicious! Also, all of the endless options you listed are perfect so that I can customize everything to my taste! Wonderful post

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      Thanks Charlene!

  • Nazima Qureshi
    Reply

    I love making a variety of bowls! This plant powered bowl looks amazing!

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      thanks Nazima!

  • Ann @ MyMenuPal
    Reply

    Great formula!! And I feel the same about my lunch – not very instagram worthy half the time but darn tasty. I also needed the reminder that tahini is for more than just making homemade hummus….

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      Thanks Ann! Tasty is all that matters!

  • EA Stewart
    Reply

    Looks delicious Lindsey-especially that tahini sauce! I’ve never tried the sprouted tofu before-can’t wait to try this!

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      Thanks EA! You seriously have to check out the Wildwood sprouted super firm tofu. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

  • Nostalrius
    Reply

    Awesome article. I read your posts fairly often and you always do a good job explaining the whatever topic
    you’re writing about. Btw, I shared this on Facebook and
    my followers loved it. Keep up the great work!

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      thank you so much!

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