I’m a big fan of Power Bowls (a term I coined myself thank you very much) for dinner mostly, and I call them that because they really are just a big bowl of super healthy antioxidant rich plant based foods: good carbs, power house veggies, plant based protein, and power spices…tastes great, and easy to make! So if you are thinking of transitioning to a plant based diet, or just need some ideas of what the hell to eat other then kale, tofu, and grass, then follow along these easy to make recipes here. [FYI – I pretty much only shop organic, and so probably 95% of what I make is all organic, and yes of course vegan].
Simply start with a grain as your base (yes, these have protein), here are some of my favorites:
- Farro (I usually get Bob’s Red Mill)
- Rice (brown or white)
- Pasta (could be made from rice, wheat, quinoa, lentils, or garbanzo beans)
Secret ingredient to cooking/boiling these grains is to use vegetable broth – adds great flavor!
Then, when the grains are almost done cooking, I throw in a variety of what I call power spices (because each spice carries significant health benefits); however, I do recommend getting organic spices! Here are just a few of my favorites:
Next, add in your veggies (yes, believe it or not, these have protein too); here are a few of my favorites, of course this is where you can get creative and add a bunch more:
- Kale (well of course duh)
- Tomatoes (also love the heirloom variety)
- Brocoli or Broccolini
- Bell Peppers
- Sweet Potatoes/Purple Potatoes
I also like to add in a variety of legumes (these are packed with protein) here are some examples:
- Black Beans
- Garbanzo Beans, aka Chickpeas
- Kidney Beans
And then sometimes I throw in some vegan meat alternatives (yes, these all have protein as well), here are a few I really like:
- Tempeh (I just buy the organic one from Trader Joe’s, or the LightLife brand from Whole Foods)
- A chopped up Veggie Burger (Sunshine makes one of my favs)
- Sweet Earth Chipotle Savory ‘Grounds’
- (Side note: yes, there are plenty of other vegan ‘fake meat’ alternatives out there, but at the end of the day those are all pretty processed foods, so I don’t really incorporate those often in my diet/cooking)
Once I have all this stuff done, and cooked, I throw it all in a bowl, and then sometimes I sprinkle on some seeds for added crunch and flavor (you guessed it, these have protein too) – here are a couple of my go-to’s:
And lastly, I like to jazz it up! Here are a couple favorite jazzing ingredients:
I am sure you have noticed my parentheses throughout this post that indicate which food groups contain protein, and as you should have noticed…it’s pretty much every category. Wait, vegan food has protein? I know, mind blowing right?! I did this on purpose to finally inform and dispel that misguided idea that plant based eaters don’t get enough protein, or to finally answer that question every vegetarian or vegans gets asked – “where do you get your protein.” Well, there you have it, this is where I get my protein. Also, keep in mind that this is typically only one meal in my day, this doesn’t count all the other protein I get during the day from what I eat for breakfast, lunch, and snacks.
So what do these magical Power Bowls full of plant based goodness actually look like when it’s all said and done, well here are some examples:
Base: farro. Power Spices: turmeric, cayenne, pink Himalayan salt, black pepper, and garlic. Veggies: diced celery, crimini mushrooms, asparagus, and tomatoes. Meat Alternatives: baked tempeh (baked on a cookie sheet with a little bit of avocado oil, and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos). Jazz: red jalapeño sauce, fresh squeezed lemon juice.
Base: quinoa. Power Spices: cayenne pepper, pink Himalayan salt, ginger, black pepper, and garlic. Veggies: red bell pepper. Legumes: garbanzo beans. Seeds: pumpkin seeds. Jazz: red pepper hot sauce.
Base: farro. Power Spices: garlic, turmeric, black pepper, and pink Himalayan salt. Veggies: chopped red bell pepper, celery, and baked broccolini. Seeds: sunflower seeds. Jazz: organic reduced sodium soy sauce, and fresh squeezed lemon juice.
Base: farro. Power Spices: turmeric, cayenne pepper, ginger, black pepper, and pink Himalayan salt. Veggies: tomatoes, and broccolini. Legumes: black beans. Seeds: pumpkin, and sunflower seeds. Jazz: Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, red jalapeño hot sauce.
Base: pasta – organic vegetable radiatore. Power Spices: cayenne pepper, pink Himalayan salt, garlic, and black pepper. Veggies: vine tomatoes, and kale. Meat Alternatives: baked tempeh. Jazz: fresh squeezed lemon juice, red pepper hot sauce.
Base: pasta – organic whole wheat. Power Spices: pink Himalayan salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and Bragg’s Organic Sprinkle. Veggies: vine tomatoes, and kale. Meat Alternatives: Organic quarter pound veggie burger – “Original” from Sunshine. Jazz: fresh squeezed lemon juice.
Base: farro. Power Spices: turmeric, pink Himalayan salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Veggies: kale, and vine tomatoes. Meat Alternatives: baked sweet potato, and a cut up veggie burger. Jazz: sunflower seeds, and fresh squeezed lemon juice.
Base: a mix of quinoa and white rice. Power Spices: pink Himalayan salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Veggies: red bell peppers, and kale. Legumes: black beans. Jazz: red pepper hot sauce, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and topped with avocado.
Base: organic vegetable pasta. Power Spices: pink Himalayan salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper, and garlic. Veggies: steamed broccolini, and vine tomatoes. Jazz: fresh squeezed lemon juice, and chopped cilantro.
Power Salad – Base: organic red leaf lettuce, vine tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, fermenter beet cabbage (great for gut health), and carrots. Meat Alternatives: tempeh. Jazz: I make my own dressing: balsamic vinegar, fresh squeezed lemon, cayenne pepper, pink Himalayan sea salt, black pepper, and dijon mustard (also sometimes I add in a bit of veganaise to add some creaminess to is) – mix all this together, and bang you got your dressing!
Power Salad – Base: organic kale, vine tomatoes, rainbow carrots, and a baked purple potato (loaded with antioxidants and disease-fighting phytonutrients). Meat Alternatives: lentils. Jazz: dressing: balsamic vinegar, fresh squeezed lemon, cayenne pepper, pink Himalayan sea salt, black pepper, and dijon mustard. I also like to add in seeds and nuts to my salads for extra crunch and protein – in this case I used sunflower seeds.
Bang! And that’s my long winded Power Bowl rant! Again, there are so many ways to get creative with this, and so many other ingredients you could use…possibilities are endless! Give it a try, get in the kitchen and power up with a plant based Power Bowl!