Recipe Redux: Thanksgiving Power Bowls

Recipe Redux: Thanksgiving Power Bowls

Give your lunch a holiday boost with these Thanksgiving Power Bowls!

Time for another Recipe Redux post! This month’s challenge: plant protein power bowls: Packed with protein, fiber and color, plant power bowls are trendy and delicious. Show us the healthy recipe that’s in your bowl.

Lunch is a meal that stumps a lot of us. Yes, there’s always the classic turkey or peanut butter sandwich, but I’m really trying to make a point to get away from deli meats and get in a vegetable serving or two at lunch. While there’s still a day or two where a peanut butter sandwich is all I have time for, lately most days I’m digging into a nutritious, flavorful grain bowl.

Why are grain bowls so perfect for lunch?: they’re easy and cheep! First step, get organized. I like try to keep a variety of grains in the cabinet: quinoa, barley, faro, and brown rice. To save money buy these in bulk. Next decide what protein you want. For lunch, I like to keep things meat-free so usually tofu, beans, chickpeas, tempeh, or hardboiled eggs grace my bowl. And then, of course, the vegetables. Roasting is my favorite: simply grab one or two vegetables (preferably ones in season and on sale), toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper then roast in the oven. Delicious and easy on the stomach. Once you get the basics in, then it’s time to experiment with flavor: buffalo sauce, peanut sauce, avocado, lemon olive oil dressing, Greek yogurt-based tzatziki, the sky’s the limit!

thanksgiving-bowl

This power bowl is inspired by my favorite parts of Thanksgiving: stuffing, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce (delicious carb-heaven 😉 ). To make this an energizing lunch rather than an I need sweat pants and a nap kind of meal, I made a few healthy swaps to the holiday classics.

First stop: stuffing. My absolute FAVORITE part of Thanksgiving is stuffing, well the stuffing my mom makes. Hers is always perfectly moist with herby seasoning and no celery, onions, or any other fillers in sight. Rather than bread crumbs, I went with farro, which is an awesomely nutty, chewy grain I highly recommend making a pantry staple. Plus it’s packed with heart-healthy fiber, B-vitamins, zinc, and even a healthy dose of protein. To get the stuffing flavor, I cooked it in a stock made from water and Better than Bouillon (can also just use chicken broth), then stirred in onion powder, garlic powder, dried thyme, and a pinch of salt.

Keeping with the carbs, usually for Thanksgiving I make a sweet potato casserole. While one of my favorite recipes, I wanted something a bit more simple, so instead I cut the sweet potatoes into rounds and tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I then roasted them for 25 minutes to allow their natural sweetness to shine.

thanksgiving-bite

For added protein, I threw in some tofu slices along with the sweet potatoes to roast. Because there are so many flavors going on in this dish, I kept the tofu simple with just oil, salt, and pepper. But feel free to try out poultry seasoning or even simple herbs to give it more of a meaty taste.

Finally, the cranberry sauce. Now, this isn’t the sugar-loaded sauce that usually graces the holiday table. Instead, it is mostly tart with a slight hint of sweet from the orange juice. And when combined with the sweet potato, tofu, and farro stuffing, it just brings all the flavors together. Simply put a bag of frozen cranberries, 1 cup orange, juice, and a tablespoon of bourbon in a saucepan, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until thickened. Easy and delicious.

So yes, not the easiest, fastest meal but if you can get organized and make a big batch on Sunday, you’ll be set for lunches the rest of the week 🙂

So here’s a toast to getting your protein on, veg-style!

Thanksgiving Power Bowls

Total Time1 hr
Servings: 4
Author: The Healthy Toast

Ingredients

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Tofu

  • 3 sweet potatoes washed and cut into rounds
  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1.5 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Cranberry Sauce**

  • 1 10oz bag frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon Bourbon
  • Pinch of salt

Farro Stuffing

  • 1 cup raw farro not the quick, 10 minute type
  • 3 cups water *
  • 1 tablespoon Better than Bouillon*
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • Pinch of salt

For bowls

  • 1 bag mixed baby greens***

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400. While oven is preheating, dice sweet potatoes into rounds and place in medium-sized mixing bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in single layer on a large baking sheet (leaving room for tofu slices).
  • Drain water from tofu and cut into 6 equal slices. Place tofu slices on a cutting board, wrap with a paper towel, and place something heavy onto of the tofu to help press the water out. Allow to sit until oven is preheated.
  • Once oven has preheated, place tofu slices on baking sheet with sweet potatoes. Drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Bake sweet potatoes and tofu for 25 minutes, turning the baking sheet at the half-way through.
  • While the potatoes and tofu are roasting, place farro and water in a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling add Better than Bouillon and stir until dissolved. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes, or until softened (there may still be water in the pot after 30 minutes).
  • Once you have your farro simmering, place frozen cranberries, orange juice, bourbon, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring periodically. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer 15-20 minutes, or until it has thickened. Once thickened, remove from heat to avoid burning your cranberry sauce.
  • When farro is done cooking, remove from heat allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, start putting together your bowls. Place a large handful of baby greens on each plate.
  • Dice tofu into cubes and divide equally among the plates. Next, divide up sweet potato rounds equally on each plate.
  • Once farro has had time to sit, drain any excess water out then stir in onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, and salt. Pour equal amount of faro onto each plate.
  • Finally, drizzle cranberry sauce over each plate then dive in and enjoy!

Notes

Nutrition facts for 1/4 of recipe: 450 calories, 12 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 70 g carbohydrate, 11 g fiber, 19 g protein
*Could also use 3 cups low sodium chicken broth instead of water and bouillon
**Bry prefers his cranberry sauce less tart and recommends adding 1-2 tsp of honey or maple syrup
***If using a large serving of greens you may want to add a drizzle of olive oil


Add a comment

6 Comments

  • Sonali- The Foodie Physician AvatarSonali- The Foodie Physician3 years ago

    Such a great idea to do a Thanksgiving-themed bowl! I always get more excited about the side dishes than the turkey and this looks like a collection of my favorite sides in one dish- yum!

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toast3 years ago

      Right? The sides are by far the best part 😉 Thanks Sonali!

  • diane Boyd Avatardiane Boyd3 years ago

    Love your use of farro instead of bread for stuffing. Just a nice combo of flavors to mimic a Thanksgiving feast!

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toast3 years ago

      Thanks Diane 🙂 I’ve become obsessed with farro lately so chewy and nutty!

  • Chelsey, RD AvatarChelsey, RD3 years ago

    Love this combo…perfect for a vegan thanksgiving!!

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toast3 years ago

      Thanks Chelsey!

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    About Kelli McGrane Headshot

    I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

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