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!
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.
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!
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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!
Right? The sides are by far the best part 😉 Thanks Sonali!
Love your use of farro instead of bread for stuffing. Just a nice combo of flavors to mimic a Thanksgiving feast!
Thanks Diane 🙂 I’ve become obsessed with farro lately so chewy and nutty!
Love this combo…perfect for a vegan thanksgiving!!