When I first transitioned to a plant forward way of eating I often found myself bored with lettuce based salads and even worse: hungry shortly after eating. Plant power bowls were my answer! I soon found out adding some grains or beans helped to stave off the hunger. The reason? Both are loaded with protein!
A cup of cooked whole grains contains between 4 – 6 grams of protein (click here for more specific information), while a mere half cup of garbanzo beans has about 7 grams (this chart will tell you more). Add a few chopped veggies and a snazzy dressing and you’ll have a filling bowlful of goodness with the almost as much protein as a 3 ounce salmon fillet AND a full belly!
This type of salad is easy to throw together when you keep a few pantry staples on hand. For example, I used a microwavable quinoa/brown rice mix as the base for my plant power bowl. My garbanzos were from a small, two serving jar. If you have room in the fridge or freezer it’s simple enough to make a batch of grains and/or beans and portion them out ahead of time, but with just two of us smaller portioned convenience products allow us more variety. Plus, since they’re shelf stable we store them in our pantry so we’re able to fill our small fridge with fresh fruits and veggies.
I opted to go with an Asian style dressing. The flavor worked really well with the chopped vegetables. Some sunflower seeds sprinkled over the top added a little nutty crunch (and more protein!)
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter (I used a sugar free, natural brand)
- 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce (I used a low sodium variety)
- pinch red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup or more juice (I used tropical fruit blend with low added sugar; orange or apple work well, too)
- ½ teaspoon Pad Thai Paste OR ⅛ teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 cup quinoa/brown rice mix, heated as instructed OR any grain you prefer
- ½ cup cooked garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained OR any bean you prefer
- Assorted fruits, vegetables and nuts (I used sunflower seeds, radishes, apples, celery, red cabbage, onions and avocado)
- Juice of ½ lime
- chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
- Combine the peanut butter and tamari in a medium bowl with the red pepper flakes
- Stir in the pad thai sauce and a small amount of juice.
- Mix until creamy and pourable, adding more juice as needed
- Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired with additional salt or sweetener
- Heat the grains if desired and spread in the bottom of a large shallow bowl.
- Arrange the cut up fruits and vegetables in a pleasing manner.
- Squeeze the lime over top, drizzle the dressing and garnish with the sunflower seeds and chopped parsley
This month’s Recipe ReDux bloggers will feature Plant Power Bowls. Be sure to check them out for more inspiration.