Plant-based protein bowls are part of my diet multiple times per week, especially in the fall so, seeing this theme for The Recipe Redux made me very excited.
“Packed with protein, fiber and color, plant power bowls are trendy and delicious.
Show us the healthy recipe that’s in your bowl.”
Plant-based proteins are not just attractive and delicious. They also provide anti-inflammatory benefits that are great for athletes, particularly those who have joint pain or slow recovery.
It is important to understand that animal proteins do not need to be a part of every meal or even every day in your life. While I follow a very plant-based diet, including eggs and fish, I realize that there is no one diet for everyone and the inclusion of animal products in other’s diets is a personal choice. You need to eat what works for your body. Having said that, research shows that everyone can benefit from more plant-based meals since fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds all promote longevity. Plant products, in their natural form, contain many beneficial nutrients but, a big focus is on the wide variety of antioxidants obtained from them as well as their fiber content! I regularly preach the fiber benefits of carbohydrate foods (plants) in my practice but, the research I was presented with at FNCE a few days ago re-affirmed these benefits. Fiber from plant foods, specifically soluble fiber, is fermented by good intestinal bacteria and its by-products induce many health benefits. Researchers are finding many connections between not only gut health and immunity, but also gut health and mental health. Between this and the better blood sugar control fiber gives, plants are able to reduce your stress levels and potentially anxiety. Yay!
As mentioned, I am a plant-protein bowl fanatic. Typically though, I just sort of wing it throughout the week. A big part of weekly food prep for T and I is cooking a couple of whole grains, prepping some plant proteins such as lentils, bean or tofu, and roasting lots of veggies. Throughout the week I’ll just mix and match what we have prepped, add tahini dressings, nuts or avocado for healthy fats and the meal is ready to go! Here’s a sampling of other bowls I had this week when returning from FNCE. The first I threw together with farro that I had prepped previously and frozen, some canned low-fat refried beans, pickled hot peppers, and clearly avocado. The other
This yummy bowl includes roasted oriental yams, brussel sprouts, onions, carrots, beans and tahini over steamed kale.
I decided to really highlight the seasonal flavors and colors of fall with my redux recipe though. I utilized mustard greens, a new favorite of mine, and the cranberry sauce I just posted to make a vinaigrette. I simply added some almond oil, a couple of tablespoons of orange juice, freshly ground black pepper and some garlic powder.
Grouped with protein rich adzuki beans and einkorn wheat berries, as well as roasted delicata squash, brussel sprouts, onions and pumpkin seeds, we’ve got fall in a bowl right here! I recommend roasting the veggies and making the dressing ahead of time so that you can throw easy meals together throughout the week in no time.
I cannot wait to see what delicious ideas my fellow reduxers have come up with, too. You can check out there ideas via the link at the bottom of this post.
Mustard Greens Power Bowl with Cranberry Dressing
1/3 heaping cup homemade cranberry sauce
2 Tbsp orange juice
1 Tbsp almond oil
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
6 Cups mustard greens, chopped
1 Tbsp oil for roasting vegetables
1 small delicata squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
2 Cups fresh brussel sprouts, quartered
2 small-medium sized red onion, chopped
4 medium carrots
2 Cups adzuki beans, cooked from dry or low-sodium canned
1 1/3 Cups cooked einkorn wheat berries (can sub farro or kamut)
4 Tbsp pepitas
Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl until well combined. Set aside.
Set oven to 400 degrees F.
Place delicata squash flesh side down on baking dish coated in cooking oil.
Drizzle oil lightly over the carrots and roast on the same baking dish whole or, if desired you may roast them cut.
Toss brussel sprouts and chopped onion in 1/2 tbsp oil and add pepper and salt if desired. Place in a glass baking dish.
Cook squash and onions for 25-30 minutes, until fork can easily go through the skin and flesh of the squash.
Cook the brussel sprouts and carrots for 30-45 minutes, depending on desired texture.
While vegetables are roasting, chop mustard greens.
When vegetables are ready, add all ingredients, except for pepitas, to a large mixing bowl and toss well.
Divide into four bowls or, pack into pyrex containers to bring to work for a power packed energizing meal.
Top each with 1 tbsp of pepitas.