Easy Power Bowls

This veggie power bowl makes an irresistibly healthy dinner or lunch! Serve roasted and fresh veggies with a whole grain…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This veggie power bowl makes an irresistibly healthy dinner or lunch! Serve roasted and fresh veggies with a whole grain and creamy sauce.

Power Bowl

The bowl meal isn’t revolutionary, but dang is it satisfying! There are millions of variations, but we think there’s always room for one more idea. Introducing our easy Veggie Power Bowl! This combination of whole grain, veggies, protein and a sauce makes dinnertime delicious. This one is irresistibly good, pairing quinoa with tender roasted broccoli and cauliflower, crunchy raw veg, and finished off with a creamy pop of tahini sauce. Serve it in a shallow bowl and well, it’s swoon-worthy.

Components in this power bowl

The formula for a great power bowl pairs a few key components to make a filling, healthy meal. When you construct it, you’ll want to think about contrasts in colors, flavors, and textures. You’ll also want to make sure that you have enough protein to keep it filling! This is a vegan protein bowl that goes big on plant-based protein. Here are the components of a great power bowl, then we’ll provide more details on each below:

  • Whole grain
  • Veggies, ideally roasted and fresh veggies for contrasts in texture
  • Protein, vegan, vegetarian, seafood or meat
  • Sauce
Veggie Bowl

Choosing your whole grain

In this power bowl we chose quinoa as the grain: but you can opt for whatever grain you’d like! Here are a few options:

  • Quinoa is a versatile whole grain that’s actually a seed, not a grain. It’s gluten-free and relatively quick to cook (about 20 minutes total).
  • Couscous is actually tiny grains of pasta: we like it because it takes 10 minutes! Use this if you have a need for speed. Keep in mind it’s not gluten-free.
  • Rice is an easy gluten-free whole grain. Try our Coconut Rice or Cilantro Lime Rice.
  • Farro is a chewy whole grain that’s similar to barley, but cooks faster. Keep in mind it’s not gluten-free.
  • Bulgur wheat is even quicker to cook: it takes 10 minutes (also not gluten-free).

For the power bowl veggies

When you think about veggies in a power bowl, it’s all about contrasts in colors, flavors and textures! That’s why we like a combination of roasted veggies and fresh veggies if possible. The hearty, savory vibes of roasted veg against the fresh crunch of fresh can’t be beat. In this power bowl we used a favorite combo of roasted broccoli and cauliflower. Here are a few other ideas in the roasted category:

Power Bowl

Protein in a power bowl

This power bowl is vegan, so it relies on a quick and easy plant-based protein: canned chickpeas! It’s our favorite idea for quick and easy vegan protein for a bowl meal. But there are lots of different ways to add protein here, including seafood. Here are a few protein options:

Sauces and drizzles

The best part of a power bowl? The sauce! Don’t overlook this aspect: it brings the dominating flavoring to your veggie bowl. Here we used our fan-favorite Tahini Sauce, a blend of lemon and creamy tahini that’s utterly irresistible (we think!). But there are many different options. Here are some favorite veggie bowl sauces:

And that’s it! Let us know what you think of this veggie power bowl and what you choose for your elements. We love this combination, but there are endless variations!

Tahini Dressing

More veggie bowl recipes

There are so many more different veggie bowl meal ideas! Here are some favorite bowl recipes:

This power bowl recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Power Bowl

Veggie Power Bowls


Description

This veggie power bowl makes an irresistibly healthy dinner or lunch! Serve roasted and fresh veggies with a whole grain and creamy sauce. See above for more ideas for protein adders.


Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Start the Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower.
  2. Make the quinoa: Rinse the quinoa in cold water using a fine mesh strainer, then drain and shake out the remaining water. Place it in a saucepan with 1 ¾ cups water and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer where the water is just bubbling for about 15 to 18 minutes, until the water has been completely absorbed. (Check by pulling back the quinoa with a fork to see if water remains.) Turn off the heat and let sit with the lid on to steam for 5 minutes, then fluff the quinoa with a fork. 
  3. Meanwhile, prep the veggies: Drain and rinse the chickpeas, and mix them with the olive oil and kosher salt. Slice the radishes, peel and slice the kohlrabi, and shred the carrot.
  4. Make the dressing: stir together the Tahini Sauce or Sesame Ginger Dressing.
  5. To serve, place the greens in a shallow bowl, then top with the quinoa, roasted veggies, fresh veggies, and a drizzle of the sauce.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Keywords: Power bowl, veggie bowl

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Falafel Salad

There’s nothing more satisfying than falafel salad! Top greens with falafel, crunchy veggies, and a creamy tahini dressing. Falafel tops…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

There’s nothing more satisfying than falafel salad! Top greens with falafel, crunchy veggies, and a creamy tahini dressing.

Falafel salad

Falafel tops the chart of some of the world’s best vegan recipes, in our opinion. These Middle Eastern chickpea balls are so meaty and satisfying, we could eat them daily. Here’s a way to make part of an everyday plant-based meal: this Falafel Salad! Make a batch of this easy baked falafel, then layer them with crunchy veggies and top with a creamy, zingy tahini dressing. Or, use purchased frozen falafel or even repurpose take-out leftovers! This one is a massive hit with our family: and works for weeknights or dinner parties.

Ingredients in falafel salad

Falafel is a Middle Eastern ball of chickpeas, herbs and spices that’s deep fried. It’s most often served as an appetizer with dip, or in a pita as a falafel sandwich. But an alternative way to eat it is deconstructed, in a salad! It makes a satisfying vegan and gluten free dinner idea, served in a big bowl with a creamy sauce or dressing. Here’s what you’ll need for this falafel salad recipe:

  • Falafel: this Baked Falafel recipe is perfect for easy meals, but you can substitute with classic fried falafel or frozen (see below)
  • Tahini sauce: the zingy Lemon Tahini Sauce ties the salad together with creamy richness
  • English cucumber: English cucumber is key: the flavor is milder and it doesn’t have a tough peel or seeds
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Tomatoes
  • Kalamata olives
  • Salad greens
Baked falafel
Baked falafel is ideal for serving in falafel salad

Options for the falafel

This falafel salad is perfect with our baked falafel, which is quick and easy. You can make it with a can of chickpeas, and bake it up in a flash! Or, it’s excellent with classic falafel: you’ll just have to remember to soak dry chickpeas overnight. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Baked falafel: Baked Falafel is a shortcut for easy dinners, made with canned chickpeas and baked in the oven. Leftovers save well, so consider making a double batch and refrigerating or freezing. Also try them with dip or in kid lunch boxes!
  • Classic falafel: This Classic Falafel recipe uses dried chickpeas, like a traditional Middle Eastern falafel. The flavor is excellent and it’s worth remembering to soak them overnight, and dealing with the tricky elements of pan frying. It’s just that good!
  • Frozen falafel: Many grocery stores carry frozen falafel in the frozen section. Let us know if you have favorite brands (Target has them, which means they’re pretty widely available!)
  • Restaurant falafel: Ordering Greek or Middle Eastern takeout? Here’s a tip: order extra falafel, then serve the leftovers over a salad. It’s a great way to create another meal!
Falafel Salad

Tahini sauce and other dressing ideas

What’s most important about this falafel salad? The dressing brings it all together! The Tahini Sauce in the recipe below is one of our favorite recipes ever: it’s so delicious and versatile! But it works with a few other sauce options that are traditional on a Falafel Sandwich:

  • Tahini Sauce has the best creamy, zingy and balanced flavor. It really brings the elements in this salad together! It also fits many diet options: vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free.
  • Quick Cucumber Sauce or Tzatziki are both full of flavor with Greek yogurt, lemon, cucumber and dill! This first sauce is a shortcut version.
  • Cilantro Sauce is another vegan sauce, deliciously fresh with lots of cilantro and blended cashews as the body.
Falafel Salad

More Mediterranean recipes

This Falafel Salad is a great Mediterranean diet recipe that doubles as a filling vegan dinner recipe! Here are a few more recipes to try:

This falafel salad recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Falafel Salad


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

There’s nothing more satisfying than falafel salad! Top greens with falafel, crunchy veggies, and a creamy tahini dressing.


Ingredients

For the baked falafel*

  • 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • ⅓ cup Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, loosely packed (or fresh parsley)
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

For the salad

  • 1 recipe Tahini Sauce
  • 1/2 English cucumber, sliced
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 2 radishes, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 handful Kalamata olives
  • 8 cups salad greens

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Dab the chickpeas with a paper towel to remove extra moisture and set them aside.
  3. Place the rolled oats in a bowl of a food processor. Process 30 seconds to 1 minute until they are the texture of flour. Pour into a separate bowl and set aside.
  4. Roughly chop the red onion and peel the garlic. Place them into the food processor with the cilantro and pulse until finely minced, stopping and scraping down the bowl once. Add the tahini, olive oil, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper and process until combined, stopping and scraping the bowl once. Then add the oats and pulse until a uniform dough forms. (Be careful not to over-process the dough: you’ll want it uniform and shape-able with a little texture. See the photo below!)
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use your hands to roll the dough into 12 balls that are 1 ½ tablespoons each, then flatten them into discs (use a size 40 cookie scoop, if you have it). Place the discs on the baking sheet and brush the tops with olive oil.
  6. Bake the falafel for 15 minutes until golden brown, then flip and bake for 10 minutes, until golden brown on the other side. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes before eating. (Storage info: The baked falafel store very well! Refrigerate up to 1 week or freeze up to 3 months. Consider making a double batch and storing leftovers.)
  7. While the falafel bake, make the Tahini Dressing.
  8. To serve, place greens on a plate. Top with baked falafel, shredded carrot, sliced cucumber, sliced tomato, sliced radishes, and Kalamata olives. Drizzle with tahini dressing and serve.

Notes

*Makes 12 small falafel: consider making a double batch and storing leftovers. To make a short-cut version of this salad, use frozen purchased falafel. Or, it’s a way to repurpose leftover falafel from restaurant takeout!

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Falafel salad

Baked Falafel
The dough should be uniformly chopped but still have some texture: resist the urge to over-process!

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Vegan Poke Bowl

Here’s how to make a vegan poke bowl! You’ll be surprised at how much flavor comes from marinaded beet poke, colorful veggies and spicy mayo. Want to eat plant based but have your poke bowls too? These popular healthy bowl meals are all the rage lately. Poke is a Hawaiian specialty, typically made with raw ahi tuna that’s marinaded and then served with lots of veggies and tasty sauces. What if you don’t eat fish? We’ve got a whole food plant based (WFPB) version for you: vegan poke bowls! These tasty bowls are bursting with flavor, and they’ve got an unusual ingredient that amazingly gives the same texture and flavor as poke. Beets. Yep, you’re going to have to taste this to believe it…but it really works! Really, beet poke? Yes! Odd as it sounds, cooked beets stand in for the fish in this vegan poke bowl. Somehow the textures and the marinade really work! The beet poke comes out buttery and tender, savory with hints of soy, sesame and ginger. Just how to pull off this trick? Here are our secrets: Boiled beets have a similar texture and color to poke: smooth and buttery. Of course, beets have a […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Here’s how to make a vegan poke bowl! You’ll be surprised at how much flavor comes from marinaded beet poke, colorful veggies and spicy mayo.

Vegan poke bowl

Want to eat plant based but have your poke bowls too? These popular healthy bowl meals are all the rage lately. Poke is a Hawaiian specialty, typically made with raw ahi tuna that’s marinaded and then served with lots of veggies and tasty sauces. What if you don’t eat fish? We’ve got a whole food plant based (WFPB) version for you: vegan poke bowls! These tasty bowls are bursting with flavor, and they’ve got an unusual ingredient that amazingly gives the same texture and flavor as poke. Beets. Yep, you’re going to have to taste this to believe it…but it really works!

Vegan poke bowl

Really, beet poke?

Yes! Odd as it sounds, cooked beets stand in for the fish in this vegan poke bowl. Somehow the textures and the marinade really work! The beet poke comes out buttery and tender, savory with hints of soy, sesame and ginger. Just how to pull off this trick? Here are our secrets:

  • Boiled beets have a similar texture and color to poke: smooth and buttery. Of course, beets have a darker pink color than the bright pink ahi tuna: but they’re close! Cut them in cubes to simulate the real thing.
  • Stir in the poke sauce and the beets instantly pick up the flavors of soy, toasted sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and green onion. It’s pretty incredible. You’ve got to taste this to believe it!
  • Add filling plant-based protein to your bowl. Since beets don’t have protein, you’ll need to make sure other components of your bowl keep it filling. With edamame and brown rice, this bowl has a good amount of filling protein and fiber.
  • Add richness with spicy mayo. Beets are missing one more thing that ahi tuna has: fat! The spicy mayo drizzle brings back some of the richness.
Vegan Poke Bowl

Why make a vegan poke bowl?

This vegan poke bowl is a tasty, healthy plant based dinner recipe that makes eating your vegetables taste incredible! The beet poke tastes so buttery and savory from the soy and sesame oil, you’ll feel like you’re eating the real thing. (Though if you’re a long-time vegan, perhaps you haven’t tried it!)

Alex and I eat a Mediterranean-style diet that includes some seafood. So, we love our Classic Poke Bowls when we want to splurge on a really good piece of fish. But most of the time we eat a mostly plant based diet, so we make both of these poke bowl recipes. Each one is its own experience: uniquely delicious in its own way! It’s also nice to have both recipes if you’re cooking for a crowd with mixed diets. Make the same toppings and then serve either the ahi poke or the vegan beet poke!

Spicy mayo: what if I don’t like heat?

Good question! Spicy mayo is what takes this vegan poke bowl over the top. The richness and tang that it adds is essential to the bowl experience. But what if you can’t handle spice? Here’s what to do:

  • Make lime mayo. Mix the 1/2 cup vegan mayo with 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1 teaspoon soy sauce, to get all the tang but none of the heat!

Where did the poke bowl originate?

Poke is a Hawaiian dish! The word is Hawaiian for “to slice” or “cut crosswise into pieces.” It refers to the raw fish that’s cut into cubes. Poke is a Hawaiian-American food, but much of its flavor is influenced by Japanese cuisine: soy sauce, green onions, and sesame oil. Serve poke with rice, veggies, and other sauces and it becomes a poke bowl.

Interestingly, poke bowls started to become very popular in North America around 2012. As you might imagine, this spawned a lot of creativity around exactly what goes into a poke bowl! This vegan poke bowl is not traditional because it’s a plant based knock off, of course. For our classic poke bowl, go to Poke Bowl Recipe.

Marinaded beet poke

Vegan poke bowl topping ideas!

There are so many ways to make a great vegan poke bowl! You can easily customize it around your own preferences. Since the poke here is made of beets, you’ll want to make sure you have lots of plant-based protein and fiber in this bowl to keep you full. In this bowl, we did add some light seasonings to each veggie to bring out the flavor. Here’s what you’ll find in this poke bowl, and then some other ideas:

Toppings in this poke bowl

  • Short grain rice Use white or brown! Traditionally it’s white sushi rice, we tend toward brown since it has more fiber and nutrients.
  • Edamame frozen and thawed, well salted
  • Radishes if you can find watermelon radishes, they’ve got beautiful color!
  • Avocado also adds richness and is filling
  • Carrots are beautiful for color
  • Green onion adds a crunch
  • Spicy mayo adds richness: it’s a must!
  • Sesame seeds

Other vegan poke bowl topping ideas

  • Marinaded tofu: To add even more protein, add this tasty marinaded tofu.
  • Cucumber seaweed salad: Take 1 large English cucumber and julienne it into long thin strips (3 cups; we used a handheld julienne peeler). Mix with 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil.
  • Sliced cucumber: Even easier, just thinly slice it!
  • Red cabbage: Shred it and add a little toasted sesame oil
  • Vegan ponzu sauce like this one
Vegan Poke Bowl

This recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Vegan poke bowl

Vegan Poke Bowl


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

Here’s how to make a vegan poke bowl! You’ll be surprised at how much flavor comes from marinaded beet poke, colorful veggies and spicy mayo.


Ingredients

For the beet poke

  • 6 medium beets (or pre-cooked beets, as a time saver*)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon minced green onion
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the poke bowl

  • 1 cup short grain white rice or brown rice
  • 2 cups shelled edamame (thawed)
  • 3 green onions
  • 8 radishes
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 medium carrots
  • Spicy Mayo (1/2 cup mayo + 1 1/2 tablespoons Sriracha), for drizzling
  • For the garnish: sesame seeds, microgreens or sprouts (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook the beets*: Use How to Boil Beets (takes about 40 minutes total) or Instant Pot Beets (takes 25 minutes). Peel the beets according to the recipe, then slice them into 1/2-inch cubes.
  2. Make the rice: Make the rice on the stovetop or in an Instant Pot. When it’s done, give it a few shakes of rice vinegar and stir in salt to taste. (Or, make the rice in advance and reheat it on the stovetop with a splash of water.)
  3. Season the beets: When they’re cooked, place the beets in a bowl and stir together the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, grated garlic, ginger, minced green onion, and kosher salt.
  4. Prepare the veggies: Thinly slice the green onions and radishes. Slice the avocado. Julienne the carrots (or peel strips with a veggie peeler). Sprinkle all the veggies with salt.
  5. Serve: Place the veggies and rice in a bowl. Top with the beet poke and garnish the poke with sesame seeds. Drizzle with Spicy Mayo and serve.

Notes

*Many grocery stores now carry pre-cooked beets that are packaged and ready to eat. Buy these for a time saver in this recipe!

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Keywords: Vegan Poke Bowl

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes