Balanced Bowls

Spicy Tempeh Macro Bowl

If there’s one thing that I love to create the most, it’s BOWLS!  I love creating them because you can throw in a hodgepodge of ingredients and they always turn out great.  Some require more effort than others but overall the concept is the same.  Anything from smoothie bowls, salad bowls, macro bowls to just a bowl of freaking food, I love making bowls.

Since my recent trip to LA I’ve noticed the trend is really focused on Macro bowls.  I visited some of the hottest vegan joints from the Butcher’s Daughter, Café Gratitude, Gracias Madre & more.  I made it my mission to find as many possible raw, vegan, farm to plate restaurants as possible during my week long stay.  While the food was more incredible from one place to the next,  I noticed a common theme with a variety of bowls on the menu.  The spectrum is quite broad when it comes to the bowl themes.  If you are looking for a comfort bowl you can go for the southern food sampler with red beans and dirty rice, blackened jerk tempeh, barbecue sauce and some jalapeno gluten free biscuits, or you can go for the Mexican inspired bowl made with pinto beans, pico de gallo, salsa Verde, avocado, Portobello mushrooms and pickled veggies.  Whatever your taste buds desire, the bowl is got it made and you are sure to leave not feeling hungry!

The word macrobiotic is a diet in which an attempt is made to balance the yin and yang elements of food; this means that grains are a staple, supplemented with other foods such as vegetables, seeds, sauces & good fats.  When making a bowl you should start with these basic steps:

  • Grains – base of your bowl. These should make up about 40-50% of your meal.  You can use anything from brown rice, barley, millet, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, buckwheat & etc. are recommended sources.
  • Vegetables – Veggies are the most important part of your macro meal. Cooked and raw veggies should make up 30-40% of your bowl.  Leafy greens are key and using local and in season veggies are always preferred.
  • Protein – Anything from fish, tempeh, tofu, chickpeas, lentils & etc. should make up about 20% of your bowl. *If you eat meat you can certainly substitute here as well to make a bowl it just isn’t part of the macrobiotic diet.
  • Condiments/Oils – Oils like coconut oil, sesame oil, and olive oil are great. Miso paste, sea salt, apple cider vinegar, tamari, tahini, brown rice syrup, veggie broth, avocado & etc. are great options.
  • Fermented foods – Tempeh is ideal but pickled veggies are a great option to bring lots of probiotics into your diet.
  • Sea Vegetables – Sea veggies like seaweed, kelp and etc. are rich in vitamins and minerals and great additions to your health and can be added as extra toppings.

Now that you know the basics, you are ready to start making your bowl!  I also love spices and have a variety on hand.

First I started with the rice, since that takes some time to sauté over the stove it’s nice to start it early so it’s simmering when you are preparing the rest of your ingredients.  Bowl making requires some juggling in the kitchen and I had 4 projects going on at one time so make sure you are equipped with space and you can set aside the ingredients to prepare a beautiful bowl at the end.

Second, I started the kale salad since I wanted to massage the kale to ensure it was nice and lathered making it more desirable when eating.  First I removed the steps from the kale then chopped it into smaller pieces and set aside into a colander.  Once I had filled the colander I rinsed the leaves and patted dry with a paper towel and set aside.  Meanwhile, it was time to prepare the dressing.  I made a vegan avocado “Caesar” dressing because it really does taste like Caesar dress, however it doesn’t look like it!

Third, start sautéing the onions & mushrooms with the tempeh.  You will want to put a small amount of olive oil in the pan and add in the chopped onion and mushrooms.  Let the veggies sauté and lightly brown and remove from heat.  Immediately following the removal of the veggies, I used the same pan and threw in the tempeh.  After slicing into 1”x 3” slices you can place them into the pan and lightly season.  Depending on your spice tolerance you can go plain or throw in more spice.  My recipe consists of a spicy tempeh.

Avocado Caesar Dressing

  • ½ avocado
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. tahini
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ cup water

IMG_0824

  • Chop garlic cloves and add to blender with avocado, vinegar, tahini, lemon juice and water. Blend until smooth and is liquid enough to pour.  It should be the consistency of a creamy dressing like ranch or Caesar dressing.
  • Pour over kale leaves and toss until fully massaged though the leaves.

Spicy Chickpea Croutons

  • 1 can organic garbanzo beans
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp curry
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper

 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Rinse beans and place into colander to ensure they are fully rinsed. Pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Spread evenly on baking sheet and top with oil. Mix the beans to ensure they are coated with oil to better absorb the spices.
  • Evenly distribute the paprika, curry, sea salt and cayenne pepper over the beans and shake the pan to evenly coat the beans.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until chickpeas are a bit crispy
  • Remove and set aside to let cool then top on kale salad when you have the bowl prepared.

Spicy Tempeh & Sautéed veggies

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ cup shitake mushrooms
  • ½ onion

Sauté in pan for about 5-8 min on high.  Remove from pan and set aside.

  • 1 pkg light life 3 grain tempeh
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp paprika

 

  1. While pan is still hot, add in the sliced tempeh so they are flat in the pan so one side starts to sear and brown.
  2. While those are sautéing, add all of the spices (pepper, salt, cayenne & paprika) into a bowl and mix.
  3. Sprinkle on the spice mix so you use about ½ of the mix.
  4. Turn the tempeh to sear the other side and use the remaining spice mix. Both sides should be lightly browned and crispy.

Now that you have prepared all of your ingredients you can remove the rice from the stove, drain and set aside.  The last piece here is to take your seaweed paper and cut into 1×1” chunks.  I used about ¼ cup per bowl.

Now that you have all of the ingredients, you are ready to create your bowl!

  • Start with you base and add approx. ½ cup – ¾ cup of rice
  • Section out the bowl into quarters.
    1. Add your tempeh to cover ¼ of the section of rice. It will be approx. 4-6 piece.
    2. Add the sautéed veggies to cover approx. ¼ section of the rice
    3. Add kale salad to cover approx. ¼ of the bowl (depending on what veggie you want more of you can cover more or less of the bowl with the topping). Top with approx. 2 tbsp crispy chickpeas
    4. Add seaweed chucks to ¼ section of the bowl
  • If you want to add a topping, you can drizzle the avocado Caesar dressing or a dressing of your choice.

Now you are ready to enjoy your balanced Macro bowl! IMG_0829

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