If you're looking for a filling, healthy and delicious lunch then why not try one of these nutty protein power bowls? Full of healthy plant protein from the quinoa, nuts and peanut butter, they'll certainly help you avoid the afternoon slump.
When I was aksed to create a plant-based protein power bowl I have to admit I felt more challenged than usual. You see, although I'm aware of the recent trend for 'bowl food' and I've seen some lovely recipes and pictures online, I haven't made any dishes in this style until now.
Luckily, I did already have some bowls. But only just. I bought them a couple of months ago thinking I really should get on trend.
I decided to use black quinoa as the base for my vegan power bowl. It has a lovely crunch to it but any quinoa would be fine or you could substitute it for another grain. Quinoa is high in protein though so seemed the perfect choice for this challenge.
I added peas and broccoli as I wanted some green vegetables in there and the peas would add extra protein too. I love toasted nuts so I used a mixture of almonds, peanuts and cashew nuts as well as a thick sauce with lots of peanut butter in it.
The peanut butter sauce has a lovely satay flavour from the ginger, garlic, soy, vinegar and chilli flakes. The bowls may look rather plain but they taste delicious!
What ingredients do you need for this protein power bowl?
- Black quinoa - It has a lovely crunch and quinoa is a complete protein too.
- Broccoli - It goes really well with nuts
- Peas - More green vegetables and they are also high in protein.
- Nuts - I used peanuts, almonds and cashew nuts
Then for the sauce I used:
- Peanut butter - This could be replaced by a different nut butter. Almond or cashew nut butters would both work.
- Vinegar - I used white wine vinegar but rice vinegar would be a great alternative.
- Soy sauce
- Crushed red chilli flakes - You could replace this with a little cayenne pepper or a fresh diced chilli pepper.
How do you prepare these vegan power bowls?
This protein bowl recipe is really easy to prep. Cook the quinoa, peas and broccoli first or use leftovers. Put them in the bowls with each ingredient taking up about a third of the bowl.
Then mix together all the ingredient for the sauce. It's a good idea to use a small whisk or a fork. When making up the sauce you can keep it quite thick or you can add a little extra water to make it more runny. Keep tasting it though as the water dilutes the flavour of the other ingredients so you may need to add a little more of something to get it just right.
Put the sauce in the middle of the bowl or drizzle it over the top.
Put the nuts in a dry pan and toast them slightly till they are slightly browned on the outside. Scatter them on top of the protein bowls.
How do you eat them?
I place the ingredients separately in the bowl with the thick sauce in the middle but it's up to you how you eat it. Once I begin to tuck in I mix everything together. It doesn't look so pretty but it tastes good!
Can you adapt the recipe?
Yes of course. Instead of the quinoa you could use a different grain. Brown rice or millet are both lovely and also contain protein.
You can use roasted mediterranean vegetables instead of the broccoli and beans instead of the peas. It's up to you.
I used three different kinds of nuts (peanuts, almonds and cashew nut). However, you can just use two different nuts or different kinds of nuts. Seeds like sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds also work well in this.
Can you make these protein bowls in advance?
Yes, these nutty protein bowls are ideal for prepping in advance. You can eat them hot or cold so they're a great recipe for taking out as a plant-based packed lunch or preparing in advance for an easy dinner.
You could even eat one for breakfast! I'd happily eat them at any time of day.
If you make them in advance they'll keep for 3 days in the fridge in a covered container.
More Healthy Vegan Recipes
If you like this protein power bowl then why not try one of my other vegan recipes
Nutty Protein Power Bowl
- 80 g quinoa
- 4 broccoli florets
- 3 tbsp peas
- 20 g peanuts
- 20 g almonds
- 20 g cashew nuts
For the Sauce
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 small garlic clove crushed
- ½ tsp ginger grated
- 1 tbsp white wine or rice vinegar
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- ¼ tsp crushed red chilli flakes
- Cook the quinoa according to the pack instructions as well as the broccoli and the peas.
- Put the nuts in a dry frying pan and toast them gently until they are golden.
- Mix together all the ingredients for the sauce plus a dash a of hot water from the kettle. If the sauce is too thick just add a little more water. Keep tasting and adjust the flavours if necessary.
- Serve in a bowl.