Plant Based Balance Bowls for Winter



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I'm Kris, trained chef, culinary nutritionist and busy mom, here to help you take the stress out of healthy eating with flexible meal planning, simplified meal prep and easy budget-friendly meals.

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You asked for more easy, plant-based recipes and I have so happy to deliver! Balance bowls are my favorite way to get in a ton of nutrients in one simple-to-prepare meal- like these two plant-based bowls that are staples in our house, in the wintertime!

The first, the roasted veggie bowl, with deliciously crunchy and savory chickpeas, crispy roasted broccoli and cauliflower, lightly sweet butternut squash and a creamy tahini sauce over nutty farro or brown rice– is a family go-to, all fall and winter long.

Get all our family’s favorite bowl recipes all in one place:

The second, the wildly different and crazy satisfying umami bowl hits all those Asian-inspired flavors you want in a hearty and savory plant-packed bowl with sesame roasted broccoli, nutty pan-seared teriyaki tempeh, sauteed bok choy, shitake mushrooms and the BEST miso maple tahini sauce (yes, you’re using that tahini for both bowls!).

It’s easy to prep both for the week by using the same grain (brown rice works great), roasting the broccoli together, and you’ve already got tahini for two deliciously different sauces. Enjoy!

Roasted Veggie Balance Bowl

Base: Brown rice or farro
Protein: Roasted chickpeas
Vegetables: roasted broccoli, cauliflower and butternut squash
Sauce: Classic tahini sauce

Roasted Chickpeas:

3 cups of pre-cooked or canned chickpeas
~1 Tbsp oil of choice
savory spice blend (below)
sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Drain 3 cups of pre-cooked or canned chickpeas

and pat dry. Toss with oil of choice, savory spice blend, and sea salt.

3. Roast for 10-15 minutes before tossing and continue to roast another 10-15 minutes until desired crispiness.

Savory spice blend:

1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp cumin
pinch chili powder
pinch black pepper

Roasted Vegetables:

2-4 cups hearty vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cauliflower)
~2-4 tsp oil of choice (about 1 per cup)
sea salt
spices as desired

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Toss vegetables with oil, salt and spices until well coated.

3. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

4. Toss and bake another 10-30 minutes until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.


Classic Tahini Sauce:

1/4 cup tahini
1 tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp cumin
dash of garlic powder (or 1 small clove of garlic, minced)
sea salt to taste
water as needed to thin

1. In a small bowl or blender, whisk or blend all ingredients. Add water as needed to thin. 

Umami Balance Bowl

Base: Brown rice or farro
Protein: Teriyaki tempeh
Vegetables: sesame roasted broccoli*, sauteed bok choy and sauteed shitake mushrooms
Sauce: Miso Maple Tahini sauce

Teriyaki Tempeh:

1 8-oz block tempeh, sliced (I like to slice in half lengthwise, and then into triangles)
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
sesame or coconut oil

1. Marinate tempeh in sauce for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking.

2. Lightly oil a cast iron skillet or grill pan to medium high heat or preheat oven to 375.

3. Sear in pan for about 4-5 minutes per side, until crispy, or spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 375 for 20 minutes, turning once.

Sauteed vegetables:

2 cups of thinly sliced bok choy
6 oz shitake mushrooms
1 tbsp sesame or coconut oil, divided
sea salt

1. Heat half of oil to medium in a large sautee pan or cast iron skillet.

2. Once hot, add mushrooms. Season lightly and toss to

coat with oil. Let cook until crispy.

3. Remove mushrooms from pan, add in remaining oil, greens and season lightly. Sautee until wilted. Remove and serve.

Miso Maple Tahini sauce:

1/3 cup tahini
2 tbsp white miso paste
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp tamari, soy sauce or coconut aminos (more as desired)
1 tbsp rice vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger (optional)
pinch sea salt to taste
pinch red pepper flakes if desired for spice

1. Whisk or blend, adding water as needed to thin. Season to taste.

To prepare bowls:

    1. Layer base into bottom of bowl. Top with vegetables, protein and a generous drizzle of sauce. Enjoy!

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