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September 24, 2020

Spicy Kale Grain Bowl with Tempeh and Root Vegetables

This Spicy Kale Grain Bowl with tempeh and root vegetables is a protein-packed, nutrient-dense meal. Grains, greens, beans, and veg combine make a well-rounded dish.

One of the hardest parts of eating well (that I've discovered) is that once you know all the healthy foods, you have to figure out how to integrate them into your diet.

I'm a big fan of Dr. Greger and the work he does over on nutritionfacts.org. He suggests his "daily dozen" which consists of twelve foods / food groups that we should aim to get in our diet each day.

Spicy Kale Grain Bowl

The Daily Dozen

  1. Beans (3 servings)
  2. Berries (1 serving)
  3. Fruits (3 servings)
  4. Cruciferous Vegetables (1 serving)
  5. Greens (2 servings)
  6. Vegetables (2 servings)
  7. Flaxseed (1 tablespoon, ground)
  8. Nuts (1 serving)
  9. Grains (3 servings)
  10. Spices - Turmeric (1/4 teaspoon)
  11. Exercise
  12. Healthy Beverages

I don't know about you, but for me that list seems almost impossible.

With that in mind, I try to create recipes that incorporate several items from this list. The goal is to have some go-to dishes that you don't even have to think about. You just know they are healthy and have a ton of good stuff in them.

This Spicy Kale Grain Bowl is one of those.

For fun, let's count how many of Dr. Greger's dozen this recipe has.

  • Kale = 1 greens (or 1 cruciferous)
  • Tempeh = 1 beans
  • Broccoli = 1 cruciferous
  • Quinoa = 1 grain
  • Carrots = 1 vegetable
  • Beets = 1 vegetable

That means we check 5 of the 12 boxes, with 6 out of 20 total "servings". That's pretty good for one meal. If you just drink some water and add in your daily exercise, then you're up to 8. Sounds like a win in my book.

And this bowl doesn't just check the boxes... it actually tastes good too!

The variety of flavors and textures makes each bite rich and unique. And I haven't even mentioned the dressing yet.

We'll make a spicy sriracha dressing and balance it out with some sweet for that perfect sweet-spicy combo. It takes this recipe over the top! Ready to eat? Let's dive in.

Spicy Kale Grain Bowl

Ingredients

I already went through some of the ingredients, but I'll list them again here. I find it helpful to understand how each part of a dish works.

  • Tempeh: the protein source in this dish. It is made from fermented soy beans, so not only does it pack in plant-based protein, but it gives your gut a boost with the good bacteria that comes from fermentation.
  • Tempeh Marinade: Vegetable Broth, Sriracha, Date Syrup. Tempeh isn't very flavorful on its own, so we'll marinade it in a spicy-sweet sauce. Sriracha for spice, date syrup for sweet, and vegetable broth so there's enough liquid to cover the tempeh.
  • Broccoli: Having broccoli in a grain bowl isn't super common, but it's great in this dish because it gives another texture and an element of cooked vegetable to contrast with all the raw veg.
  • Broccoli Dressing: Garlic, Mustard, Date Syrup. We will spice up the broccoli with a tangy marinade to give it some extra flavor!
  • Quinoa: The "grain" part of this grain bowl. Quinoa is packed with protein and fiber and is naturally gluten-free. Add a bit of salt while your cooking so the bowl is well seasoned.
  • Kale: Kale is the bulk of this dish. You can start with a HUGE bed of kale and build the higher-calorie ingredients from there based on your nutritional needs. Kale also adds crunch!
  • Carrots: Besides adding some beautiful color, carrots add fresh flavor.
  • Beets: Beets also add a beautiful color, fresh flavor, and they have that earthiness that complements the quinoa well.

We'll also make a quick spicy dressing that I'll talk about in a bit!

Spicy Kale Grain Bowl

How to make a Spicy Kale Grain Bowl

There are a lot of steps to put this grain bowl together. BUT you can multi-task and prep some of the ingredients while others are cooking.

And, this dish is great for meal-prepping. Double the recipe for a weeks worth of bowls!

Step 1. Start by preheating the oven. You'll need the oven for the tempeh and the broccoli.

Step 2. Prepare the tempeh: In a medium bowl, mix the vegetable broth, sriracha, and date syrup. Chop the block of tempeh into small cubes and add to the marinade. Stir to coat completely. Set aside while you prepare the broccoli.

Step 3. Chop the broccoli into small florets. The goal is to create tiny pieces that won't be a super distracting texture in the final bowl. Add to another medium bowl. Mince the garlic and add to the broccoli. Stir in the date syrup and mustard. This creates a nice dressing for the broccoli.

Step 4. Arrange the tempeh on a foil-lined baking sheet and the broccoli on another. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the broccoli and bake the tempeh another 10-15 minutes, until it is crisp.

Step 5. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa. Add 1/2 cup dry quinoa to 1 cup water. Add salt if desired. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

Step 6. Meanwhile, chop the kale into bite-sized pieces. Grate the carrots and the beets.

Step 7. Then, prepare the spicy dressing. In a small bowl, whisk white balsamic, sriracha, and date syrup.

Step 8. When all ingredients are cooked and prepared, assemble the bowls. Add a bed of kale to each bowl. Then top with a scoop of quinoa, broccoli, tempeh, carrot, and beets. Drizzle with spicy dressing. Enjoy!

Recipe Prayer

Thank you God for the variety of foods you put on this earth. Thank you for the unique health benefits each food provides. Amen.

Spicy Kale Grain Bowl

**This post contains affiliate links, for more information see my disclosure here.

Spicy Kale Grain Bowl with Tempeh and Root Vegetables

This Spicy Kale Grain Bowl with tempeh and root vegetables is a protein-packed, nutrient-dense meal. Grains, greens, beans, and veg combine make a well-rounded dish.

Author:

Elizabeth

Serves:

4

Prep:

15

min

cook:

25

min

total:

40

min

Ingredients

  • 1 Block Tempeh
  • 1/4 Cup Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha
  • 2 Teaspoons Date Syrup
  • 1 Head Broccoli
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Mustard
  • 2 Teaspoons Date Syrup
  • 1/2 Cup Quinoa, dry
  • 1 Head Kale
  • 2 Large Carrots
  • 2 Medium Beets

Spicy Dressing

  • 1/4 Cup White Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 Tablespoon Date Syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.
  2. Prepare the tempeh: In a medium bowl, mix the vegetable broth, sriracha, and date syrup. Chop the block of tempeh into small cubes and add to the marinade. Stir to coat completely. Set aside while you prepare the broccoli.
  3. Chop the broccoli into small florets. Add to another medium bowl. Mince the garlic and add to the broccoli. Stir in the date syrup and mustard.
  4. Arrange the tempeh on one of the baking sheets and the broccoli on the other. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the broccoli and bake the tempeh another 10-15 minutes, until it is crisp.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa. Add 1/2 cup dry quinoa to 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, chop the kale into bite-sized pieces. Grate the carrots and the beets.
  7. Then, prepare the spicy dressing. In a small bowl, whisk the white balsamic, sriracha, and date syrup.
  8. When all ingredients are cooked and prepared, assemble the bowls. Add a bed of kale to each bowl. Then top with a scoop of quinoa, broccoli, tempeh, carrot, and beets. Drizzle with spicy dressing. Enjoy!

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August 28, 2021
Henry (Hank) Mader
thank you for the oil free recipe. I'm getting introduced to wild Bolete mushrooms here in Colorado, and everyone sautes Bolete's in butter or olive oil. I'm on a veggie, oil free regimen for heart health reasons. and your recipe suggestion may fill the bill. I can't wait to give it a try.
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This is so fun! Loving your creamy photography :)
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This looks incredible! So yummy and pretty photography