I did a terrible thing Friday night and I hope you will forgive me.
I enjoyed a slice of chocolate cake. The Cheesecake Factory’s Chocolate Tower Cake to be specific. I even shared it.
The terrible part isn’t that I shared the cake (I did so willingly), it’s that I didn’t get a picture of it for you.
Does it count though that I thought of you all as I dunked each bite of fudgy cake in the whipped cream?
Between my love of chocolate fudge cakes, Red Mango frozen yogurt parfaits and Cold Stone Creamery Sundaes, my vegetarian lifestyle will never evolve to strictly plant-based.
There are certainly days that pass on end where my diet can appear completely plant-based but I cannot and will not ever give up my ability to eat my favorite desserts laden with chocolate and butter and milk or the opportunity to eat pizza when I want to.
However, one of my most favorite meals which just so happens to be plant-based is what is often referred to as the Vegan Power Bowl. We will refer to it today as a Plant-Based Power Bowl.
The above plant-based bowl of power consisted of roasted sweet potato wedges, lentil/quinoa mix, roasted cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts and asparagus topped off with avocado.
A wonderful mix of plant-based protein from the quinoa and lentils, complex carbohydrates from the sweet potatoes and antioxidants from your load of vegetables. The avocado lends the healthy fat and flavor.
You need not be vegetarian or vegan or have any specific label on your daily diet in order to enjoy this bowl.
Plant-Based Power Bowls are considered “power” because they contain so many important nutrients for our bodies and trust me, after eating a meal like this, you will feel terrific, perhaps even powerful. Not weighed down, tired or overly stuffed; rather, you will feel full of energy.
Power bowls are simple to throw together and can really work with a wide variety of plant-based ingredients making them perfect for last minute meal options.
I enjoyed this bowl the other night for dinner and have randomly decided this morning to share it with you in a bit of detail just in case you wanted to add some last-minute items to your shopping list in order to make your own plant-based power bowls this week.
I will never tell you to give up poultry and/or red meat but a meatless meal that tastes this delicious can’t hurt.
You can literally work with any combination of the following ingredients:
- Chick Peas
- Black Beans
- Kidney Beans
- Quinoa- counts as both a protein source and whole grain too even though it is considered a seed
Complex Carb/Whole grains:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Brown Rice
People tend to hate on regular (white) potatoes – if you like them over sweet potatoes, go for it. White potatoes get a bad rap yet in reality, they contain a ton of nutrients including fiber, potassium and vitamin B6.
Any kind you wish, fresh or frozen
Some of my favorites:
- Spinach, kale, romaine lettuce
- Broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts
- Carrots, peppers, tomatoes
- Dressing of choice
I don’t love salad dressing – sometimes I go with just avocado, a scoop of hummus, a drizzle of barbeque sauce or mango-peach salsa.
All of these ingredients can be ready within a moments notice and just thrown together to make for a perfect last-minute meal decision and terrific packable lunch option since it can be eaten hot or cold.
You can roast your vegetables in advance, store them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator so that you have them on hand to use throughout the week. Potatoes roast and store well in the refrigerator too.
Even if you don’t have fresh vegetables on hand, frozen vegetables steam up quick and taste great too.
Interestingly enough, I came across an article over at Runner’s World that advises us to eat our produce raw – as in not cooked, steamed or roasted in order to burn more calories through digestion.
You can certainly enjoy this plant-based bowl in more of a raw form (more like a salad) however, and I don’t know about you, too many vegetables in raw form do not make my stomach happy.
Not to mention, roasted vegetables are just too tasty to pass up, don’t you think?