Gluten Free/ Main Course/ Vegan

MACRO BOWL WITH MISO-TAHINI SAUCE + CRISPY TOFU

MACRO BOWL WITH MISO-TAHINI SAUCE + CRISPY TOFU Ninety-nine percent of the time our suppers are comprised of three components: whole grains, steamed veggies, and a tasty sauce. Not highly original, I know, but a solid choice nonetheless. As I’ve mention before, it’s often a struggle for many of us to make supper when we come home late from school or work. For years I would be the one who would spend so much time debating what healthy supper to make, that I’d just end up eating a good amount of Kettle chips instead.  It’s about balance, right?

Then years ago I met Adam, and beyond the world of prog rock and Carcassonne that came with him, he enlightened me to this entire new side of steaming vegetables.

Growing up, veggies were often over-steamed. And this is in no way a fault of my busy mother who was feeding five people and tripping over endless cats and dogs in a kitchen the size of a postage stamp. Steaming veg is hard work. You have to time it correctly, make sure one veggie doesn’t get overcooked while others remain rock hard, or worse,  wait around for one veggie to finish steaming while all the other components grow cold. The fear of improperly steaming veggies scared me so much that for years I would just roast them- a over roasted carrot is great, while a over steamed one is basically baby food. Simple as that.

Then I was shown this simple method (which I’ll share below) to steam whatever veggies we had left in the fridge in a manner where they would all be done at the same time as the rice! Life changing? A little. The beautiful thing about this method is that it works for just about anything. This recipe isn’t confined to the ingredients I used, but more of a guide on how to adapt whatever veggie you have in the fridge, happen to be on sale, or in season during a given month.

Macro Bowl with Tahini Miso Sauce | Wholehearted Eats Macro Bowl with Tahini Miso Sauce | Wholehearted Eats Macro Bowl with Tahini Miso Sauce | Wholehearted Eats The bowl food we tend to eat at home mostly resembles the Macro bowl. You’ve probably seen these plastered all over IG or at the menu of your local healthy cafe. While the bowls may vary in appearance, the fundamentals of them all remain the same. Based on the Macrobiotic diet (which like all diets came and went), it focuses on creating  a meal of whole grains, plenty of veggies, plant protein, and some fermentation goodness. In a nutshell, a balanced meal full of nutrition.

BUILDING A MACRO BOWL  101

  • WHOLE GRAINS – Whole grains should make up the base of your bowl. Options I like are brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, or barley. Or try mixing grains that have a similar cooking time like Heidi’s recipe.
  • VEGGIES – Veggies are the second most important ingredients in a macro bowl, but sometimes they come number one in our house. Choosing seasonal veggies is crucial. Look for produce that is locally grown – cauliflower, broccoli, squashes, beets, carrot, kale, yam, and (roasted) mushrooms in the fall and winter.  In the spring try veggies like asparagus, turnips, and tender greens. Fresh veggies like avocado, tomato, and cucumber also add a nice freshness in the summer months.
  • PROTEIN – In this recipe I opted for tofu, but tempeh is also a great addition. If you are avoiding soy or can’t get a non soy based tempeh, add chickpeas, adzuki beans, or green lentils.
  • SOMETHING FERMENTED – This recipe doubles up on the fermentation with miso and sauerkraut, but try to add at least one fermented component to your bowl such as miso, kimchi, sauerkraut, or tempeh.
  • SEA VEGETABLES – I like adding some soaked arame to our bowls for another textural component and dose of vitamins. If you cannot find arame you can either try cooking your beans (if adding beans) with kombu or even chopping up some sheets of nori for a garnish.
  • SPROUTS – Including sprouts in dishes brings a great bit of freshness and vitality. Sprouted lentils, mung beans, pea shoots, sunflower sprouts, or any micro green would do.
  • SEEDS OR NUTS – As a final garnish sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds help finish off the bowl.
  • TASTY SAUCE – This is the real star right here! In this recipe I used a Tahini Miso sauce, but a Tamari Ginger Sauce, Nut Butter Sauce, or Miso Gravy work just as well.

STEAMING VEGETABLE GUIDE

In 12 minutes you can steam just about any vegetable you have in your fridge. If you don’t have a steamer look for either a metal one or a inexpensive bamboo steamer – both work equally as well. For best results make sure most veggies are cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) cubes or bite size florets (large bites).

  • Begin by bringing a large pot of water (with your steamer on top)  to the boil. If you’re feeling fancy you can add some makrut lime leaves or lemongrass to the water for flavour and aroma, but this is not necessary.
  • Once the water is boiling add your hard vegetables like winter squash, yam, sweet potato, beet, and turnip.  Cover and set the timer for 4-5 minutes (check after 4, and they should start to become fork tender, but not soft enough to break apart)
  • After the four-five minute mark is up, add the veggies you’re able to eat and raw like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. Cover and set the time for 4 more minutes.
  • Finally, add the softer veggies which require little heat like sweet peppers, zucchini, and kale or other greens. Cover and let this steams for 3 minutes more.

Through this process, in the end you will have steamed harder vegetables like squash and beets for 12 minutes, your broccoli, cauliflower, or carrots for a total of 7, and your softer veggies like peppers, zucchini, and kale for 3.  

Macro Bowl with Tahini Miso Sauce | Wholehearted Eats

MACRO BOWL WITH MISO-TAHINI SAUCE + CRISPY TOFU

Serves 4.Print Recipe Here

2 Small heads of Broccoli, Chopped into bite sized pieces
3 Medium Beets, or 2 Large, Peeled and Chopped into 1 inch Cubes or Slices
1/4 of a Kabocha or other Winter Squash, Chopped in 1 inch Cubes (we leave Kabocha skin on, but peel if using another squash)
1 Cup Brown Rice
Miso Tahini Sauce (Below)
Crispy Tofu (Below)
To Garnish-  Arame soaked in water for 30 minutes, Sprouts, Sesame Seeds, Sauerkraut (we used a beet ginger variety from WildBrine)

  1. Begin by getting your rice on to cook. Add 1 3/4 cup of water along with the 1 cup rice. Bring the mixture to a boil and immediately cover and turn down to the lowest simmer. Cook for about 40 minutes. Different types of rice will have varying cooking times. Check the package for details.
  2. Next, get all your veggies peeled and prepped and have ready to steam.
  3. Make the Tahini Sauce (Recipe Below)
  4. Cook off your Crispy Tofu (Recipe Below)
  5. With five minutes or so left on your rice, get a pot and steamer basket ready. Fill the boil with water and bring to the boil.
  6. As soon as it begins to boil add your kabocha and beets. Set the time five minutes (see guide above)
  7. After the five minutes is up, add the broccoli and continue to steam for 5-7 minutes or until tender.
  8. Once the veggies are cooked, fill bowls with rice, veggies, and garnish and a side of sauce.

Miso Tahini Sauce

4 Tbsp. Tahini
2 Tbsp. Miso
4 Garlic Cloves (or less if you like)
2 tsp. Grated Ginger
1/2 Lemon (2 Tbsp. Juice)
1 tsp. Tamari
1/2 tsp. Honey or Vegan Liquid Sweetener
6 Tbsp. Water, approximatly

  1. Place all the ingredients except the water in a blender and puree until smooth. Add the water a Tbsp. at a time until a desired consistency is reached.

Crispy Tofu

This may seem like a lot of Tamari and Oil, but it’s just a quick marinade, so little of it will end up in the final dish. If you’d rather use tempeh, just toss it in some tamari and oil before frying (no need for the arrowroot)

350 G (12 oz) Firm Tofu
2 Tbsp. Tamari
2 Tbsp. Arrowroot Powder
1 Tbsp. Olive (I used liquid coconut)

  1. Chop the tofu into bite size cubes and pat it well with a tea towel to remove any extra water. In a shallow dish toss together all the ingredients until the starch is dissolved. Let the tofu marinade for about 5 minutes, but not too long. Once they’ve hung out in the mixture, toss them again and place the tofu on a baking tray or plate so that any extra liquid can drain off (this helps with the crisping)
  2. Heat a frying pan to medium and add about 1 tsp. oil. Add the tofu a piece at a time (if it’s dry it shouldn’t splatter) leaving enough room that it doesn’t touch. You may need to work in two batches if you have a small pan. Once the tofu starts to brown, flip it until all four sides are crisped and browned.
  3. If you are making this before steaming your veggies, you can leave it in the oven at a low temp to stay warm.

Macro Bowl with Tahini Miso Sauce | Wholehearted Eats xox Sophie

27 Comments

  • Reply
    Tiina @myberryforest
    February 23, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    Hi Sophie! Your macro bowl looks super nourishing and pretty. So glad you popped by on my blog and I found your blog. Love it <3 Have a great day!

    • Reply
      Sophie
      March 9, 2017 at 8:31 pm

      Thank you so much, Tiina! You’ve made my day xox

  • Reply
    heather (delicious not gorgeous)
    February 23, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    the miso tahini sauce sounds delicious! i can imagine forgoing the whole bowl on a lazy day and just dipping raw/steamed/blanched/etc veggies in the sauce and calling it lunch/dinner.

    • Reply
      Sophie
      March 9, 2017 at 8:31 pm

      Lol, it’s all about that dip 🙂

    • Reply
      Ginny
      October 28, 2017 at 12:40 am

      Yep – That’s dinner tonight!

  • Reply
    Sarah | Well and Full
    February 24, 2017 at 2:52 am

    I love macro bowls – such a well balanced meal! And I also feel the struggle with steaming veggies… most of the time I just go for roasting them. But this has inspired me to re-try steaming, I have some broccoli in my fridge right now so this is perfect timing!

    • Reply
      Sophie
      March 9, 2017 at 8:33 pm

      Oh, yeah! Good luck, Sarah! There was totally a learning curve for me with the steaming, but you’ll get there 🙂

  • Reply
    christine / my natural kitchen
    February 24, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    This is my favourite and most common type of dinner too. There’s just something so perfect about bowls like these topped with tasty sauce! I also LOVE these tips on how to properly steam veg … I have memories of my Oma’s very overcooked cauliflower that have basically had me avoiding that method for years! Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

    • Reply
      Sophie
      March 9, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      Thank you so much, Christine! Isn’t it funny how something as over cooked veggies can have such lasting effect, lol. Best of luck with the steaming, I’m sure you’ll ace it <3

  • Reply
    Nina
    February 24, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    OMG!!! I just made the sauce and it is DELICIOUS!!! Thanks for the recipe from Germany 🙂

    • Reply
      sophamac@gmail.com
      March 9, 2017 at 3:11 am

      Yay! That’s wonderful, Nina! You’re so welcome 🙂

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    February 26, 2017 at 3:13 am

    Love the steaming tip you’ve shared! And oh em, I’ve been eating almost the exact same thing all week, including a very similar miso tahini sauce. SO YUM!

    • Reply
      sophamac@gmail.com
      March 9, 2017 at 3:10 am

      Ah, I love it! Great minds 🙂 So happy to hear you like the post, Rebecca

  • Reply
    Aysegul Sanford
    February 26, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    What a helpful and informative blog post.
    I have to try all these helpful tips, especially the ones about steaming as I had my fair share of overly steamed vegetables in the past. Surely, more times than I’d like to admit.
    I also love that list to make the most nutritious macro bowls.
    Thank you for sharing.

    • Reply
      sophamac@gmail.com
      March 9, 2017 at 3:09 am

      I’m so happy you like the post! I’ve destroyed so many veggies in the past, it’s embarrassing. Here’s to no more over-steamed veggies! <3

  • Reply
    Sara
    February 27, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    I LOVE your super thoughtful, detailed, valuable information in this post! This macro bowl looks incredible, and with all the options you’ve suggested, you could make it a meal for weeks and change it up every time! I’m actually allergic to tofu (how ironic, as a vegan, right?!), but I love the thought of throwing some chickpeas or lentils in instead. Looks wonderful!

    • Reply
      sophamac@gmail.com
      March 9, 2017 at 3:05 am

      Awe, I’m delighted you like the post Sara! Bummer about the tofu allergy, but spiced or roasted chickpeas are totally just as good. xox

  • Reply
    Jessie Snyder
    February 28, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    Our dinners are so often the same girl! And my steamer basket is my best friend 😉 love how you outlined how to get each veggie right here. Thank you for sharing this goodness with us lady, appreciate you. Happy week! xo

    • Reply
      sophamac@gmail.com
      March 8, 2017 at 8:12 pm

      Thanks a billion, Jessie! Steamer sisters for life 😉

  • Reply
    Jenny | The Baking Skillet
    March 1, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    A little late to discover ‘bowls’ , I love the ease and simplicity of it and I am obsessed! Thanks for breaking it down and the little tips. This sauce sounds so good!!

    • Reply
      sophamac@gmail.com
      March 8, 2017 at 8:11 pm

      I’m so happy you like the recipe, Jenny! It’s never to late to get on the ‘bowl’ train <3

  • Reply
    Julie
    March 3, 2017 at 2:55 am

    Thank you for the steamer tip!
    🙂

    • Reply
      sophamac@gmail.com
      March 7, 2017 at 11:52 pm

      So happy you like it, Julie!

  • Reply
    Georgina
    March 4, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Hi there, I just found your site, and am loving it 🙂
    I tried to subscribe but there seems to be a problem – also a problem with the ‘contact’ button too.
    Please let me know when the ‘bug’ is gone and I’ll be back 😀 can’t wait to see more!
    Georgina xx
    @mushypeacurry.com

    • Reply
      sophamac@gmail.com
      March 7, 2017 at 11:52 pm

      Hey Georgina! Thanks for letting me know. I’ll have someone look into the subscribe button asap. xox

  • Reply
    courtney
    May 10, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    I could literally eat this every day and never get tired of it. The sauce is mouthwatering and the sauerkraut makes it next level delicious! My husband is a big meat eater but whenever I make your recipes he wants what I’m having and he always says “this is incredible! Who’s recipe is this?” I laugh bc every time the answer is the same, “my blogger lady I love”.

    • Reply
      Sophie
      May 11, 2017 at 3:03 am

      Oh my goodness, Courtney!!! You are absolutely the sweetest, I cannot thank you enough! <3 I am so thrilled that you and your husband love the recipes - that is seriously the nicest compliment I could ever get. I'm so blown away right now, you knocked my socks off! So much love to you back, lady xoxo

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