Rice and tofu in a bowl with a variety of vegetables.

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 bowls 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 microgreen 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.

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 an 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 timer 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.

Recipe

Rice and tofu in a bowl with a variety of vegetables.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Macro Bowl

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • 2 pots
  • Steamer basket
  • Blender
  • Towel
  • Frying pan

Ingredients

Bowl

  • 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
  • ¼ 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)

Miso Tahini Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons Tahini
  • 2 tablespoons Miso
  • 4 Garlic Cloves or less if you like
  • 2 teaspoons Grated Ginger
  • ½ Lemon 2 tablespoons Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Tamari
  • ½ teaspoon Honey or Vegan Liquid Sweetener
  • 6 tablespoons Water approximately

Crispy Tofu

  • 350 grams Firm Tofu 12 oz
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari
  • 2 tablespoons Arrowroot Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Olive I used liquid coconut

Instructions

Bowl

  • Begin by getting your rice on to cook. Add 1 ¾ 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.
  • Next, get all your veggies peeled and prepped and have ready to steam. Make the Tahini Sauce (Recipe Below) Cook-off your Crispy Tofu (Recipe Below).
  • 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. As soon as it begins to boil add your kabocha and beets. Set the time five minutes (see guide above).
  • After the five minutes is up, add the broccoli and continue to steam for 5-7 minutes or until tender. Once the veggies are cooked, fill bowls with rice, veggies, and garnish and a side of sauce.

Miso-Tahini

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

Crispy Tofu

  • 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 marinate 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)
  • Heat a frying pan to medium and add about 1 teaspoon 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.
  • If you are making this before steaming your veggies, you can leave it in the oven at a low temp to stay warm.

29 Comments

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    Learning so much and love your recipes and photos too.
    Please what's the name of your Siamese kitty🐱💜?? My childhood kitty was a beautiful Siamese named Ming.. She lived to be 18 yrs old.
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    Lindy

    1. Hi Lindy! I'm so happy you found the site too! That's funny you say that about Ming, my dad used to have a Siamese kitty named Ming when he was young! Our little boy is called Maru and he's totally a feisty (very Siamese) little guy <3
      xox

  2. 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".

    1. 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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    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!
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    @mushypeacurry.com

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

  4. 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!!

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

  5. 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

  6. 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!

    1. 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

  7. 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.

    1. 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

  8. 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!

  9. 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 🙂

    1. 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

  10. 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!

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

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