Whole30 Vegetarian Power Bowls
While I may not be following the Whole30 diet, I AM an ultra enthusiastic supporter of anyone and everyone looking to make positive changes in their diet. I also adore flexible recipes that allow you to use the ingredients you have on hand, can be prepped in advance, and give you every food group in a single meal. And when you can make them with just ONE PAN like these Whole30 Vegetarian Power Bowls? You better believe I’ll be making them all year long!
I’ve heard from many of you who plan to tackle Whole30 this month. You’ve asked me for recipe ideas, and here we are! This week, I’m sharing a number Whole30 lunch recipes, dinner recipes, and I also have a full list of Whole30 recipes on my site.
Today, I’m highlighting breakfast with a wholesome recipe for Whole30 power bowls. Since high protein vegetarian foods like beans and tofu are off-limits on Whole30, vegetarian Whole30 recipes that are still filling and satisfying can be harder to find. Breakfast is also a challenge area for Whole30, especially if you are a vegetarian or you simply don’t crave meat-heavier dishes in the morning (this is me).
Today’s Whole30 power bowl breakfast is completely vegetarian, and it will keep you full and satisfied. These bowls are fiber rich, high in protein, and offer a myriad of nutritious food groups.
In addition to the Whole30 crew, I’ve also heard from those who are wondering how to add more vegetables to your diet, including how to eat vegetables for breakfast.
You’re seeking more whole foods, want to get ahead on meal prep during the week, and rely less on takeout. <—Me too!
A few of you haven’t made a specific resolution tied to eating at all but are looking for a healthy reset after the holidays. <— Also, me.
AND I think we can all get behind the idea of washing fewer dishes this year. <— AMEN. (If this is you, be sure to check out the section of one-pan recipes in my recipe index.)
For every scenario above, you are going to love this recipe!
What is a Power Bowl?
For those of you wondering what I mean by “power bowl”: think of it as a giant collection of goodness, all piled together in a single dish with a yummy sauce on top.
This power bowl is part roasted vegetable bowl, part creamy dressing, and part lean protein.
- Veggies. You can use any kind you like. I did a mix of sweet potato, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale, plus a red onion for its sweet/savory factor (highly underrated and oh so tasty). Roasting the vegetables makes them lightly crispy on the outside and caramelized and tender on the inside.
- If you are a bit vegetable shy, roasting is the way to go. Roasted veggies have a completely different character than raw and will not make you think of salad.
- Seasoning. In the spice arena, we have the usual suspects salt and pepper, along with a good amount of chili powder for some smoky heat that’s heavenly with the sweet potatoes and red onion.
- Dressing. For the veggie bowl sauce, I used a delicious mixture of lemon juice, tahini (which is a sesame seed paste used in Middle Eastern cooking and recipes like hummus; you can find it at most grocery stores—natural almond butter works too), garlic, cumin, and salt. Power bowls call for sauce, and this nutty, zippy lemon tahini dressing is the perfect complement to the smoky roasted vegetables.
- Eggs. Say hello to lean protein. Adding eggs makes these Whole30 vegetarian power bowls filling, without the need for meat. I opted for hardboiled eggs because I wanted to prep the entire meal in advance. If you are eating right away and don’t have any hardboiled eggs on hand, a fried or poached egg is an excellent option.
- I make my eggs in the Instant Pot. If you haven’t yet experienced the miracle of Instant Pot hard- or soft-boiled eggs, please give them a try. They cook in three minutes and the peels slide right off. Of course, you can always use hardboiled eggs made on the stove (I have directions for you for this method too) or swap a fried egg or poached egg.
- Coat a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.
- Add the onions and potatoes to the baking sheet, and top with oil and spices. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F.
- Chop the broccoli and cauliflower. Remove the baking sheet, and carefully flip the sweet potatoes over, then slide the broccoli and cauliflower onto the pan with them, adding a drizzle of oil and spices one they’re on the sheet. Bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until tender.
- Add kale to the top of the sheet pan in a single layer, adding additional oil and spices. Bake for 5 additional minutes, until the kale is crisp. Remove and set aside to cool.
- Prepare the dressing: Mix the dressing ingredients in a bowl, then add hot water. Whisk to combine.
- Cut the vegetables into pieces, and divide them among bowls. Add the eggs. Drizzle with tahini dressing and ENJOY!
What Can Vegetarians Eat on Whole30?
A complaint I’ve heard about Whole30 from friends who have done it is that by the end of 30 days, it feels like a total meat overload. Even if you aren’t vegetarian, it’s nice to go meatless once in a while. That’s why this vegetarian power bowl recipe is one of my favorites, but here are a few other ideas:
- Cauliflower Rice. Since it’s filling and easy, a vegetable and egg rice bowl recipe is a wonderful ingredient to prepare for a Whole30 diet. One of my favorites is this Healthy Fried Rice. With some tweaks, such as using cauliflower rice in place of brown rice, coconut aminos instead of soy sauce, swapping a Whole30 compliant hot sauce for the Sriracha, and omitting the edamame (use extra eggs for more protein instead), you can make a vegetarian fried rice that is Whole30 friendly.
- Salad. Take your salad game from drab to fab! Mexican Salad and Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad are packed with flavor and will keep you full for hours. If you need these salads to be Whole30, omit the cheese and honey.
- Soup. For a hearty and delicious vegetarian Whole30 meal, try a bowl of this Vegan Pumpkin Soup. To make the soup Whole30 compliant, omit the maple syrup.
Whole30 Vegetarian Power Bowls Recipe Adaptations
- Avocado. Always a good choice. Always.
- Bacon. OK, I realize that the recipe won’t be a Whole30 vegetarian power bowl any more, but if keeping the recipe meatless isn’t a concern or you want to make this a more clear-cut Whole30 breakfast recipe, it’s a good option. (If you are doing Whole30, make sure your bacon is compliant and doesn’t have any added sugars.)
- Fresh Herbs. Cilantro, parsley, or green onions lurking in your refrigerator? Add ‘em here!
- Nuts. Try adding a handful of toasted almonds, pumpkin seeds, or walnuts for a pleasing crunch and healthy fats.
How to Store, Reheat, and Freeze Whole30 Vegetarian Power Bowls
- To Store. Store roasted vegetables in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can also keep both the dressing and the eggs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- To Reheat. Rewarm the vegetables gently in the microwave, and top with the egg and dressing just before serving.
- To Freeze. Can you freeze power bowls? While the final bowl will not freeze well, you can prep the roasted vegetables ahead of time and freeze them for up to 3 months.
More Easy Whole30 Recipes
- Whole30 Breakfast Casserole
- Whole30 Salmon
- Harvest Chicken Skillet
- Sheet Pan Chicken with Sweet Potatoes, Apples, and Brussels Sprouts
- Chicken and Tomatoes (omit the honey)
- Lemon Basil Chicken (use coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce)
Whole30 Vegetarian Power Bowls
For the Vegetables:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil - or melted coconut oil, divided
- 1 small red onion - cut into 1-inch wedges
- 2 large sweet potatoes - scrubbed with skins on, halved lengthwise
- 2 teaspoons chili powder - divided
- 3/4 teaspoon salt - divided
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper - divided
- 1 small head broccoli - or cauliflower
- 1 small bunch kale - large stems removed
For the Dressing:
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice - about 1 small lemon
- 3 tablespoons tahini - or swap natural almond butter
- 1 clove garlic - minced
- 1/2-1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 hard-boiled eggs - or soft-boiled, see recipe notes
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Liberally coat a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Place the onions and sweet potatoes on the baking sheet, turning the sweet potatoes cut sides up. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil, making sure the flesh of the sweet potatoes is well coated. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Rub and toss to coat, and then arrange on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
- While the sweet potatoes cook, chop the broccoli or cauliflower into florets (you should have about 5 cups total). Remove the baking sheet from the oven and flip the sweet potatoes so that they are cut sides down. Push the sweet potatoes and onions to one side and add the cauliflower or broccoli to the open side of the pan. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the remaining 1 teaspoon chili powder. Carefully toss to coat, and then return the baking sheet to the oven. The pan will be very crowded, and the veggies will overlap somewhat. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are soft and the other vegetables are crisp-tender.
- Remove the sheet pan from the oven and place the kale on top of the vegetables. Drizzle the kale with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Lightly rub the kale to coat, and then arrange the kale in a single layer over the whole pan. Return the pan to oven and bake for 5 additional minutes, until the kale is very lightly crisp and softened. Remove the whole pan from the oven and set it aside to cool.
- While vegetables finish roasting, prepare the dressing: Add the lemon juice, tahini, garlic, cumin, and salt in a small mixing bowl. Add 2 tablespoons hot water. Whisk to combine. Taste and add additional salt and up to 1/2 teaspoon additional cumin as desired.
- To serve: Once the vegetables are cool enough to handle, cut the sweet potatoes into bite-size pieces. Roughly chop the kale. Divide the vegetables among serving bowls. Slice the hardboiled eggs in half and place 2 halves on top of each bowl. Drizzle with tahini dressing and enjoy immediately.
- To cook hardboiled eggs: you can make these in your Instant Pot (this is a great tutorial) or on your stove by following the directions in step 3 of this post.
- Leftovers: Store roasted vegetables in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Store dressing in a jar in the refrigerator and eggs in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Reheat the vegetables gently in the microwave, and then top with the egg and dressing just before serving.
- This recipe is ultra flexible. Feel free to swap out any of the roasted veggies for others you like. Brussels sprouts are another of my favorite additions.
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