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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.

Spicy Kale Grain Bowl

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 Ingredients

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 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!

Spicy Kale Grain Bowl

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

Tried this recipe?

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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:

20

min

cook:

30

min

total:

50

min

Ingredients

  • 1 Block Tempeh
  • 1 Head Broccoli
  • 1/4 Cup Vegetable Broth
  • 1/4 Cup Date Syrup, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Mustard
  • 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 two tablespoons of the 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 remaining two tablespoons of 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 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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April 28, 2022
Jean Mastin
Elizabeth: Thank you so much for making my meal times wonderful again. I am 86 yrs plus, and was finding eating dull and dreary. Now it is " scrum delicious time to eat". . Blessings de Jean
Hi Jean - Thanks so much for your kind words. I'm so glad you are enjoying my recipes. Please let me know if you ever have recipe requests or if there's anything else I can do to keep your meals delicious!
April 9, 2022
Katie
Can you leave nutritional info for your recipes? Serving size/calories would be so helpful! Trying mushroom lentil stew tonight! and looking forward to crispy chickpea stuffed sweet potatoes very soon. Thanks for creating healthy, attractive recipes!
Hi Katie - so excited to hear that you are trying some of my recipes! I'd love to hear how they go. I haven't posted nutritional information for my recipes because I know it can be difficult for some people with disordered eating to see nutrition facts. I've gotten a lot of requests to add them recently, so I'm working on a solution that can provide information for those who want it but not be triggering for others. In the meantime, if you're curious about the nutrient info about a particular recipe, I recommend using Cronometer. It's a website/app to track and understand nutrient info and I think it does a great job of emphasizing all the nutrients (not just macros). I hope this helps! Please let me know if I can help in any other way.
April 9, 2022
Vickey
U mentioned date sugar on this recipe but it’s not in the instructions. I know u add it but just in case u wanna add to instructions. Love ur recipes! Thank u. I’m thinking of going to vegan a little nervous tho lol
Hi Vickey - thanks so much for catching that! I am updating the post now. So happy to hear you enjoy my recipes. And exciting that you are thinking about going vegan!! If there's anything that I can do to help, please let me know.
March 28, 2022
Sr Maureen Egan
I'd love to try this soup. What are the nutritional values, like how much fat does it contain, carbs, etc.
Hi Sr Maureen - I usually don't post macronutrient information because I know each person has their own goals and I don't want to encourage or discourage anyone's specific goals. But I often use Cronometer as a tool to understand the nutritional profile of my recipes. I plugged the ingredient information for this recipe into Cronometer and got the following nutrient information per serving: 521 calories, 44g fat, 23g carbs, 16g protein. I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions and if you try the recipe!
March 26, 2022
Margareta Ahle
This curry is absolutely delicious.
Thank you so much! It's one of my favorites :)
March 23, 2022
Martha maloney
Thank you I have been doing the fruit and oatmeal, etc for years and I love it. I will try the pears. I refrigerate my left over oatmeal and with a touch of milk or fruit juice liquid it’s fine the next day. Just a warning about tofu; it interferes with some medicines especially Thyroid medicine. Thank you for the short prayers, there are lovely.
Hi Martha - thank you so much for your kind words. I'm glad you like the prayers! As someone who doesn't take any medications I have no issues with eating tofu and encouraging others to eat it too (it's a great source of protein!). That said, you should always consult with your doctor about possible interactions with medications. I have plenty of recipes without tofu, so hopefully you can find things that work for you!
March 3, 2022
Susan Cunningham
I made this for Ash Wednesday and it was delicious. It was also simple and not much work time once the mushrooms and onions were cut.
Hi Susan - I'm so glad you liked it!
March 1, 2022
Jade
When you say shape into a rectangular loaf, what dimensions? 1/2 thick by 8 inches long or?
My loaf was about 7" long and 4" wide with about 1" of height. Then I sliced it 1/2" thick along the long end to get 12ish biscotti. I will clarify this in the post! Let me know if this makes sense and if you have any other questions.
January 16, 2022
Tracy Henry
Made this tonight. Absolutely delicious Elizabeth. You got this one just right!
Oh yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed it :)
January 16, 2022
L Collins
Hi Could you please confirm two things:1. The amount of salt. Seems like too much. 2. The directions say there is lemon juice in the dressing but it’s not listed under ingredients. ThanksL.
Hi there! Confirming that the two teaspoons of salt in the dressing is correct. I didn't salt the cauliflower when roasting it or the salad after it was done, so this amount of salt was perfect. If you're concerned about it you can decrease the amount of salt in the dressing and then add more at the end if you need it. As for the lemon juice, SO sorry about that! It was a typo in my directions and I've removed it now. Hope this helps :)
December 20, 2021
Martha
This looks lovely! Do you have a recipe for the red pepper hummus also? Thank you!
Hi Martha! I don't have a recipe for red pepper hummus on my site. I suggest taking a traditional hummus recipe and blending in roasted red pepper.
November 22, 2021
Amanda J Lehmann
I tried these and they were delicious! A bit dense but flavorful and the "buckeye" blend of peanut and chocolate was on point! Recommend!
Yay! I'm so glad you liked them! -- Elizabeth
December 6, 2021
Grace
Hi, these look amazing. I was wondering, could I used powdered peanut butter in place of creamy for the recipe? thanks
Hi Grace! There is already some powdered peanut butter in this recipe, so adding more might make the texture more gluey. Also, the real peanut butter adds some fat, which helps create flavor. That said, if you want to use powdered peanut butter, I would suggest mixing it with a high-fat liquid like coconut cream and then measuring out 2/3 cup. Hope this helps! Let me know how it goes :) -- Elizabeth
November 15, 2021
Becky
You mention using vegetable broth in your introduction but it isn’t included in the recipe
Hi Becky - thanks for pointing this out. I have removed mention of vegetable broth from this post. You do not need any vegetable broth. The mushrooms will release natural liquid which will prevent any sticking. -- Elizabeth
September 23, 2021
Tracy Henry
Hi Elizabeth, LOVE you recipes. Please keep them coming. :)I was wondering, can you share what is the vegan chocolate bar you used in this recipe?
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