We don’t eat a lot of meat. Partially because our fridge/freezer is still broken, and it’s getting really expensive. So we’ve been eating more non-meat proteins lately.
This tutorial is more like a choose your own adventure. Depending on your dietary restrictions, food likes and dislikes, and what you have in your pantry and refrigerator will greatly influence how your protein bowls turn out.
The base of your bowl is going to be a grain. We used red and white quinoa, but you can use brown rice, bulgur, Right Rice (which isn’t actually rice), you could use high protein pasta like the kind made with lentils, or if you don’t like any of those you could just use regular pasta, noodles, or white rice. It won’t be as high in protein. We prepared 8-ish cups of quinoa cooked per package directions with vegetable broth.
Your next step is to prep your vegetables. The vegetables will take up the bulk of this dish. Because we get a variety of veggies each week with our Yasukochi Farms CSA box, it was easy to select our veggies. We used onions, carrots, celery, peppers (bell peppers), zucchini, mushrooms, and bok choy. We added cherry tomatoes uncooked directly to the bowls while packing.
Cut your veggies into bite-size pieces (you want to end up with about 8-10 cups of veggies, and sauté them in about a tablespoon of oil (I love avocado oil, but it’s up to you).
Because you will be re-heating these veggies before serving, cook them until they are al dente, or still slightly crisp. Otherwise, they can get mushy.
I started with the onions, cooking them until translucent, then adding the mushrooms, and cooking the moisture out. After that, add the remaining veggies and cook for 5-10 minutes.
While your veggies are cooking, in a separate pan you’re going to heat 2 tablespoons of oil, your choice. This is where we’re going to cook our protein and sauce. We cooked salmon. The salmon was cut into bite-size pieces and then lightly sautéed in oil until it was about 3/4 of the way cooked.
Then we added a jar of Private Selection tikka masala curry sauce (it’s available at Kroger brand stores). I’m usually not a big fan of premade sauces, but in the case of Indian food, the sauces are so much more financially savvy. I believe the sauce was three dollars or less for the jar, and it tastes delicious. Like restaurant quality mild tikka masala sauce. If you wanna add heat, you can add some chili oil or red pepper flakes. But I don’t recommend doing it while you’re cooking, because it will just infuse it with so much heat.
We cooked the sauce with the salmon pieces for about 10 minutes added bok choy and allow that to cook down for another five minutes.
And now the assembly!
We set out eight of the Rubbermaid storage containers (these are the ones that we use).
Each container contains:
- one cup of cooked red and white quinoa
- one and a half cups of vegetables
- 2 6-oz ladles full of salmon and sauce
Once the containers had cooled to room temperature lids were put on, and they were stored in the refrigerator. When it is time to eat, we will then to the lids and reheat them in the microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
Here are some other options if Salmon Tikka Masala isn’t your bag:
Meat/non-meats (you need 1- 1 1/2 lbs of meat/non-meats for this recipe)
- ground beef/chicken/turkey
- lamb chops
- boneless chicken breasts/boneless thighs
- beef (cut of your choice)
- veggie crumbles/other faux meat
- pollack/tilapia/fish of your choice
Sauce- All of these sauces are pre-made. Feel free to use your own recipe for your favorite sauce.
- Butter Chicken
- Yellow curry
- Teriyaki sauce
- Stir Fry sauce
- BBQ Sauce
- Korean BBQ Sauce
- Tomato based sauce (like Marinara or Arrabiata)
Talk Back: I’d love to hear about your protein bowls- What combination of sauce and veggies would you use?