Power to the protein [bowl]

Some kind of legume, lots of fresh vegetables, herbs and a creamy sauce – that’s my ideal formula for creating quick and satisfying meals.

Protein bowl_July

Judge me for not cooking my own legumes but nothing beats the handiness of canned ones.  Where I’d most often go for chickpeas I decided to switch it up by using lentils instead.  Consider yourself lucky I decided to spare you the longwinded story behind this fancy ingredient ;).

Green lentils

I’m not usually into the whole high-protein trend – no protein shakes or egg white scrambles for me – but still like to experiment with foods naturally higher in what seems to be everybody’s favourite macro. Mostly because I’m on a constant quest to find new filling dishes and protein is constantly promoted to do just that. What matters most abot this naturally high in protein bowl of food, though, was its deliciousness.

As mentioned above I’m a huge fan of creamy sauces – who isn’t? Silken tofu is a great ingredient to provide that creaminess yet one I don’t usually stock. With the recent purchase of my first ever jar of sunflower seed butter I decided to put it to good use here inspired by Michelle over at Peachy Palate.

Try not to eat it straight from the bowl but save some for the dish.

Try not to eat it straight from the bowl but save some for the dish.

Protein Bowls have been popping up all over the blog world but as I usually happened to miss several ingredients I made up my own. It’s a mix of various recipes I found and adapted to my liking and what I had one hand. Simple, quick and easy to pack which will make it a great workday lunch.

Protein Power

Protein Power Bowl

1 ½ cups (240 g) canned green lentils

1 small red onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 ½  cups sliced mushrooms

½ medium zucchini, spiralized into pasta

a few cherry tomatoes, halved

About ½ tbsp chopped parsley

Cayenne pepper

Salt & pepper

Olive oil for sautéing

For the sauce: 1-1 ½ tbsps sunflower seed butter, about 2 tbsps water, 1 generous tbsp nutritional yeast, 1 tsp soy sauce

Heat some oil in a small pan. Sauté the garlic and onion until slightly brown and fragrant. Add the zucchini and mushrooms, frying until the mushrooms are soft. Stir through the drained and rinsed lentils, tomatoes, parsley, cayenne pepper and salt + pepper to taste.

In a small bowl mix the sauce ingredients adding some fresh lemon juice and water to reach a smooth consistency.

It’s up to you if you prefer to eat this cold or warm – I enjoyed it both ways. Either way let it sit for a moment to let the flavours develop before eating. In fact, I might make double the amounts next time to eat half as leftovers the next day. So good, so simple, so satisfying.

Happiness inducing today: Heading home tomorrow for my sister’s wedding. Saying I was excited would be an understatement still.

What’s your basic formula for simple and satisfying meals?

Do you find higher-protein dishes to fill you up better?

What are your plans for the weekend! I hope you’ll have an amazing one!

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8 thoughts on “Power to the protein [bowl]

  1. Christine@ Apple of My Eye says:

    I’m in the same boat as you when it comes to not being too keen on the high-protein diet. What’s the point of buying expensive and not too appetizing powder when you can just eat a natural source of protein? Especially considering Americans overeat protein already and that your body can’t store protein that it doesn’t require to heal and repair muscles immediately. Doesn’t make any sense! Anyways, rant=over ;). Mhmm that bowl looks so good! I love the idea of adding creaminess with tofu 🙂

    • letsgetupandlive says:

      I’ll admit I bought some vegan protein powder that doesn’t contain any weird ingredients a while back but hardly use it. Maybe some baking is in order :). Other than that, though, I fully agree with you on getting protein from natural sources and not stressing on the protein-at-every-meal fuss.
      Silken tofu is my usual go-to when it comes to adding creaminess but the sunflower seed butter worked a charm in this recipe, too. A combination of the two makes for an awesome creamy sauce as well.

  2. kissmybroccoli says:

    Ugh, definitely having a bit of spiralizer envy right now! I keep going back and forth on whether or not to get one! Love the look of this dish…even if lentils tend to upset my tummy. It’s been a while since I’ve given them a try though so I think I might try experimenting soon…I just happen to have a can in my pantry right now (that I’m preeeeeeety sure isn’t expired! Ha!)

    • letsgetupandlive says:

      Get one – and expect to become obsessed with trying to spiralize just about every veggie in sight ;). Actually, though, I don’t have a fancy spiralizer but just a julienne peeler. It was much less expensive but works pretty well.

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