Tahini Tempeh Bowls (Make Ahead Meal), 20g Protein

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Tahini Tempeh Bowls (Make Ahead Meal)- HeDoesXrayIDoFood.com

You need this bowl in your life, trust me.

This bowl is one of my absolute favorites. The textures of crispy, meaty tempeh, crunchy broccoli, and fluffy quinoa are thoroughly satisfying. A sweet, spiced tahini drizzle enhances quick pickled cucumbers over warm, marinated tempeh. If you aren’t Vegan or Vegetarian, don’t worry about depriving yourself of protein. Thanks to the quinoa and roasted broccoli, each bowl has 20g of protein. This is all quite easy to make and works as a weeknight meal when its a humid 90º outside, or a chilly 45º.

♥ (Make Ahead)” means a Quick Weeknight Meal

The great thing about this meal is that most of the elements can be prepped ahead of time. If you are one of those “Sunday prep” people who get everything ready at the end of the weekend to make life easier for the week, this meal is for you. Just look for the ♥ (Make Ahead)” note and see how to divide the cooking among several days.

More ♥ (Make Ahead)” Meals:

Moroccan Spiced “Make-Ahead” Meatloaf; Under 300cal with Almost 30g Protein

Meaty (Meatless) Manicotti, 220 cal +13g protein each #MeatlessMondays

Bacon & Egg Breakfast Bread-A hearty, healthy, “Make Ahead” morning meal!

You have all this stuff already

Ok, so if I’d seen the long list of ingredients for this recipe in a cookbook or on any other site, I would’ve said, “nope!” It looks extensive, but the truth is each section uses similar ingredients, the majority of which are pantry staples, usual suspects from your spice rack, and refrigerated condiments we all tend to have.

As for the tempeh, I always have 2 or 3 packets of this in the refrigerator because it‘s healthy, lasts months unopened, can be used as a substitute in virtually any dish that calls for meat, and is super quick to cook. Most importantly, it‘s cheap! Ah hem, I mean… inexpensive. It‘s technically already cooked, so toasting it in a pan, baking it, etc is really just to warm it.

Tahini Tempeh Bowls (Make Ahead Meal)- HeDoesXrayIDoFood.com

I first had this combination of flavors a few years back at Native Foods in Los Angeles. It‘s a wonderful vegan restaurant that is not just for vegans. The layering of flavors, textures, and plant-based protein sources makes their food unique. When feeding those who are meat eaters, vegans and vegetarians have to get creative. Native Foods does this in an inspiring, well thought out way. To this day, my husband and I eat at their Chicago location several times each month.

Chef’s tip:

I often make a huge pot of quinoa, divide it into bags, and freeze it. Then I have it at the ready for last minute meals that need a protein source, bed of grain, or nutty flavor.

Tahini Tempeh Bowls (Make Ahead Meal)

Serves 4


Quinoa: ♥ (Make Ahead) ↓

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup vegetable (or chicken) broth

Tempeh & marinade: ♥ (Make Ahead) ↓

  • 1 8oz package tempeh
  • 1/4 cup low sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp agave or honey
  • Your favorite oil to sauté, i.e. EVOO or Coconut

Cucumbers: ♥ (Make Ahead) ↓

  • 1 cup thinly sliced seedless cucumber, not peeled
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • Pinch of salt (<1/8 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds

Tahini Sauce: ♥ (Make Ahead) ↓

  • 3 tbsp Tahini
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp warm water
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp agave or honey


  • 5 cups broccoli florets & stems
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt



♥ (Make Ahead) Make up to 3 days in advance

  1. Combine rinsed quinoa and broth in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes

Marinate tempeh:

♥ (Make Ahead) Marinate tempeh for 20 minutes or up to 1 day in advance

  1. To cut the tempeh, lay flat lengthwise cut it into four sections. Take each of those sections and turn them on their side, split in half. Cut those in half again. You should end up with 16 thin squares. Tahini Tempeh Bowls-HeDoesXrayIDoFood.com
  2. Whisk together the marinade ingredients (soy sauce through agave/honey).
  3. Pour into a shallow dish (casserole dish, pie pan etc) and coat the tempeh with it.
  4. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. 20 minutes to 24 hours.


♥ (Make Ahead) Make up to 1 day in advance

  1. Thinly slice un-peeled cucumber and toss in a bowl with remaining ingredients.
  2. Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Tahini Sauce:

♥ (Make Ahead) Make up to 3 days in advance

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth.


  1. Cut the broccoli into florets and peel the stocks, cutting them into similar sizes as florets.
  2. Toss in the olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Roast on a foil lined sheet pan at 400° for 18 to 20 minutes.

Cook tempeh:

  1. Heat oil over medium heat and place the tempeh, cut side down, in the pan. Let fry for 2-3 minutes then flip over.
  2. Pour in remaining marinade and fry the second side about a minute. Toss to coat.

Assemble Bowl:

  1. Divide quinoa among 4 bowls, reheating if made in advance. Divide the broccoli and tempeh as well.
  2. Top with cucumbers and drizzle with sauce.
  3. Eat it.







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