These chili roasted cauliflower and brown rice kimchi bowls are full of texture, flavor, and powerful plant-based nutrition. They feature sweet and salty tofu cubes, spicy glazed cauliflower, and gut-friendly kimchi, as well as crisp steamed vegetables. The bowls are a great option for vegan meal prep and are so nourishing.
When I was testing recipes for Power Plates, I feasted on bowls for weeks at a time. Bowls were one of the main recipe categories in the book, so for a while I ate them for lunch, dinner, and sometimes breakfast, too.
I still make a lot of lunch bowls on the weekend, but since my internship started I’ve eaten less bowls than I was accustomed to doing a couple years ago. Bowls work most easily when one has components and a fridge and little counter space to compose them. For take-to-work meals, it’s been easier for me to pack up grain salads, sandwiches, or leftovers.
It’s hard to believe, but a mere two and half weeks from now my internship will officially be behind me. I can’t wait to have some cooking time back—not only weekends, but weekdays and weeknights, too. I suspect that diving back into a steady habit of bowl-making will be one of my first orders of business. These chili-roasted cauliflower, brown rice, and kimchi bowls are a sneak peek.
I know, I know—here we are at the start of summer, with salad recipes abounding, and I’m posting a hearty grain bowl. But the honest truth is that I crave grounding food like this in any and every season, the warm months included. It’s not hard for me to find cauliflower at any time of year, and roasting it with gochujang is a delicious, new (to me) preparation method, one that I’ll make again soon. In the meantime, steamed snow peas give the dish some sweet freshness and a pop of green color.
The real star of this dish, though, is the wonderfully flavorful kimchi from Nasoya. Nasoya is already my favorite brand for tofu and creative soy foods, and I was delighted to learn that it now offers four flavors of kimchi, all of which are vegan. As many of you probably know already, many varieties of kimchi contain fish sauce. It’s a rewarding dish to make at home, but when time is short—which it is for me lately, and for so many of us in general—it’s nice to have a store-bought option that is authentic and 100% plant-based.
Nasoya is offering four flavors of kimchi: spicy, mild, white (made with napa cabbage and radish, and without chili), and radish, which is also mild. I’ve tried and loved all of them, but I’m sensitive to heat, so the three mild varieties are my favorites so far.
In this recipe, I liked balancing the mild kimchi—which still has plenty of kick, thanks to umami and acidity—with spicy roasted cauliflower, sweet snap peas, earthy brown rice, and my favorite baked teriyaki tofu cubes.
If you like, you can use your favorite store-bought, marinated and baked tofu instead. You could also try edamame or another bean as a protein source here.
Thanks to some semi-homemade components, the dish comes together quickly and easily, despite having lots of variety of texture and taste.
Here’s the recipe.
And in the meantime, I can’t vouch highly enough for this spicy roasted cauliflower. I tend to prefer gochujang to sriracha—the former is a little sweeter and less garlicky—but sriracha would be a perfectly good substitute here.
For me, the spicy roasted cauliflower and the super flavorful kimchi is enough to give the bowls all the flavor they need. But you can add an optional topping or two—toasted sesame seeds, vinegar, sesame oil—or add a drizzle of a dressing that you like (this one would work well).
Thank you all for the kind wishes to my mom this week. She’s home, recuperating, and the positive energy I got in this space was felt and appreciated. You have my gratitude and hers!
I hope that those of you who were busy celebrating the 4th yesterday had a fun time, and I’ll see you on Sunday.