Forbidden Rice and Vegetable Power Bowls

Forbidden Rice and Vegetable Power Bowls | Food & Nutrition | Stone Soup
Photo: Anne Danahy, MS, RDN

Looking for a delicious way to get more vegetables into your diet? This vegan recipe has you covered! Forbidden Rice Tempeh and Vegetable Power Bowls are packed with veggies, protein and flavor, for a delicious dinner with plenty of leftovers for lunch.

I’m gonna bet that one of your goals for 2019 is to eat more vegetables.Forbidden Rice and Vegetable Power Bowls - Am I right? If it’s not a goal, it should be! Vegetables are quite possibly the healthiest thing we can all eat, and the thing that most of us don’t eat enough of. I’m guilty too. I’ll take fruit over vegetables any day, because like the rest of the world, I prefer sweet over savory — and fruit is just easier. Throw an apple or banana in your lunch bag; slice up a pear and slather on some almond butter; add a handful of berries to your oats…easy!

But vegetables need all that peeling, trimming and something to make them taste delicious.

So here’s what you should do.

One day this week, cut up a head of broccoli (and cauliflower while you’re at it), peel a whole pound of carrots and cut them into bite sized pieces, trim up some celery and peapods, slice up an onion, mince up a few cloves of garlic, and just stem and wash any leafy greens, and wrap them in paper a long sheet of paper towel. Seriously — if you spend about 20 minutes doing that, you’ll have a week’s worth of vegetables ready to roll. It’s called meal prep, and it’s the best way to save yourself some serious time throughout your workweek, and get more veggies into your diet every day.

Most of those veggies can go right into this super-simple stir fry dinner. It features (in addition to the vegetables), black, forbidden rice, which is jam-packed with antioxidants, and it just looks so pretty and exotic. It’s really more of a dark purple than black.

I order the Forbidden Rice Bowl from my favorite Scottsdale fast casual restaurant, almost every time I stop in for dinner. I know — I’m boring that way, but I really, really love it. This recipe is my copy cat attempt. I often get it with shredded chicken, but I’m keeping it vegan here with some tempeh (It’s the super-high protein cousin to tofu). Hope you like it as much as I do!

Forbidden Rice Tempeh and Vegetable Power Bowls

Serves 4


  • 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Asian chili garlic sauce more or less to taste
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 8-ounce package organic tempeh
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1½ cups broccoli, trimmed and cut into florets
  • ¾ cup snap peas, ends trimmed
  • ½ large onion, sliced thin
  • 1½ cup bok choy leaves and stems, sliced
  • 2 large carrots, cut into very thin rounds
  • ¾ cup cooked forbidden rice
  • Tamari or soy sauce optional


  1. Mix together the hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, chili garlic sauce and water, and set aside.
  2. Place the tempeh in a small sauce pan, with enough water to just about cover. Steam the tempeh for about 3 minutes. Drain.
  3. Heat the olive and sesame oils in a sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the broccoli, snap peas, onion, bok choy and carrots to the pan and saute for about 8 to 10 minutes until vegetables are tender.
  5. Crumble the steamed tempeh into the vegetable mixture.
  6. Add the sauce mixture to the pan, and reduce the heat to low.
  7. Add the rice, and stir to combine everything and heat through for about 3 to 5 minutes. Add more water if the sauce seems too thick.
  8. Taste and season with tamari or soy sauce if desired.
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Anne Danahy
Anne Danahy, MS, RDN, is a wellness dietitian and nutrition communications consultant who specializes in women's health and healthy aging. She blogs at Craving Something Healthy. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.