Spicy peanut veggie and grain bowl

Grain bowls make for customizable, inexpensive, and tasty meals.

Contributed by Allison Collins, MD

Spicy peanut veggie and grain bowl

While we’re staying at home together, mealtime is an opportunity for a family activity. My family and I enjoy making grain bowls together, and everyone loves that they get to personalize their creations. Another nice thing about grain bowls is that they lend themselves well to batch cooking, and you can easily use leftover ingredients later in the week for salads or wraps. Below is one of my favorite recipes, but let’s start with the basic components that make up any great grain bowl:

  • A whole-grain base — Try quinoa, bulgur, wheat berries, or brown rice.
  • Sautéed or raw greens — Beet greens, chard, kale, or spinach work well.
  • Roasted veggies — Suggestions: brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, or butternut squash.
  • A protein — Some ideas: garbanzo beans, lentils, black beans, tofu, chicken, or fish.
  • Raw veggies or fruits for crunch — I like using jicama, apples, water chestnuts, or pomegranate.
  • Seeds or nuts as a topping — Add extra flavor by sprinkling on roasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds, toasted walnuts or pecans, or whatever you choose.
  • Dressing or sauce — I recommend drizzling it on top instead of tossing it with all the other ingredients.

Following this general guide, there are literally hundreds of variations. This can be great for kids because they can mix and match what they’d like. For my family, I often put out all the ingredients and let everyone make their own bowl. Have fun making your own recipe and mixing flavors!

Servings: 2


  • 1/2 cup dry farro
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 4 cups chopped kale (or any leafy green)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (more if desired!)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup edamame, cooked and shelled
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup carrot, shredded (about 1 medium-sized carrot)
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped


  1. In a medium-sized pot, add dry farro to 1 cup of boiling water and stir. Simmer on medium-low heat until the farro is tender, about 30 minutes. Drain the farro.
  2. While farro is cooking, heat the oven to 425 F. Chop the broccoli into 1-inch uniform florets. In a medium bowl, combine the broccoli with the oil, salt, pepper, and sesame seeds, and mix well. In a large roasting pan lined with parchment paper or cooking spray, spread out the broccoli mixture. Bake until well browned, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  3. In a dry pan (or coated with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of olive or avocado oil), sauté the kale or other greens on medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until cooked. (Skip this step if you prefer raw greens.)
  4. In a small bowl, mix the peanut or almond butter, rice vinegar, reduced-sodium soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, Sriracha sauce, and water. This dressing can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
  5. Assemble the bowl in layers: Spoon the grains in first; then add greens; top with roasted broccoli, shredded carrots, shelled edamame, and chopped celery; and then sprinkle on the roasted peanuts. Drizzle with dressing.

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Calories: 530
  • Total fat: 26 g
  • Saturated fat: 4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 780 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 58 g
  • Dietary fiber: 13 g
  • Total sugars: 10 g (includes 3 g added sugars)
  • Protein: 24 g

Note: Nutrition information does not include cooking oil for the greens.