Power bowls, rice bowls, Buddha bowls, whatever you want to call them, they are everywhere. I often shy away from trends, but this is one that I love. I started making this Veggie Rice Power Bowl a couple of years ago, and it is one of our absolute favorite meals. It’s a healthy, well-balanced, all-in-one meal that tastes amazing. I use a combination of simple, fresh ingredients and top it with a homemade curry vinaigrette. You could add chicken or beef to this if you wanted to, but I don’t because I like occasional meatless meals. Other than a bit of chopping, it comes together quickly.
I’m featuring all of my favorite vegetables in this post, but you can use whatever you’d like. More about that in a bit.
I have used many different kinds of rice for this, depending on what I had on hand. Jasmine and Basmati are particularly fragrant and flavorful. Brown rice is very tasty for this dish as well, and is higher in fiber and other nutrients than white rice. Plus I love the slight chewiness it has. The only disadvantage to using brown rice is that it takes longer to cook. But there is a solution for that!
If you’re tight on time, a good alternative to cooking your own brown rice is to buy it frozen. It heats very quickly in the microwave and is really good. My favorite frozen rice is the organic brown rice from Trader Joe’s. “Microwave perfect in 3 minutes.” True statement.
We use a rice cooker, which I highly recommend. Though it doesn’t look like it in this bigger than life photo, ours is very small, but perfect for the two of us. I use a cup of brown rice and 2- 1/2 cups of water. I often substitute all or part of the water with chicken broth or stock. The usual ratio for white rice is 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water, but always check your package recommendations. I also add 1- 2 tablespoons of butter. Brown rice takes 40-45 minutes to cook, and white rice takes about 20 minutes. The beauty of the rice cooker is that you fill it, cover it, and forget it. When it finishes, your rice is always cooked perfectly.
While the rice is cooking, you can chop your vegetables and make the vinaigrette. These are all of my favorite toppings, but you certainly don’t have to add this many. The most essential toppings for me personally are black beans, carrots, cucumbers, cilantro, and avocado. I buy matchstick carrots and just give them a rough chop. I drain the black beans, but I don’t rinse them. Other great toppings are cilantro, crumbled feta, mushrooms, chopped fresh spinach, tomatoes, and bell peppers. I don’t heat any of these. I simply add them to the warm rice.
The vinaigrette is also a very important ingredient. My vinaigrette recipe for this rice bowl is a little sweet with a slight Asian flavor. You could also use your favorite prepared vinaigrette if you’d like, but I recommend making this. It’s very simple and you can refirgerate any that is left over and use it on salads.
This container is called Measure, Mix, and Pour by Pampered Chef. I’ve had it for years and love it. It has a plunger in it which is great for whisking your vinaigrette right before you pour it. Then it stores in the fridge and is dishwasher safe. You can find it here. It’s $13.50, and well worth it.
Once the rice is cooked, place it in a bowl, top with the vegetables and splash on the vinaigrette. You can keep your toppings separate if you’d like.
I like to mix mine all together. It is truly fabulous and surprisingly filling.
Veggie Rice Power Bowl
- 1 cup brown or rice
- 2 cups water or chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 ounces olive oil
- 2 ounces balsamic vinegar
- 2 ounces apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoonspsalt
- 1/8 teaspoons pepper
- 1/4 tsp curry powder
- Cook rice according to package directions in saucepan or rice cooker.
- While rice is cooking, chop vegetables into bite sized pieces.
- Place rice in bowl and top with vegetables.
- Pour on vinaigrette and serve immediately.
- Whisk ingredients together until sugar dissolves. Chill until ready to serve.