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3 Power Bowl Dressings for Powered Up Work Lunches

Three recipes to power up your creative, healthy lunches!

by Elizabeth, Culinary Nutrition Guide at Living Simply Kitchen

"Any ideas for good dressings for power bowls? I'm back to work and want creative lunch ideas that are healthy. The recipes I found on Pinterest haven't been that good."

I love when good questions roll in from folks trying to eat real food, real tasty! This latest question was from a busy, working mom who loves good food: "Any ideas for good dressings for power bowls? I'm back to work and want creative lunch ideas that are healthy. The recipes I found on Pinterest haven't been that good."

Vegetable Bowl with Tofu
Tofu & Roasted Cauliflower Bowl with Thai Peanut Sauce & Brown Rice

Oh yeah, I'm here for it! Here are three diverse dressings you can make in a jar, bowl or blender.

  • Thai Peanut Sauce

  • Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Vinaigrette

  • Simple Creamy Lemon Tahini Dressing

Making dressings is a favourite tip of mine because premade dressing are often loaded with additives, refined sugar, and low quality oil. When you make your own, you know exactly what's in them and you can choose your sweetener (honey or maple syrup, usually) and a cold-pressed oil like olive oil, and other high quality, simply ingredients. It's really not that hard and so worth it!

PRO TIP: Make a 2 cup batch to use throughout the week. Dressing store very well in the fridge. Just shake them up if they seperate.

THAI PEANUT SAUCE by Elizabeth, Living Simply Kitchen

Makes about 2 cups - store for up to a week in the fridge.

In a bowl with a whisk or using a small blender, combine:
  • 200ml canned coconut milk

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (unsweetened works well)

  • 1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 limes)

  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

  • 1 tablespoon each: soy sauce, sesame oil, maple syrup, minced fresh ginger, miso paste and fish sauce (optional)

Meal Prep
Sheet Pan Tofu & Roasted Cauliflower, Orange Pepper and Edamame

Power Bowl Ideas: Use this sauce as dip for rice paper wraps or as a marinade for chicken, mushrooms or tofu, as well as a dressing for a Thai-style power bowl along with brown rice, greens, roasted cauliflower or broccoli, edamame, and sliced bell pepper.

Additional tips:

  • Add more maple syrup or sy sauce to balance sweet & salty to your taste

  • Add water if the sauce is too thick

  • Optional: add a pinch of dried chili flakes if you like a bit of heat

SUN-DRIED TOMATO PESTO VINAIGRETTE by Elizabeth, Living Simply Kitchen

Makes 1/2 cup

This is a tasty savoury dressing for Mediterranean lunch bowls - and is awesome if you're short on time!

Grain bowl ideas: Use quinoa, millet, barley, bulgar (not gluten free, btw), wheat berries or freekah (also not gluten free) for your grain; greens like baby spinach, kale or arugula, and all those greek-salad favourites, like bell peppers, cucumber, red onion, olives, and feta!

Make the dressing: In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, shake together the following until smooth:

  • 1/4 cup sundried tomato pesto

  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinaiger

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Optional: 1 tablespoon maple syrup

  • Salt & pepper

FOR THE RECORD... here's the list of ingredients from a major salad dressing brand: Soybean oil, water, vinegar, sugar, tomato paste, salt, sun dried tomatoes, onion & garlic powder, spice, potassium chloride, dried garlic, dried parsley, potassium sorbate, concentrated lemon juice, xanthan gum, natural & artificial flavour, calcium disodium edta.

... I don't know about you, but there are a lot of ingredients that I don't keep in my kitchen, and they tend to be inflammatory. One of the best ways to reduce inflammation in your body is to start avoiding unnecessary additives and make your meals from whole ingredients.

SIMPLE CREAMY LEMON TAHINI DRESSING by Elizabeth, Living Simply Kitchen

This dressing is an all purpose winner! It can be caesar salad style, or southwestern ranch, or even used for Asian-inspired bowls, as well as for simply fresh, crunchy veggie bowls along with roasted chickpeas. You can dress it up with fresh herbs like parsley, chives, tarragon or dill, and it goes so well any number of power bowl components.

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