Grain Bowl

Grain bowls are adaptable, insanely flavorful, and easy to put together.

Bowls with whole grains, vegetables (fresh, fermented and pickled), protein, and a healthy fat are a great and flavorful way to stay energized all day.

Cook up the ingredients for your veggie/whole grain bowls at the beginning of the week, and mix and match ingredients as the week goes. Try quinoa, black or brown rice, buckwheat, freekeh, or even grits. Put your grains in a large bowl, then arrange small piles of vegetables, protein (tofu or eggs) and something pickled and spicy over the grains.

Don’t skimp on the fermented, pickled veggies.

Besides adding a nice bite and contrast with the richness of the egg, avocado, and/or edamame, they’re so good for you. The beneficial bacteria in your gut will thank you. A happy microbiome is a happy gut and a happy gut equals a healthy, happier you. In fact, food experts like Michael Pollan recommend eating a fermented food at least once a day.

Play around with this recipe.

Try topping it with a lime peanut sauce, or make one on the fly with sesame oil, soy, and ginger. Add a little crunch with dried seaweed, pine nuts, walnuts, cashews, or pumpkin seeds and top with a little more dressing. 

Grain Bowl with Fermented Vegetables, Broccoli & an Egg

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Author Tania Van Pelt


  • Salt as needed
  • cup uncooked red or white quinoa well rinsed
  • cup uncooked brown wild, or black rice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped or grated peeled ginger
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine or apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup neutral oil peanut, grapeseed, safflower
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 4 large eggs or to make vegan: 1 cup edamame, blanched
  • 1 large stalk of broccoli steamed, stalk and florets cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 3 radishes thinly sliced
  • cups coarsely chopped kimchi sauerkraut and/or garlicky pickles (choose naturally fermented ones, like Bubbies)
  • Scallions about 4, green and white parts, diced on the bias
  • Sesame seeds for serving
  • Dried toasted nori sheets about ½ sheet for each person, crumbled or cut in strips, for serving


  1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil and add quinoa (for ⅔ to 1 cup of quinoa, add 2 cups of water). Cover pot and let simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let rest, covered, for 5 minutes longer. Fluff the quinoa with a fork.
  2. Do the same with the brown, wild or black rice, cooked in well-salted water for about 25-30 minutes (for ⅔ to 1 cup rice, add 2 cups of water).
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, freshly grated ginger, vinegar and salt to taste. Whisk in the neutral oil and sesame oil.
  4. Place a steamer basket in a large pot filled with an inch or two of water. Place broccoli in basket. Cover pot and cook over medium heat until broccoli is tender, about 5-7 minutes. You can also use kale instead of broccoli, simply cook the same way as the broccoli.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot filled with water to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower eggs into water; boil 6 minutes. Transfer eggs immediately to a bowl of ice water to cool. If vegan, blanch edamame.
  6. Put a cup of quinoa/brown or black rice in each of the 4 bowls. Divide the broccoli among the bowls, mounding it on top of the rice. Peel eggs and cut in half; place two halves on top of each bowl. Sprinkle each bowl with fermented kimchi or, my favorite, chopped Bubbie's pickles, sliced radishes, scallions, sesame seeds and seaweed. Spoon soy-ginger dressing over bowls. (Or make enough for 4, and eat the rest later in the week for lunch or a quick dinner.)

Recipe Notes

Cook the grains in advance for quick assembling. Nori, dried seaweed, is a great thing to have around - makes for an easy version of tacos - and it works well, broken up into bite-sized squares, or cut into long strips, in this grain bowl. Cooked eggs are also good to have around. Make them when you cook the grains.