This Broccoli Brown Rice Bowl with Almond Satay Sauce is so satisfying and flavourful you’ll want to eat it day after day. Loaded with healthy ingredients like broccoli, kale, roasted red pepper and brown rice, not only is it delicious, it’s highly nutritious too. All that healthy goodness is topped off with crispy coconut bacon and perfectly sweet almond satay sauce that might just have you licking the bowl.
Almond Satay Sauce
I scoured the internet for an authentic satay sauce recipe and came across many different variations. I found recipes made with a range of different ingredients from lime, to tamarind, to ginger, to coconut milk, to sweet chili sauce and red curry paste. I discovered there’s such a thing as sweet soy sauce, or kecap manis, that’s thicker and sweeter than traditional soy sauce and is often used in satay sauce recipes. And from what I can tell, authentic Thai satay sauce uses tamarind paste, brown sugar and peanuts, does not contain lime or ginger, and making it involve sautéing onions and garlic before simmering them with the rest of the ingredients. Thai folks correct me if I’m wrong.
As much as I wanted to keep this satay sauce authentic, I also wanted to keep it as simple as possible, so I kind of cheated by using sweet chili sauce instead of sautéing onion and garlic. There are few moving pieces in this bowl so I wanted to keep the sauce really easy. It worked out great though and the end result is an flavourful, creamy and delicious almond satay sauce that is absolutely perfect for this bowl.
I used almond butter instead of peanut butter or crushed roasted peanuts but you can use peanut butter if you prefer. Just make sure you use natural peanut butter with no added sugar or oils.
Other Sauce Options
This bowl would work well with some of the other sauces I’ve shared. If you want to switch it up, try my:
- Coconut Peanut Dressing
- Low Fat Peanut Dressing
- Sweet and Spicy Almond Lime Dressing
- Cold Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Lime Sauce
How to Make Coconut Bacon
If you’re in a pinch or you don’t feel like making coconut bacon (although I highly recommend that you do!), you can go ahead and use coconut flakes or better yet, toasted coconut. If you have the time, you’ve gotta try making a batch of coconut bacon. It’s really easy to make and can be kept in the pantry for weeks and added to salads, bowls, sandwiches, tofu scrambles and even smoothie bowls.
Most coconut bacon recipes call for liquid smoke but it can be hard to find and I can’t be bothered to buy it just for coconut bacon, so I make mine without it. I use tamari, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and smoked paprika. The apple cider vinegar isn’t required but I like the tanginess it adds. I’ve made coconut bacon with just tamari and maple sryup and it still tastes great though.
The most important thing with coconut bacon is to make sure it cooks evenly and doesn’t burn. To do this, you’ll have to keep a close eye on it while it’s baking.
Here are a few tips for making coconut bacon:
- for extra flavour, let the coconut flakes marinate in the sauce for 5 minutes
- make sure you use raw coconut flakes, not sweetened and not shredded coconut
- make sure it’s spread out evenly on the pan, with minimal overlapping
- after 5 minutes, stir and then place back in the oven, again making sure it’s evenly spaced and not overlapping too much
- continue to check it every 2-3 minutes until dark brown and starting to slightly blacken at the edges
- watch carefully as it’s getting close to being done as it will burn easily
- total baking time should be about 10-12 minutes
- let it cool completely before storing, it will harden up and become crispy as it cools
Broccoli Brown Rice Bowl with Almond Satay Sauce
Alright, so we talked about the almond satay sauce and coconut bacon…what else is in this bowl? I added brown rice, kale, steamed broccoli and grated carrot and it all comes together beautifully with the creamy almond satay sauce and sweet and salty, crunchy coconut bacon. So many flavours, so many textures, so much goodness!
Watch the Video
Prefer a visual of this recipe? Follow along as I make these in the video below.
There are few steps involved in these broccoli brown rice bowls but the result is well worth the effort. The sweet and tangy almond satay sauce with the salty, crunchy coconut bacon, chewy brown rice and fresh veggies is a match made in heaven. You’ll love this vegan and gluten-free, flavourful, healthy and nourishing bowl.
For the Coconut Bacon
- 2 cups coconut flakes
- 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
For the Tofu
For the Almond Satay Sauce
- 3 tbsp almond butter
- 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
- 3 tbsp tamari or soy suace
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup light coconut milk
For the Bowls
- 3/4 cup cooked (1/4 cup dry) brown rice per person
- steamed broccoli, about 1 cup per person
- lightly steamed kale, a few big handfuls per person
- grated carrot, about 1 carrot per person
To Make the Tofu
- Slice a block of tofu into slabs and add to a bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Let it sit while you make the coconut bacon.
- Once the coconut bacon is done, increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees.
- Lay the tofu slabs out on a parchment paper or silicone mat-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then remove and flip each piece.
- Place back in the oven for 10-20 minute until brown and crispy.
To Make the Coconut Bacon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Optional: let marinate for 5-10 minutes.
- Spread the coconut on a silicone mat or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Make sure it’s spread evenly and overlapping as little as possible.
- Bake for 5 minutes then remove from the oven and give it a quick stir, again making sure it’s evenly spread around.
- Place back in the oven for 2 minutes, then give it another quick stir.
- Continue, checking every 2 minutes until it’s golden brown and ever so slightly starting to darken around the edges. Be careful as it can burn quickly.
- Once it’s done, let cool completely before storing in an air-tight container.
To Make the Almond Satay Sauce
- Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl.
- Store any extras in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To Assemble the Bowls
- Start with a base of lightly steamed kale.
- Add the brown rice, broccoli, tofu and carrot.
- Top with desired amount of almond sauce and coconut bacon and dig in.
- The sauce recipe makes enough for 3-4 bowls. Adjust amounts of rice, broccoli, kale and carrot for how every many servings you’re making.
- Makes 2 cups of coconut bacon. Store extra in an airtight container and add to sandwiches, soups, salads, bowls, oatmeal, smoothie bowls or just for snacking.
- Makes enough tofu for 3-5 bowls.
Keywords: buddha bowl, healthy, high-protein