Low-Carb Vegan Dinner Bowl
This popular low-carb vegan bowl features cabbage, broccoli, kale, tofu and a delicious almond satay sauce to top it off. If you’re looking for a lower-carb, high-protein vegan meal, this is it!
- dietary features: vegan, grain-free can be gluten-free, can be oil-free, can be nut-free
- nutrition features: for a plant-based meal, it’s lower in carbs while being rich in protein and healthy fats
- tofu – use firm or extra-firm
- arrowroot powder – can be subbed with cornstarch, optional but makes the tofu bake up nice and crispy
- nut butter – use peanut butter, almond butter or sunflower seed butter
- cashew milk – sub with homemade or store-bought coconut milk or almond milk
- green cabbage – red cabbage also works here but I do prefer green in this recipe, napa cabbage would also be suitable
- kale – sub with any other leafy green
Complete list of ingredients and amounts is located in the recipe card below.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1. Make the tofu by mixing up all the tofu ingredients then baking on a parchment-paper lined tray for 30-40 minutes until browned and puffy.
Quick Tip: For extra crispiness, see notes in recipe card for pressing tofu before use.
Step 2. Make the cabbage rice. Here’s how:
- remove the out leaves, chop in half then chop into smaller chunks
- add the chunks to a food processor
- pulse a few times to create “rice”
Quick Tip: If you don’t want to take the extra step to “rice” the cabbage, just chop it and add right to the skillet. It could also be done in an Instant Pot or roasted for variations.
- add the “riced” cabbage to a skillet with the green onion and cilantro
- saute for 6-10 minutes until tender and browned
Quick Tip: Mix the ingredients well to start then let it sit for a few minutes before stirring again to allow it to brown on the bottom. Scrape the browned bits back in and repeat!
Step 3. Make the almond butter sauce by whisking everything together until smooth and creamy.
Step 4. Prepare the rest of the bowl ingredients:
- finely chop the kale
- steam the broccoli
- dice the avocado
Finally, assemble the bowls by starting with a big scoop of cabbage rice then add the kale, broccoli, avocado and tofu, finishing off with the sauce.
Notes and Tips
- Oil-Free Option: Replace the cooking oil with broth or water.
- Gluten-Free Option: Be sure to use gluten-free tamari instead of soy sauce.
Variations and Additions
- Cabbage: For a low-carb replacement, use broccoli rice or cauliflower rice. Brown rice, quinoa and farro also work well but would add carbs.
- Seeds: Add a sprinkle of hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds for added fats and protein and some crunch!
- Tofu: Try it with marinated tempeh or edamame instead of tofu. Chickpeas can also replace the tofu, however, they’d be higher in carbs.
- Oil: Try sesame oil as an alternative to coconut oil for cooking the cabbage rice.
Storing and Prep
- Almond butter sauce can be made up to 5 days in advance and stored in the fridge. You may need to thin it with a little water after storing as it tends to thicken in the fridge.
- Tofu can be baked up to 3 days in advance.
- Broccoli and kale can be chopped and stored raw for up to 3 days before preparing the bowls.
- Bowls are best served fresh but can be stored up to 3 days in a sealed container if you leave avocado off until just before serving.
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For the Baked Tofu
- 1 350 g package firm or extra-firm tofu, pressed (see notes)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch
- pinch of black pepper
For the Almond Butter Sauce
- 4 tbsp peanut, almond or sunflower seed butter (60 g)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (unseasoned or seasoned)
- 2 tsp Sriracha sauce (reduce or omit if sensitive to spice)
- 4 tbsp unsweetened cashew, almond or coconut milk
- pinch of stevia, a few drops liquid stevia or 1 tbsp maple syrup
- salt and pepper
For the Cabbage Rice
- 1 small green cabbage, riced
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1/2 cup lightly packed chopped green onion
- 1/2 cup lightly packed chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
For the Bowls
- 1–2 avocado (1/4–1/2 per bowl)
- 4 cups broccoli florets, steamed (1 cup per bowl)
- 4 cups finely chopped kale, steamed or massaged (1 cup per bowl)
- Preheat the oven to 425 F. Cube the pressed tofu (see notes) and place in a bowl. Mix with the rest of the tofu ingredients then place the pieces on a parchment paper or silicone mat-lined baking tray. Bake the tofu for 15-20 minutes, flip and bake another 10-20 minutes until it’s brown and puffy.
- Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage, slice in half then chop into chunks. Add the chunks to a food processor and pulse a few times until the cabbage has the consistency of rice. Alternatively, you can just finely chop or shred the cabbage using a mandolin. Add the “riced” cabbage to a large skillet with the oil, cilantro and green onion and cook over high until until tender and brown, about 6-10 minutes. Mix it well to start, then only mix every couple minutes so it can start to brown on the bottom.
- Steam the broccoli stovetop by brining a pot of water to a boil then using a steamer basked to steam the broccoli for 5 minutes. If you don’t have a steamer basket, just add about 1 inch of water to a pot or skillet, bring to a boil, add the broccoli, cover and steam 5 minutes.
- Remove the kale leaves from the thick stems and finely chop. Either massage the kale with 1/2 tsp olive or avocado oil until softened and dark green, or steam for 1 minute to soften, using the same method as the broccoli.
- Whisk the sauce ingredients together in a bowl or container until smooth and creamy.
- To assemble the bowls, start with a big scoop of cabbage rice then add the kale, broccoli, avocado and tofu, then top with the sauce.
To press tofu, slice the tofu block into 3-4 slabs. Lay the slabs on a dishtowel on the counter top, then fold the towel over them. Place a cutting board or skillet on top of them along with a few heavy objects such as some cookbooks. Let sit for 15-30 minutes before proceeding with the recipe. You can also use a tofu press if you have one. This is optional but will make it a little crispier.
Bowls can be packed and stored in the fridge up to 3 days if you leave the avocado off until serving. I would also recommend storing the sauce separately.
To save time, tofu can be baked up to 3 days in advance and almond butter sauce can be prepared up to 5 days in advance. Broccoli and kale can be chopped and stored raw for up to 3 days before preparing the bowls.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 423
- Sugar: 0 g
- Fat: 27 g
- Carbohydrates: 30 g
- Fiber: 14 g
- Protein: 23 g
- Cholesterol: 0 g
Keywords: low-carb vegan recipe, low-carb vegan bowl
Originally published on March 20, 2019. Updated with new photos and text on September 15, 2020.