Two Winter Power Bowls (Recipe: Quick Peanut Sauce)

During the winter months I find myself craving foods with maximum crunch and big flavours; that’s when these power bowls come into play.

The cold weather entices me to hibernate, so I try to avoid foods that will leave me sluggish and instead build salads heaping with ingredients that energize me.

Last week I was hugely inspired by a trip to a nearby farmer’s market where I found the most exquisite locally grown winter produce. I loaded up a crate with baby Savoy cabbage, watermelon and purple daikon radishes, mini red Napa cabbage and crunchy kohlrabi – and then took everything back to my kitchen.

A quick peek in my pantry turned up rice vermicelli and sesame seeds. I knew I had pickled carrots in the fridge, so I whipped up a tofu stir-fry and a quick peanut sauce and was soon stacking the building blocks for a Thai-inspired power bowl.

I shared my market-inspired kitchen project with you on Instagram and was thrilled when you asked for these recipes for your own dinners. I gave you the Sesame Stir-Fried Tofu recipe last week, and today am sharing the Quick Peanut Sauce – which transforms these salads into truly exciting power bowls.

Now I know everyone doesn’t have access to a winter farmer’s market, so I also assembled a vegetarian power bowl using the best imported produce I could find at my local supermarket. Honestly, because we live so far north, most days in winter my salads are a mash-up of both local and imported vegetables, so feel free to mix and mash your combinations as you build toward the goal of maximum flavour and crunch!

Mango, avocado, limes…I won’t pretend these imports aren’t delicious additions to my cooking. I love them all! But, like most foods, I aim for balance, which is portrayed in the two salads coming up.

The Winter Market Power Bowl

  • Curly Kale
  • Baby Red Napa Cabbage
  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Watermelon Radish
  • Purple Daikon Radish
  • Quick Pickled Carrots
  • Kohlrabi
  • Sesame Stir-Fried Tofu
  • Rice Vermicelli
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Peanut Sauce (recipe below)
  • more possible additions: red and green cabbage, roasted sweet potato, daikon, toasted peanuts

The Supermarket Power Bowl

  • English Cucumber
  • Mango
  • Avocado
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Rice Vermicelli
  • Sesame Stir-Fried Tofu
  • Cilantro
  • Peanut Sauce (recipe below)
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Quick Pickled Carrots
  • Lime
  • more additions: sweet bell peppers, fresh mint, Romaine lettuce, sliced red chillies, green onions

When I served this up last week, I put all of the ingredients in the middle of the table, and let each member of the family build their own bowls. Not only was it fun to play with the food, but it gave the children an element of control over their meal.

As always, the rice noodles were the first to go, closely followed by the mango, but by the time the kids had finished, their bowls were filled to the brim with vibrant, colourful vegetables. Not a bad way to eat in winter.

Quick, No-Cook Peanut Sauce

A simple yet flavourful peanut sauce. Don't be daunted by the list of ingredients; you'll want to stock them in your pantry for as long as you live because this sauce is that good.
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Course: Condiments
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Essential Ingredient: Peanuts
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 cups
Calories: 50kcal
Author: Aimee

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all-natural creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon liquid honey
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic finely grated
  • 1/2 cup coconut water or filtered water
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl with a sturdy metal whisk, whip together the peanut butter, hoisin, honey, rice vinegar and grated garlic until smooth.
  • Pour in the coconut water, soy sauce and lime juice. Whisk slowly and steadily until the sauce is smooth and well-combined.
  • Transfer the peanut sauce to a jar or airtight container and refrigerate until used. Sauce will keep for up to 5 days

Notes

For a little extra kick, add a dash of Sriracha or sambal to the peanut sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 50kcal

How is winter produce inspiring you right now?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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Comments

  1. Wow, the produce is so colorful–love that

  2. These look delicious! I’m not big into salads in winter (I live in upstate NY) but I think I could get into these! Thanks for sharing!

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