Whole, Easy and Gluten-Free: Asian Style Vegan Lunch Bowl

by Maria Theresa Maggi on March 20, 2014

Asian style vegan lunch bowl

I usually have a rule that I don’t buy tomatoes in the store. I wait for tomato season at the Farmer’s Market and in my garden, and I cherish the ones I’m able to freeze, can, or dry. But there is one  kind of store tomato that ends up tempting me into letting it be the tasty exception to that seasonal rule. When I saw a box of bright red very ripe organic grape tomatoes for 30 percent off, I was putty in my own tomato-hungry hands. It had been cold and wintery for so long, and the tomato starts I featured in my last post in honor of my friend Eric hadn’t even popped up above the potting soil yet.

Since it was still really too cold to eat a salad as my main course, I was thrilled to have the inspiration to pair them in a hot stir fry with more wintery veggies like cabbage and broccoli. I thought I would be making it just the few times it would take to empty the one little box of tomatoes, but it was so good I have been eating versions of it regularly for the last couple of months.

Like my polenta soup, this lunch bowl is more of a strategy than a recipe, but I will happily detail my strategy for you in hopes that it will inspire you to a bright and happy Asian style lunch bowl of your own. All the ingredients are staples I almost always have on hand. Like my Tasty Colorful Kitchari Skillet Meal, it requires having some starches and beans already cooked, but then you’re all set to combine and create as you wish.



Spring is officially here, but there will still be many blustery days when Romeo and I feel like Pooh and Piglet on our morning walk, and  a nice warm lunch is just what hits the spot. There will be many many more days before the little tiny tomatoes make their appearance at the Farmer’s Market here, and even more before I’ll know if I’m lucky enough this year to see some in my own garden. So while I’m watching my tomato plants grow and dreaming of the day they make it all the way to offering up their lovely fruits, I’ll brighten my cabbage with these little organic gems. I guess it was the apple–or the pomegranate–that tempted Eve–but for me, right now, it’s these little tiny tomatoes that have stolen my heart out of season into summer yet-to-come.

Maria (moonwatcher)




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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nicole O'Shea March 20, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Oooh that looks yummy, filling and refreshing to the eyes and palate all at once!




2 moonwatcher March 20, 2014 at 4:03 pm

Thanks, Nicole!! I bet you can come up with an equally stunning and appropriate version for yourself too!


3 Karen March 21, 2014 at 9:38 pm

This sounds delicious! How spicy hot is the Thai chili sauce?


4 moonwatcher March 21, 2014 at 10:34 pm

Thank you, Karen, and welcome! The Thai Sweet Red Chili Sauce is more sweet than spicy hot–it’s basically sugar, water, pickled red chilis, rice vinegar and garlic, with some tapioca starch as thickener. Just a little does a lot!


5 Karen March 22, 2014 at 9:52 am

Thanks, I’ll try it. 🙂


6 Pam Woods March 22, 2014 at 7:40 am

Maria, I love your recipes that are more strategy than strict recipe. They are always inspiring and fun! 🙂


7 moonwatcher March 22, 2014 at 8:36 am

Thanks, Pam! 🙂


8 Alina March 24, 2014 at 8:10 am

Sounds delicious! Chances are, I’ll be making your Asian bowl for dinner tonight! I might also stir in some roasted Brussels sprouts just to see how they work with red chili sauce.


9 moonwatcher March 24, 2014 at 8:26 am

Welcome, Alina, and thank you! I think roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet red chili sauce would make a good match. 🙂


10 Veronica March 25, 2014 at 11:40 am

This looks so tasty!! And I love those little tomatoes, too – I can’t ignore them when I see them! I have to make more bowls; they’re so easy and so filling. And I love just about anything with Asian flavors! That sweet chili sauce is so yummy.


11 moonwatcher March 25, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Thanks Veronica! Glad to hear you are a fan of those little tomatoes too–they are pretty hard to ignore, aren’t they? 🙂 I am really a “bowl” person–I love easy and filling. 🙂 And yes, that Thai Sweet Chili Sauce is yummy!


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