High-Protein Mediterranean Pesto Bowl

Author: Sarah Cobacho

Published: November 27, 2023

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Vibrant, high protein Mediterranean Pesto Bowl with bright green sauce, roasted potatoes and roasted broccoli

Following the incredible popularity of our Mediterranean Roasted Potato Tzatziki Bowl, we’re excited to share a similar, equally delicious recipe: the High-Protein Mediterranean Pesto Bowl. This new creation offers a satisfying 35 g of protein and 25 g of fiber per serving. It’s super easy to whip up and uses widely available ingredients, making it the perfect midweek dinner. It would also make a beautiful side dish on the holiday table with its festive colors. You’re going to LOVE it!

Why This Recipe Works

  • High in Protein: Packed with 35 g of protein.
  • Fiber-Rich & packed with plant diversity: Offers a substantial 25 g of fiber and a combo of 9 unique plants, making it a feast for your microbiome.
  • Rich in Iron: more information below
  • Easy to Make: Simple steps and quick prep with minimal dishes!
  • Flavorful and Fresh: Uses fresh, wholesome ingredients that taste amazing.
  • Perfect for Dinner: A complete and satisfying meal, perfect for an easy and delicious weeknight dinner.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Begin by preheating your oven to 400F/200C. Combine potatoes with onion powder, sumac, sea salt flakes, and half a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a large bowl. Bake for 20 minutes. Mix broccoli with the remaining olive oil, add it to the potatoes, and then add tomatoes. Continue baking for another 20 minutes. Toast pine nuts in a small oven-safe dish for 7 minutes. Blend basil, nutritional yeast, beans, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and soy milk until smooth. Layer the dip onto a plate, top with the roasted veggies, and sprinkle with pine nuts. Et voila!

Ingredient Notes

Potatoes: Great source of vitamin C, iron, and potassium. Can substitute with sweet potatoes for a different flavor.
Cherry Tomatoes: Rich in antioxidants, they add a delightful juicy texture. Grape tomatoes are a good alternative.
Broccoli: High in vitamins K and C, it adds a crunchy texture.
Basil: Delightful and aromatic, using fresh basil is key to the pesto’s flavor for the dip.
Cannellini Beans: Adds creaminess, protein, iron, and fiber. Great northern beans or butter beans can be used as a substitute.

Iron-Rich Recipe

Not only is this recipe protein and fiber packed, but it’s also a good source of iron, mainly due to the beans and potatoes with a whooping 10 mg per bowl.

Interestingly, 40% of menstruating people worldwide are iron deficient, mostly due to periods. So it’s a much bigger issue than just the vegan population, and it can lead to feeling fatigued, short of breath, and other not-so-fun things, so it’s a nutrient that really pays to be a little mindful of.

There are two sorts of iron. Heme and non-heme. Non-heme iron is the kind we find in plants. It’s slightly less available than heme iron, but when combined with certain foods, we can increase its bioavailability.

Some good sources of iron are beans, especially white beans and lentils, green leafy vegetables, potatoes, tofu, chlorella, and chia seeds.
Its absorption increases when paired with a source of Vitamin C like lemon juice, capsicum, or kiwi, or when paired with alliums, that’s the onions and garlic family.

The tannins and polyphenols in tea and coffee, on the other hand, reduce the absorption of a few nutrients, including iron, so we want to make sure we consume those at least one or two hours away from our meal.

Another inhibitor is phytic acid, which is present in legumes, nuts, and whole grains. Soaking, cooking, and sprouting help reduce the level of phytic acid, which will make some minerals such as iron, calcium, and zinc more bioavailable. So, if you’re looking to make the most of your food, whenever you have time, it can be a great strategy to soak your lentils, beans, and grains before cooking them.

FAQ

  • Can I make this recipe nut-free? Yes, substitute pine nuts with seeds like sunflower or pumpkin.
  • Is this recipe gluten-free? Yes, it’s naturally gluten-free.
  • Are there any other bean options for the pesto dip? Yes, chickpeas or butter beans work well too.
  • How long can I store leftovers? Keep in the fridge, sauce and veggies separated for up to 3 days.

Variations and Tips

Spice it Up: Add chili flakes or some black pepper for a spicy kick.
Roasting Magic: Experiment with roasting different vegetables like zucchini, artichoke, or eggplant.
Meal Prep Friendly: Make the sauce in advance and store it in a jar in the refrigerator for a quick, healthy meal.
Boost of Greens: Add spinach or kale to the pesto dip for more nutrients.

Why You’ll Love This High-Protein Mediterranean Pesto Bowl

  • Nutrient-Dense
  • High-Protein
  • Vibrant
  • Mediterranean
  • Versatile
Vibrant, high protein Mediterranean Pesto Bowl with bright green sauce, roasted potatoes and roasted broccoli

High-Protein Mediterranean Pesto Bowl

4.8 from 10 votes
A nourishing and flavorsome Mediterranean dish featuring roasted potatoes, broccoli, and tomatoes paired with a homemade pesto bean dip.
Sarah Cobacho (plantbaes.com)
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour

Video

Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 600 g potatoes, diced (skin on)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • ¼ tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 200 g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 broccoli head, chopped (in bite-size pieces)
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts

Pesto Bean Dip

  • 1 cup basil, packed
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1.5 cup cooked cannellini beans
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 pinch sea salt flakes
  • cup soy milk

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 °F.
  • Combine potatoes with onion powder, sumac, sea salt flakes, and ½ tbsp olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Combine broccoli with ½ tbsp olive oil. Add to potatoes on the baking tray, mix, and add tomatoes. Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Add pine nuts to a small oven-safe dish and bake for 7 minutes.
  • Blend basil, nutritional yeast, beans, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and soy milk until smooth.
  • Layer the dip onto a plate and top with the roasted potatoes, broccoli, and tomatoes. Sprinkle with the toasted pinenuts, and enjoy!

Per Serving

Calories 671kcalCarbohydrates 105gProtein 35gFat 15gSodium 469mgFiber 25gVitamin A 101IUVitamin C 114mgCalcium 241mgIron 10mg
COURSE Main Course
CUISINE Mediterranean-Inspired
KEYWORDS Easy Dinner, High Protein, Nutritious, plant-based
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8 Comments

    1. You could make the sauce in advance and potentially keep the roasted veggies separated for a couple of days, but it would be nicer with the veg straight out of the oven ☺️

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