If you’ve ever tried a Whole30® as a plant-based eater, you may feel like the options were a bit too limited. Well, you’re not alone—and that’s why Whole30® recently rolled out a new Plant-Based Whole30® Program that includes a few tweaks and additions (such as the addition of legumes) to give you the same benefits, but with more flexibility for your plant-based diet.
We tapped holistic health practitioner Lily Harris of Lily Feeds You to create a colorful, nourishing bowl that you can enjoy as lunch or dinner on your Plant-Based Whole30®, and it even includes enough make-ahead, mix-and-match components that you’ll have leftovers for up to three days. “A bowl happens to be a perfect vessel to fit all the nutrient-dense foods that you need, and give you a multitude of flavors to satiate cravings,” she told us.
By splitting this recipe into its parts, you’ll have a fridge stocked with veggies, beans, salad, and a flavorful, herby crema to help you feel prepared for a few days of meals. “When I coach holistic nutrition clients, I want them to get a little bit of everything in each meal, and that requires a bit of planning,” Harris explains. “Prepping components like marinated zucchini or onions to have in your fridge, keeping easy forms of protein like beans or hemp hearts on hand, and adding in fresh produce is the best way to cover all our bases.”
Ready to get started with your plant-based Whole30? Check out the guidelines to help you stick to the plan, then get cooking!
“This bowl has everything you need and more. I’ve fit in multiple vegetables, protein, healthy fats, and fiber. This combination will keep you full and support blood sugar balance. Meals can be both satisfying and nutritionally supportive! I also find myself craving Mexican food often, and this is a good way to pull together some of those flavors with easy components at home.” -Lily Harris
Yield: 3-4 servings
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 3-12 hours
For the bowl:
1 cup + 1 tablespoon Thrive Market Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tbsp Thrive Market Organic Red Wine Vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lemon, juiced
½ teaspoon dried chives
½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
Pinch of cayenne
Cracked black pepper, to taste
½ pound of zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces
½ red onion, thinly sliced
¼ yellow onion, chopped
1 10-ounce pouch Thrive Market Organic Black Beans
½ tsp Primal Palate Taco Seasoning
Squeeze of lime
Greens of your choosing (such as frisee or chopped romaine lettuce)
3 tablespoons hemp hearts
3 tablespoons Thrive Market Organic Pumpkin Seeds
For the avocado tomatillo crema:
1 pound tomatillos, husks removed and cut in half
1 jalapeño, cut in half, pith and seeds removed
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon Thrive Market Avocado Oil
1/3 cup cilantro
¼ cup yellow onion, chopped
Juice of ¼ lime
1 teaspoon salt
1 avocado, peel and pit removed
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, lemon juice, dried chives, salt, red pepper flakes, pinch of cayenne, and cracked black pepper.
Toss in the zucchini and red onion, mixing to evenly coat. Make sure they are fully submerged.
Let zucchini and onion mixture marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
For the avocado tomatillo crema, preheat the oven to 450℉.
While the oven preheats, add the cilantro, onion, lime juice, salt, and avocado to a food processor and set aside.
On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spread out the tomatillo halves, jalapeño halves, and garlic cloves. Evenly coat with avocado oil and roast for 10 minutes. Flip, then roast for an additional 10 minutes (they should be bubbly and browning).
When the vegetable mixture is finished roasting, add it to the food processor along with your other ingredients and puree until smooth. Transfer mixture to a bowl and place in the refrigerator for now.
To make the beans, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add the yellow onion and sauté until translucent.
Lower heat to low and add the beans, taco seasoning, lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Once they’re warmed through, remove from heat.
To create a salad base, add the greens, hemp hearts, pumpkin seeds, and a drizzle of olive oil to your bowl. Toss evenly.
Build the rest of your bowl by adding the black beans, marinated zucchini and red onion, avocado tomatillo crema, any additional toppings you want (like sliced radishes or fresh cilantro).
Refrigerate the leftover components in separate containers. These should make 2-3 more bowls.
Tip: “Toppings are the fun part,” Harris says. “I encourage you to be playful here and use what you have on hand. I suggest cilantro, thinly sliced radishes, green onions, or microgreens.”
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