I hope you all had an awesome weekend filled with lots of goodness! Whether that goodness came from football, oodles of bite-sized snacks, or laughter shared with friends, I hope it was available in abundance.
Other things available in abundance? Snow. I’m not sure whether I wasn’t paying attention or if news anchors were bored with snowstorm coverage after Juno took over the east coast last weekend, but I had no clue that a storm was on Chicago’s radar. So when we woke up to several inches of powder on Sunday morning, I figured the storm would soon relent. Umm, no. Totally wrong. It snowed and snowed and snowed some more. Since we do live in Chicago, this is less of a statement of surprise and more just an observation that there is a whole lot of snow on the ground today.
Extra-snowy, cold days always make me crave comfort food. Something warm, flavorful, and full of carbs; and this sesame-ginger broccoli macro bowl (quite surprisingly) fits the bill. It’s also super simple to toss together in a pinch, which is just about a prerequisite for comfort food. The best part? This comforting dish is full of micronutrients and minerals, which means it satisfies in both the short-term and the long-term.
Steamed broccoli is nestled over warm brown rice and drizzled with a tangy sesame-ginger sauce. The base for the sauce is unhulled sesame seeds, but you can absolutely use hulled sesame seeds if that’s what you have available.
Quick note: unhulled sesame seeds have an even higher mineral content than hulled sesame seeds, especially when it comes to calcium. One tablespoon of unhulled sesame seeds contains about 88 milligrams of calcium whereas the same amount of hulled sesame seeds contains just 5-10 milligrams. That’s up to 95% more calcium. However, there is still some debate over how much of the calcium found in the hull is readily absorbed by our bodies. Bottom line, either hulled or unhulled sesame seeds pack a nutritional punch, but I try to reach for unhulled when they’re available.
You’ll make the sesame-ginger sauce by tossing sesame seeds, water, sesame oil, tamari, lime juice, pure maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, garlic, and fresh ginger into a blender. After a 2-3 minute blend, you’ll be left with a creamy, flavorful sauce that’s the perfect complement to the brown rice and steamed broccoli. Drizzle it over with a generous hand and sink your fork into a bowl of nourishing comfort.
Simple Sesame-Ginger Broccoli Macro Bowl
- 8 cup fresh broccoli florets (about two heads of broccoli)
- 4 cups cooked brown rice
- 1/4 cup raw unhulled sesame seeds or hulled sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari*
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
- Steam the broccoli in a steamer or steamer basket for 10-15 minutes or until tender or to desired doneness.
- While the broccoli is steaming, make the sesame-ginger sauce by adding the sesame seeds, water, sesame oil, tamari, lime juice, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, garlic, and minced ginger to a blender. Blend on high for 2-3 minutes or until smooth (note: if you're using unhulled sesame seeds, it's difficult to get it perfectly smooth but blend until it's close).
- Divide your cooked brown rice between 3 bowls. Top with the broccoli, and drizzle with the sesame-ginger sauce.
- Serve immediately.
*You can substitute reduced-sodium soy sauce if you don't need to keep this gluten-free.