Clean Fuel: Vegetarian Bibimbap
Bibimbap, a popular Korean dish, is the ultimate simple meal in a bowl providing protein and colorful flavor in a rainbow of produce. Athletes who consume an array of vegetables experience positive health benefits such as increased energy, glowing skin, and improved mental acuity. Properly balanced vegetarian meals such as this one, have more than one source of protein blended together with nutrient dense veggies and healthy fats to supply sustained energy throughout the day.
The triple play of protein in bibimbap typically comes from meat, egg, and rice. In this vegetarian version, the meat is replaced with mushrooms to absorb all of the traditional Korean flavors and the rice base has been replaced with amaranth which is slightly higher in protein than the more common rice. Amaranth is a naturally gluten free ancient grain similar to quinoa but with a less pronounced flavor that lends itself as a perfect companion to many meals.
Mung bean sprouts offer a desirable crunch and are the protein star of honorable mention. Mung beans are not soy beans but are similar. However, mung beans have significantly less phytoestrogen content than soy beans so they do not cause the same effect (if any at all) to an athlete’s hormones. Mung bean sprouts can easily be substituted for soy bean sprouts in Asian cuisine to avoid possible complications from soy. Combining these sprouts with two eggs and the amaranth makes this an appetizingly beautiful high protein dish suitable for any athlete.
Calories 493, Protein 31g, Carbs 58g, Fat 17g
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 25 min
- 1/4 cup dry amaranth
- 3/4 cup water or vegetable broth
- 2-3 cups raw baby spinach
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 cup raw mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce or use coconut aminos for soy-free
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup mung bean sprouts, fresh or canned, rinsed
- 2-4 spears asparagus, chopped
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
- 1/4 cup carrots, shredded
- 2 eggs
- 1 scallion, chopped
- Kimchi, gochujang, or chili sauce (optional)
- Add amaranth and water or broth to a small saucepan. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes until liquid is absorbed. When this is done, add this to a bowl to serve.
- In a sauté pan, toss spinach with sesame oil and cook on medium until wilted. Remove from pan and place in same bowl alongside the amaranth.
- In same sauté pan, add mushrooms and cook until they have given up most of their moisture.
- Add tamari or coconut aminos and rice vinegar to the mushrooms. Cook a few minutes to absorb some of the sauce. Arrange cooked mushrooms in the bowl with the amaranth.
- In the same sauté pan, add a touch more oil if needed to cook eggs. Cook eggs to desired doneness.
- While eggs are cooking, arrange remaining vegetables in the bowl with the amaranth.
- Gently place cooked eggs in center of the bowl and top with scallions and kimchi, gochujang, or chili sauce, as desired.