Protein Packed Vegan Bowl

Vegan Barbecue Eggplant Protein Bowl

May 2, 2017
Eggplant Protein Bowl

This colourful, protein-packed vegan bowl is the perfect dinner to follow up a busy day or tough workout. Simple, homemade barbecue sauce adds a sweet and smoky flavour to the tofu and eggplant while the oven-baked chickpeas add a satisfying crunch. Plus, it’s naturally gluten-free.

This bowl packs 27g of vegan protein and just under 500 cals per serving (with all listed toppings included). With tofu, chickpeas, quinoa and kale, it’s brimming with superfoods. Avocado slices, crushed walnuts and the tahini dressing add some healthy fats and give the bowl some staying power. Feel free to add or swap out toppings as you see fit, but definitely try out the barbecue sauce. If you’re watching your sodium intake, you can half the amount of Tamari used in both the Barbecue Sauce and Tahini Dressing and choose low sodium chickpeas.

I made this bowl for lunch last week while packing for my trip to Nicaragua. Or to be more precise, while trying to cram packing for Nicaragua, a 45 km bike ride, a new blog post and dinner with parents into the same day. Needless to say, I didn’t get around to finishing the post and “packing” mostly consisted of trying on bathing suits (and then I literally only wore one the entire trip). Nicaragua was amazing though, if you’re interested, you can see some pictures on my adventure/fitness instagram or send me a message. I’m still uploading slowly, but we got to see some amazing (and empty) beaches, hiked a volcano and stayed in some gorgeous hotels/hostels. Missed out on surfing, but the warm weather was amazing, especially given the amount of rain we’ve been having since I got home.

Enough rambling, I hope you enjoy the bowl!

Barbecue sauce ingredients
Tofu prep
Total Time: 30 min Serves: 4


Barbecue Sauce:

  • 2/3 c Ketchup (I used Organic)
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • Juice 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Tamari(GF)/Soy Sauce

Bowl Ingredients

  • 1 Block Firm Tofu, with water pressed out (I used Soyganic)
  • 1 can of Chickpeas
  • 1 Eggplant
  • 1 c Quinoa
  • 2 c Water (for cooking quinoa)

Garnish/Nutrition Boosters(optional)

  • 1 bag pre-chopped kale (optional, but good source of iron)
  • 1/4 c of walnuts (healthy fats)
  • 1 Avocado (healthy fats)
  • Fresh Tomatoes

Tahini Dressing:

  • 2 Tbsp Tahini
  • 2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 Tbsp Tamari(GF) or Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Juice from Half Lemon
We love Roasted chickpeas
Baked Eggplant


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Mix ingredients for Barbecue Sauce in bowl and set aside.
  3. Wash Eggplant and then cut once length-wise and once width-wise before slicing into 0.5 cm thick slices. Set aside.
  4. Line 2 baking trays with wax paper.
  5. Press water out of Tofu and cut into 0.5 cm slices. Place Tofu in large bowl and pour in 1/3 of Barbecue sauce. Gently mix to coat. Cover 1/2 baking tray with Tofu.
  6. Place Eggplant in same large bowl with another 1/3 of Barbecue sauce. Again stir gently to coat. Spread as thinly as possible over baking tray.
  7. Drain and rinse chickpeas, patting dry to remove excess water. Spread over remaining baking tray.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes, painting with any remaining sauce partway through as needed.

Make the Quinoa:

  1. Add 2 c of Water and 1 c of Quinoa to a large pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 12 minutes.

Make the Tahini Dressing:

  1. Mix ingredients for Tahini Sauce in a small bowl. Left-overs can be refrigerated up to 5 days.

Gather other ingredients:

  1. Slice tomatoes and avocado while waiting for Tofu, Eggplant and Chickpeas to finish baking.

Assemble Bowls:

  1. Place 3/4 c cooked Quinoa in the bottom of a serving bowl. Arrange about 1/4 of tofu, eggplant, chickpeas and avocado on top of quinoa. Add other ingredients as desired. Garnish with 1 Tbsp of Walnut pieces and desired Tahini Dressing.
  2. Enjoy! (If using this recipe for meal prep, I recommend storing chickpeas separately to maintain crispness)

As always, I love to hear if you’ve given the recipe a try. Or even just the Barbecue Sauce… Comment below or tag me on instagram!

I’m hoping to add a bit more research-based content focusing on vegan or general nutrition in the upcoming weeks, so if there’s a topic you would be particularly interested in reading about, feel free to comment below or send me a message.

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