I have a serious addiction to miso. No, seriously. Especially when it’s mixed with brown rice and served in a bowl with heaping veggies and all things asian inspired- I really can’t get enough. Through the process of writing the cookbook, (which you guys, it’s been intense!), I’ve been finding myself looking for the quickest way to make food that’ll keep me feeling really energized, fueled, and not weighed down during my busy days. This Brown Rice Miso Macro Bowl has been a life saver. It’s effortlessly balanced in fiber, carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats while taking less than 10 minutes to put together…yet it tastes like a meal you slaved over the stove for hours.
The word macro is actually a play on words between macronutrients and macrobiotics- I call it the macro bowl because it’s incredibly balanced with all macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) and contains essential components to the macrobiotic way of eating. Macrobiotics is pretty much the opposite of the paleo movement, in that macrobiotics way of eating includes eating whole foods, large amounts of grains, vegetables, little to no animal proteins and the basis for constructing a meal is about balance (think yin and yang). But I’m not here to promote or talk much about macrobiotics, because I don’t necessarily recommend it- this bowl simply has characteristics of that type of eating. This bowl is also very versatile. If you don’t consume eggs, simply use other plant-based proteins such as organic tofu, tempeh, or edamame; all of these would go great instead of the egg…but I’m partial to a farm fresh egg in this! The ingredient that takes this normal bowl to another level is the preparation and use of miso with the brown rice. Seriously, divine.
I first stumbled upon miso during college learning about nutrition around the world and in different cultures- miso immediately captivated my attention because of the health benefits, then once I tasted it for myself, I literally fell in love. Miso is my favorite out of all the soy-based foods, by far. It’s a fermented soybean paste and is a culinary gem amongst asian cultures, especially seen in Japanese cooking. It’s rich in vitamins, minerals, contains amino acids, and good bacteria from the natural fermentation process, hello healthy gut! Talk about that umami taste, miso has it. It’s a complex, hard to describe flavor that’s fruity, salty, earthy, and nutty all rolled into one. All miso isn’t created equal, you’ll find several varieties and brands of miso so it’s best to know what kind of flavor or use you’re wanting to use it for before buying.
- White miso / shiro miso: Is fermented for the shortest time of all the varieties, which accounts for it’s light yellow/white color. It has a delicate flavor and is great to try for your first time. This miso goes really well in dressings, soups, light sauces, and any other dish that is light, this miso won’t overpower any other flavors. Added bonus to white miso is it’s great to use instead of dairy in recipes like mashed potatoes, creamy soups, dressings, etc.
- Yellow miso / shinshu miso: Is fermented a little longer than white miso, is light yellow to light brown in color and can be used for most dishes since the flavor is somewhere between light and dark/bold. If stuck in a bind and not sure which miso to get, yellow miso is always a safe bet!
- Red miso / aka miso: my favorite of the bunch! It’s fermented the longest of all varieties and is dark red/brown in color, has a rich, hearty, and salty bite. It’s much stronger in flavor which is great to use for more savory and hearty dishes so the flavor stands out- but still use sparingly, it may overwhelm other flavors.
The macro bowl isn’t just about the miso brown rice though, other components truly make this macro bowl to the next level. I love adding roasted sweet potatoes (if you find purple sweet potatoes, give those a go in this one too), pickled ginger, fresh radish slices, sauteed greens with garlic and sesame oil, roasted beets, nori sheets, all topped with a soft poached egg…and then drizzled with high quality olive oil, a squeeze of white rice vinegar (or use apple cider vinegar), and a drizzle of honey. I can’t explain the ease of this recipe and how effortlessly it covers all the textures and flavors needed to make a meal feel complete. I know for me, having a variety of textures in each bite is crucial to a dish along with layers upon layers of flavors.
In the mix of a busy day while eating this new found food obsession, the Brown Rice Miso Macro Bowl by my desk or outside when the sun’s out, makes me feel like there’s a little more space to breathe, to slow down, to be more mindful. Writing the cookbook and with the growth Nutrition Stripped has been completely amazing and beyond what I could’ve imagined, yet I’ll be honest I go through the same challenges you all do with eating and remembering to take the time to be mindful and in the moment- I’m human too, I swear it! Little comforting meals and moments like this though make it feel all great and is an instant reminder of where I should be.
BATCH COOK IT!
But how do I make this under 10 minutes? There’s a HUGE key to this answer, it’s batch cooking! You all know I batch cook every single weekend without fail, preparing meal components for the week ahead- and it’s awesome seeing you all do it as well. This recipe is a perfect example of how making meal components ahead of time saves you time during the week, here’s what to make ahead for this one: roasted beets, the miso brown rice, and roasted sweet potato chunks. The components that you can make as soon as you’re ready to it is simply the sauteed greens and poached egg, otherwise it’s all about chopping, reheating, and plating. Simple as that.
- 1 whole egg (optional)
- 1-2 teaspoons sesame oil (or olive oil)
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ inch fresh ginger root
- 3 cups arugula (or spinach), wilted
- ¼ cup brown rice (or wild rice)
- 1 tablespoon yellow or red miso paste
- 1 small sweet potato, cubed and baked
- 2 radishes, sliced
- 1 roasted beet, sliced
- 1 tablespoon pickled ginger
- MISO RICE: If batch cooking, bring 2 cups of water to a boil and stir in 4 tablespoons of yellow or red miso paste until dissolved, then add 1 cup of wild rice, cook until tender, about 20 minutes. You may also stir in the miso after cooking the rice for a stronger flavor instead of boiling it (which I love to do). If cooking for a single serving, use measurements in the recipe and continue same cooking process. 1 serving of cooked rice is about ½-1/3 cup cooked, use this when plating.
- SAUTEED GREENS: In a medium hot skillet, add 1-2 teaspoons of sesame oil, chopped garlic, ginger, and add in spinach or greens of your choice and cook just until wilted and warm.
- POACHED EGG (optional): In a small pot of simmering water, add a splash of vinegar to the water, taking a spoon stir counterclockwise quickly to create a "whirlpool" effect in the water, immediately crack an egg into the center of the pot. The egg will turn white and start to cook, continue to gently whirl around the spoon around the perimeter of the pot being careful not to touch the egg. Cook until desired texture- soft boiled is about 5 minutes.
- TO SERVE: In a large shallow bowl, place the bed of sauteed greens, top with miso brown rice, roasted sweet potato chunks, roasted beet slices, sliced fresh radish, pickled ginger, nori sheets, and sprinkle red pepper flakes, olive oil, splash of white rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar, drizzle of honey to taste.
Batch cooking: make 1 cup of rice at a time to get 4 servings or 4 bowls during the week / make 4-5 roasted beets / make 4 baked sweet potatoes
I hope you all enjoy this one as much as I do! It’s my favorite go-to meal when I want something satisfying, comforting, and nourishing all at once. Show me your #nutritionstripped Brown Rice Miso Macro Bowl and your favorite additions.