Asian Sesame Veggie Bowl

Have you been to Life Alive in Cambridge, MA?

I discovered the one in Lowell several years ago when my mother and I were visiting the Quilt Museum there. Life Alive is this cute little hippy café across the street. They have delicious Veggie bowls with names like “the Swami” and “the Adventurer”, that have a combo of steamed brown rice or quinoa, steamed and raw vegetables, nuts, avocado and a delicious sauce. The exciting news is that there are now locations in Central Square and Salem. They are always packed, with lines going out the door, which is very good news for the health of Massachusetts.

Making bowls like this is an easy and healthy way to eat at home, especially during the week. You can make brown rice or quinoa ahead of time. Steam some vegetables, chop and grate some raw vegetables and add a great sauce. Easy. Everyone in the family can customize their bowl too. Throw on some grilled chicken or swap the tofu for some chick peas, edamame or a hard boiled egg.

  1. Cook brown rice
  2. Steam a selection of chopped vegetables and 3/8” cubed tofu
    (broccoli, zucchini, bok choy, kale, spinach etc.)
  3. Chop 2 scallions
  4. Grate some fresh vegetables (radish, carrot, red cabbage, daikon, avocado)
  5. Toast 2 Tbsp sesame seeds in the toaster oven or dry frying pan
  6. Prepare sauce below
  7. Assemble bowl with some brown rice, tofu and vegetables.
  8. Add grated vegetables, scallions, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped raw almonds or cashews and toasted sesame seeds.
  9. Drizzle sauce over bowl and serve. 


Spicy Asian Sesame Sauce

2 garlic cloves — crushed
2 Tbsp tahini sesame paste
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp mirin (optional)
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp sambal thai chili sauce

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth. Add more rice vinegar or soy sauce as needed.
  2. The sauce can be doubled or tripled and stored in fridge for several weeks.