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Vegan, Cajun-Style Grain Bowl

This is super fast, easy, vegan, gluten-free, and includes whole foods plant-based options that barely change it at all. The flavor is amazing, though some might want a lot more seasoning than I sued. It’s filling and hearty, satisfying, and super healthy!


1 medium green pepper, diced

1 medium yellow onion, diced

8 ounces raw mushrooms, stems removed, peeled and diced

1 tablespoon canola oil

*option: sauté in veggie broth and skip the oil

1 8-oz package plant-based chicken-like pieces , 1 inch dice

*optional as the beans provide plenty of protein

1 to 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning blend

1 12-oz can diced tomatoes

1 14-oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup (raw measure) barley, rice, or quinoa, cooked according to package directions


First, dice up your plant-based protein and sizzle it for a few minutes in 1/2 tablespoon of the oil or a tiny bit of veggie broth in a non-stick pan. Sprinkle it with cajun seasoning (don’t overdo it at this stage.) Toss it as is cooks.

While it cooks, dice your veggies.

Remove the meat substitute from the skillet, add the other 1/2 tablespoon of oil or a little more veggie broth, and dump in the veggies, mushrooms, and about a teaspoon of cajun seasoning. Cook uncovered, flipping frequently to get a little bit of browning on the veggies. You can speed up the process by covering the skillet, but if you want to get the browning, you’ll have to take the cover off near the end.

Return the “meat” to the skillet full of veggies. Dump in the tomatoes. Drain and rinse the beans and dump them in, as well. Bring it to a simmer, stirring frequently.

Taste and add more cajun seasoning if it’s not spicy enough for you.

Cook your chosen grain. I used barley, added a little more water than called for and simmered it until it was just the right tenderness for me.

Cook most of the water out of the grain. If there’s a little bit left, that’s okay. When the grain is tender, pour about a cup and a half of it it right into the skillet with the rest of the meal and simmer it all together to let the flavors blend.

Scoop into bowls and serve.

*Whole foods, plant-based version: Sauté in vegetable broth instead of oil and skip the chicken substitute.

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