Today’s recipe – this fantastic Crunchy Vegetable Rice Bowl with Warm Peanut Sauce – was featured in this month’s Bon Appetit magazine and as soon as I spotted the recipe, I immediately knew I wanted to make it!
A healthy, chopped slaw salad with a mix of other crunchy vegetables, served with warm brown rice, hard-boiled eggs and a warm peanut sauce on top – it sounded absolutely fantastic! And, knowing my husband Jack’s love of Asian-inspired foods – I had a feeling that he would love this salad too!
This flavorful Crunchy Vegetable Rice Bowl with Warm Peanut Sauce did not disappoint – in fact, Jack said that this was one of the best recipes I’ve ever made! (Thank you Bon Appetit!) I also think this salad is as pretty as it is delicious!
The star of this healthy salad really is that warm peanut sauce that is drizzled over the top of the veggies and rice when served. A little goes a long way (OK– yes –I will admit I was eating it by the spoonful!) so use it sparingly to start, then serve more of the sauce on the side, adding more as you dig further into the bowl of your crunchy slaw.
One more bonus: With Jack and I both still following the Whole30 program most of the time these days, I also knew that I could make some easy swaps to the original recipe in order to make this recipe Whole30 complaint.
To make this Crunchy Vegetable Rice Bowl with Warm Peanut Sauce Whole30 compliant, we swapped in sunflower butter for the peanut butter (it is equally delicious with the sunflower butter as it is with the peanut butter) – and in the recipe below, I also made note of some of the other swaps we did to make this recipe fit into the program.
- 1 red or green Thai chile, cut in half and seeds removed
- 1 garlic clove, peeled grated
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter (or sunflower butter)
- ¾ cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar (optional, leave out to be Whole30 compliant)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- ¼ cup water (or more as needed)
- Kosher salt
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- ¼ head of Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 1 golden beet, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced on a diagonal
- 3 mini cucumbers, thinly sliced crosswise on a diagonal
- 1 large handful of bean sprouts (about 1 ½ cups)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
- ⅓ cup torn mint leaves
- Kosher salt
- ⅓ cup unsalted, toasted peanuts, crushed (omit if you want to stay Whole30 compliant)
- 4 cups warm cooked brown rice (serve this salad without the rice if you want to stay Whole30 compliant)
- Start the brown rice and while it is cooking, prepare the rest of the dish.
- In a blender, add chile, garlic, peanut butter, coconut milk, brown sugar, lime juice, soy sauce and fish sauce. Blend until smooth.
- Pour mixture into a small saucepan and whisk in ¼ cup of water. If you are serving the salad immediately, warm the sauce over medium heat, whisking often until smooth and warmed through. (Be careful not to over-heat.) Season sauce with a pinch of salt and set aside while you prepare your salad. If you are serving the salad at a later time, the sauce can be refrigerated, then warmed when you are ready to serve.
- Cook eggs in a separate saucepan – be sure to follow our Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs tutorial here for best results. (If you’d like softer cooked eggs, remove from the hot water after 7 minutes.) Drain, cool in cold water, peel eggs and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine cabbage, scallions, beets, celery, cucumber, bean sprouts, cilantro and mint. Toss to combine. If you are serving the salad immediately, season with salt and top with crushed peanuts. If you are waiting to serve the salad, season with salt and top with crushed peanuts just before serving.
- Warm the sauce if necessary. Slice each egg in half. Fill each serving bowl with warm rice, salad and a hard boiled egg. Drizzle the warm peanut sauce over the salad. Serve with additional peanut sauce on the side.
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