This easy ancient grain bowl bursts with amazing fall flavor and makes for a filling, healthy and completely vegan lunch or dinner recipe. It includes the ancient grain of your choice, roasted vegetables (such as sweet potato, portobello mushrooms and broccoli), creamy avocado, oranges and the best part, a sweet and savory orange miso sauce!
This ancient grain bowl is all about cozy fall flavors, a perfect meal for this time of the year!
We love bowls of all kinds and make them so often. Healthy grain bowls are such a lifesaver when following a plant-based diet!
I'll whip up this green nourish bowl for when craving something fresh and light, such as for lunch or in the summer. But then I'll go for a vegan taco bowl when I am looking for bold flavors and an earthier meal. Be sure to check out the blog for more Buddha bowl ideas, there is a perfect one for every occasion!
But this time, I was looking for a warm harvest bowl that embraced all the autumn flavors!
This vegan harvest bowl features the ancient grain of your choice, roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli and portobello mushrooms, avocado, juicy oranges and a simple sweet miso orange sauce.
I chose Farro for its unbelievable nutty flavor and unique chewy bite, but you can use any kind of ancient grain you like, such as kamut, quinoa, millet, etc.
The vegetables are first tossed in the miso orange glaze, then roasted until caramelized, which gives them a huge boost in flavor. Plus, there is plenty of the sweet miso sauce to drizzle over your bowl when serving, this dressing is so addictive!
Let me know if you gave it a try! ❤️
What are ancient grains?
Ancient grains are a group of whole grains (or pseudocereals) that have not been part of selective breeding.
They have been cultivated for centuries and remained unchanged by modern agriculture practices, as opposed to for example corn or some types of wheat, which have been genetically selected throughout the years to meet specific needs.
Preserving their genetic baggage makes them unique and gives them an earthy texture and a delicious nutty flavor. Ancient grains are also packed with nutrients , such as fiber, plant-based protein, vitamin B, folate and minerals.
Ancient grains include some types of wheat grains, such as farro, millet, teff, oats, spelt, kamut and barley, but also some pseudocereals, such as quinoa, chia and buckwheat. Wild rice is also often considered an ancient grain.
Which grains are considered gluten-free
There are 2 main kinds of ancient grain: 1- grains related to wheat and 2- pseudocereals.
Most grains related to wheat should be avoided if looking for a gluten-free recipe, such as farro, kamut, wheat berries and spelt grains. The ones that are considered a pseudocereal are normally gluten-free, such as millet, buckwheat and amaranth.
As a side note, to make this recipe completely gluten-free, be sure to also swap the soy sauce for GF tamari sauce.
Highlights of this recipe
- Easy recipe that's great for meal prep
- Versatile and perfect bowl to personalize
- Healthy and packed with fiber, healthy fats and vitamins
- Delicious sweet and salty miso sauce
- Very satisfying and filling
- Naturally vegan, vegetarian and dairy-free.
- Easy gluten-free options
Ingredients you will need (+ substitutions)
There are a few ingredients needed to make this bowl, although it is very versatile and you can swap the grain and veggies as you wish.
For the ancient grain buddha bowl
- Ancient grain: I used pearled Farro, which I found easily at my grocery store. Pearled farro means that the tougher outer layer was removed, making it easier to cook. This is the most common kind of farro you can find. You can also use any ancient grain you like, such as quinoa, brown rice, millet or kamut (see above).
- Broccoli: you can swap for broccolini or cauliflower.
- Portobello mushrooms: they are sliced thicker to give them a pleasant meaty texture that works well in this bowl, although you can use other kinds of mushrooms. If using cremini or white button mushrooms, simply slice them in half.
- Sweet potato: sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin C and beta-carotene, they are so good for you! They are also naturally pretty sweet, which balances well with the savory mushrooms and miso sauce. You can also use butternut squash.
- Avocado: helps make this bowl more substantial by adding lots of healthy fats.
- Chives and slivered almonds: optional, for garnishing. Pumpkin seeds work well too in this bowl.
For the miso orange dressing
- Miso paste: I used the white miso paste from the brand Miso Master Organic. White miso has a milder flavor, so if you love a stronger miso taste, then you can also use red miso paste (fermented for longer).
- Orange: I encourage you to use freshly squeezed orange juice for the best results. But if you only have store-bought orange juice, then that would work too.
- Soy sauce: just a hint for added flavor and umami saltiness. You can use low-sodium soy sauce since the miso paste is already super salty.
- Garlic: I added a small clove of garlic, which didn't overpower the flavor of the sauce.
- Maple syrup: add to taste to balance the flavor of the sauce, which will depend on how sweet the orange is.
How to make a vegan ancient grain bowl
Preheat the oven to 400º and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Cook the ancient grain
I like using my Instant Pot to cook any grains since it is quick, fuss-free and perfect every time.
Here is a guide on how to cook farro using the Instant Pot. Roughly, add 1 cup of rinsed farro to your instant pot and pour 2 cups of water over. Then, set the Instant Pot to sealing and cook for 10 minutes. Once done, let a natural release happen for about 5-7 minutes before releasing the extra pressure manually.
You can also cook farro on the stove. Roughly, simply bring 3 ½ cups of water to a boil, then add rinsed farro. Bring back to a simmer, cover partially and cook on low-medium heat for about 15-20 min (for pearled farro) or 35-40 min (for whole farro). Drain the excess water and fluff with a fork.
If you are using a different ancient grain, then be sure to follow the cooking directives on your packaging since cooking time will vary widely depending on which grain you are using.
Whisk the miso sauce ingredients
Meanwhile, add the orange juice, miso paste, soy sauce, maple syrup and garlic to a bowl and whisk to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Set aside.
Roast the vegetables
Peel and slice the sweet potato in ½-3/4 inch thick pieces (I like a half-moon shape). Then, transfer over the prepared baking sheet and add 2 tablespoons of the miso orange sauce. This will create a delicious miso glaze around the pieces of sweet potato while baking.
Toss the pieces and space them out on one half of the baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
While the sweet potatoes are baking, clean and prepare the portobello mushrooms: remove the stems and then clean them with a wet paper towel. Then slice in thick sticks and transfer to a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the orange miso sauce and toss. Set aside.
Also, clean and chop the broccoli in florets.
Once the sweet potatoes are done baking, flip the pieces and transfer both the mushrooms and broccoli to the other side of the baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are done to your liking.
Assemble and serve the farro bowls
When ready to serve, place the grains at the bottom of 2 serving bowls and top with the vegetables, avocado and orange slices.
Drizzle more of the miso orange sauce and garnish with toasted slivered almonds and some chives (or green onion). You can garnish your vegetable bowl with some kosher salt or coarse salt for a salty crunch. Enjoy!
- It is better to keep the portobello on the thicker side when slicing it, that way it does not overcook and it makes the pieces chewy, which gives a good bite to your bowl.
- If you are in a rush, then I recommend cooking white or red quinoa, it cooks so quickly! There is also this amazing Ancient Grain Blend from the brand Ancient Harvest you can find in most grocery stores and online. It cooks within 15 minutes and is made out of quinoa, millet, teff, buckwheat, chia and amaranth.
Serving suggestions and variations
You can easily customize your fall harvest bowl to your preference, such as tweaking the dressing and baking different veggies. Here are a few ideas:
- Dressing: for a tangier dressing, add some rice vinegar or lemon juice and for a spicy twist, add some sambal oelek. Also, you can add some fresh ginger to the sauce if you have any. Ginger and miso go very well together! Make sure to taste the dressing and adjust the flavoring as you wish, which can depend on the natural flavor of your orange.
- Vegetables: you can roast different veggies depending on your preference. Cauliflower can be used instead of broccoli and butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes. You can use white button mushrooms or cremini mushrooms instead of portobello, but keep the pieces large. You can also roast halved Brussels sprouts or red bell peppers.
- Protein: to boost your bowl with more plant-based protein, then you can top it off with some beans (such as chickpeas and black beans), roasted tofu or tempeh. This baked miso tempeh would be perfect in this buddha bowl or try adding some blackened tofu to give your bowl more character. You can also sprinkle a spoonful of chia seeds, sesame seeds or hemp seeds to make your ancient grains bowl higher in plant-based protein.
You can also add different sauces or condiments over your bowl if you want. The ones that would pair well with the orange miso marinade include:
- Vegan cashew pesto
- Creamy tahini sauce
- Balsamic marinated red onion
- Vegan feta cheese
- Sunshine dressing
- Lime pickled onion
Storage and meal prep tips
This recipe is amazing for meal prep! You can prepare most of the components ahead of time during the weekend, then whip up your bowl quickly during the weekdays.
Here is how to meal prep this recipe:
- Make the orange miso sauce ahead and keep it in a glass jar (such as a mason jar) in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Cook the grains ahead of time and keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat using the microwave before serving.
- Prep the veggies and keep them in the fridge in a container ready to bake. You can also make a big batch and bake them ahead, then simply reheat using the microwave when ready to enjoy. Baking the vegetables ahead will make them softer after you reheat them, but having veggies ready to eat in your fridge can help you eat healthier on a daily basis.
- Vermicelli tofu bowl
- Edamame poke bowl
- Chimichurri chickpea bowl
- Greek marinated tofu bowl
- Mediterranean chickpea bowl
- Vegan fajita bowl
- Baked tofu teriyaki bowl
- Falafel buddha bowl
I hope you like this ancient grain bowl as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Ancient Grain Harvest Bowl with Miso Orange Sauce (Vegan)
- 2 servings cooked ancient grain of choice - I used farro, but quinoa, millet, barley or brown rice work too.
- 1 medium size sweet potato
- 2 large portobello mushrooms
- ½ head broccoli - or one bunch of broccolini
- 1 orange - peeled and sliced
- 1 avocado - sliced
- toasted slivered almonds (or pumpkin seeds) - optional, for garnishing
- chives - optional, for garnishing
Miso Orange Sauce
- ½ cup orange juice - or the juice of about 2 large Navel oranges
- 3 tbsp miso paste - white or red miso
- 1-2 tbsp maple syrup - adjust depending on how sweet the oranges are
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 large cloves of garlic - crushed
Cook the ancient grain
- Cook the grain according to packaging instructions. See notes for more details.
Make the orange miso sauce
- Whisk all the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth. Then, taste and adjust flavors to your preference (maple syrup, garlic and salt). Set aside.
Cook the vegetables
- Preheat the oven to 400º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Peel and slice the sweet potato (about ½-¾ inch thick, I like slicing in half moons), then transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle about 2-3 tbsp of the miso orange sauce over and toss the pieces to cover them uniformly with the sauce. Disperse the cubes on one half of the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, clean and slice the portobello mushrooms (thick slices). Transfer them to a bowl, drizzle 2 tablespoons of the orange miso sauce over and toss. Also, clean the broccoli and chop in small florets.
- Once the 10 min is done, flip/toss the pieces of sweet potatoes. Transfer the saucy mushrooms and broccoli to the other half of the baking sheet. Spray oil (optional) and add salt over the broccoli, then bake for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are done to your liking.
Build the bowl
- Add the cooked grain to your bowls and then, top with the cooked vegetables, avocado and orange slices. Drizzle some of the miso orange sauce, sprinkle the slivered almonds and add some chives over. Enjoy!
- Storage: you can make the miso orange sauce ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. You can also cook the grains and vegetables ahead of time and reheat in the microwave before serving.
- You can also add rice vinegar and grated fresh ginger to the sauce if desired.
- I used Farro to make this bowl. You can cook farro using the Instant Pot or cook farro on the stove.