Whole grain bim-bap aka Hold me I must eat this forever

I want to share a yummy, yummy, healthy, and QUICK and EASY lunch recipe inspired by my favorite dish ever: Bim-bap. I make it from whatever leftover veggies I have and I nearly always have cooked brown rice in my fridge, even if I have failed at nearly every other endeavor of the week. My aim in revising this classic dish is for more calories to come from veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains without sacrificing the delicious sesame toasty spicy goodness that I love so much. It can easily be made vegan/vegetarian and can easily be modified for allergies. Also, SO GOOD.

Whole Grain Bim-Bop


2 cups cooked short grain brown rice* (or preferred whole grain)

1 tsp sesame oil


1 carrot cut into matchstick

1/2 zucchini cut into matchsticks

1/2 cup spinach cooked and excess water squeezed out

1/2 cup mung beans or similar

1/2 cup mushrooms or similar

Sesame oil to taste

Sesame seeds

Meat/protein and sauce

4 oz Firm cooked tofu, ground or grilled chicken or turkey breast, or similar

1 Tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp honey (or sugar of choice)

1-2 cloves minced garlic

1-4 Tbsp Gochujang (or preferred hot sauce such as Sriracha) to taste (I add 3-4 tablespoons)

Other add-ons

1 egg

Toasted seaweed (nori) to taste*, cut into slivers

1/2 cup Kimchi to taste


(1) Toast brown rice in sesame oil. Add to bowl or plate and set aside.

(2) Cook veggies (if not already cooked) by steaming or roasting. Toss in a small amount of sesame oil , about 1/4 teaspoon each, just to add flavor and add sesame seeds to taste. Arrange in sections over rice around bowl/plate leaving some room in the center for the meat/protein.

(3) Cook meat/protein by grilling, sautéing in nonstick pan, or baking. Once cooked, combine with meat sauce and add to center of your plate/bowl.

(4) Cook egg sunny-side up in nonstick pan (or poach if you feel fancy) so yolk is very runny. Add to center of bowl/plate. Sprinkle with toasted nori and serve with side of kimchi if you have some in your house/are a better planner than I am.

*Tip 1: For best brown rice without a rice cooker, cook like pasta (in lots of boiling water) for 30 minutes. Drain and let sit 10 minutes. VOILA! Make up 6-10 cups at the beginning of the week and use when needed.

*Tip 2: These are suggestions. I usually use just whatever veggies I have hanging around. In the picture above I have carrots, zucchini, roasted squash, and spinach.

*Tip 3: Toast nori by quickly and gentle putting nori near or on your stovetop burner. Don’t set it on fire. Be quick!

Nutrition thoughts

This is a huge lunch (I couldn’t finish it, though I tried) and it is full of super yummy healthy food. I count this is 2 servings of whole grain, 2 servings of protein, and 4-5 servings of vegetables (about what I strive for in regards to nutrition for a post-workout lunch). This dish is full of micronutrients, protein, and whole grains to help you either recover from a morning workout or fuel you for an afternoon run… and it is super yummy.

Additional Thoughts

I love this meal because it focuses on what I want to add to my diet (lean proteins, yummy spices, good fats, hearty veggies, whole grains) not on anything that should be removed, scorned, called not “clean eating,” etc..

I love food decision that come from a happy, educated, healthy place, and I tend to shut out advice that focuses on what you need to remove or avoid. I find the “avoid” approach highly problematic (and depressing!), and it feels very close to the thought processes that lead to eating disordered behavior (the BANE of athletes).

For sound nutritional advice, I really recommend reading Matt Fitzgerald’s Racing Weight as well as his other books including Diet Cults. He does a great job of separating the pseudo science from the science. Most helpful book I have ever read.

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