Superstar Chef Donna Marino @donnamarino shared this ultra-healthy, ultra-tasty, whole food recipe that she made for a cooking demo @luvinarmsanimalsanctuary last weekend. Deliciosa!  

Did you know? Bibimbap (pronounced “bee-BIM-bop”) is a Korean rice dish meaning fresh vegetables mixed with rice and topped with a spicy Korean chili paste, Gochujang or Indonesian based Sambal Oelek, which makes it unique. 


This recipe is loaded with nutrition! It has an astounding 22 grams of protein in it and is an excellent source of Vitamin A (contains around 150% of our daily recommended value per serving). It is also an excellent source of calcium, iron, folate and magnesium.  Plus it is incredibly high in B vitamins!!

Here’s what Chef Donna had to say about her tasty recipe.

Another idea for a great veggie and grain bowl comes from Korean cuisine. Bibimbap bowls can easily be made plant-based by omitting the egg and any other animal products. I’ll often make these when I want to finish up odds & ends in my fridge. My favorite combination is below:

1 package of firm tofu in water (not silken tofu)

4 tsp soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos

1 tsp real food Gochujang (Korean chili paste) or Sambal Oelek

4 ounces mushrooms, preferably Shiitakes

4 ounces spinach

1 cubed sweet potato

1 c. edamame beans

Pickled daikon or cucumber (see below)

1 – ½ C. cooked rice. You can always use brown rice or another grain, like quinoa. I like to experiment with different kinds of rice, like red or black, to add visual interest.

Pickled cucumber or daikon

I use this quick pickling method. It’s best if the cucumber can sit at least a few hours in the mixture; overnight is ideal. You can decide on the amount of cucumber you would like to use for this part of the recipe. 

¼ c. rice wine vinegar

¼ c. water

2 tsp sweetener (can use sugar, maple syrup, date syrup or other sweetener of choice)

1 tsp salt (or to taste).

Add all ingredients to saucepan and bring the mixture to a low boil. Pour over the sliced cucumber/daikon and cover in refrigerator for several hours or overnight.


2 tbsp Gochujang

2 tsp rice wine vinegar

1 tsp Tamari or coconut aminos

1-2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1-2 tsp maple syrup

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Toasted sesame seeds and green onion for garnish


Cook rice or grains and set aside.

Drain the tofu well and cut into cubes. Place in a shallow bowl or pan and pour soy sauce mixed with half the Gochujang over it. Set aside for at least 30 minutes so it can absorb the flavors. Turn the cubes over so that all sides get marinated. Mix the rest of the sauce ingredients and set aside. You’ll pour this over the final dish.

Air frying is a great way to cook vegetables and tofu without hardly any fat. You can spray some oil on the ingredients before cooking them just to keep them from drying out, or you can omit completely. In the above recipe, I’ve air fried the sweet potato and tofu. Rest of ingredients (mushrooms, edamame, spinach) I sauté in a pan.

If you don’t have an air fryer, baking the tofu is a good alternative. Set the oven to 355° F and place the marinated cubes of tofu on a baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning halfway.

Assemble by placing a layer of rice in a large bowl. Place vegetables on top of rice and top with pickled cucumbers; add sauce and garnish.

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