This summer I’ve really been relying on the art of the bowl. It’s as easy as roasting a bunch of vegetables one day, making or buying your favorite bean dip and having a bunch of greens hanging out in the fridge. When the temperatures are hot and you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen, I lean on the bowl.
There’s a great lunch spot called Inday not too far from us where we go to sometimes (my husband and I work five blocks from each other) and they’ve truly mastered the bowl. I usually get one called the “root down”. It consists of roasted root vegetables, various dips, nut butter and charred eggplant sitting on a bed of quinoa and greens base with raisins and seeds. I took that basic framework and constructed my own as an homage to theirs.
I keep sweet potatoes on rotation for my favorite tacos (I promise I’ll share) so I roasted up a bunch of those. Sprouted mung beans fit perfectly for the occasion with a little cumin and curry for that earthy flavor. I stuck with the quinoa and greens base, but added a little curry to the quinoa and some dried cranberries. I didn’t have eggplant, but next time for sure. I added a heaping spoonful of black bean hummus w/ roasted red peppers and an equal amount of homemade nut butter (peanut and almond). For a finishing touch I drizzled a hint of tahini, though the cashew sour cream would work great here and a sprinkling of hemp seeds. The combination is unique and vaguely Indian. The overall effect is very satisfying because you’ve got your carbs, protein, healthy fats, spices and micro-nutrients. The best part of this bowl is that it’s highly adaptable. You can mix and match ingredients and condiments of your choice.
Keeping with my summer theme I have to say, I need to make more friends who have gardens. I’m jealous of those with a bumper crop of zucchini and tomatoes starting to ripen. It makes me want to ditch my city apartment and move somewhere with grass. I keep talking about making an illegal fire escape garden, but I don’t want to get evicted. I have to try out my green thumb soon.
Along the same lines, I also wanted to mention a documentary I just watched on Netflix called Chasing Coral. It was visually stunning. It showed how the earth’s beautiful living coral reefs are disappearing at an almost unbelievable rate due to the rising temperatures of the water. While it was depressing to watch, maybe this is the threat we need to get real and start looking for ways to preserve life on this planet. It’s worth a watch.
I hope you make this bowl and customize it to your tastes. It’ll save you time so you can be outside or secretly inside watching movies to stay cool!
CURRIED ROOT VEGETABLE HARVEST BOWL
- 2-3 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 handful arugula or spinach
- 1 cup sprouted mung beans (lentils would work well here too)
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 handful dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter or almond butter
- 2 tablespoons of black bean dip (recipe to come, but I really like this one ) or regular hummus
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons curry powder (2 for the mung beans, 1 for the quinoa)
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 1/3 cup hemp seeds
- 2 tablespoons tahini and/or cashew sour cream
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Sweet Potatoes:
Preheat oven to 375. Cut up the sweet potatoes into thin quarter slices. Bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes.
For the Mung Beans:
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add mung beans. Lower heat to a gentle simmer. Let cook for about 20 minutes. Taste around 15 minutes to see how they’re doing. When they’re finished add the salt, curry powder and cumin. Mix.
For the Quinoa:
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add quinoa. Lower heat to a gentle simmer. They’ll be done when there is a white ring around the quinoa and there is no more water left. When it looks about ready, turn off heat, add the generous handful of dried cranberries, 1 tablespoon curry powder, salt and pepper to taste and cover.
When all of the elements are ready assemble in a large bowl. Start with the greens, as a base. On top add the mung beans, add the quinoa next to that, then the nut butter, the black bean dip/hummus. and the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with hemp seeds. Drizzle with tahini and/or cashew cream. Enjoy!