Saturday, 13 April 2013

The Vegan bowl

When I first started eating vegan food I had no idea what I would eat when I wanted a quick throw together meal. Sure you can have salad or a stir fry or something like that but what can you make that is 100% wholefoods, super fast and covers all the major food groups? and then I heard about the bowl concept. It gets called lots of different things a "macrobiotic bowl" or just "a bowl" and it is pretty much what is sounds like but tastes a million times better. This is what we eat at least a couple of times a week but that doesn't mean it is boring because every time it is a little bit different. Confused yet? or just interested?

So this isn't really a recipe it is more of a concept. A concept which with a little bit of preparation means you can have a wholesome, filling and delicious dinner on the table within 20 minutes of coming home from work without having to run around like a crazy person.

 A bowl is simply a grain + vegetable + bean/ seed and a sauce. I like to cook a batch of grain usually rice but could be quinoa or anything and keep it in the fridge for a few days so we can throw together dinner fast when we get home from work. 
Tonight we had a pretty fancy version. A mix of brown and black rice, with roasted sweet potato and zucchini, rocket, cherry tomatoes, broccoli with hemp and pumpkin seeds. I made a dressing out of capers, mustard, olive oil and fresh dill. Yum. This was a LOT more fancy than what we usually have. Often it is just brown rice, kale, chickpeas with olive oil, salt and pepper. And it is still good. So how to throw one together? 

Choose a grain and precook a batch to last you a few meals. For the two of us I did 1 1/2 cups of rice which does two dinners. If you make lots you can always freeze extras in individual serves and then take it out the freezer before you head to work in the morning.

Grains to choose from: brown rice, black rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat (or anything you like).

Then add some veggies 
For example: Kale, spinach, tomatoes, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, capsicums anything that you have lying around.

Throw in some protien 
Chickpeas, black beans, lentils, nuts, seeds or any other protien you like.

And then create some kind of sauce. It can be simply a mix of olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar or you can get a bit more fancy.  We love: 

Dill and caper dressing
1 tbsp capers, 2 tbsp Dijon mustard, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp fresh dill. Blend together witha bar mix or blender and enjoy.

Tahini dressing
2 tbsp tahini, 1/4 cup water, 1 tbsp shoyu, 1 clove of garlic minced, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar. Place all ingredients in a blender and combine until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if required.

Almond butter satay 
2 tbsp almond butter, 1 tbsp shoyu, 1/4 cup water, 1 clove garlic minced, 2 tbsp fresh lime juice. Throw all ingredients in a small bowl and mix. Taste and adjust flavors if required.

And that is it. It is amazing how simple yet completely satisfying it can be. All it takes is a bit of preparation and you can have a weeks worth of easy dinners without reaching for the takeaway menu. 

**We are currently away on holidays, I will return in May with more regular recipes***

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