Growing up in the heart of Midwest America, dinner was very “in the box” – a round plate with 3 main piles: meat, veggie, starch. Nothing against the 3-pile-plate; it served both Alex and I very well growing up, everything from chicken to meatloaf. But after starting to eat more plants, the 3-pile-plate got a little more challenging. Since vegetable-based foods are usually more integrated than separate components, we moved to the bowl concept. Most nights, our food is just stuff in bowls. And never would my younger self imagine that healthy stuff in bowls could be so addictingly good, I’d forget all about the 3-pile plate.
This bowl was inspired by a meal we ate over the holidays at a little place up in Minneapolis called Modern Times. Much of the food we eat is modeled after meals at restaurants, and I knew right away that I’d have to recreate this one: a brown rice bowl with garlic kale, stir-fried vegetables, and a creamy lemon tahini sauce. When Simply Organic reached out to us looking to collaborate on clean eating recipe ideas for the new year, we decided to recast this meal by adding their turmeric to the rice to give it a vibrant, yellow color and add some nutrients. It turned out beautifully; the bright yellow is a lovely foil for the deep green broccoli and kale, with some chickpeas for added protein. (Not only is turmeric known for its nutritional value, it’s an excellent dye, so take care by protecting your counters and keeping your apron handy!) To top it off, our favorite zesty, creamy, lemon tahini sauce. For me, stuff in bowls is not complete without a good sauce, and this tahini sauce is exceptional.
The turmeric makes simple brown rice into a lovely yellow confetti, and Alex and I have been noshing on this bowl with various versions of veg since the new year hit. Bowls are a big hit in this household, and this one was no exception. It’s colorful and relatively simple to put together (though make sure to leave 1 hour to cook the rice). It also fits a variety of diets like vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free. How about you? How many of your meals are stuff in bowls?
- 1 cup short grain brown rice
- 1 ½ teaspoons Simply Organic turmeric
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1 large lemon (about ¼ cup juice)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 carrots
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 4 green onions
- ½ bunch kale (3 large leaves)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 15-ounce can chickpeas
- In a medium saucepan, stir together 1 cup short grain brown rice, 2 cups water, 1 ½ teaspoons turmeric and ½ teaspoon kosher salt bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a low simmer; cook for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered to steam for 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup tahini, the juice of 1 lemon (1/4 cup), 2 tablespoons water, ½ tablespoon olive oil, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk vigorously to combine.
- Peel and slice 3 carrots. Cut broccoli into florets. Thinly slice 4 green onions; reserve 2 for a garnish. Remove the stems from ½ bunch kale and roughly chop into bite-sized pieces. Peel 3 cloves garlic. Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoon olive oil with 3 whole cloves garlic. Add carrots and saute for 3 minutes, stirring often, then add broccoli and 2 green onions and saute for 3 minutes. Add kale and ¼ cup water and saute for 2 minutes, stirring, until bright green and wilted. Add 1 pinch kosher salt, chickpeas and 2 tablespoons soy sauce and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and remove the garlic cloves.
- To serve, place vegetables and rice in a bowl and top with green onions and lemon tahini sauce.
This post is sponsored by Simply Organic. All opinions are our own; we love their spices and use them often. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who keep A Couple Cooks in action!