It’s the time of year for cleanses, nourishing juices and fresh salads. Much as we love salads, sometimes it seems a bit anticlimactic: What’s for dinner, honey? Salad.
Here’s a salad that is anything but a let down: it’s called a nourish bowl (or Buddha bowl by some). We realize that this concept might be overly “vegetarian / vegan / hippie” for some tastes, but we challenge you to give it a try! With all the flavors, textures, and colors, this bowl is so satisfying it’s appealing even for meat lovers. Don’t believe us? Try it and let us know via comments or on Instagram – we would love to hear from taste testers!
To make a nourish bowl, place the following components in a bowl, with the goal of making it as colorful and visually appealing as possible:
- Greens (salad greens, steamed or massaged kale)
- Raw or roasted veggies (any type)
- Cooked grain (rice, quinoa, farro)
- Protein (beans, chickpeas, tofu)
- Crunchies (nuts, seeds)
The secret to this particular nourish bowl is the dressing. It’s zesty, creamy, and a bit addicting. We’ve made enough here so that you have more for later – because you’ll want it! This meal is also great if you’re dealing with dietary restrictions: it’s vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Serve with bread or crackers for a filling meal.
We purchased much of these ingredients from local farmer’s at Indy Winter Farmer’s Market: salad greens and cabbage from Full Hand Farm, sweet potatoes from Stout’s Melody Acres and beets from South Circle Farm.
A few personal updates:
- Thank you all for your sweet comments and interest in our story. I have been taking my medicine in the evening and sleeping through the side effects, which have also been getting progressively better. My white blood cell count cut in half after just 2 weeks, which was a pleasant surprise! Thank you again for your prayers and kind thoughts – we feel so lifted up by you!
- Good news: you readers matched our $500 in donations for the Cambodian cooking school, for a total of $1,000! (And Annie’s Eats readers, who partnered with us as well, matched over $300, for a combined total of $600!) Thank you SO much for your generous donations. We are so grateful for your help in supporting vocational development for at-risk women in Cambodia!
For easy prep, cook the grain, make the dressing, and chop the veggies in advance; the day of, roast the veggies and put together the salad.
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (2 medium)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 head cauliflower
- Fresh ground pepper
- 1 to 1 ½ cups black rice or quinoa, uncooked
- 15-ounce can chickpeas (1 1/2 cups cooked)
- 1 beet
- ¼ head red cabbage (we used a combination of savoy and red)
- 12 cups salad greens
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds or pepitas
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Dice the sweet potatoes; place them in a bowl and mix with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the sweet potatoes onto half of the sheet. Cut the cauliflower into florets; place them in the same bowl and mix with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Pour the cauliflower onto the other half of the baking sheet. Top the vegetables with fresh ground pepper and roast until tender, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the rice or quinoa according to the package instructions.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas; mix them with a drizzle of olive oil and a few pinches kosher salt.
- Peel and thinly slice the beet. Thinly slice the red cabbage.
- Make the dressing (below).
- To serve, place the salad greens in a bowl. Arrange small piles of each component. Drizzle with dressing and top with sunflower seeds or peptias.
The dressing quantity makes much more than needed for 4 salads; save the remaining dressing for later use (you’ll want more!). Resist the urge to substitute bottled lemon juice for fresh lemons; fresh lemons are integral to the taste. Tahini is a Mediterranean sesame seed paste; invest in a jar and you’ll have it in your refrigerator for months to whip up delicious dressings and sauces.
- ½ cup tahini
- 2 large lemons (about 1/2 cup juice)
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- In a small bowl, combine ½ cup tahini, the juice of 2 large lemons (1/2 cup), ¼ cup water, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk vigorously to combine.
- Reserve extra dressing for later use; it keeps for about 1 month in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Bring the dressing to room temperature before serving, as it becomes very thick when chilled.
Adapted from Vegenista