My BFF Catherine and I were talking about her recent travels and how we sometimes find ourselves without healthy vegetarian food. This is especially complicated if one is gluten-free, or has food allergies such as eggs or dairy. When returning from such trips cooking and enjoying nourishing food is vital. It is in this spirit that I whipped up tonight's recipe.
It's just a big bowl of happiness and health. Looks great and tastes delicious. Big bowl recipes are simple and improvisational. I got the idea originally from Heidi at 101 cookbooks. 2 years ago I was inspired by her recipe and created my own "Quinoa Big Bowl with Garlic Spinach & Roasted Yams" recipe. What's funny, is now when I went back and checked out Heidi's original recipe she talked about traveling and how much she craved healthy earthy quinoa and cooking for herself as soon as her plane landed. Whoa. Seriously, I did not read that before coming up with tonight's recipe. I guess it's a universal experience for healthy eating foodie cooks.
For a Big Bowl, start with a tasty whole grain. Usually I choose quinoa, but tonight it's short grain brown rice. Followed by delicious sauteed potatoes, wilted spinach & chard with garlic, sauteed fresh local asparagus, rounded out with garbanzo beans, and finished with toasted walnuts. Mix. Devour. Yum. In my photos it looks very composed. But, when I eat it, I just mix it all together.
This kind of meal helps me feel so nourished. It's gluten-free, vegan, and loaded with fiber, protein and fresh vegetables. Olive oil and walnuts give a boost of omega fatty acids. Trust me, this big bowl is all around goodness. And I hope it makes my Catherine very happy. It's making me happy right now.
Miss Jolie Ann
Big Bowl of Happiness Recipe
Makes 4 large servings
1 cup short grain brown rice
1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 yukon gold potatoes, diced
1/4 tsp tumeric
sea salt & black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch spinach, washed & chopped
1 bunch chard, washed & chopped
1 bunch asparagus, washed, tough ends cut off, sliced
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1. Put the brown rice with 2 cups water in a pot and cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 50 minutes. Set aside.
2. While the brown rice is cooking, prepare the rest of the recipe. In a skillet warm a splash of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and the tumeric. Cover and cook over medium heat about 15 minutes. Potatoes should be tender and browned. Set aside.
3. In the now empty skillet, add another splash of olive oil. Add the garlic, spinach, and chard. Ad a pinch of salt and black pepper. Cook uncovered over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Greens should be wilted, still bright green, and the garlic should be fragrant. Set aside.
4. In the now empty skillet, add another splash of olive oil . Add the asparagus and another pinch of salt. Cook uncovered for about 5 minutes. Asparagus should be bright green and still firm. Set aside.
5. In the now empty skillet, add the walnuts. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until they are starting to brown and have released their fragrant oils.
6. Assemble the brown rice, potatoes, greens, asparagus, and garbanzo how you would like in individual bowls or family style on a large platter. Top with the toasted walnuts.