Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt'

Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt'

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Big Bowl of Happiness for Catherine

Dear Readers,

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.

In Health,
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.


Peggy said...

Funny,I was just thinking about this kind of thing - a springtime big bowl of good fresh things from the garden, interesting grain, some beans, just good, good basic food. yum. of course you're a girl after my own heart, adding walnuts, too - thanks for the additional nudge to do this, today!

Heide Mc.™ said...

What a healthy and happy idea recipe!

Jolie Ann Donohue said...

Thank you both for the feedback! I love the "Big Bowl" concept. It's a great way to incorporate several healthy and delicious ideas. On Saturday I made a big batch of this one and I've been eating it every day this week for lunch. Not tired of it yet. Warmly, Miss Jolie

Jennifer said...

Hi, Jolie! I don't know if you remember me -- but your Uncle Jim is my Uncle Jim! I think you met with my dad when you were visiting CA late last year, too. I remember loving hanging out with you when you were a teenager and I was like, 9. =)

Anyway, I saw your blog URL on my dad's photography site, and thought I'd look you up. I love your blog!!! I'm not a vegetarian, but I don't eat much meat anymore. (Hey, I'm Japanese, I love tofu!) So these are super-fun, and I'm going to pass on the URL to a few of my vegetarian friends. =)

Anyway, just saying hi, and it's wonderful to find you on the vast internet. =)

~ Jennifer Shioya

Jolie Ann Donohue said...

Hi Jennifer,

Nice to hear from you. Thanks for looking me up. I enjoyed visiting with your Dad during Christmas and even cooked him an almost all vegetarian dinner. I'm glad you enjoy the blog and are passing it onto your friends.

It's funny you mention the tofu because I discovered my love of tofu when I went to live with Aunt Kayoko & Uncle Jim when I was 15. Kayo and your Grandmother cooked me the most excellent Japanese food with tofu and I was hooked!


Cat said...

I love the big bowl of vegetarian happiness and I love you!!!