Banh Mi Bowl with Lemongrass Tofu Meatballs and Sriracha Aioli 

Banh Mi Bowl with Lemongrass Tofu Meatballs and Sriracha Aioli 

This banh mi bowl is the meal in a bowl of your dreams! Top brown rice with lemongrass tofu meatballs, pickled daikon and carrots, tons of fresh herbs, crispy cucumbers and a spicy sriracha aioli drizzle. You'll love all the different flavors and textures! Perfect for meal prep because it's delicious straight out of the refrigerator. 

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Warm Farro Salad with Kale, Caramelized Onions, Grilled Fennel and Harissa

Enjoy this warm farro salad with kale, caramelized onions, grilled fennel and harissa topped with crumbled goat cheese or a fried egg for a hearty vegetarian lunch!

Happy Monday! Gah, I'm really wishing it was another Sunday - I could use a lazy day! This past weekend my parents came in town from Virginia. Turns out its tough keeping up with 50 and 60-year olds. Friday night we went to Craft and Draft for local beers, then out to dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant, Baan Sawan. Seriously, I would go out on a limb and say it's the best Thai food outside of Thailand and I feel 110% confident putting that statement out on the internet.

On Saturday, we went shopping on Devine St for their semi-annual sidewalk sale. I snagged a really cute winter skirt and a plaid poncho which I think will replace my beige knit sweater in it's weekly rotation. Then we went out to City Roots, our local organic farm, for a pig and oyster roast. We enjoyed incredible barbecue, awesome sides (holy blue cheese coleslaw and pimento mac and cheese!) and hot roasted SC oysters. Oh, and a few too many Westbrook IPAs, hence the need for a second Sunday.

If I could drag myself off the couch to do a little meal prep for the week, I'd probably whip up a batch of this farro salad. It's kind of a mishmash between a old favorite recipe from orangette and a heirloom brown rice bowl with harissa I had while we were in Arizona last month. Then I threw in some grilled fennel I had leftover and it was a smart choice.

Chewy farro is possibly my favorite choice for grain bowls. It reminds me a bit of barley, but better. Farro is a type of ancient wheat, thought to be the oldest cultivated grain. Look for it in the bulk aisle of your local health food store, or if you can't find it, swap barley or even brown rice.

Although it takes a bit to put together the different components of this dish, it's absolutely worth it. While I served this with harissa, you could also drizzle it with sriracha. If you're feeling extra hungry, top with a fried egg.

Warm Farro Salad with Kale, Caramelized Onions, Grilled Fennel and Harissa

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1 cup farro
  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sweet onions, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 head kale, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup pistachios
  • 3 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • Lemon, in wedges
  • Harissa, for serving

Instructions

  1. Place farro in a medium pot and cover with a couple inches of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Place lentils in a small pot and cover with a couple inches of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.
  3. Head 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium sided pot on medium high heat. Add onions, stir to coat with oil, and cook 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until deeply caramelized. Season with salt and black pepper and set aside until ready to use.
  4. Slice fennel into thick slices. Toss with a tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set an indoor grill pan (or outdoor grill) on medium-high heat. Place fennel on the grill and cook 5 minutes per side until charred and tender. Set aside and let cool. When cool enough to handle, chop the fennel.
  5. In a medium skillet (you can use the same one you caramelized the onions in if it's free), heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil on medium high heat. Add kale, stir to combine and coat with oil. Add 1/2 cup water, mince garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook 10 minutes, adding more water if needed, until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. In a large bowl, toss together farro, lentils, fennel, kale, caramelized onions. Divide between four bowls. Top with pistachios, goat cheese and serve with lemon wedge and harissa.
Brown Rice Bowl with Five Spice Tempeh, Garlicky Bok Choy and Edamame Hummus
Brown Rice Bowl with Five Spice Tempeh, Garlicky Bok Choy and Edamame Hummus
Hippie Salad with Sprouted Grains and Tahini Dressing
Hippie Salad with Sprouted Grains and Tahini Dressing
Roasted Eggplant, Chickpea and Wheat Berry Salad with Za'atar
Roasted Eggplant, Chickpea and Wheat Berry Salad with Za'atar

Ahi Poke Bowl

Embrace the Hawaiian food trend with this ahi poke bowl, inspired by a trip to the Islands! Try it with tofu for a vegan version! 

When we were in Hawaii this past December, I kid you not, the hubs and I ate ahi poke every single day. We were discussing recently and I think that it might be our new favorite food of all time. I joked that I might rename my blog an ahi poke a day, but seriously, I might.

Almost as soon as I got home, I dreamed of recreating the dish. Luckily I got the chance when Food and Nutrition Magazine's blog said they were on the lookout for Hawaiian recipes and I basically emailed and said "Pick me!! Pick me!!!"

And they did :) So head on over to Stone Soup blog to grab the recipe for my ahi poke bowl!

Freekeh Salad with Roasted Grapes and Brussels Sprouts

This easy freekeh salad with roasted grapes and Brussels sprouts is your new favorite make ahead lunch for winter!

Freekeh Salad with Roasted Grapes and Brussels Sprouts

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup freekeh

  • 12 ounces Brussels sprouts, quartered

  • 1 1/2 cups grapes

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • 1 cup edamame

  • 4 cups baby kale

  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted

  • 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled

  • Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic

  • 1 teaspoon honey

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Bring freekeh and 2 1/2 cups water to a boil in a small pot. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25-30 minutes until water is absorbed. Let sit covered 5 minutes to steam, then remove cover and fluff with a fork. Let cool to room temperature.

  3. Toss Brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Spread evenly on a large baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Toss grapes with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and spread evenly alongside Brussels sprouts or on a seperate small baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast the Brussels sprouts 25 minutes until golden and tender and grapes 20 minutes until just starting to burst, flipping halfway.

  4. Mix dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

  5. Toss freekeh, roasted grapes and Brussels sprouts, pecans, edamame, and kale in a large bowl. Toss with dressing. Top with crumbled goat cheese and serve.

Sweet & Spicy Tofu Millet Bowl with Garlicky Kale and Citrus Tahini Sauce

This sweet & spicy tofu millet bowl with garlicky kale and citrus tahini dressing makes a perfect lunch! 

You know what I realized I don't have enough of on this blog? Asian inspired grain bowls.

KIDDING! I've posted 11. Just counted.

Buuuut, I still think this one deserves it's own special place on the blog. First, there's the sweet and spicy baked tofu. Make sure you leave plenty of time for it to marinate, so it soaks up all the delicious flavors. If you think you don't like tofu, trust me, this recipe will change you.

Then there's the garlicky kale. Kale and garlic are like peanut butter and bananas. I love how the sweet bite of sauteed garlic permeates the bitter greens.

Of course, avocado is mandatory. Except when you're about to take photographs and slice one open and it's brown inside. Then said avocado becomes optional.

We can't do a grain bowl without crunch. For this bad boy, we've got toasted pumpkin seeds. If you're ever looking for something to fulfill a salty, crunchy craving, try salted toasted pumpkin seeds. The little pocket of air in the middle expands, giving them some major crunch.

Because all grain bowls need some fermented goodness, I added a scoop of fermented sauerkraut. I used an Asian arame and ginger kraut by Wild Brine but any ol' kraut will do.

Last but not least, there's tahini dressing, the king of all dressings. This one is spiked with miso (more probiotics!), citrus and sriracha.

Enjoy!

Sweet & Spicy Tofu Millet Bowl with Garlicky Kale

Serves 4

Inspired by this recipe in Bowl + Spoon, a beautiful cookbook by the lovely people at The Sprouted Kitchen.

Ingredients

Tofu: 

  • 1 block extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar, coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sriracha
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

Bowl:

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup millet
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 10 ounce bag of chopped kale, or 1 bunch kale, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, shaved into ribbons
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup fermented sauerkraut (optional)
  • 1 avocado, sliced

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 large naval orange

Instructions

  1. Wrap tofu in a clean dish towel. Place on a plate and weigh with something heavy, like a cast iron skillet. Let sit to drain water about 30 minutes or longer. The longer it sits, the more water it will drain and the more room to soak up marinade. You can leave it in the fridge to drain if desired. Or, you can drain it quickly using a tofu press. Chop into 1 inch cubes.
  2. In a large plastic container, whisk together sugar, soy sauce, sriracha, vinegar and sesame oil. Place tofu inside, cover and shake to combine and coat. Place in the refrigerator and let marinate at least 30 minutes or all day/overnight.
  3. When ready to make bowl, first whisk together all the dressing ingredients. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Set aside until ready to use.
  4. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Drain tofu and spread evenly on a large baking sheet sprayed with olive oil. Place in oven and bake 20 minutes total, flipping halfway, until browned. Set aside until ready to use.
  5. While tofu is cooking, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small pot. Add millet and toast for a couple minutes. Add 2 cups water, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer 15-18 minutes until water is absorbed. Let sit covered a few minutes, then remove lid and fluff millet with a fork.
  6. While millet is cooking, heat olive oil in a large sided pan. Add garlic cloves and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add kale and 1/2 cup of water. Cook until wilted and tender, about 10-12 minutes total, adding more water as needed. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Divide millet evenly among four bowls. Top with sauteed kale, tofu, carrots, pumpkin seeds, kraut, avocado and drizzle with dressing.

More Asian-inspired grain bowls: 

Brown Rice Bowl with Five Spice Tempeh and Garlicky Greens
Brown Rice Bowl with Five Spice Tempeh and Garlicky Greens
Sushi Un-Roll with Smoked Salmon and Creamy Sriracha Sauce
Sushi Un-Roll with Smoked Salmon and Creamy Sriracha Sauce
Crispy Kale, Black Rice & Coconut Salad
Crispy Kale, Black Rice & Coconut Salad

Brown Rice Bowl With Five Spice Tempeh and Garlicky Greens

This brown rice bowl with five spice tempeh, garlicky greens, edamame hummus and pea shoots comes together in less than five minutes when the ingredients are prepped in advance. 

This weekend, I taught two nutrition classes, both focused on making healthy eating easy with meal prep and planning. So naturally, I spent quite a bit of time praising my favorite quick meal - the grain bowl.

Have you hopped on the grain bowl train yet? I wrote an in depth post on it a few months ago, sharing my formula for a perfect grain bowl, but basically it's a hearty salad with whole grains as it's base. Endlessly adaptable, it's a perfect way to use up random leftovers and vegetables hanging around the fridge. It's filling, nutritious, portable, fun to eat...basically it's perfect.

Free idea for any aspiring food bloggers: I think there should be an entire blog devoted to grain bowls. Will someone please do that? If you do, I promise to subscribe and share every post and also love you forever.

I've made a gazillion grain bowls (no exaggeration). Most aren't exactly a recipe, but rather a bunch of random stuff piled on some grains. It's always delicious, but not exactly blog worthy in the looks department. So when I made this picture perfect grain bowl last month, I knew I had to add it to the queue.

With all the ingredients precooked, this took just 5 minutes to throw together. And the prep was hardly intensive either. I cooked brown rice in the pressure cooker (2 minutes hands on time), sauteed baby bok choy and spinach (10 minutes, doing the dishes as it cooked), and baked tempeh (5 minutes hands on). Not too shabby.

A shout out to the star of this dish - the edamame hummus. Big thanks to Eat Well, Embrace Life for the special delivery. I was kind of skeptical, but it actually turned out to be my favorite flavor. If you can't find edamame hummus, simply swap in avocado slices or a drizzle of sesame oil for healthy fat.

Brown Rice Bowl with Five Spice Tempeh and Garlicky Greens

Serves 4

If you can't find edamame hummus, swap in sliced avocado. For a spicier version, use kim chi instead of fermented kraut.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces tempeh
  • 1 teaspoon five spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb baby bok choy, sliced
  • 6 ounce bag baby spinach
  • 3 cups cooked and cooled brown rice
  • 1/2 cup edamame hummus
  • 1/2 cup fermented sauerkraut
  • Pea shoots, microgreens or sprouts
  • Chili oil, for serving
  • Fermented soy sauce, for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut tempeh into 16 slices widthwise. Place on a oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle with half the five spice powder, salt and pepper. Flip and season the other side. Spray with olive oil. Place in the oven and bake 15 minutes. Flip, then bake an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven, set aside and cool.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add garlic, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add bok choy, saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
  4. Place 3/4 cup brown rice in a bowl. Place 4 slices of tempeh, 1/4th of the vegetables, 2 tablespoons of hummus, 2 tablespoons of sauerkraut, and a handful of pea shoots in piles over the brown rice.
  5. Drizzle with chili oil and soy sauce to serve.

You might also love:

Build a Perfect Grain Bowl
Build a Perfect Grain Bowl
Jamaican Jerk Tofu Bowl with Garlicky Greens
Jamaican Jerk Tofu Bowl with Garlicky Greens
Buddha Bowl with Marinated Tofu, Kimchi, and Spinach
Buddha Bowl with Marinated Tofu, Kimchi, and Spinach