These are my go-to meals when I’m tired, don’t have enough hands, and a gazillion chores await me, either in the house or at my computer. Hunger hits, and I want something hot, delightfully tasty, and yet healthful. I turn to Yummy Bowls.
I layer the bottom of my bowl with already-cooked brown rice or quinoa that I prepare ahead risotto-style in a seasoned broth. Then I add a layer of already-cooked legumes. I use red beans, black beans, pinto beans, lentils, split peas–well, you name it. If you’re into fast and have both layers waiting in the fridge, now it’s time to heat your layered bowl in the microwave.
Then I drizzle on Yummy Bowl Sauce! You can use the sauce you prefer for your Yummy Bowl or you can use my recipe at the bottom.
Next comes little scoops of shredded or diced vegetables or other other things you love. I am into quick, so I run each item through a mini food processor, making heaps, and refrigerate each separately in a sealed container so everything will be ready to make a Yummy Bowl when I’m hungry. I whiz up carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers of different colors, cabbage, turnips, black olives, zucchini, summer squash. The trick is to stick with vegetables that you love. And don’t forget slices of avocado, some fresh cilantro, diced tomatoes, or the meat or non-meat substitute of your choice on top! If you’re vegan and miss sour cream, I found a great recipe, also posted below. Go easy on it, though. I don’t think it’s any less fatty than the real thing.
After I’ve made my bowl a colorful delight, I spoon mild salsa from a jar over the top, and I’m ready to eat! If you’ve made beans, don’t hesitate to use some of the bean juice over your bed of rice or quinoa. Or you can go dry. Either way, these bowls deliver on flavor, a chain of essential proteins for your body, and leave you feeling full and content.
My recipe for sauce:
1/2 cup water with another 1/4 cup held in reserve
1/2 cup fresh or bottled lemon juice
1/2 sesame seed oil
1/2 cup almond meal or finely chopped almonds (I put my almonds in whole because my Vitamix makes fast work of them)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup garbanzo beans (canned are fine, and you can use what’s left for future yummy bowls)
1/3 cup tofu
1 tablespoon of minced garlic (I use the bottled kind)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried cilantro
And if you like it spicy, you can add some Chipotle powder to taste
Reserve the water, lemon juice, and oil. Whiz all other ingredients together (leave the chipotle powder to add at the end for taste) until completely smooth, with no almond bits evident. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of your blender. Process some more to make sure it’s smooth. Then, through the lid hole of your blender while it’s running, add the lemon juice and water. Then drizzle in the oil while the blender is still going at high speed.
When it’s all creamy and lovely, see how thick it is. If you don’t think it will pour, use your reserved 1/4 cup of water, bit by bit, to thin your sauce to your liking. Then add chipolte to taste if you like things hot. Refrigerate in a clean bottle or jar. I use old salad dressing bottles that I’ve saved. This sauce is great freshly made, but it’s even better the next day after the flavors have melded.
Instead of meat on top–when I’m in the mood for meat, that is–I used bits of tempeh bacon. You can find recipes for this online. Or you can make tempeh crumbles.
1/2 cup raw cashews
juice of 1/2 lemon (I just guess and go heavy because I love tartness)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
5 tablespoons water, give or take
Blend everything but the water in a food processor or high-speed blender. Then add the water. Mine was thin until I refrigerated it. Now it’s thick, so when I’m in the mood for sour cream, I dollop bits of it over my veggies.