Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Big Bowl Of Goodness

it's just so good!

This is such a simple and delicious way to eat lunch: fill a big bowl with something like rice or quinoa and then top with a variety of vegetables, both cooked and raw, combining contrasting flavors and colors. The real highlight is the heaping amount of tasty, zesty dressing.  How about toppings?  Roasted chickpeas, my "nuts", are a good addition.  This week, my bowl includes all the goodness from my Saturday farmer's market basket: roasted butternut squash, massaged kale, steamed broccoli, thinly sliced carrots and radish and a hardboiled egg. I am presently avoiding wheat, dairy and soy because of Baby Brother's allergies, and this is an easy gluten-free and dairy-free meal; it feels a little wild to include a hardboiled egg after building meals around egg avoidance! I have been getting my eggs from Tejas Heritage Farm. When I run out, because we actually eat eggs despite disbelief, I pick up these eggs. Will Baby Brother actually be able to eat eggs? This week is egg yolk introduction.  So far, he did not react in the allegist's office to the skin prick test and has cleared the egg yolk on cheek and inside lip test.  Interestingly, Baby Brother is allergic to avocado, but the rest of us are all still eating it.  I like a little in this lunch for its added creaminess. Extra hand washing needed after handling before touching!

This lunch is inspired and copied from My New Roots.  I saw the post, took note of it and then found that I kept going back to it to peak at it.  I felt that the recipe was written for me.  It reminded me of a forgotten frequent meal I made when I first moved to Toronto, before eggless and sesame-less cooking.  It was shared at a favorite health food store in Kensington Market: quinoa swirled with a dressing of pureed dandelion greens, garlic, shallot, ginger, lemon juice, sesame and pumpkin seeds and topped with egg and walnuts. I of course left the walnuts out.  So, this big bowl lunch recipe brought back memories of that favorite from the past.  It was so good!

I find that it is difficult to tire of this lunch and have been eating regularly since I started making it.  And it makes so much sense too, since it uses all the awesome produce I get twice a week from the farmer's market and CSA basket.  It streamlines meals by using leftover roasted and steamed veggies to go along with the shredded or thinly slice crunchy ones stored in the fridge and ready to assemble daily.  It is great because easily adapts to dietary needs and to what you have in the fridge and is easy to pack the night before and have ready for the next day.

I encourage you to make a double batch of the dressing so that it lasts a few days.  For similar inspiration, see this, this and this . How about this giant lunch bowl with chopsticks and a magazine?  Perfect, right?  Just make sure to keep pouring the yummy dressing for some extra yummy coating as you make your way to the bottom of the bowl.

Do you have a sesame allergy in your family/  How about other seeds?  We recently did a skin test for chia and pumpkin seeds and he did not react.  

What you need for my version of ginger-garlic pumpkin seed dressing:
1 cup of sprouted pumpkin seeds (I get mine from Whole Foods before reaching bulk bin, but in top dispenser so less scary than if down below.  what would you do, avoid bulk?  do you know of any free of cross-contamination with sesame or tree nuts?)
2-3 cloves of garlic
knob of fresh ginger
1 Tbs. maple syrup
1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
3 Tbs. lemon juice
3 Tbs. olive oil
3/4-1 cup water
3/4 tsp good quality salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
a pinch of cayenne

What to do:
Drop garlic and ginger into TM bowl while running at speed 5.  It chops up nicely this way.  Add in pumpkin seeds and turn up dial until the mixture is sand-texture.  Add 3/4 cup of water and blend.  Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix at speed 5-6 for 30 seconds.  Scrape down side of bowl with your silicone spatula.  Add 1/4 cup of water if you want to thin out the dressing. Store in glass container for up to 5 days.  

ready to be assembled
packing lunch for Papi and Big Brother

mixing in dressing and enjoying with mug of bone broth


  1. Denise,

    I was browsing the internet to find some recipe ideas and thought I needed to check your blog! I absolutely love this post! I totally need to make that for the Husband. He has been asking for delicious quinoa dishes to take to lunch. This looks absolutely beautiful. My first CSA bushel will be delivered on saturday and I'll be making this for sure this weekend!
    Thanks, you're the best!



    1. Thank you :) Check out these quinoa patties: