I went grocery shopping without a list for the first time in awhile.
It felt pretty, pretty good (Does anyone else think of Larry David when they say that?).
I'd forgotten how inspiring it was to just create a meal based on the seasonal items I found at the market or in my CSA delivery (I had put a hold on deliveries because I was sticking to a strict list of ingredients I needed for testing).
Lately, for dinner, I've been loving just throwing some roasted veggies over rice or another grain and drizzling it with coconut tahini sauce. I'm in love with the stuff. I put it on everything. Sometimes, I dip whole red cabbage leaves in it and eat it like that (Red cabbage is my new favorite chip. I may have a problem).
But I digress. Back to roasted veggies, rice, and tahini sauce. Bowls in general are totally my jam and definitely one of my favorite go-to dinners. This newest version, though... Let's just say I've had some variation of it for dinner 7 times in the last 2 weeks. I'm no statistics whiz, but I think that means I like it a lot.
This spring veggie bowl includes a selection of seasonal produce: Purple cauliflower, yellow crookneck squash, and purple kohlrabi (though, when you peel it, it just looks white). Kohlrabi is in the same family as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower and looks like a little octopus spaceship before you peel it. I like to roast it with salt, pepper, and a little bit of garlic powder and it tastes very similar to a slightly sweeter radish or maybe a cabbage core (given my new addiction to cabbage, I'm not surprised that I'm so attracted to kohlrabi). I roasted all of the veggies and then added some sugar snap peas for some sweetness and crunch. While at the market, I perused the grains in the bulk bins until I found one that made me say to myself "Ooooh! Pretty!" This Jade Pearl rice is a pale shade of green and actually, before it cooks, looks like a bunch of tiny jade stones (though I'm wondering why they named it "Jade Pearl"...)(that was my stab at sarcasm).
I always like to throw some greens in the bowl before I add anything just so I can meet my DGQ (daily greens quota). Sometimes I like to layer the bowl, with grains first, then topped with veggies and drizzled with whatever sauce I'm using. Not this time. This time, I just wanted to mix it all together, throw it in the bowl with the greens and douse it with
my obsession the coconut tahini sauce. I'm sure you've gathered that oh my god, it's so good. Just writing this, I'm getting inspired to make another trip to the market so I can make it again tonight!
- 1 large or 2 small heads of purple cauliflower (or regular cauliflower), broekn into florets
- 1 kohlrabi bulb, peeled and chopped
- 3 to 4 yellow crookneck squashes (or yellow squash or zucchini)
- olive oil spray
- salt and pepper to taste
- several dashes garlic powder
- 2 cups jade pearl rice (or grain of choice)
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed
- Greens of choice
- Coconut Tahini Sauce
- Sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On 1 baking sheet, spread out the cauliflower and kohlrabi. Spread the squash slices on the other. Lightly spray all with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat. Place in the kohlrabi and cauliflower in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, flip the veggies and also add the sheet with the yellow squash. Roast for another 10 to 12 minutes or until the squash is tender, but not mushy.
- While the veggies are in the oven, cook the rice. You can cook it in a rice cooker, according to your machine's instructions or combine the jade pearl rice and 3 cups of water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and let simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain off excess water and add the rice vinegar and salt to taste. Keep warm until ready to use.
- In a large bowl, toss together the roasted veggies, the snap peas, and the rice. Add more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve atop a bed of greens, drizzle with the coconut tahini sauce, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy!
What seasonal produce inspires you in the kitchen?
Photography by Chris Miller