This is a really flavorful bowl built from mostly things that have been kicking around in my pantry for awhile. Yay for pantry reorganization and clean out!
Umeboshi Rice Bowl with Scallion Pork
1 cup sushi rice
2 tsp mirin
1.5 Tbsp sushi vinegar
1 Tbsp sesame oil + 2 tsp
1 onion, thinly sliced
Dashi broth granules
Napa cabbage, about 1.5 cups sliced into ribbons
3 large scallions, chopped on the bias
1 pound ground pork
2 tsp umeboshi paste
1 packet furikake sangho (or any rice seasoning blend)
Start the rice. Wash if you don’t want Japanese grannies the world over to tsk your memory, and add to the vessel you cook rice in. Add a double amount of water, 1 Tbsp sesame oil, 2 tsp mirin, 1.5 Tbsp sushi vinegar and a generous pinch salt. Cook how you cook rice – I put mine in the slow cooker and hit “rice”.
While that cooks, add the extra 2 tsp sesame oil to a hot pan. Add the pork and sautee, crumbling, until 3/4 done. Add the scallions, a sprinkling of soy sauce and white pepper. Brown and set aside.
Add the thinly sliced onion to a pan and just cover with water & a generous shake dashi granules. Simmer until soft and 3/4 of the liquid has evaporated. Add the cabbage and sautee until crisp-tender. Set aside.
When the rice is done, mix in the umeboshi paste and furikake.
To serve, add pork and cabbage to the rice. Top with sesame seeds, a little snipped nori if you have it, some chopped pickled ginger (delivery sushi FTW), and drizzles of mirin and sesame oil.
Makes enough to batch cook. Mine, sadly, only lasted 4 portions.
This is a satisfying sweet and spicy bowl that makes great use of a pantry staple – the humble chickpea. While it’s not as high protein as a dish including meat, 100g of tofu gives you 8-10g and the chickpeas give another 5. Not too bad, and if you know of a good vegan protein powder to add you can bulk it even more.
gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan
Vegan General Tso-Style Protein Bowl
1 can chickpeas
1 block extra firm tofu
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch broccolini, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 thumb ginger, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp. tamari, soy sauce or coconut aminos, divided
4 Tbsp. rice vinegar, divided
1/3 c. broth (I used mushroom onion; faux-chicken or any other stock would work just as well, you just want something with a little extra flavor to layer)
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. nut butter (I used peanut, but any nut butter would do)
2 Tbsp. sweetener (I had date molasses on hand but your favorite sweetener will do – if you go for something sweeter than molasses, consider halving to 2/3-ing the amount
2 tsp. heat (don’t be like me and use ghost pepper garlic sauce unless you want a punch in the mouth – go for something saner like a nice sambal olek for the same spicy garlic without the shock)
1 tsp. + sesame oil
1 tsp. grainy mustard (y’all know I love my Maille)
2 tsp. cornstarch or arrowroot powder +
Generous grinds pepper
Toppers: thinly sliced scallions, sesame seeds
Drain the chickpeas, add to a bowl and marinate in 1 Tbsp. soy + 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar for half an hour – a couple hours.
Press the tofu, chop into half-inch cubes, and add to a large bowl. Add 2 Tbsp. soy & 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar. Let marinate alongside the chickpeas.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining Tbsp. soy & Tbsp. vinegar, broth, tomato paste, nut butter, sweetener, heat, 1 tsp. of the sesame oil, grainy mustard, 2 tsp. cornstarch and a few grinds pepper.
Chop the veggies and get everything ready.
Add a couple Tablespoons cornstarch to the tofu mix and toss vigorously to coat. Air fry 7-8 minutes, tossing often to ensure even crispiness.
While the tofu is crisping, sauté the onion over medium heat in a couple teaspoons sesame oil until translucent. Add the ginger, garlic and broccolini and continue sautéing 2-3 minutes or until the broccolini looks like it’s beginning to soften a touch.
Add the peppers and let go another 2-3 minutes until those begin to soften, stirring often to avoid burning.
Add the bowl of sauce and the chickpeas. Stir well and sauté until the sauce is nice and thick and everything is well incorporated.
Add the tofu to each bowl individually (100g gives you 8g; 1c. of the chickpeas gives you 5), top with scallions and sesame seeds and serve.
This spin on a bulgogi bowl was my favorite dish of the week, and with a 150g of chicken serving, it helped meet my protein goal for the day with 33g.
Bulgogi-Style Chicken Bowl
500g boneless, skinless chicken, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 crisp apple, grated
1 pear, grated
2 inches ginger, grated
4 cloves garlic, grated
1/4 onion, grated
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp. gochujiang
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. date molasses, honey or sugar
Combine all ingredients and marinate chicken for a few hours. To cook, I air fried the chicken for 10 minutes, shaking every few. Note: this marinade is a bit wet for the air fryer and it kind of made a mess, but it was workable; I just had a bit of cleaning to do afterward.
1 package broccolini, chopped
Optional: shiritaki noodles, rice, etc.
Prep your bowl base. I air fried broccolini tossed in a scant teaspoon oil, salt and pepper for 7 minutes. I meant to bulk the dish up some with shiritaki, but ended up being not so starving for dinner. Broccolini worked great.
1 scallion, minced
Nice amount of kimchi
1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
1 fried egg
Optional: sesame seeds, teriyaki sauce, sriracha mayo, sliced nori
The chicken makes 3 servings, the toppings as written 2
This is a good one and fine for a nice light Summer dinner. I think I also finally licked the issue with having my coconut curries turn out too bland – I think I *finally* added enough spice!
gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan
Roasted Veggie Coconut Curry
2-3 c. pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 c. broccolini, chopped
2 green chilis, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, chopped
15 oz. can coconut milk
2 empty cans’ worth your favorite stock
4 Tbsp. curry blend
1 Tbsp. red pepper flakes
Protein of choice
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 scallion, sliced
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
Bake the pumpkin at 400F in a little oil, seasoned with salt & pepper, 20-30 minutes or until soft.
Add the rest of the ingredients to a slow cooker or Instant Pot, minus the protein, noodles, lime juice, scallion or cilantro. Set on “Soup” or “Stew” and let cook. If you are using chicken, add the protein at this step. If you’re using something like seafood or tofu, cook separately and add at the end with the noodles.
Prepare your noodles separately.
When the curry is done cooking, tase for salt & pepper and top with the lime juice, scallion and cilantro.
This week, I was really attracted to the Buddha bowl pics scattered throughout my Pinterest feed and didn’t want to make 9,000 ingredients – so I worked to combine a list (albeit a large list) of simple ingredients in a variety of ways to make the best of a simple mixture of quinoa + rice.
My week 100% could have been more cost-effective, but it gave me a good dose of the ingredients combining kind of Chopped Kitchen kind of life I’ve been missing.
Quinoa & Rice Base
3/4 c. quinoa (rinse if you’re not lazy like me)
3/4 c. sushi rice (rinse if you aren’t lazy like me)
2 Tbsp. mushroom-based umami powder
1 Tbsp. vinegar (I usually use rice vinegar but only had black vinegar on hand)
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
Big sprinkle salt
Combine all and set your rice cooker to cook. Alternately, sushi rice & quinoa both take about 25 minutes to cook on the stove.
Now for the mix-ins to transform this simple added-protein base into a few different dishes.
Day 1: Sesame Crusted Salmon Bowl
Sesame crusted salmon (take 1 salmon steak, skin and de-bone. Pat dry. Brush with a little soy sauce and sprinkle liberally with sesame seeds. Press the sesame seeds into the fish to adhere. Shallow fry over medium-high in a pan until cooked to your desired doneness. Drain on paper towels until ready to use.)
Quinoa + sushi rice base (see recipe above)
Avocado, sliced or cubed
Lemon sesame pickled cucumbers , diced
Pickled ginger, minced
Roasted butternut squash (Mix 1 Tbsp. soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. sesame oil, 1/2 tsp. date molasses & 1/2 tsp. white miso into a sauce – drizzle over a halved and seeded butternut squash and bake @ 400F for 25 mins or until soft and browned)
1 Tbsp. peanut butter (tahini would also be great)
1 tsp. white miso
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. Bulldog sauce (or Worcestershire)
2 tsp. black vinegar (or sushi vinegar)
1 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. your favorite hot sauce (I used a habanero mix)
To make your bowl, assemble about half a cup of the quinoa mix and later the desired amount of the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle sauce over top and sprinkle with thinly sliced nori. Dust with more sesame if desired.
Day 2: Spicy Fiesta(ish) Bowl
1/2 c. frozen corn
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Sauté the above in olive oil; season with salt, pepper & Tony’s Creole seasoning or your favorite spicy mix
1/2 c. quinoa
1 hand full cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. lime juice
Add the water to the quinoa and zap to warm. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice.
2 Tbsp. your favorite plain yogurt (mine is a plain coconut milk)
2 tsp. – 1 Tbsp. your favorite hot sauce (mine is a habanero garlic mix)
Stir to combine.
Butternut squash leftover from the first bowl
To make your bowl, assemble about half a cup of the quinoa mix and later the desired amount of the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle sauce over top and top with avocado & squash.
Day 3: Spiced Chickpea Veggie Bowl
1.5 c. chopped kale
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 lg. zucchini, diced
1 Tbsp. oil
Salt & pepper
1/4 c. yogurt
1 Tbsp. almond butter
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. sumac
2 tsp. lemon juice
Leftover Bowl Components
Quinoa rice mix
Roasted chickpeas (I usually buy mine and have an Indian spiced variety that’s amazing)
To make your bowl, assemble about half a cup of the quinoa mix and later the desired amount of the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle sauce over top and add avocado & chickpeas.
I don’t know about you, but it’s boiling hot where I live – aaaaand I ate so much on my vacation to the States that pretty much all I want is a crisp, refreshing salad. With no lettuce, because it’s not my favorite way to do salad.
This recipe is a riff on a Vietnamese version I read in a magazine on the plane – if I remember correctly, that version had less in the way of heat and less in the way of vinegar. I had leftovers of this salad for days (yay, a salad that gets even better as it ages) and liked the days I remembered to add a little extra lime juice kick the most.
gluten-free (check your labels), paleo, pescatarian, low carb
Tomato Salad Goes To Asia
1/4 c. sugar (I used brown)
1/4 c. fish sauce
1/4 c. lime juice + more for serving
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
Big pinch red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds (optional)
Generous bit freshly cracked pepper
500g cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 fennel bulb, sliced into thin moons
3 small or 1 large cucumber, sliced into thin moons
1 long pepper (your fav variety – I used something red akin to a Cubanele)
2 c. mixed herbs (I used cilantro, mint & dill)
Toppers: Roasted, salted peanuts, French fried onions, green onion slices, finishing salt, extra squeeze lime juice, extra cracks black pepper
Combine all ingredients listed before the tomatoes in a jar and shake until we’ll combined and the sugar has dissolved.
Chuck the rest of the non-topper ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing.
Serve with your desired toppers and enjoy for a few meals.
This is a simple and quick sheet pan dinner with a nice, light taste for nights when you *want* some super unhealthy Japanese takeout, but don’t want a bunch of grease – or to wait for delivery.
Sheet Pan Miso Bowl
1.5 Tbsp. miso
1.5 Tbsp. brown sugar
1.5 Tbsp. date molasses (or a smaller amount of honey or other sugar)
3 Tbsp. soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos
3 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 bell pepper
2 – 3 carrots
2 – 3 chicken breasts or other protein
Preheat your oven to 200C/375F and prepare a baking sheet.
Combine all the wet ingredients together, mashing the miso with the back of a spoon to break it up better. Set aside.
Chop the chicken, carrots and pepper into bite-sized pieces, placing all onto the prepared baking sheet.
Pour 2/3 of the sauce over top and toss well to combine.
Spread the chicken & veggies out in a single layer over the baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes or until cooked through.
Take the last third of the sauce, zap it in the microwave about 20 seconds to ensure the sugar is melted. Add a Tablespoon of water to thin the sauce a bit. Stir well to combine and toss with the cooked chicken & veggies before serving.