I was poking around on my friend Anne’s blog, looking for her granola recipe, when I noticed that she recently posted about eating a real food bowl. I was intrigued. The concept comes from the book DIY Delicious, and basically consists of combining your favorite whole foods—grains, veggies, nuts—in a bowl, and adding a bit of meat or tofu and a drizzle of dressing. This meal had my name all over it, so I knew I would be making real food bowls for Johnny and I. We ate them last week filled with quinoa, toasted walnuts, edamame, kale, red cabbage, some leftover pork tenderloin and lemon soy tahini dressing. This was a seriously delicious and satisfying meal. And with such vibrant colors it was as pretty as it was tasty. We liked the food bowls so much that I made another version this week, swapping the walnuts for cashews, and the pork for some sauteed tofu. Yum!
I was also thinking that a real food bowl would make an excellent lunch, and I tested this out yesterday when an old friend from college came to visit. Marianna and I met as freshman at NYU but had lost touch through the years. We recently reconnected on Facebook and set up a lunch date. Since she was kind enough to come to us, I wanted to make a meal worth the trip. I think I succeeded. I paired the food bowls with shrimp and vegetable gyoza from Trader Joe’s and for dessert there was homemade walnut, cranberry, chocolate chip biscotti. (Since we had such a healthy lunch, a little chocolate was well deserved.) Yes, the only thing better than catching up with an old friend is doing so over a delightful meal.
You’ll notice that there aren’t actual amounts in this recipe. I did most of the measurements by sight, and you should do the same, adding whatever ingredients you like. Stick to a grain, a meat or soy protein, nuts, and then whatever veggies and leafy greens you have on hand.
Real Food Bowl
Serves 2 to 3
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 bunch of kale
Shelled edamame, lightly steamed
Cashews or walnuts
Shredded red cabbage
Chicken, pork or tofu
Lemon soy tahini dressing (I used Cindy’s Kitchen, which is delightful)
Cook the quinoa in the broth or water until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Saute the kale in a large skillet or sauce pan, until just tender, about 4-5 minutes. Meanwhile, boil the edamame in a small pot of water, until just tender about 5-6 minutes. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, drizzle with the soy tahini dressing and serve.