Friday, November 5, 2010

VeganMoFo IV: Let's Hear It for the Bowls


One of the reasons I got excited about moving to the Coachella Valley was an awesome restaurant chain called Native Foods.  When I first saw the menu, I wasn't too into it though.  There was a pretty small sandwich/burger section and there was a huge thing about bowls?  I didn't know what a bowl was then and was kinda reluctant to get stuff that said "brown rice," "steamed kale," and "steamed vegetables."  But I took my chances on the Greek Gyro bowl and was so impressed, we went back again before I left back to San Antonio.

So, I love bowls now.  My favorite from Native Foods is probably the soul bowl and not just because I always sing "just let your soul booooowl..."  The only thing I don't like about the location nearest me is that there are no fries!  No regular fries!  No sweet potato fries!  A crime against humanity!  But Chef Tanya is always there and she's awesome, so all is well.

Today, I made a very loose interpretation of the Greek Gyro bowl that got me excited about bowls in the first place.

quinoa, steamed veg, tofu, hummus

This is basically a Mediterranean bowl.  It's quinoa with sundried tomatoes and kalamatas.  Topped with steamed kale, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower.  Topped with lemon white bean hummus and marinated tofu.

For the hummus I used a big, beautiful lemon from my lemon tree.  I made it creamy with tahini and water.  The tofu was marinated in a small bit of oil, vegetable broth, plain unsweetened yogurt, Greek oregano, salt, pepper, and chopped garlic.  Then I sprinkled the dry seasoning in this recipe over it.

tofu zoom
Bowls are extremely versatile and the equation is simple.  Starch, steamed green, vegetables, protein(s), and sauce.  Some ideas for bowls:

Starches-jasmine rice, brown rice, quinoa, potato, sweet potato, polenta
Steamed Greens-kale, collards, spinach, chard
Steamed Vegetables-broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, corn, mixed vegetables
Proteins-black-eyed peas, black beans, chickpeas, pinto beans, seitan, tempeh, tofu
Sauces-bbq sauce, peanut sauce, hummus, vinaigrette, salsa, ranch dressing, curry

There are tons of possibilities, really.  Some combos that I would do:

1. Jasmine rice, kale, carrots, broccoli, tempeh, and peanut sauce.
2. Sweet potato, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, black-eyed peas, bbq seitan, and ranch.
3. Polenta, chard, mixed vegetables, black beans, and salsa.
4. Brown rice, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, chickpeas, and curry
5. Potato, kale, mixed vegetables, tofu, and bbq sauce.

That's all for now.  I am about to begin a super crazy baking marathon.  Woo, Friday nights!

21 comments:

panda with cookie said...

Lets hear it for the bowl
Lets give the bowl a hand
Lets hear it for my bok choy
You know you go to understand

rach said...

I recently learned about bowls too. They are awesome! Thanks for the pointers!

vegan.in.brighton said...

I love bowls, I'd never heard of them until I saw some food porn on the PPK and they're still not something you can get here but I love to make them at home.

BunzOfCinnamon said...

These are great suggestions!! And I'm jealous that you have a lemon tree. I'd make lemon bars all the freaking time if I had a lemon tree...

Rose said...

Gorgeous. That looks so good. You have a lemon tree? V. cool.

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

The lemon tree came with the house we're renting! And I noticed fairly recently that we also have an orange tree and a lime tree. I'm in citrus heaven!

Kiersten said...

Meals like that are some of my favorites. I don't know why, but everything just tastes better when you throw it all in a bowl.

Pavani said...

Wow.. great ideas for bowls.. Bowls definitely make a complete meal and convenient too. Enjoy your weekend.

sgcorrie said...

I love bowls!

Andrea said...

Yes to bowls! Bowls and hot pots are my favorite meals. I love your combination of foods — colorful and yummy. You have a lemon tree? Whoa.

Tiffany said...

Mmmm I love bowls! Thanks for sharing your delicious bowl combos!

MeShell said...

I'm sort of indifferent to bowls. I don't mind doing something like that at home, but when I go out, I want something more complicated.

Great ideas for at home combos though. The sweet potato, collard, broccoli, cauliflower etc combo sounds SUPER FREAKING GOOD.

Excite about this "crazy baking marathon" that can only lead to good things.

Zoa said...

Before I had a blog, food like this was pretty much all I ate. And I still eat it more than frequently. And a lot of the other times, once I'm finished taking pictures of a neatly arranged plate of discrete food items, I tip it all into a big bowl to eat it...and then have to rip myself away from the camera so as not to photograph that as well because, to me, bowls of all kinds just look so good. So do yours. Yup, you've definitely got the hang of it ;-)

Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day said...

Your bowl looks so good! I think I'm going to make some bowls this week!

dreaminitvegan said...

Your bowl looks fabulous.

I've been to Native Foods a couple of times in Westwood.

Amandah said...

Oh my goodness this sounds soo good! I've wanted a gyro forever and yay for bowls ahh

Mihl said...

I didn't know about bowls. Yum, that tofu!

Christie said...

I eat variations on this theme a lot of the time, but your bowl suggestions beat my usual offerings hands down! Time to look out my Native Foods cookbook again and try a few new recipes.
Hope you had fun with the baking marathon.

Mandee said...

You've bowled me over :p I too love bowls but they're never on menus here, I'll have to stick to home made versions, like your amazing looking one!

Ty (aka Meccabell) said...

Your bowl is beautiful and I LOVE the play on the throwback song. You rock.

Vancity Vegan said...

I am also a lover of bowls, they are my go to comfort food when I'm lazy and it's cold outside. Yours looks delicious!