Sunday, November 30, 2014

Secret Recipe Club: Winter Abundance Bowl

My partner for this month's Secret Recipe Club was Leigh of Chit Chat Chomp.  At first, I thought I'd want to make one of Leigh's fabulous-looking tarts.  Take a look at these salted spiced pumpkin tarts, the glorious sticky hazelnut toffee tart, or a deep dark chocolate tart.  Yum!  As it turned out, we ended up a little overloaded on sweets and rich foods and instead found refuge in Leigh's winter abundance bowl.  This is the perfect recipe to have in your back pocket during the holiday season.  It makes a delicious light dinner full of bright vegetables that really hits the spot after a weekend of over-indulgence.  But, at the same time it's warm (instead of cold like a salad) and features a kick-ass creamy dressing, so it matches my need for comfort on cold winter nights.

I made a few substitutions based on what I had on hand (as well as replacing the broccoli with green beans because my fiance is violently opposed to broccoli!), but the main components of the dish remain the same.  A warm, whole grain-lentil mixture forms the base of the dish.  I subbed in quick-cooking farro, red quinoa, and red lentils for Leigh's brown rice and green lentils to speed things up a bit, and the switch means this dish can be ready in about 20 minutes.  Next come bright veggies: tender orange sweet potatoes, bright green beans, and crunchy red cabbage with a hit of lime.  If you're making the dish after lots of holiday craziness, do yourself a favor and buy everything pre-cut.  It makes the dish even quicker and can be fairly cost effective if you shop at a store like Trader Joe's.  Finally, everything gets drizzled with a super-tasty ginger-cashew dressing.  It's a little sweet, a little lemon-y, and a lot delicious, and really brings all the elements of the dish together.  If you have leftovers, this dish is also fantastic room temperature for lunch the next day.

Winter Abundance Bowl (adapted from My New Roots, via Chit Chat Chomp)
Serves 3-4

1/3 cup Trader Joe's 10-minute quick-cooking farro
1/3 cup red quinoa
1/3 cup red lentils
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
12 ounces thin green beans, trimmed
2 cups shredded red cabbage
Olive oil
Juice of 1 lime

For the dressing:
1 clove garlic
A large knob of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup cashews
1/3 cup water
Juice of 1 lemon
1 T olive oil
1 T apple cider vinegar
1/2 T maple syrup
Salt and pepper

1. Place the farro, quinoa, and lentils in a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse well. Place in a small pot and cover with 2 cups water. Add a generous pinch of salt. Cover, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer 12 minutes. Drain well.
2. Meanwhile, set up a steamer basket over simmering water.  Add the sweet potatoes, cover, and steam 4 minutes. Add the green beans on top of the sweet potatoes, cover, and steam an additional 8 minutes. Test a bean and steam another minute or two if it is not tender to your liking. Drain. Season with salt.
3. Meanwhile, place the cabbage in a small mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, add a generous pinch of salt, and squeeze over the juice of 1 lime. Very briefly mix together with your hands, gently massaging the cabbage to help it get just a touch tender.
4. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Place the garlic and ginger in a food processor or mini chopper. Process until very finely minced. Add the cashews and process until the mixture resembles sand. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and process until smooth, scraping down the sides a few times.
5. To serve, spoon some of the farro-quinoa-lentil mixture into each bowl. Drizzle with a spoonful of the sauce. Top with the cabbage, green beans, and sweet potatoes, and drizzle with more sauce.


  1. While I am fairly sure no one else in my family would touch that with a 10-foot pole (stinkers!), it looks wonderful to me! I really do crave vegetables after all the rich holiday food. I've never tried steaming sweet potatoes before, either, but it looks like it works out well!

  2. Yum! We call these "Buddha bowls" and they are always a hit - raw veggies in the summer/fall and lightly cooked ones in the winter/spring. Awesome SRC pick!

  3. Just what I crave after overindulging on holiday sweets and heavy carbs! The dressing looks interesting (in a good way).

  4. This bowl of veggies looks so simple yet delicious, even in the winter. Great SRC post!

  5. I like the sound of this dish. It'd be perfect for days when you just crave some veggies. And that dressing sounds divine.

  6. So pleased you liked this Sara as it's my go to dish for dinner when I can't be bothered thinking about anything else. I also love the dressing on EVERYTHING!!!! Haha :)