Because I work from home I’m always looking for ways to make my daytime meals as easy as possible. If I’m being completely honest this means I eat a lot of poached eggs and toast and drink way too many glasses of cold-brewed coffee on a daily basis. When I have my organizational act together I like to make grain bowls; specifically, two to five components which I can combine with some kind of grain to make a filling meal in minutes. Grain bowls can be made from any grain although quinoa is my favourite, I like to cook it ahead of time and then add a generous couple of tablespoons of minced garlic and ginger (there’s nothing worse than boring grains in a grain bowl). Roasting one or two vegetables for the week will also help expedite the grain bowl-making process, I’ve used golden beets and broccoli for this particular bowl. Grain bowls need some sort of protein to round out the meal and I find that baked tofu has a delightfully chewy texture and will keep in a tightly sealed container throughout the week. Pickled onions add a bright flavour contrast and some added crunch and a tahini yogurt sauce brings all the components together. When the building blocks of a gorgeous grain bowl are all right in front of you it becomes that much easier to make them a daily part of your life. Packed with fibre and vitamins, grain bowls are an all-in-one way to incorporate more vegetables and grain into your diet.
for the roasted golden beets and broccoli:
3-4 golden beets, scrubbed and cut into a medium-sized dice
1 head of broccoli, broken into medium-sized florets
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- In a large bowl, toss together the diced beets with a generous drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt. Spread the beets on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.
- While the beets are roasting and using the same bowl as before, toss the broccoli florets with with some more olive oil and another pinch of kosher salt.
- Add the broccoli to the baking tray with the beets and roast for another 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve warm.
for the baked tofu:
1 block of firm or extra firm tofu
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. dark sesame oil
1 Tbsp. sambal oelek
1 Tbsp. honey
About 1 inch of fresh ginger, finely minced
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 Tbsp. thinly sliced scallions
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Cut the tofu into thick slabs and arrange in a single layer on a baking dish.
- Whisk together the rest of the ingredients to form a marinade. Pour over the tofu, turning each piece over to coat.
- Bake the tofu for 30-40 minutes, turning again once or twice.
- Remove from the oven and cut the baked tofu into cubes, if desired.
for the garlic-ginger quinoa:
3 cups cold cooked quinoa (made from about 1 cup of dried quinoa)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. minced ginger
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
- In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the minced ginger and garlic to the oil and sauté for a few minutes before adding the cold quinoa. Keep cooking and stirring for 4-5 minutes until fragrant. Stir in the toasted sesame seeds and serve warm.
for the tahini yogurt sauce:
1/2 cup of plain yogurt
2 Tbsp. tahini
Juice from half a lemon
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey
Pinch of kosher salt
2-3 Tbsp. cold water
Combine all of the tahini yogurt sauce ingredients together in a bowl or a blender until completely smooth, adding water as needed to thin out the sauce until it’s a consistency that can be easily drizzled. Extra tahini yogurt sauce can be refrigerated for 5 days.
for the pickled red onions:
1 red onion, thinly slice
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar OR lime juice
Combine the red onion with the red wine vinegar or lime juice, tossing to combine. Let the red onion sit for at least 30 minutes and up to several days in the refrigerator.
to make the grain bowl:
To assemble a Ginger-Garlic Grain Bowl with Roasted Golden Beets, Broccoli, and Baked Tofu begin with a generous scoop of quinoa as the base. Pile on equal amounts of roasted golden beets and broccoli and baked tofu. Drizzle with tahini yogurt sauce and a handful of pickled red onions. Extra add-ons I’m a fan of include chopped pickles, cilantro and parsley, feta cheese, toasted seeds and nuts, and sliced green olives.
Oh, this is lovely. I’ve been obsessively listening to The Japanese House the past couple of weeks. I can’t resist, Amber Bain’s sublime synth-heavy songs sound like perfect little soundtracks to bitter-sweet daydreams.
The Japanese House – Face Like Thunder