Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Bowls of Goodness

What is it about food in bowls that just tastes better? I'm not even sure when the bowl thing started in the foodie world, but I know it wasn't a thing for me until well after going vegan. In fact, it may have been my first visit to Portland for the first Vida Vegan Con in 2011 that really opened my eyes to the magic of bowls. Vegan bowls were such a thing in Portland at that time!

A standard bowl contains the grain/bean/green/sauce combo, but bowls can really contain ANYTHING so long as it's eaten from a bowl. That's evident in Bowls of Goodness: Vibrant Vegetarian Recipes Full of Nourishment, a new cookbook by Nina Olsson. This is not a totally vegan book, but most of the recipes are vegan or are easily veganizable. Some do call for yogurt or eggs, but there are also recipes for tofu scramble, vegan kale caesar salads, and banana n'ice cream — all served in bowls of course. The photos are gorgeously styled such that you'll want to make EVERYTHING. I'm even tempted to veganize the few non-vegan recipes, just because the pictures are so pretty.

I made a couple recipes from the book. Since Paul loves pasta and lentils, I knew he'd like the Lentil Ragu. This lentil-based marinara is made with mushrooms, carrots, tomatoes, and shallots. It's absolutely full of flavor. The book suggests serving this atop zoodles in a bowl, which I did for my dinner. I served Paul's over whole wheat rotini because he's still new to this healthy eating thing, and zoodles may be a little too advanced for him.

Since the sauce is served hot, I blanched my zoodles in boiling water for about two minutes, just so they'd be warm and slightly softer yet still firm. By the way, I served some of the leftover sauce to Paul's friend Matt (who also happens to be vegan), and he loved it too.

From the salads chapter, I made the Moroccan Harissa Salad, a unique combo of roasted veggies, raisins, almonds, and tahini dressing.

I tend to fall into salad ruts and make the same green salad with romaine, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers every time. So I love to explore salad recipes in cookbooks for new ideas. This spicy-creamy-citrusy salad is made with roasted cauliflower and red onions, raw carrots, and avocado and topped with an orange-tahini-garlic dressing. The cauliflower is tossed with harissa paste before roasting for a slight spiciness. Very yummy!

Bowls of Goodness is broken down into chapters for breakfast bowls (with lots of smoothie bowls and some savory grain/bean combos), soups, salads, grain bowls, zoodles/noodles/pasta, hearty bowls (think curries and stews), sides, and dessert bowls (crumbles and homemade ice creams!). A few highlights: Yogisha Soup (sweet potato-coconut soup), Ramen Wonder (a ramen bowl!), Pumpkin Salad (roasted pumpkin, beet, & tahini dressing), Buddha Bowl (chickpeas, tofu, quinoa, & turmeric dressing), Watermelon Poke Bowl (with soba noodles, seaweed, and tempeh), and the Nice Cream with Caramel Sauce.


Sarah said...

Oooh I love the sound of this book! I love bowls and I am definitely really curious about the breakfast bowls. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day but most days I am in a rush so I don't get to eat a good one but a breakfast bowl for dinner would be amazing!

vegan peace said...

Everything tastes better in a bowl! This sounds like a great book to have on hand.

Susan said...

I picked up this book on sale after seeing some great looking posts on Instagram about it. I've made some really nice things from it, and have many more tagged to make. I love bowls!

Though I'll be making that ragu with actual pasta when I get to it, zoodles and Susan are unmixy things. Cucoodles, caroodles, all fine (heh, fun), raw kelp noodles are great, zoodles, no way.