Winter Glow Energy Bowls

January 04, 2018

Bowl food is the best food. It's portable, easy, and makes for great leftovers. The elements in this dish made up the bulk of my dinners for three days in a row alongside whatever else was lurking in the fridge, and it was awesome! No sad pasta for one- which was my lunch today, and it was indeed sad. This is meant to be eaten warm, but everything in it is just as good cold so it makes a great packed lunch. I don't think I ended up eating it warm in the first place anyway, hah. I did a bunch of recipes that day and this got pushed to the side for dinner. 

So while much of Canada and the US is in the throes of a deep winter storm, it's starting to feel a bit like spring here already. Yesterday was 'stormy' in that it was windier than usual and rained, but it was still +10°. Sorry to everyone who's getting snowed on, be safe! Or just stay home, make yourself a FILL IN energy bowl, snuggle up, and cross your fingers that spring really will be here soon. Seasonal food can still be colourful and exciting, even in the winter (love you, red cabbage), but I'm looking forward to rhubarb now! 

I asked my grandmother for black beans and got kidney beans instead but it shows that this is flexible, right?! You can use black, kidney, or pinto beans, or chickpeas all with good results. You might think that black beans are more authentic to a South American inspired bowl but kidney beans originated in Peru, and were widespread across the Americas. It's a bit of a mix of nordic and South American but everything ends up tasting really good together, and it's all in season locally right now. I know I usually give a lot of substitution options but other than the beans, I'd pretty much stick to the recipe. You could switch out the greens for another type but try to keep the red cabbage and pickled onions for sure. As I said above, all the elements here will last about three days in the fridge so you can use them in other meals or pack a few lunches at a time. It should come together in less than half an hour despite several elements, if you follow the order given in the recipe. I've broken it up into different sections to keep the spices and everything separate.

One last thing - the ingredients in this dish are great for skin and hair health, and can help prevent colds. Keep that winter glow going on despite the lack of sun!


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Winter Glow Energy Bowls
Serves 2

Simple Red Cabbage Salad

1/4 small red cabbage, very thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Juice of a lemon

Place the cabbage into a bowl and top with the remaining ingredients. Use your hands to mix well, then set aside and let it rest while you prepare everything else.

Spicy Roasted Sweet Potato

1 medium sweet potato
2 small red onions
1 teaspoon oil (grapeseed, avocado)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F. Cut the sweet potato lengthwise, then lengthwise again, then slice into 1cm pieces. Quarter the onions, and place both onto a baking sheet. Add the oil and spices then use your hands to mix until the vegetables are fully coated in the spices. Roast for 20-22 minutes or until golden. Prepare the remaining elements while the vegetables cook.

Quick Spiced Kidney Beans

1 teaspoon oil
1 cup cooked kidney beans
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Heat a large pan over medium. Add the oil, followed by the beans and spices. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring regularly, then add the vinegar, stir, and remove from the heat.

To build the bowl:

Red cabbage salad
Spicy roasted sweet potato
Quick spiced kidney beans
1 cup cooked quinoa*
1 cup rucola (or swiss chard, spinach, etc.)
1/4 cup parsley or cilantro
A few pickled onions*

Place half of each element into bowls, and top with extra lemon juice if desired. Serve immediately or let the warm parts cool before packing lunches.

Notes:
1. Pickled onions take a couple of hours, so if you don't have some kicking around, you can also make them the night before or up to several days ahead of time. Just thinly slice a red onion and place it in a jar with the juice of a lemon and a good pinch of salt, then shake it every once in a while until the onion is thoroughly pink, at least two hours. I usually make some and keep it in the fridge to add to everything. For a quicker method, you can try The Full Helping's quick pickled onions, but I really recommend making them the slow way if you can.
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