Monday, September 17, 2012

Forbidden Rice Bowl

When is an ordinary bowl not so ordinary? When it's chock full of lip-smacking goodness! There are lots of variations on the "bowl," by which I mean a bowl full of grains, layered with vegetables and a protein, smothered in some sort of sauce. Vegetarian and vegan restaurants love to offer these, and places as low brow as Take a Bao to higher consciousness establishments like Cafe Gratitude also provide similar fare. For me, it's just a great lunch, for home or work.

While the version you see above was my need to clean out some of my unused pantry items, do not think that you need something fancy for tummy-rubbing satisfaction. It truly is a simple formula:

- cooked grains in the bottom of the bowl (rice, quinoa, barley)
- topped with chopped veggies - carrots, greens, bell peppers, cabbage, you name it
- crowned with a protein - beans, tofu, mushrooms
- slathered in some sort of sauce (or dressing, depending on your word preference)

I decided to share this bowl for the green dressing I whipped up, a spicy ginger cilantro concoction that was so delicious it seemed blog worthy. But truth be told, I've drizzled ranch dressing over bowls and been perfectly happy!

Forbidden Rice Bowl
(serves 2-3)

1/2 cup forbidden rice
1/2 lb cremini mushroom
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 carrot, shredded
1 baby bok choy, sliced thin (1/4 inch)
2 green onions, sliced in 1/4 inch pieces

cilantro ginger dressing
1 bunch (2 cups loose packed) cilantro
1 thumb size piece ginger, chopped
1 tablespoon white miso
1/2 cup water1/4 cup safflower (sunflower, peanut) oil
1 lime, juiced

Place rice in sauce pan with 1 cup of water. Bring to boil and then reduce to simmer. Cover and cook for 30-35 minutes until water is evaporated. Set aside. Cut mushrooms in half or quarter if they large, place in bowl with soy sauce and sesame and allow to marinate at least 15 minutes, tossing occasionally. Prepare dressing and place all ingredients for cilantro ginger dressing in blender and puree, scraping down sides to fully incorporate. Saute mushrooms over medium high heat until they begin to brown, 5-9 minutes. To assemble bowl, place rice in individual bowls, and arrange bok choy, carrots, and mushrooms on top of rice as desired. Sprinkle green onions on top and pour dressing over all. Serve with extra dressing on the side.


Recipes currently inspiring me:

Zucchini, Edamame, and Mozzarella Pasta
at Marcus Samuelsson
No-Bake Berry Cheesecake
at Flavors of the Sun
Panzanella Skewers
at Stacey Snacks 

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