Because it’s Sunday, because we’ve got a blissful extra hour to kill, and because if you ate even close to the amount of candy corn that I managed to consume in the last 48 hours, I present to you, the vegan rice bowl.
(Cue sad trombone.)
I know. It’s Fall and we’re supposed to be braising meats and roasting squash and baking sweet cakes with things like apple and cinnamon and pumpkin in them!
These rice bowls will neither fill your house with a cozy smell nor stick to your ribs like most comforting Autumnal fare. They will, however, negate the queasy feeling that is inevitably setting in as the costumes hit the ground, the face paint wears off, and those fist-fulls of fun-sized snickers/butterfinger/crunch/dots/almondjoy/nerds/whatchamacallit start to set in in full effect.
We’re by no means eschewing heavier fare just yet in this house – what with an absolutely phenomenal rendition of traditional boeuf bourguignon waiting in this little ole’ blogs wings, that would be a tragedy. But we are taking our lumps where they’re due, and this flavor-packed bowl is hardly a lump at all. Though immediately I know I’ll lose the focus of some with the word ‘vegan’ in the mix, I urge all you carnivores to give this a go. These bowls tie nutty wild rice together with a rich sauce made of garlic, tahini, and lemon juice, and a healthy but satisfying mix of tender steamed broccoli, sweet grape tomatoes, and fresh sliced avocado, and honestly leave nothing to be desired – they’re a welcome and filling departure to a more spartan salad. Plus, when you read through the recipe you’ll see why it’s a fave – it takes all of fifteen minutes to toss together.
It is a perfect supper or make-ahead-to-take-with-you lunch, and checks all the boxes: sweet tomatoes, salty and garlicky tahini sauce, nutty and toothsome wild rice, and creamy avocado. A healthy splash of a vinegary hot sauce is amazing draped right over the top, and will ensconce this dish firmly up there in your list of healthy favorites. It’s dishes like these I like to have around this time of year to help break up all of the indulgence of the season, and I think you’ll agree.
Now….step away from the Mike and Ikes. You’re better than that!
Vegan Wild Rice Bowls with Garlic Tahini Sauce, Grape Tomatoes, Broccoli, and Avocado
Makes 2 very enthusiastic dinner-sized bowls, or 4 smaller (or lunch sized) bowls
This is one of my favorite things to make when I’m craving something healthy but won’t leave my stomach with hunger pains in just a few hours time. It really sticks with you, and is a great way to reset and detox after some indulgence. If you don’t have the vegetables called for on hand – experiment! Use cauliflower, steamed carrots, sliced cucumber….the options are endless.
I used a wild rice blend that contained some barley, but use whichever is your favorite – plain brown rice subs in nicely if you can’t find (or don’t have!) any of the wild kind.
3 cups of cooked wild rice (from about 1 cup of dry rice)
2 small heads of broccoli, florets & stems cut into bite sized pieces
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 ripe avocado
1/3 cup tahini
juice and zest of one lemon
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp hot water
lemon slices, for serving
a vinegary hot sauce (like Frank’s), for serving
Set a steamer basket in a large pot of boiling water, and steam your broccoli just until it is crisp tender; you do not want the broccoli to be overcooked and mushy, but just barely tender and a really nice and bright green. Slice your grape tomatoes in half. Halve the avocado, remove the pit, and slice each half into neat slices. Sprinkle the cut avocado with a bit of lemon juice to keep it from oxidizing while you prep the bowls.
In a food processor, whiz the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, hot water, and a good pinch of kosher salt together. Pour this dressing over the top of the cooked wild rice, preferably while it is still warm/hot to help it absorb the flavors. Taste the rice and adjust salt levels if need be.
Distribute the rice evenly among your bowls, and top each bowl with half of the steamed broccoli and halved tomatoes. Gently arrange the avocado slices in a fan shape over the top of the bowls, and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. Pass hot sauce on the side, and serve the bowls with lemon slices.