For a long time, it felt like we could just follow our own path on this blog and in our kitchen. But it’s becoming more and more obvious that with a 1,5-year old and a soon 6-year old in the family, their food preferences matter too. And we should talk about that more. Isac is actually quite the happy eater. He is stuffing his face full with most food that we put in front of him. Just like Elsa did when she was younger. Now however, she has become rather selective with her food. A lot of dinners are spent listening to our daughter explaining how she loves this (pointing at oven roasted broccoli) and hates that (holds up a mushroom while shaking her hand like she was holding poison), loves this (places three raw carrots in her mouth at the same time) and hates that (scoops the lettuce off her plate and on to her little brother’s). We try to be cool about it, listen to her and sometime adapt or just try again next time. You see, she can be quite random; devour on an avocado toast one day and then completely despise it the next. She is not a fan of kale in salads but loves them as chips.
One method that always seem to work is when we place a mix of vegetables, grains, seeds, fruit and legumes on separate plates on the table and have a little Build-Your-Own-Dinner party. Then we can all pick our favourites. Except Isac, who prefers a more chaotic take on dinner and therefore get served a ready-made bowl.
Last Friday we came up with a new version of that dinner. We gathered a rainbow selection of warm and cold vegetables, brown rice and creamy spreads in one huge bowl and then let everyone grab a fork and eat straight from the bowl – family style! We placed blankets on the living room floor, put the bowl in between us and had a movie night/indoor picnic while the snow was coming down outside. It was perfect. Until Isac sat down in the bowl. But we weren’t that hungry anyway …
We have made many #gksbowls during the last years but I think this one takes the cake. It’s the mother of all veggie bowls. And she has got something for everyone.
We created three spreads/dips/sauces for this bowl. The first one is a Sun-dried Tomato & Red Lentil Spread which is great mixed with rice or smothered on top of a sandwich. We also made a Green Pesto inspired by this old recipe of ours. But you can also just go for a store bought. Lastly, we made a Vegan White Bean & Sunflower Sauce that was inspired by Laura’s Special Sauce. Her sauce has a whole array of spices to boost flavour but since we made this for the kid we went a little lighter with the spices and added some white beans for extra protein. It tastes amazing and the nutritional yeast give it a kind of cheesy flavour even though it’s vegan. You can choose how thick you want it by the amount of water added. Use more water if you prefer it as a runny sauce and less if you want it more as a spread.
The Mother of All Veggie Bowls
We want you to use this recipe as inspiration and have therefore not specified exact measurements for the vegetables. Choose your favorites and adapt the amount to how many people you are serving. It is not very expensive food either and is perfect if you are on a budget. Any leftovers can be used to create similar bowls or make awesome warm sandwiches/toasts the following days.
1 batch cooked brown rice (or millet, quinoa or buckwheat)
Oven Roasted (or steamed) Vegetables (see instructions below)
Raw Vegetables (see instructions below)
Sauerkraut, store bought or homemade
Pumpkin Seeds, whole or roughly chopped
White Vegan Sauce (see recipe below)
Sundried Tomato & Lentil Spread (see recipe below)
In a very large and wide serving bowl: Arrange the lettuce to cover the bottom of the bowl. Then spoon up the rice in the center. Place the roasted and raw vegetables and sauerkraut in a circle around the rice. Then arrange small jars with the dipping sauces in the serving bowl or on the side and sprinkle over pumpkin seeds. Dig in! (Alternatively, let everyone pick their favourite veggies and place them in smaller bowls.)
Oven roasted or steamed veggies
Broccoli, torn into florets
Sweet potato, rinsed and cut in 1/3 inch / 1 cm slices
Parsnip, peeled and cut into thick sticks
Carrots, rinsed and cut into thick sticks
Cauliflower, rinsed and cut into florets
Beets, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
For oven roasting: Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Place the prepared vegetables on a baking papper, drizzle with olive oil or melted coconut oil and sea salt and pepper. Toss to cover. Place in the oven and roast for 25-40 minutes until tender and golden with crispy edges.
For steaming: Pour an inch of water into a pot, place a metal strainer (or a steaming basket if you have one) over, resting on the rim of the pot, not touching the boiling water. Place the veggies in a single layer in the strainer. Bring the water to a boil, the lower the heat to a bare simmer, cover with a lid. Check the veggies often to prevent over cooked veggies, steaming time will vary depending on the type and size of veggies, but usually between 8 and 20 minutes.
Raw veggies cut in bite-size pieces
Carrots, cut into sticks
Avocado, stone removed and flesh scooped out and sliced
Cucumber, shaved with a julienne peeler or cut into sticks (with peel on)
Bell pepper, rinsed and cut into sticks
Lettuce, rinsed and patted dry
Cherry tomatoes, divided in halves
White vegan sauce
1 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked for 20 mins
1 ½-2 cups (350 ml – 500 ml) filtered water
1/2 cup / 125 ml cold-pressed olive oil
½ cup (80 g) cooked large white (navy) beans (we use pre-cooked store bought)
3 tbsp nutritional yeast (buy at the health food store)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1-inch piece of fresh turmeric (or 1/2 tsp ground turmeric)
1 tsp raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
fine sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth. Taste and adjust the flavors to your liking, add more lemon juice, nutritional yeast or spices if needed. Add more water or oil if you prefer a more liquid sauce. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.
Sun-dried tomato & red lentil spread
1/2 cup uncooked red lentils
1/2 tsp sea salt
100 g / approx. 10 large sun-dried tomato, soaked in water for 20 minutes and then rinsed and chopped
1 small clove garlic
1/2 lemon, juice
1 tsp flaky sea salt
1/4 cup water
Rinse and drain the lentils. Place lentils, 1 cup water and sea salt in a saucepan, cover and bring to a boil. Immediately lower the heat and let gently simmer for 20 minutes or until tender and can be mashed easily between two fingers. Drain any excess water, let cool slightly. Place in food processor with the rest of the ingredients and process until a smooth and creamy texture is reached. Add more water if you prefer it thinner. Taste the spread and adjust the flavors by adding more lemon juice or salt. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.
Ps! Thank you all of that has emailed reminders that we should change our blog header to also include Isac’s name. Unfortunately we have lost the original file for the logo so we will change it as soon we have a new logo ready. Even if he is not visual on the blog yet, he is very present in our kitchen (making a mess!).