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Dream Bowl

I found this recipe in the February 2015 issue of Bon Appetit and couldn’t wait to make my own Dream Bowl creation.  Rather than a traditional recipe, this is more of a guideline to help you create the concoction that best suites you and your flavor profile.  Below is the breakdown with suggestions and ingredients to consider.  I roasted my sweet potato and butternut squash in harissa and loved the flavor it added.  A little spicy but not too much.  Enjoy!

The Base
What’s even better than a bed of delicious cooked grains? A duo! We like black rice with red quinoa, farro with red rice, bulgur with freekeh, or spelt with lentils (okay, so that’s a legume—see how crazy this can get?).

The Greens
Before you prep the other toppings, thinly slice heartier greens—e.g., kale, collards, savoy cabbage—then toss with apple cider vinegar to moisten and give them a few squeezes. They’ll be tenderized by the time you’re ready to assemble the bowl.

The Crunch
For an alt-crouton experience, toast a mix of nuts and seeds, such as sunflower and hemp with some fennel, in olive oil until golden and crisp, then season with salt and pepper. Bonus: Now you’ve got flavorful oil to work with, too. (Read on.)

The Upgrades
1. Use the leftover seed-toasting oil to griddle some sliced Halloumi cheese (our new favorite—don’t tell feta). 2. Dress up your grains with a generous handful of tender chopped herbs, such as mint, parsley, chives, and fennel fronds.

The Roast
For the ideal crispy-creamy balance, cut winter squash, carrots, or sweet potatoes into bite-size pieces, then toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and a dab or two of harissa or a shake of curry powder. Roast at 425° until tender.

The Dressing
Bold is better. For our Turmeric-Tahini Sauce, whisk together 1/4 cup tahini, 3 T fresh lemon juice, 2 T olive oil, 1/2 tsp ground turmeric, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, and 1/4 cup water until smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste of course.   Pour liberally on pretty much everything.

Bonus Tip
Don’t toss—at least not before admiring your work. Separating the components lets you design perfect bite after perfect bite.

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Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Pistachios

I was given this recipe by my trainer and nutritionist – Breanne Curran at the Magnuson Athletic Club – and served it the other night to my girlfriends as a healthy dinner option for the night after Thanksgiving.  It’s hearty and filling while at the same time “light”.  She recommends subbing the feta with nutritional yeast (mild, nutty flavor) for those that are vegans.

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 4 small acorn squash, halved and seeds removed
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup roasted, salted pistachios, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
  • Pinch red-pepper flakes

Directions

Heat oven to 425ª F.  Brush squash with 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast cut side down on two baking sheets until tender and caramelized, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring quinoa and 2 cups water to boil in a small pot.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until tender and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.  OR – cook quinoa in a rice cooker according to directions.  Let cool, then fluff with a fork.  In a large bowl, combine quinoa, parsley, feta, pistachios, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and vinegar.  Season with salt and red-pepper flakes.  Divide filling among squash and serve.

 

Wayfare Tavern – San Francisco, CA

Earlier this year while my mom and I were visiting San Francisco we had dinner at Tyler Florence’s Wayfare Tavern.  The atmosphere embraces exactly what I miss about SF, the lively energy not to mention a lot of really pretty people to stare at:)  It was bustling on a week night and after eating there I know exactly why.  The food was perfectly executed and delicious!!!  Rather than just your standard bread and butter or oil, you’re treated to a warm freshly baked popover which I could have eaten a dozen of.

My favorite part of the meal was my starter, the Roasted Organic Beets served with winter citrus aioli, goose berries, avocado mousse and quinoa.  YUM!!!

If you live in SF or are going to visit this should definitely be a place you try at least once.  Be sure to get reservations!

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