I follow so many bloggers, chefs, food media sites etc on Instagram and Snapchat. Around this time of year, it always feels like our little region is behind everyone else in terms of spring splendour. I know that homegrown fruit and vegetables are a long way off, but even the flowers and general green in the landscape are slow on the uptake here. All the hot pink magnolias and spring bulbs are blowing up my feed while I keep proclaiming, “March is soooooo ugly!”
So, a few strategies. I keep cut flowers, cute plants and other indoor greenery around at all times. I also buy and grow a lot of sprouts. I naturally start craving them when the daylight stretches later into the evening. So many varieties can always be in season in your own house! Whether you’re planting peas for shoots, soaking alfalfa for a cute little tangle on your sandwich, or activating some sweet bean-based ones like I have here.
If I’m DIY’ing the sprout thing, 90% of the time I’m picking mung beans. They taste so clean, grassy and sweet. They never take longer than two days to get going and they’re loaded with easily assimilated protein. I’ve linked to some guides for growing them at home in the recipe below.
Since it is the international year of pulses, I’m still doing the Pulse Pledge and I hope you are too. Once I have a batch of these sprouts ready to go, it’s easy to get my weekly quota in. I bought a sprout grower from an older gentleman that used to eat a handful of mung sprouts every morning. He was a pretty radiant and positive guy, so of course I leaped onto his high-vibe bandwagon. They really do make you vibrate with a certain energy if you can work up the nerve to eat them pre-coffee though ;)
I pair the sprouted mung beans with a few other goodies in this bowl. A rich and complex beet tahini sauce that’s spiked with garlic, tamari, and balsamic vinegar sits on the base of the plate. A creamy, dreamy heap of coconut quinoa with chili and coriander balances the sweet crispness of the sprouts. I finish the plate with some thin wisps of cucumber and a sprinkle of fresh dill. The sprouts themselves are incredibly diverse, and I imagine the quinoa and beet tahini would both taste great with a bunch of other things.
SPROUTED MUNG BOWL w/ COCONUT QUINOA + BEET TAHINI RECIPE
Inspired by Camille Becerra’s bowl in this story from VOGUE
Print the recipe here!
Notes: You can use any sprouted beans/legumes you like. I know a few of my local grocery stores sell these kinds of sprouts if you aren’t up to the challenge of doing it yourself. Also, if you’re boiling a beet for the sauce, you might as well do a whole bunch to have around for future salads, bowls etc. Lastly, I follow these instructions for sprouting mung beans.
BEET TAHINI INGREDIENTS (makes extra)
1 small-medium beet, scrubbed
1 small garlic clove, chopped
¼ cup tahini
¼ cup filtered water
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon pure maple syrup
¼ teaspoon gluten-free tamari soy sauce
sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
COCONUT QUINOA INGREDIENTS
2 teaspoons olive oil (or coconut if you’ve got it)
½ cup finely diced shallots (from roughly 2 medium shallots)
¼ cup finely shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon ground coriander
pinch chili flakes
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup full fat coconut milk (from a can)
1 cup vegetable stock (or water)
sea salt, to taste
scant cup mung bean sprouts (instructions on sprouting your own here)
1 English cucumber, peeled into ribbons
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
Place the beet in a medium saucepan and cover it with water. Bring the pot to a boil and then simmer until the beet is soft when pierced with a paring knife, about 30-40 minutes. Remove the beet and let it cool slightly. The rough outer skin of the beet should slip off with ease at this point. Peel the beet and chop it roughly.
Place the chopped beet in an upright blender along with the garlic, tahini, water, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup, tamari, salt, and pepper. Blend the mixture on high until completely smooth. Set aside.
Rinse out and towel off the medium saucepan you used for the beat. Set it over medium heat and pour the oil in. Add the shallots to the pan and stir. Sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the coconut, coriander and chili flakes, and sauté until very fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the quinoa and stir to coat in the oil and spices. Add the coconut milk, vegetable stock, and sea salt to the pan and stir. Bring the quinoa to a boil and then simmer until almost all of the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Spread a couple tablespoons of the beet tahini across 4 shallow bowls. Portion the quinoa among the bowls. Top each bowl with a portion of sprouted mung beans, cucumber ribbons and fresh dill. Serve immediately.
*This post was created in partnership with USA Pulses and Pulse Canada. All opinions/endorsements are my own. Thanks for supporting!