We sit down to bowls of food most often in our house. On the porch with beers, in front of the TV in sweats, at the dining table, or leaning up on the kitchen counter while also hunched over an iPad or some other non-ideal dining companion. We have these wide, shallow bowls that I purchased a few years ago that are just spot on. They seem to help every ingredient nestle into the other with perfect ease–every tangle of salad, every grain of rice, every slump-y spoonful of ice cream, the forkfuls of pasta, the clumpy granola, the slippery noodles in broth. One of them is chipped, both are cracked. I’m reluctant to replace them.
That vessel, its potential for nourishment, and the million ways it can bring us all together is the subject of a particularly wonderful new cookbook from the Sprouted Kitchen crew. Sara’s food feels at once special, approachable, and wholesome in a way that won’t have you running to a little hippie health shop for non-dairy probiotic to start a 3 day fermentation spectacular. It’s honest food transmitted by way of her thoughtful reflections and Hugh’s eye-widening photographs. Saying I loved the heck out of their first book would be a huge understatement.
There’s never an instance of a recipe in Sara’s repertoire that can be explained with: “Because kale!” You know what I mean? It’s not healthy food for the sake of health alone. You’re still eating for pleasure first. The recipes have their wholesome virtues along with their comfort, style, and brilliant flavour/textural combinations.
This tahini dressing of hers with citrus and miso really is amazing. It leans towards slightly sweet with just the right amount of brightness and umami from the miso. It tastes delicious on everything and I know this because I’ve actually been eating it on everything. I also loved that it was mostly just a measure + whisk number. No mincing or fine grating or additional mess-making. For today’s post, I poured it on top of a very relaxed interpretation of her Hippie Bowl, which spoke to me for obvious reasons. There’s sprouts, avocado, whole grains, delicate little carrot ribbons and plant protein by way of chickpeas. Sara’s version in the book calls for some roast-y marinated tofu, which sounds pretty great.
Sara’s Amazing Tahini Dressing & Hippie Bowl
Tahini Dressing (makes extra)
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 2 tbsp mellow miso
- 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp sriracha or hot sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- juice of 1 large orange
- salt + pepper
- lemon juice, to taste
- water, as needed
Spiced Sunflower Seeds (makes extra)
- ¾ cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 tbsp maple sugar
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- sea salt, to taste
For the bowls
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 small bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
- lemon juice, to taste
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1-1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 2-3 carrots, peeled into ribbons
- 2 big handfuls sunflower sprouts (or other sprouts/shoots you like)
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled and quartered
- From Sprouted Kitchen: Bowl + Spoon
- I’ve printed Sara’s instructions here pretty much as is where applicable, with my own adjustments in parentheses. I use Soom brand tahini almost exclusively now and I can’t tell you what a difference this has made for my dressings, sauces, and other savoury applications.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the tahini, miso, honey, oil, and hot sauce to combine. Then, whisk in the vinegar, orange juice, salt, and pepper. Taste the dressing and adjust seasoning if necessary. Thin the dressing with water or lemon juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed. Dressing will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks.
- For the sunflower seeds, heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sunflower seeds to the pan and toast them, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add the maple sugar, cayenne pepper, and salt. Stir the seeds to combine and keep stirring them until spices/sugar lightly coat/stick to each kernel, about 8-10 minutes. Cool and set aside.
- Lightly wipe out the sauté pan that you used for the seeds and return it to the heat with the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the garlic to the pan and stir until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the chopped kale and stir immediately. Season kale with salt and pepper. Keep stirring the kale until it’s all evenly wilted. Add a big squeeze of lemon juice and stir to distribute. Remove pan from the heat.
- In two big, shallow bowls, evenly divide the cooked brown rice, chickpeas, carrot ribbons, sunflower sprouts, avocado, and cooked kale. Top bowls with tahini dressing and spiced sunflower seeds.