It’s time to get your glow on with this Nourish Bowl.
I get pretty excited whenever I open our fridge and find a bunch of random veggies that need to be eaten. It’s really a perfect opportunity to put on my apron, turn on some inspiring tunes and get creative in our kitchen. I really don’t like to waste food, and I love coming up with fun new approaches to healthy and nourishing meals. So this is a win-win situation 😉
The other night I found myself chopping, sauteing, and blending up a storm, and here’s what I came up with for dinner: “Spanish Style Nourish Bowl with Amazing Vegan Cheese Sauce”
For this recipe, I used fresh arugula, cilantro, and tomatoes to form the base of this veggie-packed bowl. Then I added cooked whole grain rice and lentil mix for a healthy dose of complex carbohydrates and protein. Finally, I topped it off with a mixture of sauteed bell peppers, spiralized zucchini and spinach with a touch of smoked paprika to give this dish a sweet and cool note. Of course, this Spanish inspired dish would not be complete without our Amazing Vegan Cheese Sauce (recipe below).
It’s okay if you don’t have all these ingredients listed on hand. Actually, it might be a good thing. It will allow you to get creative and use whatever leftovers are hanging around your kitchen. Now let’s look at some of our suggestions to help you create a wholesome plant-based Nourish Bowl…
SIX TOP TIPS for making your own plant-based Nourish Bowl:
- GREENS– go crazy with your favourite greens! (fresh spinach, kale, arugula, Romain lettuce, butter lettuce, etc)
- PROTEIN – Keep it plant-based and include your favourite ingredients such as lentils, beans, quinoa, sprouts tempeh, etc.
- HEALTHY FATS – Chose raw unprocessed fat such as avocado, coconut, macadamia nuts, chia/flax/pumpkin/hemp seeds, extra virgin olive oil or omega oil. They all add flavour. But use in moderation.
- VEGGIES – Eat the rainbow! Include any vegetables you have on hand. You can keep them raw or if you prefer lightly steamed, baked or sauteed.
- ADD HERBS – dried or fresh, it doesn’t matter, just add herbs! Add as many as you like. They are good for you! Some of our favourites include fresh cilantro, basil, parsley dill. Dry herbs or spices are also great staples. Don’t over think it, you can’t really go wrong!
- CARBOHYDRATES – Complex carbs will keep your energy sustained throughout the day. Try sweet potato, winter squash, quinoa, brown rice or beans.
- ADD-INS – We are big fans of fermented veggies! Sauerkraut, kimchi, pickled beets, etc.
- DRESSING – A homemade dressing or sauce is a must. You can keep pretty simple and use lemon juice mixed with a bit of extra virgin olive oil or you can go all out 3 HEALTHY SALAD DRESSINGS – (OIL FREE, VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE) ready in 4 min or less
Spanish Style Nourish Bowl with Amazing Vegan Cheese Sauce
- 3 cups arugula
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper chopped
- 1 small zucchini
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1/3 cup brown lentils
- 1/2 cup whole grain rice
- 1 Tbls coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt
- Soak rice and lentils for at least 30 min (but preferably 8 hours or overnight*
- Drain and rinse the rice and lentils and add them to a medium pot on high heat with 1 1/2 cups water . Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, with the lid partially covered. Cooked until all water absorbed and al dente, about 30 min. Note: if the rice and lentils have cooked and are al dente but some liquid remains, simply drain the liquid and let sit on low heat without a lid to allow the excess moisture to evaporate.
- While rice and lentils are cooking prepare your saute veggies. Add coconut oil and chopped bell peppers to a medium pan and sauté on high heat for 2 minutes, stirring and adding 1 Tbsp water as needed to prevent burning. Add smoked paprika and salt and continue to stir (and add water as needed) for another 2 minutes. Add spiralized zucchini and spinach gently mix it all together and continue to cook for only 1 more minute then remove from heat.
- Prepare your dressing of choice (find a recipe for Amazing Vegan Cheese Sauce below)
TO ASSEMBLE THE BOWL
- Divide the fresh arugula, cilantro, and tomatoes among the bowls. Top each with 1/2-1 cup cooked rice and lentils and a generous amount of sauteed veggies
- Drizzle with vegan cheese sauce. Enjoy!
- *Soaking brown rice helps to quicken cooking time, and soaking lentils is beneficial for many reasons; read more about it here.
- Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
To make the Amazing Vegan Cheese Sauce, you will need:
- ½ cup of water
- 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked at least 30 mins in warm water
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (substitute yellow mustard)
- 2 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
- Generous pinch black pepperDrain and rinse the sunflower seeds then add them to a blender along with the remaining ingredients. Blend on high until smooth and creamy, adding additional water as needed.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Will last about 2 or 3 days max so eat up quickly!
This Spanish Style Nourish Bowl is as delicious as it looks and provides your body with an incredible rush of nutrients. It really is one of the best meals to power up and keep you satisfied. When you begin to eat foods like this on the regular basis and cut out the highly processed junk foods that cause harm to your entire system, we promise that soon YOU will start to experience the amazing benefits of the plant-based diet. You will begin to really understand what it feels like to be vibrant, healthy, happy and thrive.
If you try this recipe or create something new from it – let us know! Leave a comment, take a photo and don’t forget to tag your creations #activevegetarian on Instagram so we can see.
With love and light,