• On the Menu: The Perfect Grain Bowl

    Our cooking M.O.? We’re all about simple, refreshing meals that make us feel good (...even better when they can all be piled into one bowl). This go-to grain bowl from the blog Faring Well fits the bill.
    Photos by Jessie Snyder of Faring Well


    Building the bowl
    1 cup quinoa, dry
    2 cups water
    pinch of salt
    1 bunch of kale
    4 beets
    1 - 15ounce package of extra firm tofu
    salt & pepper
    olive oil for cooking
    fresh broccoli sprouts
    pomegranate seeds

    For the cashew sauce
    1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight
    1 cup fresh water
    2 cloves garlic
    1 teaspoon mellow white miso
    zest of a small orange
    juice from one small lemon
    1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
    1 teaspoon tamari 
    1/4 teaspoon raw honey
    sea salt to taste

    Make the cashew sauce: combine all of the listed ingredients in a high speed blender and puree until smooth. Using the tamper as needed to help the sauce along. Add more water to thin if necessary, and salt according to taste. Transfer to an airtight jar and set aside, storing any leftover sauce in the fridge and using within one week. 

    Begin by cooking the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander until the water runs clear. Add to a medium pot on the stove with the 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid, and let cook until all of the water is absorbed (12 to 15 minutes). When finished cooking, remove the pot from the heat and leave covered. Set aside to steam for another 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

    While the quinoa is cooking, wash and trim the beets and add them to a pot on the stove. Add enough water to cover them fully. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat a bit to a low boil. Cook until soft (20 to 25 minutes). Remove from the water and let cool on a plate before slicing. 

    Heat a cast iron skillet on the stove to medium heat with a few tablespoons on olive oil. Drain the extra firm tofu, and press gently between two paper towels to drain of excess water. Slice into 16 cubes, and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Place the cubes seasoned-side down in the skillet. Sprinkle the bare sides of tofu with additional salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes on each side until browned. Set aside on a towel lined plate to drain of excess oil. 

    While the above three are cooking, rinse and trim the kale leaves. Tear them into small bite size pieces, and add them to a steamer basket in a third pot on the stove. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to allow the water to simmer, and cover the pot with a lid. Let steam for 5 minutes, or until wilted but still bright green. 

    Add the steamed kale to the pot of fluffed quinoa and toss together. Divide between 4 bowls.

    Now it's time to build your bowls! Slice each beet in half, and then into 1/2 inch pieces. Top each bowl with one beet’s worth of slices. Top with crispy tofu, broccoli sprouts, and a few sprinkles of pomegranate seeds. Drizzle with the cashew sauce and serve right away (with a few pinches of sea salt and black pepper if needed). 

    Serve in your favorite bowl, and enjoy!

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