Category Archives: Food

yummy bowls

Now that I am working during my daughter’s nap-time and after she goes to bed at night – I find that I don’t have nearly as much time for cooking as I’d like (need, actually). So I have been in search of some recipes that we can eat for a few meals in a row without getting sick of it. Something that can be heavily prepped the night before (when Ian, my husband is around to help cook). And perhaps unusual for many, we have friends and/or family joining us for dinner on most nights. There are a bunch of different dietary considerations (vegetarian, lactose intolerant, etc…) that I need to be able to deal all of those with in one meal. So that means a meal with options that each person can customize to their dinner to suit their needs.

For some new ideas to throw into our regular meal rotation, I asked my friends on Facebook for ideas. My friend Rachel, who lives in Portland, Oregon shared an idea for something called a yummy bowl inspired by an Oregon restaurant called Café Yumm! It was just what I had been looking for! We’ve been making and devouring yummy bowls regularly for months now.

There is a special sauce that can be made up ahead of time and stored in the fridge for weeks. The base of each dish is usually brown rice. Then each person’s bowl of rice can be topped with veggies, protein and whatever else would be good in the mix. You could do a southwest theme, an Japanese theme… but so far we tend to go with the “whatever is in the fridge” as a theme.

We (me and Ian) will chop veggies the night before. Usually while watching The Daily Show and Colbert Report. We have these great glass storage containers (Glasslock) with lids that snap on super tight. These things are the key to the veggies staying fresh forever. Seriously, I can keep chopped up cucumbers in these for almost 2 weeks. And if I put chopped onions in them, they will not stink up the fridge!


Here is the recipe for the yummy sauce:

Yummy Sauce Recipe
(via Your Home Based Mom inspired by a recipe from Food.com and additional notes and tweaks by me.)

1/2   C   canola oil
1/2   C   almond flour/ ground almonds

  • Can be found in most grocery stores in the baking aisle.

1/3   C   nutritional yeast

  • can be found at: Whole Foods – bulk and in cans, Amazon, any co-op, etc…

1/2   C   canned chickpeas/garbanzo beans – drained and rinsed
1/4   C   canned white soybeans – drained and rinsed

  • These are hard to find. My co-op does not have them. 1 nearby Whole Foods had them, another did not. I have heard people substituting silken tofu for them or additional garbanzo beans when they couldn’t find them. Amazon sells a case of them.

1/2   C   water
1/2   C   lemon juice
1/2 tsp   salt
1 1/2 tsp   curry powder
1 tsp.   dried organo
1 tsp   dried cilantro

*some other versions of this recipe add 1-2 cloves of garlic. It’s good with or without it!

Directions:

Combine almond meal, beans & oil in blender or food processor and blend together. Add the rest of the ingredients and puree until creamy smooth. Cover and let refrigerate for one hour. Keep refrigerated between uses.

** I triple this recipe every time I make it. It just barely fits in my blender, but it works! Would fit easily in a larger food processor. Tripling the recipe means that you use almost the entire can of garbanzo beans and entire can of soy beans. I’m not sure what else I would do with the extra canned white soy beans. The sauce lasts for quite a while in the fridge. I just put the extra yummy sauce in a couple of mason jars for future lunches and dinners.

*** I have heard this is a great sauce for topping a veggie burger too. I haven’t tried it that way yet, but I will soon!

bowl by Michael Kline

When everything is chopped, diced, grated or blended,  we set out all the options for everyone to make up their own meals.

To make your yummy bowl, you should start off with a nice handmade bowl. It’ll make it taste even better. Our assorted collection of “bowl-plates” are by Bob Briscoe and Jo Severson. Then start building:

base layer:  brown rice (our favorite!),  white rice, jasmine or basmati rice, sauteed rice noodles (a new addition brought by friends)
next layer: yummy sauce
next layer: shredded cheese (sharp cheddar is my favorite!)
next layer: veggies! shredded carrots, shredded purple cabbage, diced bell peppers, slices of avocado, diced cucumbers, green onions, broccoli slaw, chopped tomatoes, peas, lightly steamed broccoli or sauteed greens. Whatever you have around.
next layer: – protein: we usually use chopped up rotisserie chicken and/ or sauteed tofu. black beans would be delicious… tempeh would be great… there are so many options!
top layer:  ground peanuts (our favorite), sliced almonds… wasabi peas? something with crunch is a nice addition.
top top layer: salsa, teriyaki sauce. My sister just used the Spicy Peanut Vinegarette from Trader Joe’s on a yummy bowl and loved it. But we usually don’t add anything else. The yummy sauce is great by itself.

Ada and her cousin Shiya love love love this meal!

After everyone served up their bowls, I passed the camera around to capture what everyone dished up! I am getting hungry just looking at these photos… luckily I have 2 more jars of yum sauce in the fridge!

Enjoy!

Cooking steel-cut oats in a rice cooker

I started to put this post together about my winter morning ritual of steel-cut oats last night. This morning I was sitting down to eat a bowl full of warm oats and as usual I opened up my blog reader to catch up on the happenings of other potters. I discovered that Keith Kreeger had blogged this morning about his morning bowl of steel-cut oats. What are the odds?

At least now I know that I’m not the only one who loves waking up on a cold winter’s morning to a warm pot of steel-cut oats. Usually that would require someone else getting up early and spend an hour cooking the oats (they take much longer than rolled or quick oats).  That’s just not going to happen at our house. I used to cook a big pot of oats on Sunday afternoon and then reheat it in the mornings. Still too much work.  Then I discovered something great.  You can cook them in a rice cooker, set the timer and wake up to a fresh warm breakfast. Here’s how I do it…

You’ll need:

  • A rice cooker. One with a timer is best.  If you don’t, I think you can still set it up with a plug in timer. I haven’t actually tried this, but I think it’ll work.
  • A rice cooker measuring cup. All rice cookers come with their own measuring cup. Even the $15 ones. They aren’t equivalent to a cup.
  • Steel-cut oats. They’re really cheap if you buy them in bulk. Even from Whole Foods. But you can also get them at a regular grocery store.
  • Cinnamon. I go through a lot of cinnamon in the winter so I buy a big thing from Costco.
  • Salt & water.

pouring-steel-cut-oats-into-the-rice-cooker

The night before, pour 2 cups (the rice cooker kind) of steel-cut oats into the pot of the rice cooker.

cinnamon-oats

Add cinnamon to taste. I like a lot of cinnamon. I don’t ever measure, so I can’t tell you how much. But it’s probably several tablespoons of cinnamon.
salt-steel-cut-oats1
Add salt to taste. Every once in a while I will forget to add the salt and you can really tell it’s missing. Mix up the oats, salt and cinnamon well. Cinnamon is a fat soluble spice so it doesn’t mix well in just the water. If you mix it up and sort of coat the oats before adding water, it works best.

oats-in-a-rice-cooker

Add water up to the 5 cup mark. On  my cooker, that’s as high as I can go. It gives me a thinner consistency but I usually make enough for a  couple of days, and thinner is better if you’re going to reheat. You can play around with the ratio of oats to water and figure out what works for you. I imagine it’s not the same as mine, but you can use it as a starting point.

rice-cooker-timer-oats

I then set it to the “porridge” setting and set the timer for the next morning. If you don’t have a porridge setting, I’m sure it’ll work on the default setting. And again, the timer is something that you could set up if it’s not built into your cooker.  The key is that the oats have to soak overnight. You could also set up the cooker and let it sit overnight and then turn it on manually in the morning if you’re not going to eat it first thing after you wake up.

Our rice cooker is kind of a fancy one, but we use it almost daily between steel-cut oats and brown rice for dinner.  You can also make quinoa, your own pilaf and other types of grains. To make quiona, you do the same proportions of quiona to water as you would do rice to water and press start.

steelcut-oats-rice-cooker-morning

In the morning you’ll wake up to a nice pot of oats that only took a couple of minutes of actual prep time! I like to add raisins, but I usually add them directly into my bowl. If you add them too early, they’ll bloat and lose flavor and texture.  And if I have leftovers, I wait until the oats have cooled down before adding raisins and refrigerating the leftovers.

I have two favorite bowls that I always gravitate towards for my morning oats. They’re a bit over sized, but I like how the size and shape prevent any spillage when I carry a bowl from the kitchen to my computer where I eat my breakfast while reading through everyone’s latest blog posts. What’s your morning ritual?

pottery-bowls-for-oatmealAny guesses on who made these pieces? (There are 2 different makers.) If you’re the maker, it’s ok to guess yourself… oh wait, was that a hint for one of them? I’ll give people some time to guess before revealing the makers in a day or so. Start guessing!