Bowls are so trendy these days, aren’t they? They’re on most healthy or vegetarian restaurant menus, they’re all over Instagram, they’re in every vegan cookbook I own. But what is a bowl other than a normal meal packaged in a pretty way? You got your quinoa or grain base, you got your bean or lentil protein, and you got your leafy green and vegetable sides. It’s a regular ol’ dinner plate separated into pretty colorful sections.
Do you think that good presentation makes a meal taste better? I wonder if more thoughtful plating can make a difference in our perceptions of food. Most of the time I’d say no, it doesn’t, but the case of the bowl is an interesting one. This dish that didn’t exist in any formal way ten years ago has taken over the internet world of food, and I admit that it must have something to do with it’s beauty!
It is a beautiful meal, I cannot deny it. And tasty too. I don’t mean to hate on the bowl. I’m totally here for it.
1/2 cup red lentils
1/4 cup red quinoa
2 cups veggie stock
big handful kale, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
juice of half a lemon
olive oil, s&p
edamame and sweet potato, or whatever sides you desire
Boil 2 cups of vegetable stock. Add red quinoa and red lentils and reduce heat to simmer for about 10 minutes or until mostly all of the liquid is absorbed. Meanwhile, cook the garlic in olive oil over medium heat until it is just starting to brown. Add the roughly chopped kale leaves, and 2 spoonfuls of the starchy stock from the simmering quinoa/lentil mixture and the juice of half a lemon. Stir and then cover for a minute, lifting to stir every minute or so to encourage wilting and make sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Once the kale is a tiny bit browned and wilted down to about half the size, remove from heat. Add whatever other sides you desire, making sure to arrange them in pretty sections like the internet says to (I browned up some sweet potato and steamed a handful of edamame pods, but you can use whatever you have on hand!).
Serves 1 + a little bit of leftovers