Rainbow Bliss Bowls! Today we are channeling our inner health gurus. We are about to embrace our yoga stretching, vegetable eating, outdoor loving selves. Spring has sprung, and it’s time for fresh produce and bright flavors to step in.
Starting with some turmeric-spiced chickpeas and a creamy citrus-tahini dressing. These nutrient dense bowls feature baked purple sweet potato, tricolor quinoa, roasted red peppers, fresh cilantro, toasted peanuts, and leafy green spinach.
This easy to build, balanced bowl offers up a serving of the three major macronutrients – protein, fat, and my favorite, most beloved macro of them all. The queen and absolute ruler of my heart. Carbohydrates.
Bliss Bowl, Buddha Bowl, Glow Bowl, or Macro Bowl.
I have no idea what it is supposed to be called. And I won’t pretend to know what’s “in” right now (or maybe ever). When I was younger, I may or may not have eagerly participated in SEVERAL school science fairs and attended a handful of Harry Potter book release parties. I like to “watch” Jeopardy by shouting answers (whether or not they are even remotely right) at the television.
So to say I have my finger on the pulse of things that are trendy or at the height of their coolness would be a laughable statement at best.
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But no matter. Whatever the cool kids are calling it these days, I’m in love // you might say borderline obsessed with these customizable, totally filling, big bowls of wholesome and nourishing HAPPINESS.
Just look at all those colors, layered together in a lovely, massive, healthful heap. So bright, vibrant, and cheery!
All you need to build your own nutritionally balanced, powerhouse meal in a bowl are a few basic components. The following tends to be the basis of a lot of things you may get from your favorite health-minded takeout food restaurants.
Like rice // stir-fry // noodle bowls, burrito bowls, or salad bars that offer you up all kinds of fresh veggies and toppings. You can customize the portions to make this more of a hot meal, a cold portable lunch, light refreshing salad, post-workout recovery meal, or saucy veggie dish.
You will need:
- Something from the starches and carbohydrates category – I used sweet potatoes and quinoa but you can use rice, noodles, barley, butternut// kabocha// delicata squash, red // fingerling potatoes, etc. Or even cauliflower “rice” could be a nice low-carb substitute.
- A good source of protein – for our veggie-lovin’ vegetarian and vegan friends, chickpeas, black // white // pinto beans, tempeh, tofu, and seitan can all make the base for a very filling bowl. Meat eaters can gravitate towards lean protein sources like chicken, fish, shrimp, beef, and turkey or even do half chickpeas and half meat for some variety.
- Something with good, healthy fats – I used tahini and extra virgin olive oil but avocado, nut butters, seeds, or coconut oil would all be equally excellent choices if you’re looking to mix things up. Just note that coconut oil is not a great choice to use in the dressing, because it tends to have issues emulsifying and blending fully. It is solid at room temperature or colder, so it doesn’t make for a great addition to cold sauces that you want to be pourable.
- Vegetables // fresh herbs // other green things – I used spinach but arugula, kale, mixed greens, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, or shaved Brussel sprouts are all excellent subs. Roasted red peppers are usually floating around in a jar on my fridge door, so I used those too but sundried tomatoes, fresh crunchy veggies like shredded carrots, or bean sprouts would all be awesome in its place.
- A dressing or sauce – For me this is usually something that covers the same category of good, healthy fats but could also be a mix of greek yogurt or a pesto sauce or a storebought dressing or just some fresh citrus squeezed over top. A sauce or dressing will help make the whole dish feel a little more cohesive, bringing it under a tasty umbrella of one flavor profile. Plus it keeps everything moist and well-seasoned.
A few quick notes about this recipe:
- The purple color of these sweet potatoes means they contain antioxidants (like blueberries or acai bowls). You can absolutely swap them out for orange sweet potato or yams as available (or preferred). These purple beauties are just such a treat to look at, I couldn’t resist bringing them home to try out.
- The use of turmeric in this dish enhances the anti-inflammatory properties of the antioxidant rich purple potatoes. This spice shelf staple is a superfood found in many curry dishes. It’s what gives curry powder its signature yellow hue.
- Purple sweet potatoes are nutrient-rich and naturally denser than their orange counterparts. This is why they need to be cooked at a lower temperature for longer. This prevents them from becoming dry and cakey, and instead makes for a super velvety, moist texture.
You can use today’s recipe as is or swap things out for whatever you happen to have on hand at home or whatever best accommodates your own dietary needs. It’s great for using up those leftovers hanging out in a rogue container in the back of the fridge.
So rustle up any lingering veggies that didn’t make their way into other recipes this week and whip up your own big bowl of nourishing goodness!
- TURMERIC-SPICED CHICKPEAS
- 2 – 15.5 oz cans of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ¾ tsp cumin
- ¾ tsp coriander
- dash of cayenne
- pink himalayan sea salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 tbs coconut oil
- juice of 2 meyer lemons
- 3 cloves of minced garlic
- 2 large purple sweet potatoes (washed, skin-on)
- ½ tbs extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 cup quinoa (uncooked, rinsed)
- 2 cups broth
- 3 tbs tahini
- juice of 2 meyer lemons
- 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- pink Himalayan sea salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 - 16 oz jar of roasted red peppers (drained and chopped)
- fresh chopped cilantro
- crushed toasted nuts or seeds (peanuts, almonds, sunflower, or pepitas)
- POTATOES: Preheat oven to 325. Coat each whole sweet potato with some EVOO and wrap individually in foil. Place wrapped potatoes on a small baking tray and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Purple sweet potatoes are much denser than orange, meriting a lower and slower cooking time. Once cooked, slice potato into ½” rounds. While you wait for the potatoes to cook, assemble the other components.
- DRESSING: Combine all dressing ingredients in a small lidded jar and shake vigorously until well-combined. Set aside in the fridge.
- QUINOA: Add the uncooked quinoa and broth to a large pot. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Cover and set aside.
- CHICKPEAS: Place a large pan on the stove over medium to medium-high heat. Once hot, add coconut oil and swirl to coat pan. Add chickpeas, dried spices, salt and pepper to the oil. Cook for 7 - 8 minutes, stirring often. Then add the minced garlic and lemon juice. Cook for another 1 – 2 minutes. Or until spices are fragrant and the outside of the chickpeas are crisped and browned to your liking.
- ASSEMBLY: Serve as a warm bowl or cold as a salad – layer quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted red peppers, and chickpeas in bowls. Top with fresh cilantro and crushed nuts. Drizzle dressing generously over the top.
I created this recipe originally for the Spring 2016 Issue of Conscious Lifestyle Magazine! A publication that holds a dear place in my heart. If you’re seeking out a source for uplifting, informational, health-minded content – head on over to their site!