I am a total creature of habit. I get up every day and perform the same morning routine, crave more or less the same breakfast, rotate my lunches and dinners between the same few meals, and always finish my day with a square of dark chocolate. And while I do believe that it is important to have a solid morning ritual, etc., it is also so easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to meals. This is something that I am working so hard to avoid, while making more of an effort to rotate my foods often so not to build up any food sensitivities or get increasingly bored of what I am eating. Every once in a while, though, a new meal comes along that totally switches up my routine and throws me out of my same monotonous rotation. Or maybe just into a new one..but, hey, at least it's new right?
My latest obsession is this Sweet Potato, Kale + Chickpea Bowl with Lemon-Tahini. I am a firm believer that everything tastes better when eaten out of a bowl, and this meal is no exception. Perfectly roasted sweet potatoes, sautéed kale, chickpeas, and brown rice, topped with some raw pumpkin and hemp seeds, and an addicting lemon-tahini that I seriously can't get enough of.
What made me think to throw this bowl together in the first place, was looking at all of the foods I had meal prepped one weekend. Some of my favorite batch cooking items are roasted sweet potatoes, brown rice and/or quinoa, a big pot of chickpeas, different dips and dressings, and as many veggies cleaned, chopped, sautéed, and roasted that I can get my hands on. This makes the week ahead about a million times easier and I can not stress enough how important this step is when aiming to lead a healthy lifestyle.
This lemon-tahini dressing is one of my favorites by far. It is so versatile and could be used so many different ways. Enjoy it as a dip, a salad dressing, tossed with lentils and sautéed veggies, in a wrap or pita, or any other way you'd like!
Sweet Potato, Kale + Chickpea Bowl with Lemon-Tahini
(Makes 1 Serving)
Sweet Potato, Kale + Chickpea Bowl Ingredients:
3/4 cup brown rice, cooked
1 cup sweet potatoes, roasted (tossed in extra virgin olive oil + sea salt, optional)
2 handfuls kale, de-stemmed + chopped
1/4 cup chickpeas, rinsed + strained
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cumin
pumpkin seeds + hemp seeds, to top
1.5 Tbs tahini
2 tsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp lemon juice
1/8-1/4 tsp garlic powder
a pinch of sea salt + black pepper, or to taste
water to thin
1. Cook brown rice by adding 1 cup uncooked rice to 2 cups water. Place in a pot and let water come to a boil, then cover and let cook for 35-40 minutes or until rice is cooked. (Optional: rip off a thumb-sized piece of kombu seaweed and place in pot. The rice will absorb all of the seaweed's incredible nutrients, making it a less acidic, more alkaline grain. Once rice has cooked, remove the seaweed from the pot and discard. This trick works with any grain!)
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
3. Rinse and cube sweet potatoes, then place on parchment lined tray and toss with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Turning after 15 minutes or so.
4. While potatoes are roasting, add chopped kale with a splash of water and cover to let steam in a pan over medium heat.
5. Once kale has wilted, add brown rice, chickpeas, and spices. Toss all ingredients together to combine and reduce heat to medium-low.
6. Add roasted sweet potatoes and let cook for another 2-4 minutes.
7. During this time, make your lemon-tahini by placing all sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisking together. Slowly adding in more water to thin as necessary.
8. Place kale, brown rice, chickpea and sweet potato mixture into a bowl, then top with lemon-tahini, pumpkin seeds, and a hemp seeds!
9. Place any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
*This meal can be made neutropenic. The only concern would be the raw pumpkin seeds and lemon-tahini. Make sure to roast the pumpkin seeds on a baking tray first (300 degrees for 15 minutes), and use a tahini that also says the sesame seeds have been roasted.
I hope you all enjoy this latest obsession of mine and that it is added to your weekly meal rotation as well!