So I was sitting in my room late last night and watching the new season of Master of None when I ought to have been thinking about what I planned to make this week. However, inspiration hit me when a character from the show jokingly commented about how fashionable young women in NYC are addicted to grain bowls. After my initial reaction, “Hey, grain bowls are delicious AND healthy!” my brain flipped towards, “Oh, I definitely need to make a grain bowl tomorrow.” Then I stayed up all evening pondering these sweet potato grain bowls, including Green Tahini Sauce.
WHAT IS A “GRAIN BOWL”?
The grain bowl has an assortment of salads that use cooked grains instead of greens. They generally come in various textures, colors, and flavors, making the food delightful. They also usually end up providing many nutrients when you eat them. Another great benefit of cereal bowls is they’re great for preparing meals, as I’m desperately trying to be more disciplined with my food habits after traveling for two of the last three weeks. Ouch.
WHAT OTHER GRAINS CAN I USE?
I began the Sweet Potato Grain Bowls using prepared New Windowbulgur because it’s affordable and straightforward, and I enjoy the taste and texture. Bulgur is wheat berries, which have been broken into pieces (just as steel-cut oats, however, with wheat berries, not the oat-based berries). I like how the texture of the cooked food is a bit chewy, and the taste is sweet and nutty. In reality, it’s possible to substitute any other grain to replace it. Brown rice, wi,ld rice, farro, barley, or even Quinoa (technically considered a seed). You can even do a tiny pasta like couscous or orzo in a pinch.
1 cup of uncooked bulgur* ($0.93)
2 lbs. sweet potatoes ($1.97)
2 Tbsp New Windowolive oil ($0.26)
One pinch of salt with pepper ($0.05)
1 15oz. container of black beans ($0.79)
One avocado ($1.50)
One jalapeno ($0.12)
1/4 cup pepitas ($0.60)
GREEN TAHINI SAUCE
1/3 cup tahini ($1.08)
1/3 cup of water ($0.00)
One cup juice of lemon ($0.18)
One clove of garlic ($0.08)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin ($0.05)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.02)
1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
1 cup fresh cilantro (loosely packed) ($0.50)
Fresh parsley 1 cup (loosely wrapped) ($0.50)
Place the bulgur not cooked in an oven-proof saucepan and set it in a saucepan with a medium flame. Stir and cook the dry bulgur on moderate heat for about 2 minutes or until it is fragrant or nutty. Please remove it from the flame. Add 2 cups of water to mix to combine,, place a lid over the top, and then bring the water to a boil over high temperatures. Once it has reached a boiling, point, reduce the heat to a simmering level and let it simmer for approximately 12 minutes, with the lid in place. Switch off the heat and allow the bulgur to rest for five minutes.
Take the lid off the pot and then fluff the bulgur using the help of a fork. Let the bulgur cool (I prefer to put it in the refrigerator without lid to allow it to cool rapidly while drying slightly).
While the bulgur is cooking, cook, heat the oven to 400oF. Peel and cut your sweet potato into 3/4-inch cubes. Place the cubes of sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil. Sprinkle the salt and pepper. Then, mix the cubes until they’re covered with oil. Bake the sweet potato in the oven that is preheated for 20 minutes. Stir them and then roast for another 10-15 minutes until soft and lightly browned around the edges.
Make the green Tahini sauce when the sweet potato roasts in the oven. Put all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and mix until the herbs are cut into tiny pieces, and the sauce is a light green. Test the sauce and adjust the salt if required.
Cut the avocado and jalapeno into slices. Rinse and remove the beans black.
Place 3/4-1 cup of cooked, and cooled bulgur into each bowl to put the bowls together. Divide the sweet potato avocado, black beans, and jalapeno equally between the bowls. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of pepitas in each bowl, and then pour the green tahini dressing over all of it. Make sure you are generous with this green sauce because it’s responsible for a lot of the flavor of this dish. If you’re cooking the meal,, keep this sauce separately until the moment you are ready to serve.