If you’re one of those people who likes to mix their food, like me, you’ll love the new cookbook, Bowls of Plenty by Carolynn Carreño.
Bowls of Plenty Review
Food bowls have become incredibly popular lately – from smoothie bowls to burrito bowls, they have become a huge trend in the culinary world. And in this book, Carreño offers you a ton of hearty, healthy, and delicious options.
Carreño never really had “white” grains growing up, but realized early on in her career as a food writer, in which she was constantly sampling a smorgasbord of food, that food affects how you feel. (Amen, sister).
She wanted to ditch the “food hangovers” and bloating caused by buttery and fried foods, so she turned to bowls filled with vegetables, whole grains, and small amounts of animal protein. (Which was a good idea if you ask me!)
Carreño’s food philosophy focuses on delicious foods that are also healthy –or healthyish.
The book is packed with dozens of bowl recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.
Here are just a few of the mouthwatering options:
Coconut Curry Rice Bowl, with Green Vegetables and Sweet Potatoes
Butternut Squash Risotto with Slow Cooked Kale
Burnt Vegetable Bowl with Black Rice and Lentils and Tahini Sauce
Quinoa and Poached Salmon Salad with Confetti Vegetables
Brazilian Bowl with Quick Cooked Collard Greens and Aji (recipe below)
Note, while the bowls are definitely plant-based, there are recipes in the book that include small amounts of dairy, animal products, and gluten-containing grains, but any bowl could easily be made vegan and gluten-free. Simply swap them out or omit them. For dessert recipes, I’d recommend replacing the (small!) amounts of refined sugar with a better natural sweetener, like coconut sugar or monk fruit sugar. For canola oil, depending on the recipe, I’d use avocado oil, coconut oil, or olive oil.
To prepare the squash, adjust the oven racks so none is near the oven floor; you are going to put the baking sheet on the oven floor. (If you have an oven that doesn’t allow you to put a baking sheet on the floor, put a second rack as close to the floor as possible.) Preheat the oven to 500°F.
Toss the squash slices on a baking sheet with the oil, salt, and paprika or pepper flakes, if you’re using them, and lay them flat in a single layer. Bake the squash on the oven floor or lowest rack until the sides touching the pan are deep brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and turn each half-moon with tongs. Return the squash to the oven to roast until the second side is deep brown, 5 to 6 minutes.
To prepare the greens, stack three or four collard leaves at a time and roll them lengthwise into a tight log. Cut across the log to thinly slice the leaves,stopping when you get to the stems, and discard the stems.
Pour enough oil to coat a large skillet and heat the oil over high heat for about 2 minutes, until it is searing hot and slides like water in the pan but is not smoking. Add the garlic and greens, season with the salt and cook, folding the greens with tongs, for 1 to 2 minutes, until they are bright, emerald green.
FOR THE BRAZILIAN RICE
Liberally coat a medium saucepan with oil and heat the oil over medium heat for about 1 minute, just to warm it a bit. Add the onion, sprinkle with the salt, and sauté until tender and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes, stirring often so it doesn’t brown. Add the garlic and cook, stirring continuously so the garlic doesn’t brown, for 1 minute.*
Add the rice and cook, stirring continuously, for 1 to 2 minutes, until it is slightly pearlescent and begins to smell like rice. Add the stock plus 1 cup water and let it come to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered and without stirring, until the rice has absorbed the stock and is tender, about 1 hour. Turn off the heat and let the rice rest for 10 minutes in the pan. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.
FOR THE AJÍ
Tear off the leafy portion of the cilantro bunches (grab the whole bunch at the neck and twist it off) and discard the long stems. Throw the cilantro in a blender. Add 2 tablespoons water and the rest of the ingredients and blast the blender until the ingredients are pureed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender jar once or twice in the process. Refrigerate in a covered container for up to a week.
TO ASSEMBLE THE BOWLS
Spoon the rice and beans in the bowls. Lift the greens out of the skillet and onto the bowls and lay the squash on top. Drizzle each bowl with ají and scatter the jalapeño slices. Put on your favorite bossa nova mix, and eat.
*Contrary to widespread belief, those little chips of chewy brown garlic are not what we’re going for when we sauté garlic. Garlic cooked this way is bitter. If you let the garlic get that far, clean out the pan and start over.
Maria Marlowe is a holistic nutrition and wellness coach who uses real food to help her clients improve their health, weight, and skin. She offers a 28-day healthy eating meal plan that teaches you how to batch cook, as well as one to clear up acne. Her most popular program is EatSLIM, a 10-week online group glass that guides participants to develop healthy eating habits that stick – and lose weight, boost their metabolism, improve their digestion, and quit sugar.
She writes healthy and delicious plant-based recipes for her popular blog. She is also the author of the #1 New Release on Amazon, The Real Food Grocery Guide, the most practical guide to selecting the healthiest foods, without going broke, which has been praised by Dr. Oz and InStyle magazines. You can find her on instagram @mariamarlowe.