Don’t get me wrong, I am obsessed with bright, summer flavors. Which is why most of my diet involves ways to best display the fresh flavors of local summer produce. Last night, however, I was really in the mood for something umami – our infamous “fifth primary taste,” or a pleasant savory taste. When I think umami, I think rich, earthy flavors: mushrooms, tomatoes, lentils. This desire to create a dish full of umami coincided with the day before grocery shopping, when you start throwing caution to the wind and pairing things you think may not pair that well together, in order to make room for this week’s fresh produce. Luckily for me, this did not happen. I was absolutely blown away by the end result of my freestyle cooking experiment. I put together sprouted quinoa and sprouted lentils, chickpeas, tomato, mushrooms, carrot, kale, onion, and artichoke hearts and tossed it with a tahini-lemon-basil sauce that was out of this world. YUM. It was simple, super flavorful and immensely satisfying. And definitely satiated my umami craving.
Earth Goddess Bowl
- 1 cup of sprouted quinoa
- 1 1/2 cup of broth
- 1 cup of sprouted lentils
- 1 16-oz packaged of sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 1/2 cups of grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 bunch of kale, destemmed and roughly chopped
- 1 cup of grated carrot
- 1 15.5-oz can of chickpeas
- 1 15.5 oz can of artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
- 1/2 – 2/3 cup of tahini, to taste
- 2 – 3 lemons, juiced
- 2 cloves of garlic
- a large handful of fresh basil
- Cook the quinoa and lentils to package directions. In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to boil and add the quinoa. Allow the quinoa to simmer for 12 – 15 minutes. In a second small saucepan, add the lentils to a pot of boiling water, reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for about 5 minutes. Drain the lentils, allow the quinoa to steam for about 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
- While the quinoa and lentils are simmering, saute the mushrooms. Heat a turn of olive oil in a saute pan, add the diced onion. Saute the onion until softened and slightly translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook until tender and slightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Flash steam the kale for 1 minute. Remove from steamer and allow to cool slightly. Drain the chickpeas and artichokes. Rinse the chickpeas in a colander, and roughly chop the artichokes.
- In a large bowl, combine quinoa, lentils, halved tomatoes, onion and mushroom mixture, steamed kale, carrot, chickpeas, artichoke hearts. Stir to combine.
- In a food processor, add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and basil. Pulse until a thick, sauce-like consistency forms – about one minute. Adjust any seasoning, adding a pinch of sea salt or freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Toss the sauce with the quinoa and lentil mixture, serve immediately with a wedge of lemon.
Um, this was AMAZING. The flavor combination was out of this world. Sometimes the best dishes happen when you have nothing planned and just start throwing stuff together to see how it tastes. It needs almost no additional salt or pepper, the lemon and tahini were all the flavors the dish needed to make it pop.
It’s exactly what I needed last night as a “pre-fall” meal. Sometimes you just need to mix it up. 🙂 I hope that you guys enjoy this as much as I did – it’s pretty fantastic.
PS: Happy #GratiTuesday! Today I’m grateful for the ability to take chances. 😀