sunflower life bowl

sunflower life bowl

“sunflower life bowl” is hands down the most hippie name i’ve ever given to a recipe. it fits though, because when i haven’t been eating as well as i should, i make this. when i’m chowing down on all those good late-winter veggies, greens and living sunflower sprouts it feels like i’m giving a gift to every cell in my body. it just feels good to eat this. i buy the living sunflower sprouts at my local natural food store. they are only a few dollars and i keep them on the kitchen windowsill. bonus: with regular watering, they keep producing. pea shoots too, will go on forever.

this is less of a recipe and more a combining of ingredients. the recipes are the really the preparing of the individual components, so make any or all of them that you like. it can be made with any vegetables that are fresh and seasonal or that you just feel like eating, but i have to say this combo is really nice together

i try to keep containers in my fridge of cooked grains, roasted root vegetables, greens, some marinating tofu or tempeh and a few dressings so i can throw together a veggie grain bowl like this for dinner or an easy lunch. beets can be cooked anytime, peeled, and then kept in the fridge for whenever you want them.

i’ve used tempeh here, but if you’re a meat-eater by all means feel free to use any protein you like.

as for the cheese, i chose this lovely mild brebis frais from best baa dairy, but leave it off for a vegan bowl.


Sunflower Life Bowl

sunflower life bowl

1 cup farro*
2 cups water
3 small golden beets
2 small red beets
1 small butternut squash
8 oz tempeh or tofu
2 tsp tamari
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. canola oil
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. nutritional yeast
4 cups mixed greens
2 cups sunflower sprouts
200 g (7oz) soft sheep or goat cheese


1 small clove garlic, finely minced
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup sunflower seed butter
2 tsp. tamari
2 tsp. rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sriracha or hot sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup canola oil

bring the water to a boil. add a pinch of salt, then stir in the farro. bring back up to a boil. cover, remove from hear, and allow to stand for 1 hour, or until farro has absorbed all the water.

preheat oven to 400F. place beets in a glass dish and add 1″ water. cover tightly with foil and cook until tender, about 1 1/2-2 hours, depending on size of beets. cool, then peel and set aside.

peel squash and cut in half lengthwise. scrape out seeds, and cut into 3/4″ thick slices. arrange on a parchment-lined pan. sprinkle with alt and pepper and drizzle with some olive oil. roast for 10 minutes, flip pieces, and roast 10 minutes more. set aside to cool

slice the tempeh or tofu into 1/2″ thick slices. whisk together tamari, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. marinate for 30 minutes or up to overnight. cook in a hot non-stick pan or grill pan for 2 minutes per side, (or use the bbq). Set aside.

heat the 1 tsp. canola oil to high. toss in the chickpeas and cook for 2-3 minutes or until hot and a little brown. remove from heat, add the paprika and nutritional yeast and toss well.

whisk together all dressing ingredients and pour into a glass jar with a lid.

to assemble, divide the greens among 4 bowls, and top with 1/4 of the farro. arrange the beets, squash, tofu, chickpeas, and a spoonful of the cheese on top. drizzle with the dressing, and mound with a handful of the sunflower sprouts.

*farro may also be called spelt grains or emmer. whatever you call it, its a nutty, chewy, tasty little variety of wheat!

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salted macaroon granola

salted macaroon granola

i have great, great news for you. this salted macaroon granola is somewhat healthy. unlike commercial granola it isn’t fat laden. it’s full of whole grains and  contains only a small amount of unrefined sugar as well as a good handful of cacao nibs, a bona-fide “superfood” and other things that are closer to the good side of the food spectrum. okay, so it’s not broccoli, but it’s not brownie cheesecake either. i don’t think enjoying something sweet and tasty should (always) make you feel dirty after.

there are times i really crave chocolate. like right now. also, 5 minutes ago. that’s when i grab a little handful of this yummy stuff. thanks to the triumvirate of cocoa power, cacao nibs, and a smattering of vegan chocolate chips, this is REALLY chocolatey. it should be noted that i never use caps. not even when i spell my own name, so this is like, huge. there are also coconut chips and sliced almonds, mingling amongst the big clusters of oats, kamut, rye, and bran, so it goes without saying this granola packs a decent crunch.

all bliss-inducing chocolate dreaminess aside, the cacao nibs are pretty special. they are a source of powerful antioxidants and release euphoria-inducing neurotransmitters. a chemical in cacao called PEA sharpens you up and makes you feel more alert. (i know this to be a true and undisputed fact, because it’s 1 am and i came up with the word “triumvirate”).

sprinkled over some greek yogurt or doused with almond milk, it’s breakfast. mix a bit up with some air-popped popcorn and it’s snacking gold. or just crack the jar and stick your hand in there. now is good.

salted macaroon granola

salted macaroon granola

4 cups of a mixture of rolled oats, kamut flakes, rye flakes, barley flakes, etc. (any combo you like)
1/2 cup wheat bran
1/2 cup sliced raw almonds
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup liquid honey or brown rice syrup
3 tbsp. cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1 cup organic cacao nibs
1 1/2 cups raw, organic coconut chips
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

preheat oven to 350f. line a large baking sheet with parchment. in a large bowl, mix together the grains, wheat bran, and almonds. in a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, melt the coconut oil with the honey or brown rice syrup until runny. remove from heat. whisk in the cocoa powder and salt until very smooth. scrape out of pot into the bowl with the grains. toss well to combine (i usually just use my hands).

turn out onto prepared pan. bake for 1/2 hour, stir once, and bake an additional 15 minutes. remove from oven and allow to cool completely. it should not be the slightest bit warm.

when cooled, gently break up the granola so that some large chunks remain. toss with the cacao nibs, coconut chips, and chocolate chips. store in an airtight container or glass jar. eat with reckless abandon.

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vegan barley-millet breakfast bowl

barley millet breakfast bowl

i’m not much of a breakfast person. when i get up, all i want is coffee. my eyes don’t work. playing with fire or knives would be a bad idea.

what i do find though, is if there is something available, i’m more likely to eat it. i guess i could have made a long story short and just said, i’m lazy in the morning, which is true, and i’ll freely admit it. so when i’m full of energy at night, i’ll make a few breakfasty-type things to have on hand, like cooked grains.

millet is an underused little seed that i love! it’s nutty and crunchy, easy to prepare, and makes a tasty addition to this breakfast bowl.

i had some leftover barley after making this. you can use quinoa, wheat berries, kasha, whatever you’re feeling.

barley millet breakfast bowl

vegan barley-millet breakfast bowl

1/2 cup millet
1 cup water
1/2 cup cooked barley
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 banana, diced
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup toasted almonds*
1/2 cup almond milk

place the millet in a small saucepan and heat to medium, shaking the pan to toast the millet. the grains will start to pop and when they just start to give off a bit of smoke, are turning golden, and smell toasty, carefully add the water (carefully – it will sputter and spit at you). Bring to a boil. Cover and turn heat off. Allow to stand for 20 minutes, or until millet has absorbed all the water. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool completely. stir in maple syrup.

for each bowl, place 1/4 of the millet and 1/4 of the barley. top with 1.4 of the bananas and berries, and sprinkle with almonds. pour over a little almond milk, and drizzle with a little more maple syrup, if you like it a little sweeter.

*i used whole, unblanched, raw almonds and chopped them roughly before toasting in a dry pan.

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