Boring salad bowls make me cringe. If it lacks fat, texture, acid, and flavour then its going to be unsatisfying and feel like just a "salad". Most weeks I like to prep a few flavourful components so I can throw together a bowl that actually satisfies. This is one of my favourite combos. Massaged greens, roasted beets that have been marinated after cooking, chewy pesto rice, marinated feta (your new favourite thing) and more garlicky herb pesto. This combo is filled with protein, fibre, healthy fats and more importantly, flavour! This will be a weekly lunch time rotation.
Serves 4 bowls
6-8 oz sheep/goats milk feta (brick form)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tbsp red or white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch chili flakes
freshly ground black pepper
fresh or dried herbs of choice such as parsley, thyme or oregano few sprigs of each or 1 tsp dried
Roasted & Marinated Beets
1 bunch of beets, with tops
1 shallot, minced
3 tbsp red or white wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
4 packed cups hearty greens of choice such as kale, beet greens, swiss chard etc, thinly minced
1/2 lemon, juiced
drizzle of olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chewy Brown Rice
1 cup brown rice dry, cooked to package directions
few tbsp of pesto (see below)
Ramp Hemp Seed Pesto
1 large bunch of ramps, greens only (if you can't find ramps use 1 bunch green onions (green part) + 1/2 cup fresh parsley)
1/3 cup hemp seeds
1 clove garlic, 2 if you don't have ramps
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and freshly cracked black pepper
First, marinate your feta as you want this to sit for the longest amount of time. Place feta (you can break into large chunks) and all other ingredients into a glass jar or container. Seal/cover give a good shake and place in the fridge. Allow to marinate at least a few hours before eating and this will stay good for a week or two! The longer the better.
Pre heat oven to 400'. Peel and cube your beets. (save the greens for later, clean and set aside) Toss chopped beetswith olive oil, salt and pepper and bake on a parchment lined sheet (push them together so they don't dry out AKA the only time ill tell you to yes..crowd the pan!) and bake until tender and a fork pokes through. About 20-25 mins. Once ready place in a bowl with all the olive oil and juices and add your vinegar and minced shallot. Toss and set aside or refrigerate in a sealed container for later.
Prepare your rice to package directions then once ready stir in a few tbsp of your prepared pesto. Set aside or store in a covered glass container for later.
Separate greens from white part on the ramps. Save white parts for another use. Bring a large pot of salted boiling water to a boil and blanch the greens for 30 seconds. Remove and add to a bowl of cold water. Drain and squeeze dry. In a blender or food processor add your hemp seeds, garlic, lemon juice, blanched ramp tops (or green onion tops + parsley). Blitz and slowly stream in olive oil until incorporated. Salt and pepper to taste and pour into a jar and set aside or refrigerate.
Add minced greens to a bowl and add olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Using your hands, massage the greens for a few minutes with the juices to break the fibres. This will make the tough kale/greens of choice tender and flavourful! Set aside or store in a glass container with a lid and refrigerate for later.
Like I mentioned, all of this gets better as it sits. This is why its great to prep ahead for lunches for the week. I like to keep everything in separate glass containers and just build my bowl when I am ready for it.
Place a handful of massaged greens at the bottom. Top with a half a cup or so of brown rice, a few spoonfuls of beets, and the vinegar. Drizzle with a few spoonfuls of pesto and a few chunks of marinated feta with some of the oil/juice. Top with freshly cracked black pepper and enjoy!
To change things up you can swap the rice for quinoa, farro or even chickpeas. Swap beets for another roasted veg such as broccoli, zucchini, asparagus. Change the herbs up in your pesto etc, Get creative!!