Grain Bowl with Mandarin Ginger Dressing

We’ve started the week with an amazing green smoothie and we’re already feeling a little less like a stuffed turkey. So let’s keep up the good work and head into Tuesday with a beautiful Grain Bowl with a lovely, light Mandarin Ginger Dressing. Grain bowls are healthy, look so tempting and it really isn’t that hard to make them. We used Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend, which is a delicious mix of Israeli style couscous (which is a larger, rounder type of couscous), orzo, baby garbanzo beans and red quinoa, but you can basically substitute any grain you like or have at hand such as brown rice, regular couscous, barley, farro or bulgur. The idea is to make the grain the focal point of the bowl and then build several colorful elements around the grain, ideally with different textures and flavors. It’s actually a great fridge foraging dish for those bits and pieces you have knocking around, especially for your protein of choice. We used shrimps, but do you have a bit of rotisserie chicken left over from last night’s dinner? Pile it on! Remember the roasted veggies recipe we posted on Sunday? The leftovers are right in here too. Don’t have baby kale? Substitute baby spinach. The Mandarin Ginger recipe ties everything together nicely AND you have the extra vitamin C boost of the mandarin and the amazing anti-inflammatory aspect of the ginger. That’s what we call a win-win!


Ingredients


Grain Bowl:

  • 1 cup of a grain of your choice prepared according to the package instructions. We made the Trader Joe’s Harvest Grain Blend with chicken stock for extra flavor.

  • 1/3 cup of shredded carrots

  • 1 mushroom with the stem removed, sliced thinly

  • 1 cup of baby kale

  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallots

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • pinch of salt

  • 1/2 cup roasted vegetables (see our Sunday post for recipe!)

  • 4 deveined, precooked shrimp

  • olive oil

  • Optional: 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds, cilantro or parsley for garnishing


Dressing:

  • 1”x1” inch cube of fresh ginger or substitute 1 teaspoon of ginger paste

  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil

  • 4 mandarins, juiced

  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • ground pepper (three turns of the grinder)


Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a blender and pulse until well mixed and a bit creamy. If you don’t have a blender, definitely use ginger paste instead of fresh ginger to make your life easier and whisk everything together well. If you’re using fresh ginger, strain the dressing through a fine sieve. Set aside.

Put shallots and garlic in a small saucepan with a teaspoon of olive oil on medium heat and sauté until shallots are translucent. Add the baby kale, a pinch of salt and sauté until just wilted. Take out of pan. If you like your shrimp warm, use the same pan (no need to clean it) to heat them.

Take a smallish bowl like a cereal bowl and put your prepared grains in the middle of the bowl. Now arrange your ingredients on the edge of the bowl around the grains. You can start with the carrots, arrange the mushrooms next to those. Then comes the kale, next to that the roasted vegetables. Then the shrimps or protein of choice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Pour dressing all over. Garnish with cilantro or parsley.



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