Hi lovelies! So, today’s post is part of a blogger challenge set by online retail organic and healthy lifestyle pioneers Faithful to Nature. They asked a bunch of bloggers to create something using some of their amazing products available online and our choice of seasonal fresh produce too. I’m super nervous since the other contenders for the competition are proper food bloggers and really good photographers too, but anyway, here goes….
When you’re catering for 5, all with very different tastes and health goals and when time is limited, it’s easy to fall into the pasta trap – and lately we’ve been wallowing in the bottom of a pasta abyss. But since The Captain has recently started banting, Chloe (17) is trying to limit her carbs and up her veggie intake, Sarah (14) is going through a growth spurt and leans towards veggies anyway and Charley (2.5) is obsessed with carrots one day and turns her nose up at them the next – I’m often stumped as to what to cook for supper. Oh, and I forgot myself – since I’m breastfeeding, I need loads of protein, vitamins and some complex carbohydrates too – I swear, supper can feel like an algebra exam some days!
That’s why I’m a big fan of nourish bowls. They’re a fantastic way to eat seasonally, to work with whatever is in your pantry, fridge or garden and dolly it up a bit and they’re economical too since the basic grains and legumes are generally what you would (or should) have in your pantry. They’re a step up from a bog standard salad and they cater for ALL tastes. If someone doesn’t like tomatoes (Chloe, Charley) then they can have extra carrots or greens and if someone loves hummus (Sarah and I) well then an extra dollop can go their way. It limits wastage too because nothing freaks me out more than unnecessary food wastage!
EASY, PEOPLE PLEASING NOURISH BOWLS
So…the components of a nourish bowl?
• Greens and fresh herbs
• A complex carbohydrate or two ie. grain or pulse – unless you’re banting of course
• Protein (cheese, avocado, quinoa)
• A little extra summing summing – nuts, seeds, sprouts, chilli, onion, edible flowers etc
What I’ve used in our nourish bowl (it changes all the time)
• Greens: Cos lettuce because I can’t stand frilly lettuce and because it’s well priced and because it’s super easy to chop and serve or to use the leaves to scoop things up
• Veggies: Steamed asparagus and baby carrots, roasted vine tomatoes (yay, they’ve just come into season), pak choi (something new for everyone to try) and corn (always a crowd pleaser)
• Complex carbohydrate: shortgrain brown rice, homemade hummus
• Protein/fat: grilled halloumi (a spoil, ordinarily I’d just use feta), avocado, boiled egg, good olive oil for drizzling and flavour
• Toasted raw cashews
• Olive oil and lemon juice
The deal is to make it a visual feast – it’s all part of encouraging people to enjoy their fresh and nutritious offerings. While I can’t imagine it, for some people eating is a chore, and to make food ‘pop’ using colour and texture can make all the difference. It’s fun teaching Charley about new tastes and names (she still calls baby marrows mushrooms, but I’m going with it) and as far as variety goes, well you don’t get more varied than a nourish bowl – who doesn’t love a little bit of this and a little bit of that?!
Some time saving tips
• If you’re not a fan of all-raw veggies take those five minute gaps in your day and steam then blanche veg for nourish bowls, lunchboxes and snacks on the run. Keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to use them.
• Also, it helps to keep a container of chopped raw veggies in the fridge so when you’re putting your bowls together, the prep time is shortened significantly. The same goes for hummus, brown rice and boiled eggs – all can be made ahead of time and for more than one meal.
• Use a griddle pan to cook a few things at the same time – from your tomatoes to halloumi and cashews and I also like to toss the asparagus onto a griddle for a few seconds to give it some extra flavour.
From the pantry:
These are the items I grabbed from our grocery cupboard and fridge (available at Faithful to Nature of course
• For the hummus: chickpeas, tahini, lemon, garlic, olive oil, salt
• Shortgrain brown rice
• Cashews (I have to hide these because everyone is always eating them!)
• Olive oil, salt, pepper
HOW TO ASSEMBLE YOUR NOURISH BOWL
Makes 1 nourish bowl
• Wash and separate Cos lettuce leaves and line bowl
• Cook brown rice according to instructions and spoon 2 Tbsp into bowl
• Now add steamed, roasted and raw veggies of choice, working your way in a circle to create an attractive bowl
• Add sliced avo, a halved medium boiled egg, a healthy dollop of hummus and sprouts and drizzle with olive oil. I’m a fan of salt so a good sprinkle of Maldon sea salt and a crunch of black pepper is a must for me! Drizzle with olive oil.
• Don’t forget extras like sprouts, edible flowers and red onion for crunch and flavour
400g cooked chickpeas
2 tsp tahini
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp olive oil
1.5 tbsp lemon juice
Add ingredients to a food processor or blend with a hand blender. Add more salt to taste. Optional extra: add flat leaf parsley while blending your hummus.
Wish me luck! If i win a place in the blogger challenge (checl out the Faithful to Nature Insta to see what everyone else has been up to), i’ll pop a Faithful to Nature voucher onto the blog for one of you!