Are you on Instagram? I have to say, it's my favourite form of social media. What's better than a constant stream of your favourite people's photographs? You get a peek inside someone's life, little snippets of their day. The interaction is fun too. Scrolling through the feed is one of my favourite ways to pass time when I need a little distraction. I mostly like to share recipes that I'm testing, meals, or some behind the scenes blog, book, and photography stuff. There are also some people, scenery, and travel shots, and of course, crazy who is by far the fan favourite. Like when I shared a shot of him playing . Just when you least expect it Sketchie pops out of no where and kung fu kitties the dice across the room!
Did I mention that I came downstairs one morning and our entire unfinished Monopoly game was flipped upside down on the floor?
Only a cat only a cat.
Anyway, I've discovered a lot of inspiring people on Instagram (ok, ok, and adon't tell Sketchie). One such lady is who shares some great photos, like her veggie bowls (which inspired today's recipe!). Even though I've had this combo of ingredients many times before, it's the way she carefully presents each bowl, so beautifully constructed and pleasing to the eye that really hooks me. I love a good food rainbow! It's true what they say - we eat with our eyes. And I've never been one to resist a vibrant bowl of plants.
I'll be the first to admit that I don't always bother plating my food nicely when I'm not photographing it; sometimes the only thing I care about is how quickly I can sit down to eat. I throw the food on the plate and that is that. Luckily, vegetables tend to look beautiful anyway (unless we're talking about mushroom pesto ). But it is fun to put more effort into it now and then, especially when I want to impress the people I'm feeding or to get myself out of a food rut. Give me a colourful plate of food and I'm a happy girl.
THE BIG VEGAN BOWL
Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, sugar-free
Can't you just imagine this bowl being served at a vegan restaurant? Well, why not make it in the comfort of your own home? It looks like it would take a long time to prepare, but it only set me back about 25 minutes of prep time. I simply roasted the sweet potato and chickpeas, cooked some quinoa on the stove top, and chopped a few veggies. It's pretty laid back and you can tend to other things while it's cooking. Due to the hummus and avocado, there's no real need for a dressing unless of course you want to throw some on. My would be great on this, but it's great plain too. Next time you are in a lunch or dinner rut, give this a shot! It's simple vegan food at its finest.
2 Large Bowls
* 1 large sweet potato, chopped into 3/4-inch cubes
* 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (about 1.5 cups)
* 1 cup uncooked quinoa
* 1 large carrot, peeled & julienned
* purple cabbage or vegetable of choice, shredded
* couple handfuls of greens for the base (optional)
* lots of hummus
* sliced avocado
* hemp seeds.
* Preheat oven to 400F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
* Spread out the chopped sweet potato on one sheet. Drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon of oil or so and toss the potatoes until coated. Sprinkle with fine grain sea salt.
* For the roasted chickpeas: Drain and rinse the chickpeas and then place on a large tea towel and pat until completely dry. Discard any skins that fall off. Transfer the chickpeas to the baking sheet and drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon oil. Rub them around with your hands until lightly coated. Generously sprinkle with fine grain sea salt and your favourite spices. I like to use garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and salt. Toss gently to combine.
* Place both the sweet potato and chickpeas into the preheated oven. Roast for 15 minutes at 400F and then remove both. Flip the sweet potatoes and gently roll around the chickpeas. Place back in the oven for another 15 minutes or so, watching closely during the last 5 minutes. When the chickpeas are golden and the sweet potatoes are lightly browned on the bottom and fork tender, they are ready to come out.
* Meanwhile, cook the quinoa while the roasting is going on. In a fine mesh sieve, rinse the quinoa and then place in a medium pot. Add in 1.5 cups of water and stir. Bring the mixture to a low boil and then reduce the heat to low/medium and cover with lid. Simmer, covered, for about 14-17 minutes (you can check after 13 minutes), until all of the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy. Remove from heat and leave the lid on to steam for another 5-10 minutes or longer if needed. Fluff with fork.
* Assemble the bowl: Add a couple handfuls of greens into a large shallow bowl. I had some leftover so I used that for my base. When the roasted veggies and chickpeas are done, allow the chickpeas to cool for 5 minutes and then add them on the salad followed by the sliced avocado, hummus, shredded veggies, and hemp seeds. See picture for how I plated it.
* Serve immediately and enjoy! You can use dressing if you'd like, but I don't usually bother. If you have leftover sweet potato and roasted chickpeas, you can place them in the fridge. Reheat in the oven at 400F for about 5-10 minutes.
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