A super healthy bowl with many of my favourite things all given a Japanese twist. I was thinking about winter warmers and just didn’t fancy another stew or soup. I felt like bright colours, crunch, some big textures and flavours. This is an exciting way to eat!
When it snows like this, these pictures were taken in the snow, my mind regularly thinks of Japan. I love the images of rural Japan in winter, especially when it’s covered with snow. It’s magical! Snow seems to do that, brings a sprinkle of something special to landscapes, Snowdonia is stunning today, the mountains have a whole new feel, even more majestic.
Caramelised sweet potatoes, green leaves with a zesty dressing, fresh crunchy veg and a creamy wasabi mayo. This is a warming bowl of goodness, bound to satisfy everyone. This is a gathering of the things I think we need in the depths of winter.
NEW TWIST ON COMFORT FOOD
I do love all the classic comfort food thing, I’ve just posted three soup recipes in a row, but lets re-vamp the concept of comfort food a little. Add some bright colours and new flavours. Broccoli and pak choi, radish, turnip and carrots, may all be growing at this time of year. Polytunnels are genius!! They should be easy to get hold of anyway. I am on a one man mission to get Britain eating turnips/ swedes again, but thats for another post.
Sweet potato is a treat (and maybe a little more glamorous to most) that I crack out when I feel like something a bit different, the way it takes on the flavours of the teriyaki sauce is something special. A great pairing right there. It is also packed with beta carotene which is very much welcomed at this time of year.
A winter sunshine bowl! But good anytime of year too. This is how we like to do things in the BHK for sure. Delicious food that happens to be healthy, thats a serious sweet spot right there!!
Improvise with the veg, the main highlights for me are the sweet potatoes, along with the wasabi mayo and the zesty dressing. Quinoa can be substituted for millet, cous cous, freekeh etc. The broccoli here is a bit special, purple sprouting, any blanched greens would be awesome green beans, mangetout etc, pak choi is easily subbed with chard, bok choi, kale and spring greens.
I hope to visit Japan soon, I doubt I’ll eat anything like this, but the flavours of miso and wasabi are two of my all-time, hall of fame, foodie favourites.
Teriyaki sauce is something I’ve loved since I was a kid. I spent some years in the Philippines as a child and had Japanese friends. I remember going over to their houses for dinner and being blown away by how different things were. It was crash course in chopsticks and new flavours. I loved them from the start and could see the huge difference in the way that Japanese people approach, cooked and ate food. One of my favoruites dishes was teriyaki kebabs cooked on mini BBQ’s. Teriyaki is basically a sweet soya sauce, normally including mirin and Teriyaki dishes are normally grilled.
If you’d like to make your own Teriyaki Sauce, there is a recipe in Peace & Parsnips.
I normally steer clear-ish of calling dishes Buddha bowls etc, although I imagine he would not have minded. Today is so peaceful though and the garden has taken on a zen quality, it seems deeply still, perfectly silent. It was the perfect backdrop to this lunch, appreciating being out in the icy cold, with the mountains. Feeling lucky to live in this beautiful area, but as we’re in Zen mode, there is no such thing as luck.
Maybe you’d like to try this dish out and cook it in a more mindful way? Take it easy and enjoy. It worked for me! As we know, food is much more than just the eating, we can get some joy, find some peace, in every part of the process. Jane likes washing up because it keeps her hands warm (it gets a bit chilly in our house!) There is a way to find enjoyment in any situation, or at the very least, to find a way to do things well, with awareness. Making a dish called a ‘Zen Bowl’ must be a good place to practice this, with the added benefit of a delicious, nourishing meal at the end.
Zen Bowl – Teriyaki Sweet Potato with Wasabi Mayo
The Bits – For 2
1 large sweet potatoes (peeled and chopped into wedges)
1-2 tbs teriyaki sauce (gluten-free)
1 big handful radishes (cut in half)
1 big handful broccoli florets (blanched)
1 turnip (sliced finely)
1/2 medium carrot (finely sliced)
1/2 red pepper (finely sliced)
1 small bok choi (washed, leaves picked separately)
1/2 avocado (sliced)
2 tbs toasted sesame seeds
1 cup cooked quinoa
Miso & Lime Dressing
1 tbs lime juice
1 teas light brown miso (gluten-free)
1 teas fresh ginger (finely diced)
3 tbs vegan mayo
1 teas wasabi
1 teas lime (juice)
Preheat a fan oven to 200oC, line a baking tray with parchment. Toss the sweet potato and radish in a little oil and salt, cook in the oven for 20 minutes. The radish should now be nicely cooked. Turn the sweet potatoes, carefully, and drizzle over the teriyaki sauce, making sure the potatoes are well covered. Bake for another 10 minutes. If they are nicely caramelised, take them out. If not, drizzle over more teryiyaki sauce and bake for 5 minutes more. If you repeat this process, you are guarenteed very caramelised, delicious, Teriyaki potatoes.
While the potatoes are baking, cook your quinoa, follow the packet instructions. Boil a kettle and place your brocolli in a bowl. Pour over the boiling water and leave them for a minute, drain and refresh with cold water. This makes them nice and green. Mix your wasabi mayo ingredients together (see here for our homemade vegan mayo recipe). Mix together the dressing bits and toss the pak choi leaves in it, until they are well coated.
Toast your sesame seeds in a small frying pan over medium heat or on a baking tray in the oven. It will normally take between 5-10 minutes, until the sesame seeds turn a darker brown and you get that lovely toasty smell. Scatter them over your sweet potatoes.
While the ingredients are still warm, arrange everything in a shallow bowl, including the finely sliced vegetables and avocado. Serve the wasabi mayo on the side, I firmly recommend, the first thing you do, is to dip a sweet potato in the mayo and enjoy!
Wasabi is a close relative of horseradish and cabbage, commonly known as ‘Japanese Horseradish’. It’s loaded with anti-oxidants, helping the body detox and boosting the immune system. It has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and is good for the heart. If you’re looking for the true wasabi experience, you may need to spend a little more money, cheaper, imitation wasabi can be made using horseradish and mustard. Wasabi is hard to grow, meaning that it is sought after.
Cook vegan, get healthy, be happy!