Wednesday, February 5, 2014

"Better Than Chocolate Cake" Ultimate Rice Bowl

I'm sure you've all heard of that infamous chocolate cake with the caramel, whipped cream, and toffee that is so gooey, rich, and delicious. Well, this rice bowl is the dinner version of that over-the-top dessert. It has all of my favorites mingled together: guacamole rice on the bottom, topped with tahini pumpkin butter barbecue sauce, black beans, chili-maple roasted sweet potatoes, steamed greens,  "bacon" bits, and a hemp-seed ranch drizzle.  These are the kind of inspirations that strike when I am nursing my baby in the middle of the night. See what you are missing out on by sleeping all night?

Don't shy away from trying this because of all the parts; it comes together pretty quickly. I managed to get it all together between bath time and My Little Pony, with minimal crying (on my part, I mean. Emie cried almost the whole time, I think because she wanted to eat what I was making. Alas, this is a little complex for baby food. )

For the rice:
1/12 cups brown rice, I used short, but long-grain would work
3 cups water
1/2 cup guacamole

For the Chili-Maple Sweet Potatoes:
4 cups cubed sweet potato (about 2 medium)
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp salt

For the Tahini-Pumpkin Butter BBQ Sauce:
1 cup tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. pumpkin butter
1 Tbsp. molasses
2 Tbsp. tahini
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 Tbsp. dried basil
1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
dash of pepper

For the Hemp Seed Ranch Drizzle:
1/2 cup shelled hemp seeds
scant 1/2 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried dill
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. maple syrup
2-4 Tbsp. plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk, to thin it out

To assemble:
Protein of choice: tofu, tempeh, a cup or two of black beans
Steamed greens of choice
1 recipe of my sunflower seed bacon bits

1. Cook your rice by bringing the water to a boil, adding the rice, and cooking on low for about 35 mins., until all the water is absorbed. When the rice is done, stir in the guacamole and set aside.
2. While the rice cooks, preheat your oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the sweet potatoes with olive oil, maple syrup, chili powder, and salt. Roast them in the pre-heated oven for about 15-20 mins., until easily pierced with a fork and caramelized.
3. Meanwhile, prep the sauces. Mix all of the barbecue sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl. Toss your steamed greens and protein with the barbecue sauce. Combine all of the ranch drizzle ingredients in the food processor and buzz until smooth, adding more non-dairy milk as necessary to get a drizzle-able consistency.
4. Finally, prep your sunflower seed "bacon" bits. At this point, the rice and sweet potatoes will be done, and you can layer up your bowl: guacamole rice on the bottom, then the barbecue mixture, sweet potatoes,  ranch drizzle, and a sprinkling of sunflower seeds. Enjoy the bliss.

This recipe is linked to Allergy-Free Wednesday Gluten-Free Wednesdays Healthy Vegan Fridays Wellness Weekend

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