Harvest Bowl & Struggles of a Food Blogger

Food in bowls. So simple, right? This actually took me more time to put together than I care to admit. It’s cool to make your dinner with tweezers and Q-tips, right? I’ve been struggling with the whole blog thing recently because it’s just so much easier to Instagram one picture, type a quick recipe, throw in a few hashtags and there ya go. Maybe I’m just maximizing the millennial market. Or maybe I have this thought in the back of my mind that for every one of my pictures and recipes, there are a thousand other bloggers and chefs out there doing it better. This is both inspiring and terrifying, but motivating none the less.  I’m trying to get better at writing things down as I cook, but it’s just so…hard. I never plan out what I’m making before I make it, so the idea of having a recipe ready for the blog usually comes about three quarters of the way through eating the finished dish. As I’ve said before, my mom thinks I’m a good cook (because she doesn’t cook or use the internet,) so I’m trying to write more things down so she’ll be able to eat once I’m not around to cook every day.

Which reminds me,  a lot has changed over the past few weeks. I’m officially back in Boston and officially a Registered Dietitian. A few very cool opportunities are in the pipeline and FNCE is just around the corner, but I miss LA, California, and my awesome sister who very graciously let me live on her couch for the past two months.  I’m so happy to be on the east coast for fall foliage, apple picking, and all other pumpkin spice related activities, but I was expecting to be in LA for just a little bit longer. That being said, you have to go where life’s opportunities are, and currently, my home city of Boston has presented a few attractive options in the world of food and nutrition. My personal things aside, I’m going to tell you about this dish (or bowl, depending on how you serve it,) because that is what most likely drew you to this page if you haven’t scrolled directly to the recipe already.

I REALLY like fall. It’s comforting. I like sleeping with my windows open when it’s cold, wearing jeans and sweaters, and cooking the warming foods as they say (i.e. all things roasted.) This bowl was inspired by the colors of the changing leaves. I’m not kidding. The ombre leaves shifting from green to red, yellow and orange reminded me of a 90’s fruit roll up stuck in my molars and that one impacted wisdom tooth I should’ve gotten removed. I took that concept and made it healthier and ultimately much more appealing by throwing some kale on it and giving it a name like “Harvest Bowl.”

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I made the roasted red pepper hummus myself, but I’m hesitant to call it hummus because I didn’t have tahini and used some soy yogurt instead. I would have added tahini if I had it, but I’m so broke right now and just couldn’t justify the purchase of an entire jar of tahini for one batch of hummus. Let’s call this a “Roasted Red Pepper Chickpea Spread” aka hummus.

Processed with Snapseed.

 

Processed with Snapseed.

I took some plain old kale, the kind that you see stuffed in floral arrangements as a non-edible decorative sacrifice, and made it more tolerable by massaging in avocado, lemon juice, salt and pepper. It’s pretty cool actually. The fat from the avocado, the acid from the lemon and the salt work together to break down the kale. It acts like a ceviche, but less fish. The result is creamy delicious kale in a much smaller quantity than you originally had.

Processed with Snapseed.

I failed to take pictures of the entire process because I’m such an inferior food blogger. If I did, you would see artfully placed chopped butternut squash and chickpeas on a roasting pan with the contrast, shadows and saturation increased to look really shadowy and insightful. Just imagine it for now.

Processed with Snapseed.

Finally, fresh heirloom cherry tomatoes and dried cranberries top the previous ingredients to make this bowl fully seasonal, colorful and laden with a balance of creamy and crunchy and intermixing notes of sweet and savory. As a dietitian, I should probably tell you that this bowl is full of fiber to help keep you full, healthy fats from the avocado, and antioxidants from the butternut squash and tomatoes. As a cook, I should tell you that this was really really good and you should make it, but don’t spend as much time making it look pretty and writing about it as I did. Just eat it. You can thank me later.

Harvest Bowl

Ingredients

  • Kale Salad
  • 1 bunch curly kale
  • 1 avocado
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 3 cups chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup soy yogurt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • Roasted Butternut Squash
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Crispy Chickpeas
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Instructions

    Kale Salad:
  • De-stem, rinse and roughly chop the kale. Massage the avocado, lemon juice, and salt into the kale leaves until it has darkened in color and reduced in size. Place in the fridge.
    Roasted Red Pepper Hummus:
  • Place a red pepper under the broiler at 550°F and rotate until the entire surface is blackened.
  • Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  • Once the pepper has cooled, remove the black skin and remove the seeds.
  • Pulse the smooth red flesh with chickpeas, yogurt, water, lemon juice and spices until smooth consistency is reached
    Butternut Squash:
  • Prepare a baking sheet and toss the chopped butternut squash in olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Roast the squash at 450°F for 30-40 minutes until browned and softened.
    Crispy Chickpeas:
  • Prepare a baking sheet.
  • Toss chickpeas in chili powder and roast at 450°F with butternut squash for 15-20 minutes until crispy.
    Bowl Assembly:
  • Place the kale on the bottom and top with butternut squash, crispy chickpeas, hummus, cherry tomatoes and dried cranberries for a delicious harvest bowl.
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What are your favorite cooler weather foods? Let me know!

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