By Sari Huhtala
With our long winters and seemingly short summers we want to spend as much time as possible outdoors during the summer season, instead of our kitchens, which is why I love rice bowls as a simple dinner idea.
It’s the easiest dinner idea ever, and can be tailored to your own taste buds, and even those of finicky family members. They can also be prepared in advance and they will keep in the fridge for a few days, making yummy leftovers for lazier days when you just don’t feel like cooking.
What’s more, by adding toppings of your choice, they become nutritional powerhouses.
Prepare rice according to directions. Organic brown basmati rice is my favourite. Prepare ahead of time if desired, then just reheat. Simply prepare the rice, add the toppings, then drizzle with dressing. My favourite dressing is the lemon tahini one, but you can use whatever dressing you prefer.
Lemon tahini dressing (keeps in fridge for 10-14 days)
• ½ cup of olive oil
• ½ cup of lemon juice (I keep a bottle of organic lemon juice in the fridge for easy access)
• 2 heaping tbsp raw tahini
• 2 cloves of garlic (or more if you prefer a more garlicky flavour)
• ½ tsp Himalayan salt
• 2 heaping tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
Blend all ingredients in a blender or a Magic Bullet.
• ½ cup of olive oil
• ¼ cup of white balsamic vinegar
• 1 tbsp of Italian seasoning
Mix in a jar and shake before serving.
Notes on Nutrition
Adding nutritional yeast to foods is a great way to add nutrition to your meals. Nutritional yeast is high in B12 vitamins and is a complete protein, meaning it has all nine of the amino acids your body needs, but cannot produce on its own. Aside from using it in dressings, try sprinkling it over mashed potatoes, into soups, baked vegetables and other foods.
Tahini provides one of the best sources of calcium out there. It’s also high in B vitamins, and vitamin E, as well as minerals like magnesium, potassium and iron. It’s also a complete protein.
Rice bowls are particularly scrumptious when loaded with toppings, but you can let your family members choose their own toppings for their rice bowls.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
• Grated fresh carrots
• Grated fresh beets
• Hemp seeds
• Sunflower seeds
• Pumpkin seeds
• Walnuts or almonds
• Chickpeas toasted or fresh
• Fresh peas
• Mixed baby greens