Over the last year we have consumed more boxes of Annie’s mac and cheese than I would like to admit. Trying to feed my family on a humble budget, navigating that first year postpartum, and hubs not getting home until after dinner hours, has been kind of tricky. Quite honestly if I could, I would have ordered thai take out or let whole foods prepare all my meals for me. But instead I opted for Annies’ mac and cheese and roasted some broccoli or carrots to make myself feel a little better. The truth is, I have had to let go a lot of my ideals over the last two years. Not just when it comes to the food that goes into our bodies, but the culture and traditions surrounding food. I can’t remember a time we all sat and stayed at our table for longer than 5 minutes. How anyone (not excluding myself) can get up from the table so many times in the time it takes to start and finish ones meal is mind boggling. You would have to see it to believe it! I recently laughed and then almost cried when I went back and read all the romantic visions of my family and I sharing meals at a table. We WILL get there, I am sure of it, it will just take time. Taking time, this seems to be life lesson, a theme that continues to weave itself through my experiences.
A year later I feel like the fog is lifting and I am finding a rhythm. We are moving past boxed mac and cheese, roasted potatoes and fried eggs. We are moving up to rice and beans. Not a rice and beans bowl that has you longing for thai take out, but a beans and rice bowl that gets you thinking you could it every night of the week. We actually tried it, and then I gave myself a big pat on my back, because it never got old!
What’s great is that you could really use any vegetables you have around, it’s a good cleaning out the kitchen, type of meal. I like this combination of black beans, avocado and kale because my girls will eat that (most of the time.) The sauce was actually a clean out the fridge kind of sauce and the sweet and spicy sunflower seeds came from the new sprouted kitchen cookbook. Simple, nutritious, earth conscious, kid friendly(ish), and doable on a humble budget. This bowl, it’s a keeper, it’s one for the blog!
1 bunch of kale, stemmed and chopped
1 can of black beans
2 ripe avocados
4 cups cooked brown rice
Sweet + Spicy Sunflower seeds
3/4 c. raw sunflower seeds
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 tbsp. coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup tanhini
1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. white or yellow miso paste
1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. maple syrup
4 tbsp. water
Salt + pepper to taste
Rinse and cook rice as directed on package. While the rice is cooking, prepare the rest of your bowl. Place all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Set aside. Wash and de-stem kale, and chop. Place in a medium bowl and massage with a drizzle of olive oil for 2 minutes until it starts to break down in volume and softens. Set aside. Place sunflower seeds in a skillet over medium heat. Toast for about 5 minutes until slightly golden brown, turning often. Add salt and cayenne and cook for 2 more minutes, and then add coconut palm sugar. Using a spatula, keep moving the seeds around the pan while the sugar melts and starts to stick to the seeds. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until toasted and fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside. Place kale in a skillet with olive oil and sautee for 5-7 minutes over low to medium heat. Set aside. Prepare each bowl with rice, slices of avocado, black beans and kale. Sprinkle with toasted sweet and spicy sunflower seeds. Generously pour sauce over your bowl. Enjoy warm or cold.