Warm rice, roasted sweet potatoes and beets, and lemon garlic kale all drizzled in an AMAZING creamy chickpea dressing.
This sweet potato kale warm grain bowl is perfect for lunch or dinner. Make your meal prep delicious with this easy, vegan, gluten-free, top 8 free meal!
This type of meal has as many names as iterations of its deliciousness: power bowls, Buddha bowls, grain bowls, bean and rice bowls. No matter what you call them, they are one of my staples in my kitchen, whipping them up about once a week.
Free From: wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, fish, shellfish, crustaceans, mollusks, celery, corn, sesame, mustard, lupin, sulfites, and more
What makes these even better are how they will save you time throughout the week. Make this once, double the recipe, and you have lunch all week long.
Winter still has a firm grip on the country and my selection of fresh fruits and veggies at my local grocery store are slim pickings. While a longer trip out to a Whole Foods for produce is in my near future, I can’t always make the 45-minute drive out there in a typical week.
This sweet potato kale warm grain bowl is my answer to fresh foods that are seasonal and available to me in the late winter. Sweet potatoes keep forever when stored properly and kale is in season through the end of winter.
Happy Winter Salad Season!
How to Make Kale Taste Good
I’m late to the kale party because for years I just kinda threw it in a pan with water, steamed it, and thought kale was bitter, mushy, and took me 5 minutes to chew. Oh, how wrong I was!
Kale is the diva opera singer of vegetables. She requires a massage, a steam bath, and a bit of dressing to really make this veggie sing. Use these tips to start making your kale the prima diva of your plate!
Massage it! Place your chopped kale in a large bowl and let it soak in water to clean. Right before draining, massage the kale with your hands. This helps to start the kale break down and prevents it from being extra chewy.
Steam it! The debate of if raw kale is even edible will continue, but even so, I love kale when it is gently sautéed to perfection. Add your kale to a large skillet with a quarter cup of water. You can add olive oil if you aren’t avoiding oils. A bit of salt and pepper and let it steam away.
Add acid to it! Finally, kale needs a little bit of acid to help it really cook. Lemon juice is quick and easy. Add a splash to any kale you are cooking when you are finished and watch this kale really sing!
Best Grains for Bowls
Do you need to use just the brown rice I mentioned in this recipe? Nope! Feel free to use whatever grains you have on hand. Brown rice, white rice, quinoa, cous cous, millet, bulger, farro, or any combination of the above are all delicious. Just remember that not all grains are gluten free, so if you are sensitive or allergic to wheat/gluten, avoid the grains you need to avoid.
Sweet Potato and Kale Grain Bowl Tips
There are a few parts to this recipe but getting each of them right won’t be challenging. At it’s simplest, it is kale, rice, and veggies. Not too bad! With a little bit of multi-tasking, this recipe will come together start to finish in an hour.
- Roast the veggies first. They take the longest.
- Start the rice or grain of choice next.
- Combine the dressing third.
- Steam the kale last.
By making things in this order, you should have things done at the same time.
- 3 sweet potatoes
- 3 red or yellow beets
- 1 bunch of kale
- 1 cup brown rice, uncooked
- ½ cup plain hummus
- 1 lemon
- 1 clove garlic or ⅛ tsp of powdered garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup water, divided
- salt and pepper to taste
- optional toppings: dried cherries, feta cheese, goat cheese
- Pre-heat oven to 400°F / 205°C
- Rinse, peel, and chop your sweet potatoes and beets. Drizzle them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place in the oven for 45-55 minutes depending on how large you chopped your vegetables.
- Prepare your brown rice. Follow the instruction on the package. Generally, you want to put in a pot 1 part rice to 2 parts water. Bring to a boil, lower the flame, and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until all the water is evaporated.
- Make your hummus dressing. Take your hummus and half a cup of water. Mix well until you have a creamy dressing. Sprinkle in cumin and paprika for a bit of heat if desired. Set aside in fridge until ready to use.
- Steam your kale. De-stem a bunch of kale and cut into thin ribbons. Massage your kale while washing. Place into a large pan on the stove over a medium flame along with ½ cup of water, juice of half a lemon, and your garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 7 minutes or until all kale is cooked and wilted.
- To make a plate, place a generous scoop of rice as your base. Add your kale and roasted vegetables next. Top with optional toppings, my favorite are dried cherries and feta, but other options could include pumpkin seeds, goat cheese, or blueberries. Finally, drizzle on the hummus dressing. Serve warm.