© 2016 Green Kitchen Stories gks_veggie_bowl_01

The Mother of all Veggie Bowls

For a long time, it felt like we could just follow our own path on this blog and in our kitchen. But it’s becoming more and more obvious that with a 1,5-year old and a soon 6-year old in the family, their food preferences matter too. And we should talk about that more. Isac is actually quite the happy eater. He is stuffing his face full with most food that we put in front of him. Just like Elsa did when she was younger. Now however, she has become rather selective with her food. A lot of dinners are spent listening to our daughter explaining how she loves this (pointing at oven roasted broccoli) and hates that (holds up a mushroom while shaking her hand like she was holding poison), loves this (places three raw carrots in her mouth at the same time) and hates that (scoops the lettuce off her plate and on to her little brother’s). We try to be cool about it, listen to her and sometime adapt or just try again next time. You see, she can be quite random; devour on an avocado toast one day and then completely despise it the next. She is not a fan of kale in salads but loves them as chips.

One method that always seem to work is when we place a mix of vegetables, grains, seeds, fruit and legumes on separate plates on the table and have a little Build-Your-Own-Dinner party. Then we can all pick our favourites. Except Isac, who prefers a more chaotic take on dinner and therefore get served a ready-made bowl.

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Last Friday we came up with a new version of that dinner. We gathered a rainbow selection of warm and cold vegetables, brown rice and creamy spreads in one huge bowl and then let everyone grab a fork and eat straight from the bowl – family style! We placed blankets on the living room floor, put the bowl in between us and had a movie night/indoor picnic while the snow was coming down outside. It was perfect. Until Isac sat down in the bowl. But we weren’t that hungry anyway …

We have made many #gksbowls during the last years but I think this one takes the cake. It’s the mother of all veggie bowls. And she has got something for everyone.

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We created three spreads/dips/sauces for this bowl. The first one is a Sun-dried Tomato & Red Lentil Spread which is great mixed with rice or smothered on top of a sandwich. We also made a Green Pesto inspired by this old recipe of ours. But you can also just go for a store bought. Lastly, we made a Vegan White Bean & Sunflower Sauce that was inspired by Laura’s Special Sauce. Her sauce has a whole array of spices to boost flavour but since we made this for the kid we went a little lighter with the spices and added some white beans for extra protein. It tastes amazing and the nutritional yeast give it a kind of cheesy flavour even though it’s vegan. You can choose how thick you want it by the amount of water added. Use more water if you prefer it as a runny sauce and less if you want it more as a spread.

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The Mother of All Veggie Bowls

We want you to use this recipe as inspiration and have therefore not specified exact measurements for the vegetables. Choose your favorites and adapt the amount to how many people you are serving. It is not very expensive food either and is perfect if you are on a budget. Any leftovers can be used to create similar bowls or make awesome warm sandwiches/toasts the following days.

1 batch cooked brown rice (or millet, quinoa or buckwheat)
Oven Roasted (or steamed) Vegetables (see instructions below)
Raw Vegetables (see instructions below)
Kale chips
Sauerkraut, store bought or
homemade
Pumpkin Seeds, whole or roughly chopped 
Green pesto

White Vegan Sauce (see recipe below)
Sundried Tomato & Lentil Spread (see recipe below)

In a very large and wide serving bowl: Arrange the lettuce to cover the bottom of the bowl. Then spoon up the rice in the center. Place the roasted and raw vegetables and sauerkraut in a circle around the rice. Then arrange small jars with the dipping sauces in the serving bowl or on the side and sprinkle over pumpkin seeds. Dig in! (Alternatively, let everyone pick their favourite veggies and place them in smaller bowls.)

Oven roasted or steamed veggies
Broccoli, torn into florets
Sweet potato, rinsed and cut in 1/3 inch / 1 cm slices
Parsnip, peeled and cut into thick sticks
Carrots, rinsed and cut into thick sticks
Cauliflower, rinsed and cut into florets
Beets, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

For oven roasting: Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Place the prepared vegetables on a baking papper, drizzle with olive oil or melted coconut oil and sea salt and pepper. Toss to cover. Place in the oven and roast for 25-40 minutes until tender and golden with crispy edges.

For steaming: Pour an inch of water into a pot, place a metal strainer (or a steaming basket if you have one) over, resting on the rim of the pot, not touching the boiling water. Place the veggies in a single layer in the strainer. Bring the water to a boil, the lower the heat to a bare simmer, cover with a lid. Check the veggies often to prevent over cooked veggies, steaming time will vary depending on the type and size of veggies, but usually between 8 and 20 minutes.

Raw veggies cut in bite-size pieces
Carrots, cut into sticks
Avocado, stone removed and flesh scooped out and sliced
Cucumber, shaved with a julienne peeler or cut into sticks (with peel on)
Bell pepper, rinsed and cut into sticks
Lettuce, rinsed and patted dry
Cherry tomatoes, divided in halves

White vegan sauce
1 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked for 20 mins
1 ½-2 cups (350 ml – 500 ml) filtered water
1/2 cup  / 125 ml cold-pressed olive oil
½ cup (80 g) cooked large white (navy) beans (we use pre-cooked store bought)
3 tbsp nutritional yeast (buy at the health food store)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1-inch piece of fresh turmeric (or 1/2 tsp ground turmeric)
1 tsp raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
fine sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth. Taste and adjust the flavors to your liking, add more lemon juice, nutritional yeast or spices if needed. Add more water or oil if you prefer a more liquid sauce. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

Sun-dried tomato & red lentil spread
1/2 cup uncooked red lentils
1/2 tsp sea salt
100 g / approx. 10 large sun-dried tomato, soaked in water for 20 minutes and then rinsed and chopped
1 small clove garlic
1/2 lemon, juice
1 tsp flaky sea salt
1/4 cup water

Rinse and drain the lentils. Place lentils, 1 cup water and sea salt in a saucepan, cover and bring to a boil. Immediately lower the heat and let gently simmer for 20 minutes or until tender and can be mashed easily between two fingers. Drain any excess water, let cool slightly. Place in food processor with the rest of the ingredients and process until a smooth and creamy texture is reached. Add more water if you prefer it thinner. Taste the spread and adjust the flavors by adding more lemon juice or salt. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

Ps! Thank you all of  that has emailed reminders that we should change our blog header to also include Isac’s name. Unfortunately we have lost the original file for the logo so we will change it as soon we have a new logo ready. Even if he is not visual on the blog yet, he is very present in our kitchen (making a mess!).

44 Comments

  1. Posted 14 Jan ’16 at 11:36 | #

    I used to be just like Elsa as a child haha! Love the bowl.Thank you for sharing!

  2. Posted 14 Jan ’16 at 12:26 | #

    Great post! It seems to have come at just the right time for me. You see, I have an almost 2 yo who used to eat everything in sight but now I can never predict what’s going to seem appetizing to her from one day to the next. Like Elsa, she loves an item one day, it’s like I’m trying to serve her poison the next. As a family of vegetarians, I appreciate you sharing your stories and recipes…makes it a little easier for the rest of us! Thanks!

  3. Posted 14 Jan ’16 at 14:32 | #

    GORGEOUS!!! It’s bitter cold and snowy here too in Maine, U.S. The landscape is mostly white and so all of this beautiful color is truly inspiring. My 4 year old is also off and on food wise right now too, and I’ve found meal bowls to be a healthy and easy way to her to pick and choose some. Thank you so much for sharing this yumminess!

  4. Posted 14 Jan ’16 at 14:51 | #

    Totally my kind of comfort food! Love this!

  5. Posted 14 Jan ’16 at 15:10 | #

    Brilliant!

  6. Posted 14 Jan ’16 at 15:52 | #

    I smiled all the way through reading this blog post cuz Elsa sounds just like MY 5-year old! This fussy easting drives me crazy, though it makes me feel better to know that I’m not alone with my frustrations.
    Thanks for sharing this epic bowl :)

  7. Posted 14 Jan ’16 at 15:55 | #

    Ahhh, this bowl is everything I want to eat! So vibrant and veggie-filled <3

  8. Posted 14 Jan ’16 at 16:20 | #

    Looks amazing. Really need to try this

    Kisses from http://poshnessary.com

  9. Posted 14 Jan ’16 at 16:38 | #

    What a beautiful bowl of goodness. Loved the spreads, great idea to add to the veggies. also, brilliant the indoors pic-nick in the living room, I’m sure the kids loved it.

  10. Posted 14 Jan ’16 at 16:51 | #

    What a dreamy veggie bowl! This is a QUEEN too!

  11. Posted 14 Jan ’16 at 18:21 | #

    oh my gosh this sounds and looks amazing,, the dressing is beautiful,, yummo!!!looks like dinner to me!!!!!

  12. Posted 14 Jan ’16 at 19:49 | #

    WOW this looks incredible. This is exactly how my fiance and I like to eat and is perfect for the weekday leftovers meal. I can’t wait to try making the sauces to go with it. http://www.reneesexton.co.nz

  13. Georgina
    Posted 14 Jan ’16 at 20:58 | #

    Hilarious description of your childrens’ eating :)

  14. Posted 14 Jan ’16 at 21:08 | #

    Wow! That bowl is all kinds of rainbow beautiful. I’ve also got a one year old who will eat anything and a three year old whose tastes change day to day (she loves avocado and chickpeas this week but seems to have abandoned sweet potato). Will definitely be trying this vege bowl out.

  15. Posted 14 Jan ’16 at 21:51 | #

    I hope to feed my future little ones like you guys do, so so inspiring! I always enjoy the humble, kind tones in your writing. Also your sense of humor ;). Thank you for never ceasing to create such beautiful and encouraging recipes – making food in its purest form so crazy gorgeous, always! Here’s to hoping Isaac doesn’t sit in any more bowls of food this week ;) – xo

  16. Posted 14 Jan ’16 at 21:53 | #

    This is like the ultimate smorgasbord bowl! Love <3

  17. Posted 14 Jan ’16 at 22:16 | #

    I had so much laugh reading this post!I just love the way you talk about food and this bowl of veggies is definitely a QUEEN! :)

  18. AJ
    Posted 14 Jan ’16 at 22:16 | #

    Hmm! This looks yummy. Love the idea of the indoor picnic with the snow coming down. Where did you buy your cool boots from, Luise, if you don’t mind me asking? xx

    • Posted 24 Jan ’16 at 20:57 | #

      The boots are from Swedish KAVAT, organic leather with wool inside:)

      • AJ
        Posted 5 Feb ’16 at 11:51 | #

        Cool! Like the sound of these, thank you! xx

  19. Posted 14 Jan ’16 at 22:52 | #

    Wow ,that looks so fresh and so appetizing.
    thank you for sharing

  20. Alicia
    Posted 15 Jan ’16 at 00:46 | #

    That looks so delicious. I opened a big jar of golden saurkraut two days ago (it came out perfectly, by the way. Thank you for that recipe!), so I will definitely put it to good use in this recipe!

  21. Posted 15 Jan ’16 at 01:37 | #

    I wish I could have eaten these sorts of things when I was a child! Isac and Elsa are two lucky kiddos :) This is just a stunning veggie bowl!

  22. Riley
    Posted 15 Jan ’16 at 07:03 | #

    Love your blog! The photography is so beautiful and the recipes always look delicious! I was so much like Elsa as a little girl. Except I wouldn’t eat any veggies. Now I’m 16 and I love all veggies! They are so bright, colorful, tasty, and nutritious. Your family’s blog inspires me all of the time!

  23. Magda
    Posted 15 Jan ’16 at 15:50 | #

    Beautiful rainbow in a bowl! I will definitely try this strategy of everyone picking their own veggies for their individual bowls. I have two teen daughters that sometimes can be finicky! This way everyone is pleased and I am stress free! Thank you for the inspiration.

  24. JessB
    Posted 15 Jan ’16 at 18:03 | #

    That may be the most beautiful bowl of food ever. Yum! My daughters (5 1/2 & almost 3) are the same way. They can eat tons of diff foods one day and the next say they don’t like them. Crazy kids!

  25. Posted 15 Jan ’16 at 18:51 | #

    It sounds like you guys are doing a great job taking care of Elsa’s shifting dietary whims- not forcing her to eat anything but still making sure she’s eating well. This veggie bowl sounds like a great solution, especially since you served it in a fort.

  26. Sabina
    Posted 16 Jan ’16 at 11:15 | #

    We tried this out yesterday and we loved it! So simple and yet so good! And it works just as well with picky boyfriends who have trouble eating their veggies ;)

  27. Posted 16 Jan ’16 at 22:20 | #

    Very colorful and nutritious veggie bowl. Great idea, having everyone pick their own. Nothing better than fresh vegetables and seasonings.

  28. Posted 17 Jan ’16 at 16:52 | #

    That is a veggie FEAST from food heaven, yes please! :)

  29. Posted 18 Jan ’16 at 22:34 | #

    What a gorgeous bowl of food. I love sharing dinners like this, it brings a feeling of togetherness.

  30. Posted 20 Jan ’16 at 15:17 | #

    Hi!
    Love your blogg! I’m wondering..is it possible tog make a green smoothie and keep it in The fridge overall night?

    /Mia

  31. Posted 21 Jan ’16 at 22:43 | #

    tHUMBS UP for this rainbow colored salad its really an art.I cant wait to try this one.Your blog is awesome great pictures and great recipe.Im looking forward to be a vegetarian.

  32. Suzanne
    Posted 22 Jan ’16 at 04:02 | #

    I well remember feeding my children when younger. I used to say to my daughter “as long as you are as fussy about your boyfriends as you are about your food!” Seriously a range of good food offered consistently is, to my mind, the way to approach feeding children. Today my daughter, now 22, is a excellent cook who has introduced me to a range of interesting and fabulous foods!!

  33. Posted 23 Jan ’16 at 13:43 | #

    Haven’t tried yet but the picture is awesome . Thank you for sharing such a nice recipe.

  34. Posted 23 Jan ’16 at 13:51 | #

    I don’t have kids but I still love reading about your creative dinner solutions because they can honestly apply to us all. I hope you’ll keep sharing your everyday secrets like this. :-) Made this sun-dried tomato and red lentil spread to top buckwheat flatbread. It’s delicious and I’ll be making it again.

  35. Posted 26 Jan ’16 at 15:12 | #

    What an amazing bowl and what a lovely post! Love your work! xoxo Janine

  36. Posted 30 Jan ’16 at 13:42 | #

    I was wondering, would it be a good idea to use the white sauce as a pasta sauce or stir it through risotto? Thanks!

  37. Posted 19 Feb ’16 at 09:40 | #

    Love your blog! the recipes always look delicious!
    Very colorful and nutritious veggie bowl @@@

  38. Posted 20 Feb ’16 at 23:35 | #

    My dad has always been a picky eater so I am looking forward to trying this out. I hope after that I can get him to eat more healthier stuff.

  39. Posted 22 Feb ’16 at 06:39 | #

    I LOVE YOUR BLOG! Please tell us more about what Elsa likes/loves because I have a vegetarian 4 year and it is HARD GOING. One tends to fall back on the old staples because you know they’re going to love them… any kid-friendly inspo welcome. Thank you :-)

  40. Lisa
    Posted 27 May ’16 at 16:07 | #

    Thank you for this great recipe. Is there any way of easily printing your recipe? I don’t see any option for that on your blog.

  41. Teri Giese
    Posted 26 Jun ’16 at 22:35 | #

    Beautiful salad!So trying more vegetarian recipes.Although I would have difficulty living a total lifestyle of a vegetarian,definitely not a vegan,lol.Love to subscribe to your blog!thanks!😉

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