Dragon Bowls

I first came across this dish at Aux Vivres, many years ago, and was instantly in love. What a great idea: some kind of grain, topped with delicious gravy, a heaping mound of veggies and grilled tofu. It’s a great meal because it packs everything that you might need, and in the right proportions. Put on some old school Counting Crows and start to work – it’ll take you no time at all, especially if you’re working with leftovers!

My camera battery was dying as I snapped this pic, hence it's less than stellar quality. Damn, I guess I'll just have to make Dragon Bowls again to get a better shot... I have such a hard life.

To satisfy two people, you’ll need:

  • 2-3 cups cooked grainy stuff (e.g. quinoa, brown rice with lentils or solo, thai red rice, bulgur, rice noodles of various types, barley… I could go on and on)
  • half a head of romaine lettuce, finely chopped or shredded
  • 1 carrot, julienned or grated
  • half a cucumber, julienned or grated
  • 1 block of firm tofu about the size of a fist, cut into slim triangles (or whatever shape pleases you)
  • enough satiny salad dressing, dragon sauce or whatever dressing you’re in the mood for to satisfy your saucey needs

Variations: you can pretty much use any veggie under the sun for this, depending on what you have in the fridge or the theme you’re going for (e.g. beets, carrots, and parsnips for a winter dragon bowl, sprouts, daikon radish, cucumber, baby greens for a spring dragon, etc.). The possibilities really are endless with this one – in fact I don’t think I’ve ever made one the same way twice. The trick is to have grain, some kind of dressing, lettuce and other veggies, and some kind of protein to tie it all together. So far I’ve used grilled or fried tofu, seitan, roasted chickpeas. The rest is up to you!

So, let’s get started: cook whatever grain you’ve chosen according to the instructions on the package and hope you come up with about 2-3 cups. Spoon about half into the bottom of a bowl (make sure it’s warm!), the other half into another bowl. Drizzle with the dressing or gravy of your choice. Then layer on the lettuce, and artfully arrange whatever veggies you’ve prepared over top. Drizzle with more dressing or gravy and sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds if you really want to go all out.

Dat’s it! I told you, this dish is seriously easy.

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