If I had the option, I'd almost always choose to eat my meals out of a bowl. Unless we're taking about pizza, and then I'd choose to eat it off the wooden paddle straight from the oven, with a slightly charred bubbly crust, melty stringy cheese, the kind that pulls for a mile until you eventually take all of the cheese from the pizza and everyone looks at you with disbelief and sadness - like you're the biggest jerk in the world.
For the longest time, I've tried to serve our meals (bowl and spoon type meals) out of the kitchen bowls that came with the dinnerware set we received as a wedding gift. These bowls are absolutely perfect for cereal, and that's about it. They're too large for ice cream. They're too small for soup. They're too small for salad. They really only have one function, and that is to complete the dinnerware set. Back when I received them, I didn't have the kind of experience it takes to pick out the perfect all-purpose bowl. Because when it comes down to it, picking a bowl that is practical for all situations is a pretty personal decision, one that takes experience. And some would argue, impossible.
Up until a few months ago, I was using the smallest of our aluminum mixing bowls for my bowl-needs. I was using it to eat almost everything, until I realized that using an aluminum bowl for hot soup was not the best idea. I had seen these amazingly large and deep ceramic ramen bowls at the Asian grocer, but at the time I was feeling cheap. I deeply regretted not purchasing them. I decided that I had finally had enough with the sub-par bowl situation around my house, so I went over to Uwajimay and picked up two matching ceramic bowls, gray with beige and brown swirls. Let me tell you, these bowls are perfect. They have a wide rim, with a base that is slightly narrower, which is perfect if you decide to fill your bowl only half way. They fit in my hands beautifully. They look pretty, and I absolutely adore them. Since I bought them, unless we're eating sandwiches, everything goes into these bowls.
And speaking of bowls.... a few months ago, I received a copy of Bowl and Spoon by Sara and Hugh Forte. I have been a long-time fan of the Sprouted Kitchen blog, and their first book A Tastier Take on Whole Foods sits on my shelf right next to a hundred-year-old ceramic mixing bowl I inherited from my grandma. When Sara and Hugh Forte released their second cookbook, I was so excited that we were going to be getting some more use out of our new bowls, and some new recipes to add to my list of favorites.
I was initially drawn to the Sprouted Kitchen through their gorgeous photography, Sara's thoughtful and insightful words, and the use of fresh in-season simple ingredients. Each time I visit their blog, I am convinced that we share the same palate as evident by this recipe, this one, and this one. After waiting patiently, I received Bowl and Spoon in the mail and tore open the packaging like a kid on Christmas morning. I took my time looking through the book, savoring each page, each word. Usually over coffee in the morning. The photography is breathtaking, the recipes inspire me to eat healthier, and the simplicity of the meals motivate me to get me but in the kitchen even when I am feeling lazy because some of the best meals are prepared by just a few simple ingredients and a plan. While flipping through the pages, the first recipe that caught my eye was the Popeye Protein Bowl - first, because the recipe calls for almost all of my favorite ingredients, and second - it seemed substantial yet light, a usual requirement for my meals. I altered the recipe only slightly, subbing corn for spinach, using whole eggs, and adding some cheese, all things I am sure Sara would approve of. Let me tell you, this meal is fantastic. It's savory and full of flavor. Sara's method of simmering the black beans in broth is genius. I can't believe how much flavor it adds. Arugula tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, avocado, green onions, and the fluffiest tastiest scrambled eggs I've eaten in a long time. I've had dreams about this protein bowl. for reals.
I've made my way through a whole handful of the recipe, and I have so many more to try. Seriously, guys, this book is top notch. Congrats Sara and Hugh. You two make beautiful cookbooks.
THE SPROUTED KITCHEN'S POPEYE PROTEIN BOWL
recipe adapted from
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 tbsp butter
1 zucchini, chopped
1/2 cup cooked corn
2 tbsp milk
1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
2 cups arugula
drizzle of olive oil
juice of 1/4 lemon
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 green onion, sliced
1/2 avocado, halved
In a small saucepan, add the black beans and the broth. Simmer on low heat while you prepare the other ingredients.
Place the butter into a frying pan on low, and heat until sizzling. Add the chopped zucchini and fry until golden brown. Add the corn and cook until warm.
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the eggs into the frying pan and scramble until slightly running - 2 minutes. Add the shredded cheese, and continue to scramble until cooked.
Remove the beans from the stove.
In a small bowl, toss the arugula with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
In two medium sized bowls, scoop the beans with a little of the broth. Add in the eggs, and then the arugula. Sprinkle the sliced green onions. Serve with avocado.
Thank you to the kind people at
for providing me with a copy of