So it has come to this: ya girl made what is basically a salad and when writing the recipe, called it a bowl instead.
But yeah, while bowl food carries with it an oddly smug, insistent attitude, it would be equally insistent and smug of me to deny how good it is; I love that you can really just put anything on top of rice and call it A Bowl, how it contains so many different tastes and textures, and really makes you feel like someone who is a Pinterest star under the name of She Wears Striped Boatneck Tshirts or My Glowing Clean Natural Kitchen or Oh! Dream a Dream, You Wanderer rather than just being an achingly tired rat-human making fun of blog names on Pinterest.
Over the last few days my body has been doing this thing where my sinuses are suddenly made of concrete and I’m even dopier than usual which is honestly something to behold and I cannot, simply cannot, stop sneezing. I decided to put a whole lot of rudely healthy ingredients into a bowl in the hopes of it having some effect on me (the woman who served me at the supermarket: “you should put some ice on your sinuses, your face is all puffy.” me, internally: “I feel like there’s some kind of code you just violated.”) The crowning jewel of it all is the matcha mayonnaise, pairing matcha powder’s intense, oh-wow-I-accidentally-swallowed-grass flavour with equally green olive oil and a little apple cider vinegar, the effect of it all is surprisingly wonderful. If you don’t have matcha powder or feel weary at the thought of making your own mayonnaise, simply spoon over aioli or some other condimenty-paste thing.
Similarly, you can substitute any number of things for any number of things here, but this is the recipe I made and it is so, so very good – a ton of texture and crunch, with earthy turmeric and oily, charred broccoflower and sweet baby carrot and salty, creamy feta and magical walnuts.
I cannot lie, this actually takes a ton of effort to put together and uses so many dishes, especially if you haven’t made the mayonnaise ahead of time, but it is so delicious and has the decency to produce a fair amount of leftovers. And importantly, it’s full of health-making ingredients to make your immune system remember who the boss is here (I mean, I’m still massively sick the following day after eating it but I’m sure I’d be way worse without it, right?)
aggressively healthy bowl with matcha mayonnaise
a recipe by myself.
- half a cup of quinoa
- one teaspoon ground turmeric
- two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for roasting the vegetables
- half a head of broccoflower (or broccoli or cauliflower, obviously)
- four or so baby carrots
- a few cloves of garlic, left whole and unpeeled
- a handful each of walnut kernels and pumpkin seeds
- half a bunch of cavolo nero leaves
- 100g or so feta (optional, I suppose)
Cook the quinoa in a large pan of boiling water until it’s fluffy and expanded and, well, cooked. Drain and rinse in a sieve under cold water, then place in your serving bowl and stir in the olive oil and turmeric, plus sea salt to taste.
Meanwhile, set your oven to 220C/450F and slice the broccoflower into halved and quartered florets. Leave the carrots whole but trim the frondy tops off. Place the florets and carrots plus the garlic cloves on a baking tray, drizzle generously with olive oil, and roast until a bit charred and browned on the edges – around fifteen minutes or so.
Arrange the roasted vegetables and garlic cloves (pop them out of their papery casings first) on top of the quinoa. Place the feta, cubed or crumbled with your own hands, in the bowl. Scatter over the walnuts and pumpkin seeds – I put them on the baking tray that the vegetables were on and used the remaining heat from the oven that I’d just turned off to toast them a bit first – and tuck cavolo nero leaves around the edges of everything. I tried to put everything in neat lines, but it doesn’t really matter! Spoon over the matcha mayonnaise and add more salt if you feel like you need it.
- one large, fresh, organic, free range, bla bla bla egg
- one heaped teaspoon of matcha powder, or more if you like
- one teaspoon dijon mustard
- one tablespoon boiling water
- around half a cup rice brain oil, or similarly plain oil
- a third to one half of a cup of extra virgin olive oil
- two tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- sea salt, to taste
Crack the egg into a bowl, and add the matcha powder and mustard. Whisk briskly just to get everything incorporated, then add the boiling water while continuing to whisk. Continue whisking for what will feel like forever, while slowly adding the oil in a slow drizzle, around a tablespoonful at a time, continually whisking between additions. Does this make sense? Whisk hard, add oil slowly, that’s all. Once you’ve added all the oil, whip in the apple cider vinegar and salt.
Now, by this point, either it will have thickened significantly and look like mayonnaise, or it will have thickened a bit at resemble a kind of green milkshake. Not to worry: put it in the fridge for an hour and it should turn lusciously thick. Give it a stir before using. Keep for a week or two.
I’m not going to go down the line and list all the good vitamins and minerals that you get from everything in here but suffice to say, turmeric is powerful stuff and it’s my understanding that a tablespoon of matcha powder is the equivalent of replacing your entire bloodstream with green tea, plus all that olive oil and the nuts and seeds will make you shiny, and garlic and cider vinegar are all germ-fighty and quinoa is, y’know, quinoa, and I haven’t even got started on the green vegetables.
The matcha mayonnaise recipe makes an awful lot but it’s a charming way to take in that green powder – the vinegar and the oil plus the silky, aerated texture sort of encases any harshness of flavour and lifts it up and glides it right to the parts of your tastebuds that enjoy that sort of bitter vibe without dropping it too hard. Uh, it tastes nice, is what I’m saying. Don’t be afraid of how much oil goes into it – you can use less extra virgin olive oil and more plain if you’re worried about the expense – but use some, even just a couple of tablespoons, please, because the green-on-green flavours are so perfect together. Use leftovers as a spread for sandwiches, to rakishly dip truffle fries in for some kind of intensely pastoral experience, to accompany pickled vegetables (it’s 2016, I know you have pickled vegetables on your agenda), however you please.
So yeah, I’m kinda sick, that’s my one personality trait at the moment (it looks like I’m constantly dabbing as I continually sneeze into my elbow which is, at least, a bit hilarious), but one thing I can tell you is that I took myself off to the movies on Monday night to see Ghostbusters and it’s really, really funny and you should see it too. If nothing else, because Kate McKinnon’s swagger has actual gravitational pull. There’s a ton of other reasons why I want to support this movie – to go some small, tiny way towards countering the hideously racist treatment of co-star Leslie Jones on Twitter by awful and awfully normal people; the fact that in this movie not one woman gets murdered, violated, has their size joked about, or is treated as a sex object by a man, Kate McKinnon’s swagger, the extreme preciousness over it being a remake making me bloody-mindedly not care at all that it’s a remake, but uh, basically it’s really funny and you deserve to see a funny movie right now.
If you read this and were all “hot dog, I need more vegetables in my life”, perhaps consider these other salads I’ve blogged about – Baby Kale and Pomegranate Salad, Silverbeet, Parsley and Horseradish Slaw, or The Rainbow Room Peanut and Carrot Salad.
title from: local hero Bic Runga and her oh so stunning song Suddenly Strange, from, I wanna say, 1996? Maybe 1995? From a time when your opportunity to see music videos was limited to a two hour show on Sundays at 10am that played the top 20 hits in the country that week. I don’t wanna be all “kids these days” but guys, it sucked.
Honestly I don’t know when it’s a good time to watch The Last Five Years – a movie based directly on the Jason Robert Brown off-Broadway musical which follows the blooming and deterioration of a relationship, but with the two main characters’ stories traveling backwards and forwards in time simultaneously, meeting in the middle for one song. I KNOW. Anyway the last song, Goodbye Until Tomorrow/I Could Never Rescue You is my absolute favourite and brings me to my knees and if you’re feeling fragile you probably definitely should listen to it because why not, the sheer optimism from her colliding with his resigned it’s-over self and then-her is unaware of now-him and now-her and it’s awful! But! Such a beautiful, beautiful song, listen to it, watch the whole thing, do it.
Hailee Steinfeld, Love Myself. This song is also good!
next time: white chocolate and burnt butter ice cream.