Eat, Drink & Be Merry: Bowled Over for Healthy Eating

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By: Jim & Cheryl Hagy, Chef’s Market

Gone are the days that the bowls in your cabinet are limited to soup and cereal. Last year, there was a big rise in bowls as a culinary trend, mainly to the realms of açai and poke – a diced, marinated ahi tuna salad common in Hawaiian cuisine, pronounced “po-kay.”

We’ve seen the bowl trend continue to expand, with breakfast bowls on several brunch menus around town, as well as smoothie bowls and power bowls popping up here and there. We’ve successfully featured healthy entrée options in the form of a bowl at a few corporate parties recently, offering guests their choice of protein toppings from grass fed beef, all natural chicken and sustainable salmon.

This month, we’re sharing the recipe for Mother Earth, an entrée that bowls over our event guests every time. It’s a layering of superfoods using ancient grains, avocado, sweet potato and portabella mushrooms. Then we crown Mother Earth with a broccoli pesto and chopped pistachios. It makes for a filling vegetarian entrée or an even hardier meal topped with a lean protein.

What’s even better about sharing this bowl recipe with you, is that we are also providing recipes for the ancient grains and broccoli pesto components, which are great recipes to mix up and use in your meal plan for the week in a variety of ways. Make your lunchtime salad more filling with ancient grains as a topping, or try the broccoli pesto as a glaze to a freshly grilled chicken breast or salmon filet. By utilizing these components in different preparations, you can keep your healthy eating meal plans fresh while saving time, making it a bit easier to maintain overall wellness and peace of mind.

Chef’s Market Catering & Restaurant is a full-service catering company that continues to be celebrated as a leader in culinary skill and presentation, voted as Best Caterer in Nashville for the past five consecutive years. Chef’s Market offers catering and take-away options for both large and small events, from formal corporate galas to casual in-office get-togethers and outdoor affairs. Its Goodlettsville, Tennessee restaurant serves customer favorites for lunch and dinner Monday – Saturday. Visit chefsmarket.com for more information and menu selections.


Mother Earth Bowls

Serves: 4

3 cups cooked red quinoa (3/4 cup per bowl), recipe below
2 portabella mushroom caps, diced and sautéed
2 avocados peeled and sliced
1 large sweet potato, cubed and roasted with olive oil and kosher salt
4 ounces of pistachios (1 ounce per bowl)
8 Tablespoons of broccoli pesto (2 Tablespoons per bowl), recipe below

Divide the warm quinoa into 4 bowls and arrange as follows. At 12 o’clock place the avocados, at 3’clock place the sweet potatoes, at 6 o’clock place the broccoli pesto, at 9 o’clock place the mushrooms. Garnish with pistachios.

At catered events, we offer the dish to be topped with either grass fed beef, free range chicken, or wild caught salmon.


Ancient Grains

For the Mother Earth bowl recipe, we suggest red quinoa or substitute with your favorite grain. A mixture of red and brown rice would also be a good option.

1 cup of red quinoa

2 cups of broth (we use vegetable broth, but if you plan on adding beef, fish or chicken to the bowl, we suggest using the matching broth)

To prepare the perfect quinoa, place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse vigorously under cold water turning the grain with your hand. Quinoa can be bitter, and this process removes the bitterness.

Place drained but wet quinoa in a medium sauce pan and drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil. Cook stirring to let the water evaporate and lightly toasting the quinoa for about one minute.

Add the broth to the quinoa and bring to a rolling boil. Lower heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat, and let stand covered for 5 minutes before removing the lid. Remove the lid and gently fluff the quinoa with a fork.


Broccoli Pesto

1 head of broccoli, blanched, florets removed
1 cup of fresh basil
1 /2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan
1/4 cup of pine nuts
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt

In a food processor, combine broccoli, basil and oil, pulsing until blended. Add Parmesan, pine nuts, lemon juice, garlic and salt; mix.

Store for up to one week in the fridge.

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