“Everyday” recipes are my biggest blogging challenge. People want quick, healthy weeknight recipes, but they aren’t my forte. Prep time is not in short supply when I work at home, nor do I begrudge one minute invested in a delicious meal.
That’s not to say I don’t eat a lot of quick meals; they simply don’t have recipes. My coworker and I share a similar meal philosophy for these dishes, affectionately dubbed, “Bowls of Crap.”
The unappetizing name sounds like a meal that doesn’t taste good — not the case. It’s simply whatever “crap” you have at home, cooked quickly, and tossed in a bowl.
The Bowl of Crap concept encompasses a wide variety of thrown-together meals. It’s faster than stir-fry, but healthier than pasta with jarred sauce.
“What did you make for dinner last night?”
“I was pretty tired, so I just threw together a Bowl of Crap.”
Start cooking the base (it takes longer) while you prep the topping. Pasta, quinoa, and millet are all reasonably fast, or I often have pre-cooked brown rice in the fridge.
While my starch is cooking (or reheating), I chop an onion and toss it in a hot pan with olive oil. Next up are whatever veggies I have: carrots, summer squash, potatoes, cauliflower, radishes, eggplant, peas, whatever. A protein gets tossed in, complementary spices go on top, garlic to finish, et voila.
Into the bowl it goes. I happened to have cooked chickpeas, but tempeh or tofu would have been great in this. The pea sprouts added a pop of green, but spinach would have been lovely. Whatever you’ve got!
It’s an easy meal for one or two, or it’s dinner plus lunch the next day.
A small base of whole grains and tons of vegetables on top make a hearty, filling meal that’s full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, without leaving you sluggish and full. Rotating the base and using different vegetables and spice profiles give you endless permutations for quick dinners.
It’s hard for me to write about dishes that feel pedestrian — really, it’s a Bowl of Crap. There isn’t much technique involved, they’re not glamorous meals, and the end result isn’t going to elicit gasps of amazement at your next dinner party.
But if you’re hungry and don’t want to look up (then read and follow) a recipe? Try a Bowl of Crap. It might be a few more minutes of hands-on time, but I promise you’ll feel better than if you take that 17 minutes to heat up a frozen pizza.
The fantastic Melissa Lanz who I met at Camp Blogaway, suggested that food bloggers post a healthy recipe today. There are a lot of bloggers out there, and Melissa asked us, in the vein of Gandhi’s famous quotation, to “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
If just one of you throws some veggies together for dinner this week (or next), I’ll be happy. This blog isn’t my soapbox — or maybe it is, and I’m extremely subtle — but I think there are many benefits to eating more vegetables, and I try to post recipes to inspire you to do so. Is it working?
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup uncooked raw millet
- 1/2 small onion
- 2 summer squash or zucchini
- 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1 large handful pea sprouts or other greens, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1-2 servings