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Maya's Grain Bowl

Jack's Wife Freda
Maya’s Grain Bowl


  • 2 eggs
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1/2 cup red quinoa
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups (roughly 1 pound) Brussels sprouts
  • 1 large or 2 small red beets
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Pinch of cayenne

The Prep

For the soft-boiled eggs:

In a saucepan cover the eggs with water and bring the water to a boil. Turn off the heat and cover for 6 minutes. Immediately submerge the eggs into ice water then peel. 

For the sweet potatoes:

Preheat the oven to 350°F . Wash the sweet potatoes and cut each in half. Cut each half into 6 to 8 wedges and place in a large bowl. Drizzle one tablespoon of the olive oil and the honey onto the potatoes and toss. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and toss again so that all the potatoes are evenly coated. Roast the potatoes on a baking sheet for 15 minutes. Turn each piece of sweet potato and continue roasting for an additional 15 minutes. Pierce a few pieces of sweet potato with the tip of a small knife; it should pierce the potato very easily. However, if you find the potatoes are still not soft, roast for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a plate and allow to cool. Raise the oven temperature to 450°F.

For the red quinoa:

Peel and mince the shallot. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and add the minced shallot. Saute the shallot until soft and translucent, roughly 5 minutes. Rinse the quinoa under cold water and add to the pan. Add 1 cup water and 1 teaspoon of the salt, stir, and turn the heat up to high. Once the water begins to boil, lower the heat to maintain a simmer and cover the pot. Cook for roughly 15 minutes, or until all the water has evaporated. Leave the lid on for 5 minutes after cooking so the quinoa can steam. Set aside. 

For the Brussels sprouts: 

Mince 2 garlic cloves and add to a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil; stir to combine. Trim the bottoms from the Brussels sprouts and cut in half. discarding any leaves that fall off. Toss the sprouts in the bowl with the garlic and oil, making sure all of them have been coated evenly. Sprinkle in a few pinches of salt and toss once again. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, turning once or twice during roasting. They should be crisp on the outside but soft on the inside and easily pierced with the tip of a knife. Set aside. 

For the beets:

Peel the beets. Using either a mandolin or a food processor, shred them to a sawlike consistency and place in a small bowl with the bay leaf. Combine the vinegar, 1/4 cup water, the sugar, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Bring to a boil on the stovetop or in a microwave. Stir to make sure all the sugar and salt has dissolved. Pour the hot pickling liquid on top of the beets and making sure all the beets are covered with liquid. Place in the refrigerator to cool. 

For the kale: 

Wash the kale and shake the leaves to dry slightly. Cut across into 1-inch ribbons, removing the tick stems. Mince the remaining 2 garlic cloves. In a large sauté pan on low heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the minced garlic. Toast the garlic to a light golden color, then add the kale and 2 tablespoons water. Allow the kale to steam and wilt slightly, adding extra water if the pan is dry. Finish with a few pinches of salt. Set aside. 

For the turmeric tahini dressing: 

In a blender combine the tahini, 1/3 cup water, the turmeric, and the cayenne; blend until smooth. add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt. Some brands of tahini will cause this sauce to thicken differently. If yours is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water to thin it out. 

Choose a wide, shallow bowl and think of plating each vegetable like slices of pizza:

Begin by spooning red quinoa toward the center, out to the rim of the bowl, then follow with the sautéed kale, roasted brussels sprouts, then the sweet potatoes, and finish by connecting it all with the pickled beets. Cut your soft-boiled eggs in half and place in the middle. Serve with turmeric tahini dressing on the side. 

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