One of my favorite quotes about friends is this...Friendship isn't a big thing- it's a million little things ~Author Unknown
Isn't that so true about friendship. There are many things that make up a good friend. If we have one true friends in our entire lifetime, we are most certainly blessed. To have someone by your side no matter what. Someone who truly understands you, gets you completely, and loves you anyway (LOL). Someone who isn't afraid to be honest with you. A person who can sincerely be happy for you in good times and grieve with you during the rough times. And in those difficult times, when no actions or words can fix things, they are simply there to hold your hand. Busy schedules or to-do lists are no match for true friendship. True friends drop all of that for you when needed. And, no matter how much time passes, a sign of a true, lasting friendship is one that can be picked up right where it left off. These are all special qualities two people can share and it is rare to find. That's why I feel extremely blessed knowing there are a few of these people in my life.
One of these special friends of mine treated me to lunch recently. She took me to a place that she had frequented, but I had never been. It's located in Portland's infamous Pearl District and it is called Prasad. It's completely vegan and gluten-free if that's your thing. And if it's not, you will love it anyway! It's nestled inside a space shared with a yoga studio, not overly large, but oh so delicious! I couldn't believe I had never stumbled upon this gem before. But like the saying goes, better late than never! It was so hard to choose what to order as I wanted one of everything. But I decided to order the Urban Bowl. It was amazing! Of course as soon as I got home, the wheels in my head were turning about how to re-create this bowl in my own kitchen. And that is where the inspiration for my Kale and Seaweed Modern Bowl came from.
So let me tell you about this nutrient packed bowl. Oh where to start! Kale makes up a good portion of this bowl. Kale is rich in antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer nutrients. Kale also provides valuable cardiovascular support and aids in our body's detoxification process.
Seaweed! Hopefully you are already adding seaweed into your diet. If you aren't, let me tell you why you should consider incorporating this valuable vegetable from the sea. One gram of seaweed will meet your daily iodine requirements. Iodine is a micronutrient that is hard to come by in foods. Iodine helps boost our thyroid and brain health. It is also packed with calcium, rich in protein and high in soluble fiber which is great for the digestive process.
If you are like me, upon learning about seaweeds benefits, I'm thinking where do I get seaweed? How to I prepare it? So after some research, I learned there are two types of seaweed commonly used. They are Wakame and Dulse. They are both ready to use and only require about 5 minutes of soaking in water. Add them to soups, salads, etc. You can find both of these items at Whole Foods, or if you are in the Portland area, you can find them at New Seasons. Your local health food store probably carries them as well if neither of these two options work for you.
You will also find kimchi in this bowl. Kimchi is a low calorie, high fiber fermented delicacy with many health benefits. It promotes good digestion and is a source of probiotics providing your gut with healthy intestinal flora. If you consume it regularly, it has a positive effect on cholesterol levels. Kimchi is rich in antioxidants which protect us from free radicals and it also give a boost to our immune system. Don't feel like you need to eat a huge amount at once. A little goes a long way in terms of health benefits so even just small portion in your meal is all you really need.
As if all of those nutrient packed superfoods weren't enough in one bowl, I also included some quinoa, avocado, carrots, hemp seeds, and sesame seeds. It is topped with my creamy Lemon Ginger Tahini Dressing adding just the right finish.
So I hope you enjoy this wonderful bowl that came to be because of a great friendship. It will nourish your body just like a good friendship nourishes your soul. This recipe makes two large bowls.
1/2 of a kale bunch, stems removed, leaves trimmed to bite size, then steamed
1/4 cup of Dulse Seaweed, briefly rinsed with filtered water
4 Tbs Wakame seaweed, soaked in filtered water for 5 minutes
1/8 cup kimchi
1 carrot, peeled (you will use the carrot peels)
1 avocado, sliced
2 Tbs sesame seeds
2 Tbs raw hemp seeds
1 Tbs + 1 tsp sesame oil, divided
1 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
1 cup quinoa, cooked
1. While the preparation here is fairly simple, you have a few things going on at once. For that reason, I suggest making the dressing a day or two before. It's actually better that way as the flavors and aroma compounds have had a chance to mingle together and formulate more seasoned notes.
2. Prep your vegetables: wash, removed stems, and trim your kale to bite sized pieces. Wash and peel your carrot. Slice the avocado. Grate the ginger.
3. Start cooking the quinoa. You can also do this ahead of time.
4. Put the appropriate measurements for the two seaweeds in two separate bowls.
5. You are now at a point where you will steam your kale which won't take long. Steam for approximately 4 minutes, or until the leaves have turned bright green and are slightly tender. Be careful not to steam for too long. You don't want mushy kale. Once the kale is done, lightly toss in 1 Tbs of sesame oil.
6. Start soaking the Wakame in water for no more than 5 minutes. You will be surprised at how much it expands! Then, briefly rinse the Dulse with water, like 30 seconds max. Once your seaweed has been soaked and rinsed, toss with 1 tsp sesame oil and the grated ginger.
7. Now it's time to assemble your bowls. Divide the quinoa, kale, seaweeds, kimchi, carrot peels, avocado, sesame seeds, and hemp seeds evenly between two bowls. You can either pour some of the Lemon Ginger Tahini Dressing on top or dip as you go.