Autumn Grain Bowl with Spicy Roasted Vegetables and Kimchi

It is starting to feel like Autumn. A chill in the air and many people start thinking of soups and stews. But here is an alternative idea: a grain bowl which builds up layers of flavor, but is much quicker to make than a soup or a stew.

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There are many variations on this theme, but I will post one that I made for dinner last week: Autumn Grain Bowl with Spicy Roasted Vegetables and Kimchi. It was quite easy to put together, can make use of many of the fall vegetables that are currently available in the market, and had a complexity of flavors that was very satisfying.

You can experiment and substitute freely with this recipe. You can use rice, faro, wild rice, etc. for the grain. In my case I used quinoa. You can use any vegetables that take to roasting, in my dish last week I used broccoli and sweet potatoes. You should feel free to experiment because the basic recipe remains the same.

The dish is a salty, spicy, savory weeknight meal that is inexpensive and super healthy.


Autumn Grain Bowl with Spicy Roasted Vegetables and Kimchi

Serves 4

For the grain:

  • 1 1/2 cup grain of choice (I used quinoa, but this will work equally well with rice)
  • 3 cups water or vegetable broth (if you are using rice then use 2 cups of water)
  • 4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoon tamari
  • 2 teaspoon mirin
  • 4 green onions or scallions, finely chopped

For the bowls:

  • 1 head broccoli, crowns only, chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into 1 inch cubes (try a Japanese sweet potato - they are awesome)
    • NOTE: Use whatever roasting vegetables you prefer. Regular potatoes would work, as would any root vegetable
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon tamari
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons Sriracha (depending on how spicy you'd like the vegetables to be)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • kimchi of choice (if you're vegan or vegetarian, make sure it's fish sauce-free)
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

Directions:

Bring the water or vegetable broth and the grain to a boil in a medium pot. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook the time required for the grain. For quinoa the time is 20 minutes. When the grain is done fluff with a fork, and allow it to stand for 10 minutes. Mix in the sesame oil, tamari, mirin, and scallions.

While the rice cooks, prepare the vegetables: Preheat the oven to 425° F. Whisk together the olive oil, tamari, Sriracha, and garlic. Toss the vegetables in the marinade and distribute them onto a baking sheet. Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are crispy and browning, turning the vegetables halfway through. 

Divide the grain, vegetables, and the kimchee into four bowls. Sprinkle each bowl with a tablespoon of sesame seeds. Serve.

Michael Liss