Sometime last summer, I became captivated by the health bowl. So you mean I just take whatever healthy ingredients I happen to have in my house and mix them together and it tastes good and is good for me? Sold! Of course, it's slightly more complicated than that - but not much. The key is to layer a whole grain, some protein, a healthy fat, veggies, greens, seeds/nuts, and sauce in a way that the ingredients complement one another. I experimented with changing up the veggies and proteins, and eventually settled on what I found to be my perfect dinner health bowl. Most often consisting of organic brown rice, roasted chickpeas, black beans, scrambled eggs or tofu cooked in coconut oil, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, sometimes almonds, avocado, organic baby greens, and topped with whatever healthy sauce I happen to have on hand, this meal became a twice weekly staple in our house.
Recently I started thinking that it was time to try something different for the grain. I'd tried quinoa (not a grain, but a good substitution for one) and couscous (admittedly not the best choice for a bowl), but almost always went for the brown rice in the end. And it was getting a little tiresome. Rice also takes quite a while to cook, and sometimes I need to just be able to throw dinner together quickly. Ultimately, the grain is sort of the muscle of the bowl, so it had to be something substantial. Then it hit me - why not try oatmeal? Oatmeal isn't traditionally known as a savory ingredient, much less a dinner food, but steel-cut oats are super hearty and full of texture, so why not? I knew that Pacific had just come out with a new ready-to-eat Organic Steel-Cut Oatmeal that just needed to be heated up, so that solved my problem of the meal taking a long time to prepare.
I played around with ingredients, just as I had done last year when my health bowl infatuation began, and came up with what I think is a seriously delicious, filling, super food packed dinner - one that my husband and toddler love as well. I hope you guys love it as much as I do!
Prep/Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
Serves: 1 (can easily make several at once)
1 package Pacific Foods Organic Unsweetened Steel-Cut Oatmeal
1/2 cup organic black beans (canned or pre-cooked)
1 T sprouted pumpkin seeds (or regular pumpkin or sunflower seeds)
1 organic egg
coconut oil for frying egg
1/3 of an avocado, sliced
1/2 T chia seeds
handful of organic baby greens (I like a spinach and kale mix)
dollop of Greek yogurt
hot sauce to taste
Heat the oatmeal and black beans (separately) in saucepans over low to medium heat. While they're heating, fry your egg. (To fry egg over easy: Add a small amount of coconut oil to a skillet on medium-high heat, crack egg into bowl, add to pan, reduce heat to low, flip when whites set, and cook until desired doneness.) In a large bowl, layer the oatmeal, then the black beans, followed by the pumpkin seeds, then your egg. Top that with a layer of avocado slices, chia seeds, and the baby greens. Squeeze a little lime over your greens, add a dollop of Greek yogurt, top with hot sauce, more chia seeds, and any other seasonings you desire. You're done!
I like eating the layers separately so each bite is a surprise. My husband prefers to mix his all up. Either way, it's delicious.
You can, of course, eat this as a savory breakfast bowl too, if you're in the mood for something hearty and satisfying to start your day. And if you prefer a vegan bowl, try lightly pan frying some tofu in coconut oil in place of the egg (or just omit the egg all together), and use refrigerated coconut milk solids in place of Greek yogurt.
If you try this, be sure to let me know what you think!
P.S. Pacific Foods is holding a contest right now where everyday, one winner will be selected at random to win a special kit featuring a selection oatmeal and oat non-dairy beverage. At the completion, one grand prize winner will receive a variety case of Pacific’s Steel-Cut Oatmeal and a case of their delicious non-dairy drinks! To enter, just post a photo of a dressed up bowl of oatmeal (any brand) on Twitter or Instagram tagged with @PacificFoods and #OatmealBowl. (I did!)
This post is in collaboration with Pacific Foods.
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