Portland folks know The Whole Bowl, the tiny food carts around town that pack a big punch with their one and only offering: "The Bowl." Now that we're down on the southern Oregon coast, we don't get to Portland very often, so we have to try to recreate our food cart favorites. Last night I gave the Whole Bowl's "bowl" a try.
Their version has brown rice, red and black beans, avocado, salsa, black olives, sour cream, Tillamook cheddar, cilantro, and their secret Tali sauce. (At one point, their website also listed the ingredient "trace amounts of attitude," but I don't see that listed anymore.)
My "bowl" included different ingredients, and given the season, I couldn't use a lot of fresh veggies, but "trace amounts of attitude" were definitely involved!
4 medium carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, diced (less if you don't like spicy food)
Small bunch of kale leaves, chopped
1 14.5-oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
2 cans black beans
1/2 cup frozen corn
4 cups brown rice, cooked
Salt, pepper, dried (or fresh) parsley, and dried (or fresh) oregano to taste
Cheese of your choice (optional)
Tortilla chips (optional)
This amazing avocado lemon dressing
Here's what I did, in five easy steps:
1. Sauté carrots and onion until the aroma permeates the kitchen.
2. Add garlic, jalapeño pepper, kale, salt, pepper, and everything canned and frozen. If you're using dried herbs, throw those in now (wait until the end of step 3 for fresh herbs).
3. Bring to a boil, then simmer 20 minutes or until you can't wait any longer. (Don't forget to add your fresh herbs at the end of this step.)
4. Scoop rice into a bowl, add the simmering veggies, and top with the avocado and lemon dressing. Optionally, add a blob of your favorite cheese and crushed tortilla chips.
My main goal was to use up all the veggie bits and pieces in the fridge and freezer; my secondary goal was to make something that would last as long as possible. Pretty sure I succeeded on both those fronts—we'll get four meals each out of this "bowl" experiment, which works out to roughly $1/person/meal.
I totally winged the recipe. It's just a form of chili, so it wasn't rocket science, but I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. (Don't tell them, but I also think my version was better than The Whole Bowl's. See? Attitude! But just a trace...)