bowl + spoon

bowl + spoon

Work kicked my ass this week. I had a slough of early meetings and work that ran late. I had a dentist appointment and a big deliverable. In short, I was knackered and didn’t have much time to cook. Those kinds of weeks it’s tempting to reach for the pizza delivery number or scrounge a meal of crackers and cheese but I hate it when I’m not able to put together a healthy meal and so I strive to find recipes that are simple, good for you and not labor-intensive. I know I’m not alone in this.

Enter A Sprouted Kitchen, Sara and Hugh Forte and their new cookbook bowl + spoon. Sara has a love of seasonal vegetables and whole foods with dressings and sauce. She writes that her specialty is “food in a bowl – combinations of vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, big salads – texture and flavor that go together to make a nutritious meal” and that this book is in part a response to the request for delicious, healthful and practical food. Her husband, Hugh Forte, takes the gorgeous photos.

protein bowl
She does a nice run-down of which tools she finds useful in the kitchen, a list of natural sweeteners that can be used in place of sugar, healthful oils, vinegars and salts and other pantry staples. But the main idea is food in bowls. She writes that this is how many whole-food fans eat – by grouping ingredients together that can be tarted up enough for a dinner party or eaten by yourself on the couch in pj’s and more and more I find that this is what I cook. Sunday night invariably sees me soaking beans or cooking up a big pot of rice or quinoa to be doled out for lunches with some sautéed kale or roasted carrots and whatever condiments catch my eye.

bowl + spoon
I particularly loved the “morning bowls” which are far too involved for me to get together before work but which make a lovely brunch (or even dinner in several cases). I made the baked eggs with barely creamed greens and mustardy bread crumbs, the mushroom and leek egg soft bake, the Popeye protein bowl, the tropical smoothie bowl and the soaked oat porridge. There are many favourites in there that I’m sure will show up the next time I have friends over. For lunch I made the slivered veggie and soba salad with maple tofu and the cauliflower gratin and while I loved both of those, the dish I keep dreaming about is the tahini kale and roasted tamari portobello bowl with avocado – to which I added some leftover salmon. I make this kind of dish on a regular basis but I usually forgo marinating and making sauces for well, laziness. Not so here. The soy-soaked portobellos were absolutely delicious on their own but massaging tahini miso dressing into kale is something I now consider close to a requirement.

Interspersed in between full recipes are suggestions on how to build healthful meals and I loved her ideas for how to build a bowl; grain first, then protein (well-seasoned), legumes, greens, vegetables and toppings. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut of brown rice and kale and so nice to have a little encouragement and inspiration to branch out to other grains and proteins that aren’t front of mind.

For dessert we had lemon creams with blueberries and (gluten free) gingersnaps which actually both my husband found incredibly too sweet but admittedly I am not much of a sweet tooth and would be happy with a bowl of fruit or cheese and a piece of dark chocolate.

bowl + spoon

Baby Potato and Asparagus Tangle with Green Harissa and Eggs

Recently I made red harissa and it’s been going on everything from breakfast to dinner lately so I was excited to make a green version. The author says she adds it to this dish when she’s having a “breakfast-for-dinner sort of evening”, which is exactly how it happened at our house.



  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup parsley, plus more to garnish
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1 serrano chile, stemmed and mostly seeded
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil + 3 TBSP
  • 1 1/2 lbs baby potatoes or Yukon golds, cut into 1″ cubes
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 1 cup packed arugula
  • 4-8 eggs
  • 3/4 cup shaved pecorino or Parmesan

bowl + spoon

1. Make the harissa. In a food processor combine the garlic, parsley, cilantro, mint, serrano, lemon juice, cumin and salt and process to combine. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil until combined. Transfer to a jar and set aside.
2. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 F.
3. Make the potatoes. Put the potatoes in a pot and cover them with generously salted water by 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes or until a knife just pierces through to the centre. Drain completely and set aside until they are cool to the touch.
4. Spread the cooled potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and a bit of black pepper. Please the tray in the upper third of the oven and roast for 30 – 35 minutes until crispy.
5. Make the asparagus. While the potatoes cook, chop the asparagus into 2″ pieces and toss with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, until the edges begin to brown.
6. When the potatoes are done, combine the asparagus and potatoes and toss with two hearty spoonfuls of the harissa to coat. Add the arugula and toss again, adding more harissa to taste.
7. Make the eggs. Poach the eggs – 1-2 per person, for about 3 minutes. This will mean they are nice and runny and will break beautifully onto the potatoes and asparagus.
8. Serve each bowl with a portion of the potatoes, top with an egg or two and a generous sprinkle of pecorino and chopped parsley.

bowl + spoon
7. Make the eggs. Poach the eggs – 1-2 per person, for about 3 minutes. This will mean they are nice and runny and will break beautifully onto the potatoes and asparagus.
8. Serve each bowl with a portion of the potatoes, top with an egg or two and a generous sprinkle of pecorino and chopped parsley.

bowl + spoon
The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl and Spoon
Simple and Inspired Whole Foods Recipes to Savor and Share
by Sara Forte and Huge Forte
From Ten Speed Press




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