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Creating Easy Vegan Meals - Bowls

white bowl with brown rice, beans,  and vegetables
Today's lunch - brown rice bowl

I love bowls! They are so easy, versatile, nutritious, and delicious. You can explore any flavor profile by changing up the spices and/or sauces you use.

Our favorite farm has a bounty of peppers and kale right now so we've been eating a lot of those lately. I made the components of this meal ahead of time so I could easily have lunch thrown together and ready to eat in a matter of minutes.

Whenever I'm making rice I always make extra. It freezes well so even if I don't think we'll finish all of the rice over the course of a couple of days I'll put some in the freezer to ensure a quick base for a future meal. You can reheat frozen rice in the microwave or a pot with a splash of water or vegetable broth, neither process takes very long.

peppers, onions, and garlic cloves on a brown cutting board
How beautiful is this?!

I sliced peppers, onions, and kale, minced some garlic and sautéed them in water. When the peppers were just starting to get soft I quartered two tomatoes (that's what I had on hand), squeezed them over the dish, and tossed them in the pan. You want to think about layering and flavor building here. I start with the onions, sprinkle some salt, and let them start to release their juices. Then add the garlic, quick sauté, then add the peppers. Sprinkle some more salt, when ready, add the tomatoes as I noted above. Finally, you'll add the chopped or torn kale. Turn off the heat once the kale is wilty but still bright green.

sautéed peppers, onions, garlic, and kale in a pan

I went pretty simple with the bowl today. I have brown rice, black beans (from a can, rinsed), the sautéed veggies, and hot sauce. Thanks to the onions and tomatoes the veggies have enough juice that I didn't feel the need to pour a sauce over the bowl.

By the way, if you don't like kale, start with it in a soup or sautéed like this. It has such a nice chewy texture and the bitterness is gone.

Check out my Brussels Sprouts recipe and tofu recipe for other tasty additions to your bowl.

I encourage you to think seasonally, what veggies are in abundance as you read this?

Focus your meals around those veggies. What I love about this (beyond getting veggies at their peak nutrition) is that you can't get bored. By the time you're tired of eating something it is out of season and you're onto a new set of veggies. The base of your bowls can remain the same (rice, beans, potatoes...) but the bowls themselves continue to change (with minimal effort on your part too.)

Bowls also give you a great opportunity to try out different cuisines simply by changing up a sauce. Top your bowl with marinara and fresh basil, a curried tomato sauce, or thinned out hummus or tahini dressing. The contents of the bowl can be exactly the same but you can transport yourself all around the world simply by using a different sauce.

Great thing about most sauces? They freeze well, so keep a stash on hand for when you need some variety.

Share in the comments below how you keep it simple in the kitchen. As always, since we never promote the exploitation or use of animals at Did You Bring the Hummus, if you are sharing quick recipes or food focused tips - veggie dishes only, please.

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