Brighten up your day with a bowl of rainbows! As the days grow shorter, we all need a little boost, from colorful, nourishing food. This Rainbow Wild Rice Bowl has all the eye-catching hues that make you want to dig in, along with the hearty, nutty wild rice on the bottom. A tangy, creamy tahini dressing tops it off, to complement all the sweet, earthy flavors in the bowl.
Bowl Food Isn’t Over
I wrote a book, Great Bowls of Food, during a big wave of interest in bowl based eating. It’s one of my favorite books, and I’m very proud of it. Of course, like any food trend, there is inevitably a backlash, and tire of hearing about it. Of course, if something is good, it doesn’t go away when it isn’t “trendy” anymore, it just settles into a space in our food culture. Bowls are doing just fine, especially as a home cook’s way of keeping a crowd happy- it still works to make all the components and let everyone eat what they like on top. Add tofu, beans, even chicken? Sure, why not, good, flexible meals that satisfy will always be in style.
The Ingredients for a Rainbow Wild Rice Bowl
First, you need real, hand harvested wild rice. It’s not a tru grain, it’s an aquatic grass seed, so many people who avoid grain or gluten love wild rice. I’m a purist, because I live in Minnesota and it’s one of the great treasures of our region. Manoomin, the Mother Grain, was the central food of the Indigenous peoples, who still harvest true wild rice in the native way. I know that when I was growing up in Illinois, the only wild rice I ever saw was in an Uncle Ben’s White and Wild rice mix, and it was broken bits of shiny black cultivated wild rice. Real wild rice is shorter, lighter in color, and much better tasting than cultivated. It also cooks in about 15-20 minutes, while the cultivated stuff can take an hour. If you haven’t had real wild rice, you can order it direct from Bineshii in Leech Lake, MN.
The Dressing is made from tahini, the protein and calcium rich paste made of ground sesame seeds. thie is a great way to use that jar you keep around for making hummus. A healthy handful of fresh, flat leaf Italian parsley makes it green and peppery. Garlic and ginger give the dressing some depth, and fresh lemon adds some needed tartness, as well as vitamin C.
The vegetables are the rainbow- and of course, you can sub other veggies if you need to clear out the veggie drawer. Chiogga beet is a fun one, the striped red and white beet looks like a pile of peppermint sticks, once you cut it in strips. Purple cabbage, carrots, kale and tomatoes round it out, with plenty of crunch and bright color.
How to Make a Rainbow Wild Rice Bowl
First, cook the rice. I cooked mine in 2x the water to rice, and after 15 minutes, the grains were tender and starting to split. You don’t want to cook it until all the grains are split and blown apart, that’s when it becomes porridge. Drain any excess water and hold the grain.
Make the dressing in a blender, putting in the water and lemon first. If you want to use a food processor, add the liquids last, and start by grinding the parsley, garlic and ginger to a paste, then adding the tahini and the rest. Once that is all smooth, add the liquids.
Then you get to bulid your bowl! Wild rice on the bottom, veggies on top, and a drizzle of green tahini dressing.
Meal Prep a Bowl Meal
You may already have a copy of my Vegan Meal Prep Book or my Great Bowls of Food Book, but if you don’t click on over and order them soon. This is a perfect ecxample of both- easy to prep and eat all week, pack and take to lunch, whatever you need. As always, it’s plant forward and whole grain, so it fits into every healthy eating plan.
Rainbow Wild Rice Bowl with Green Tahini Dressing
Green Tahini Dressing
- 6 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley
- 2 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 inch fresh ginger sliced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 3/4 cup wild rice
- 2 cups shredded carrot
- 2 cups slivered red cabbage
- 2 cups slivered kale
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 1 chiogga beet
- In a blender, in order, place the water, lemon, parsley, garlic, ginger, tahini, cumin and salt. Secure the lid and blend until smooth, scraping down as needed. Reserve, thin with water if needed to make pourable.
- In a small pot, bring 2 cups water to a boil, then add the wild rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and cover the pot. Real, hand-harvested wild rice takes about 20 minutes, cultivated wild rice can take up to an hour, and require more water. When the rice is tender, drain any excess water and let cool.
- Prep the veggies: shred carrots, sliver cabbage, and sliver kale. Slice the toamtoes in vertical wedges. Peel beet, quarter stem to tip, and cut the wedges in thin slices.
- Divide the wild rice between four bowls, then arrange the vegetables on top. Drizzle with green sauce. Serve with any extra sauce on the side.