Tahini-Miso Purple Sweet Potato Bowl

Tahini-Miso Purple Sweet Potato Bowl

This year has been weird, so far. We have reached a level of Deep Weird. 

To get out of the Weird, I decided to dive into some new ingredients. In the spirit of my admittedly imperfect movement toward a more plant-based diet, I looked at my pantry and pondered my options. I wanted to explore some new flavors while also boosting the nutritional value of my meal.

I fired up the oven and got to work on a whole-foods, oil-free recipe. This recipe is a triple-whammy: Vitamin B12, probiotics, and some funky ingredients.

To incorporate some vitamin B12, I included nutritional yeast, which can sometimes be lacking in a plant-based diet. A healthy dollop of white miso (who knew miso was fermented?) in the dressing lends the recipe its dose of probiotics. As for the funky ingredients, I framed this meal around the two purple sweet potatoes and maroon carrots I had ordered from my local farmer's market delivery service, and improvised with flavors like Za'atar and cilantro.

Tahini-Miso Purple Sweet Potato Bowl

Serves 4, with leftover dressing

Ingredients

1 cup of dry Bulgur Wheat

2 large Purple Sweet Potatoes (or any color of Sweet Potatoes)

2 large Maroon or Orange Carrots

1/2 cup Vegetable Broth, adjusting depending on size of root vegetables

2 cloves Garlic, unpeeled

1 cup fresh Spinach

1/2 cup of Tahini

1/2 cup of Water

1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast

1 stalk of Cilantro, stems removed

1 tbsp White Miso paste

1 tsp Za’atar

2 tbsp Lemon Juice

1 hefty pinch flaky Maldon sea salt

1 Yellow Bell Pepper

More Cilantro, for garnish

Directions

  1. Cook bulgur according to package instructions, then allow to cool. While this is on the stove, peel and chop sweet potatoes and carrots into rounds (Rondelle-style).
  2. Put root vegetables into a bowl with a generous soaking of vegetable broth. Alternative for a non-oil-free version: Drizzle with a light layer of olive oil.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  4. For the root vegetable medley: Bake sweet potato and carrot rounds and unpeeled garlic cloves on a baking sheet for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  5. Prepare Tahini-Miso Dressing, as described below.
  6. Chop bell pepper into a large dice cut.
  7. Make a bed of spinach in 4 bowls, and top with cooked bulgur. Top with bell pepper and roasted root vegetables, and drizzle with dressing.
  8. Garnish with a few cilantro leaves.

For Tahini-Miso Dressing:

  1. Combine tahini, water, nutritional yeast, cilantro leaves, miso paste, za'atar spice blend, lemon juice and sea salt in food processor. Blend until smooth, with green flecks.
  2. Peel roasted garlic, once cooled, and add to food processor. Blend once again.

Note: If you don't have a food processor, omit the cilantro leaves in the dressing and whisk by hand. This may take some elbow grease.

The before and after images of the purple sweet potatoes was a little underwhelming, to be honest. They go a bit more grey-light brown when cooked than I expected, but they're quite delicious. 

I also expected the maroon carrots to be maroon all the way through. They were not. But they were quite nice, flavor-wise. Next time, I'll scrub the skin and use some for garnish.

This is a highly customizable, stirrable, messy bowl, and it's everything I like in a meal. Use this as an exact recipe, if you have the resources at hand, or just as a template if you want to adapt it. All you need is your base grain, some root veggies, and something crunchy for contrast. Add a legume! Use a funky pseudo-grain like Amaranth or Buckwheat! Top with some flavorful sauce and a little garnish, and you've got everything you need. A nutritious and sustainable plant-based meal.