This meal was inspired by the beautiful array of produce in my refrigerator. (This delightful variety is what I love most about having a share in a CSA—community supported agriculture.) Everything looked appetizing, and I wanted to cook it all.

For protein, I used the Five-Spice Baked Tofu from a previous blog, cut into square-shaped slices instead of rectangles. On other nights, I’ve made bowls with a teriyaki salmon or miso-marinated sea bass or diced leftover chicken. Or you could try the shrimp & avocado ceviche from Bottom Line Health columnist Janet Bond Brill, PhD, RDN.

My instructions here focus on the vegetables. Each dish is uniquely spiced but the flavors are complementary, so you can enjoy “combo” bites, or even mix it all together. In fact, the seasonings are ones I often use in a single dish.

For the base, I used a wild rice blend (which you can’t see in the photo because it’s completely hidden by the toppings). Any whole grain will do—farro, barley, quinoa, oat groats…or mashed sweet potatoes…or whole-grain noodles (I love this gluten-free buckwheat and sweet potato variety.)

To serve, let guests assemble their own bowls to their liking. The toppings I offered were Mushrooms with Basil, Cabbage with Ginger, Kale with Garlic plus a fresh Sesame Carrot Salad as well as cubed mango. Chopped pineapple or orange or kiwi slices would also work nicely instead of or in addition to the mango. I would have included sliced avocado if I’d had any handy.

What I’ve created here looks a lot like the poke bowls from my favorite sushi restaurant…just without the fish. So please allow me some poetic license on the blog name, because technically poke (pronounced “POH-keh”) bowls contain fish.

A note on the cooking pan: Except for the rice (which I cooked in a rice cooker), I cooked every other dish in the same pan. I didn’t wash in between but I did rinse well. Otherwise, whatever sauce was left in the pan would have burned while warming up for the next dish.

A note on the vegetables: The core flavorings can work on any vegetables—broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, Swiss chard, asparagus, etc. Beets, zucchini or cucumber would also work in place of the carrots in the raw salad. Use what you have…buy what’s on sale…have fun!

Measurements are approximate…honestly, I just shake or pour at the stove…

Sautéed Mushrooms with Basil

Ingredients:
1 box mushrooms (10 to 12 ounces), any variety, sliced
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon dried basil or 2 Tablespoons fresh, sliced into ribbons (Thai basil is particularly good here)
5 sprigs fresh chives, chopped
1 Tablespoon avocado oil (or other high-heat cooking oil)

Directions:

  1. Warm pan on medium-high heat.
  2. Add oil, and swirl to coat.
  3. Add mushrooms, and cook until limp, about five minutes.
  4. Add soy sauce and basil and cook about one minute more.
  5. Transfer to a serving dish and stir in chives.

Sautéed Cabbage with Ginger

Ingredients:
⅓ head cabbage (about 3 cups), shredded
1 inch fresh ginger, minced
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon chili garlic sauce (optional)
1 Tablespoon avocado or extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Warm pan on medium heat.
  2. Add oil, and swirl to coat.
  3. Add cabbage and ginger together, and cook to desired doneness, stirring regularly. I like it on the crunchier side, which takes three to four minutes or so.
  4. Helpful: I use a wooden fork to sauté cabbage and greens. I find it much easier than a spatula or spoon to manipulate the veggies in the pan.
  5. Add chili garlic sauce and stir to coat.
  6. Transfer to a serving dish.

Sautéed Kale with Garlic

Ingredients:
1 bunch kale
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
1 Tablespoon avocado oil or other high-heat oil

Directions:

  1. Pull kale leaves off the spines. Discard spines and cut leaves into shreds. Wash in a salad spinner and dry thoroughly.
  2. Warm pan on medium-high heat.
  3. Add oil, and swirl to coat.
  4. Add kale, then garlic on top, stirring regularly, about two minutes.
  5. Sprinkle with salt, then continue to cook to desired doneness, about two minutes more.
  6. Transfer to a serving dish.

Shredded Sesame Carrot Salad

Ingredients:
2 organic carrots (unpeeled but washed well)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar

Directions:

  1. Grate carrots. (I use a hand grater—I take exercise anywhere I can get it—but you can also use a food processor with the grating disc, or a mandolin.)
  2. Add rice vinegar and sesame seeds and mix thoroughly. Note: “Seasoned” rice vinegars generally have added sugar, so I only use regular rice vinegar.