Wild Rice Bowl w/ Crunchy Sweet Potato Fries, Tempeh, Pickles, Arugula + Tahini Sauce

Today is a very important day. Namely, election day - aka stephen harper going away party (fingers crossed + vote cast). So, I wanted to begin this post by saying: PLEASE, if you have not voted yet go do it right now! There have already been 3.6 million votes cast in the advanced polls, let's not stop there. It is so crucial that everyone gets out there and exercises that right to vote. 

Speaking of (at least in a roundabout way) I was just at the YMCA. I recently started doing this exercise thing and let me tell you, it is totally awesome. I've never actually 'worked out' before, like in a gym, but I found out that I love it! Growing up, I never played any sports (in fact one of the only times I tried to play soccer I broke my thumb... don't ask) so this whole going to the gym thing is a little foreign to me. I had one free session with a personal trainer and she taught me how to lift different kinds of weights, do chest presses, squats, etc. Anyways, what I wanted to mention is that this particular YMCA is a polling station and so while I was workin' out all those muscles I could look down into the gymnasium below and watch those early morning voters casting their ballots. It was pretty cool. All this to say (again) GO VOTE! :)

We got a kitten! This is perhaps the most exciting news of the week (in my life). His name is Donut, he is 5 months old, and he is blind in one eye. Things he loves:

  1. string games (obvi)
  2. playing in his litter box (ughhh)
  3. cuddling!
  4. sleeping completely sprawled out between us
  5. watching grey's anatomy with me ;)
  6. water (???)
  7. looking at the snow

I would make a list of things he doesn't like except he is literally the most chill cat in the world and is up for anything. I will let you know if he suddenly develops an aversion to something strange like peas, tissues, paperback books, etc. 

Side note: what the heckkkk snow? I didn't think you were supposed to be here in october! But actually I am totally loving it <3

I am so excited to share this wild rice bowl with you folks! It is perfectly crunchy, sweet, savoury, umami infused and heartily filling. You know when you get a sudden craving for a bunch of things that at first don't seem to fit together but then you realize they create the best possible combination? Yes, that is this bowl. I knew that I needed thin, crispy sweet potato fries + pickles in the same bowl, and the rest of the ingredients just came together from those flavours. Even though there seems like a lot of ingredients, it is actually super simple to make. The only things that take time are the sweet potatoes and the tempeh, but you are already waiting for the rice to finish cooking so it ends up all being ready around the same time. This is the perfect crisp fall food - it will fill you up and make you warm and glowy :) 

Wild Rice Bowl w/ Crunchy Sweet Potato Fries, Tempeh, Pickles, Arugula + Tahini Sauce

Serves 2 (can easily be doubled to serve 4)

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Ingredients

Rice Bowl

  • 1/2 cup wild rice + 1 tbsp coconut oil 
  • half of a large sweet potato + 1 tbsp oil + salt and pepper to taste
  • half a can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 baby dill pickles (or 3 large ones)
  • half a package of tempeh (I like this brand)
  • a couple handfuls of arugula 
  • 1 large sheet of roasted nori
  • a sprinkle of black sesame seeds

Tahini Sauce

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp maple syrup (depending on desired sweetness) 
  • 1 tsp sriracha 
  • 1 tbsp water (or more to thin)

Β 

Notes

  1. Make the rice by combining 1/2 cup of wild rice with 1 1/2 cups of water and the coconut oil. Bring to a boil then reduce to low heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 400. Slice the sweet potato into thin fries. I like to do this by cutting apprx. 1/4 inch rounds and then slicing those into thin strips. Toss fries with oil, salt and pepper then bake on a baking sheet for 15-20 minutes, rotating and flipping halfway through. 
  3. Slice the tempeh into long strips. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add apprx. 1 tbsp of oil (I used olive oil but any kind will work). Place the strips of tempeh into the pan, they will sizzle if it is hot enough. Fry the strips for apprx. 2 minutes per side, until they are golden brown. If desired, splash some soy sauce over the tempeh right before you take it off the heat. Set aside. 
  4. Slice the dill pickled lengthways in half. Fold the sheet of nori into quarters then slice into thin strips with a sharp knife. 
  5. Make the sauce by combining all ingredients and whisking to a smooth consistency. 
  6. Plate and serve! Place rice, arugula, sweet potatoes, black beans, pickles, and tempeh in a bowl. Sprinkle with nori and black sesame seeds. Enjoy!