Rainbow Grain Bowl with Pot of Gold Tangerine Tahini Sauce

Rainbow bowl dish.jpg

Rainbow Grain Bowl

Pot of Gold Tangerine Tahini Sauce

Some call these Buddha bowls, others call them grain bowls. What ever the name, they should be called delicious. In a quest to intensify the flavor this recipe makes a few tweaks to an otherwise ordinary bowl full of grains and vegetables. First, pickling the onions brings about a salty/sweet flavor with the addition of an allspice hint. Baking the quinoa rather than stove-top simmering creates a fluffier texture. Tossing the avocado in mint freshens them with a pleasant herbaceous touch. These little touches that only take a few minutes more makes a big difference.


Eating a wide variety of foods is cleverly accomplished by eating the rainbow colors of fruits and vegetables. Quinoa and tahini add the much-needed protein to a vegan or vegetarian diet. This one bowl meal is delicious either hot or cold. So, make an extra batch and pack a few servings in wide-mouth canning jars for lunch on the go.

4 servings


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Tangerine Tahini Sauce

¼ cup tahini

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup fresh tangerine juice

½ teaspoon tangerine zest

½ teaspoon maple syrup

¼ teaspoon sea salt

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Grain Bowl

½ cup white balsamic vinegar

½ teaspoon whole allspice berries

2 teaspoons sea salt, divided or more

1 medium red onion, peeled, sliced lengthwise

2 cups filtered water

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 cup white quinoa, rinsed

1 large sweet potato, peeled, small diced

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

1 cup pomegranate arils

1 avocado, peeled, seeded, diced

1 tablespoon fresh mint, minced

1 cup shredded kale or greens


1.     Tangerine Tahini Sauce: In a canning jar with an immersion blender, blend the tahini, olive oil, tangerine juice, zest, maple syrup, and salt until thoroughly combined. (Can also use a blender to make this sauce.) Taste, Think, Transform  with maple syrup and/or salt. Some tahini’s are bitter, and sweetness can counter that bitterness. Can be made a day ahead and refrigerated for several days.

2.     In a non-reactive sauce pan over high heat bring the vinegar, allspice and one teaspoon of salt to a boil. Pour over the onion slices in a heat-proof bowl and steep for several minute or overnight. Can be kept in the refrigerator up to a week.

3.     Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bring the water and two tablespoons of olive oil in a sauce pan to a boil over high heat. Add the quinoa and one teaspoon of sea salt. Bring back to a boil, cover with a lid, place in the oven and bake until soft and all the liquid is absorbed, about ten to fifteen minutes. Reserve warm. (Can be finished on the top of the stove but a much fluffier grain is produced in the oven. Anyway, it won’t burn on the bottom!)

4.     Meanwhile, heat the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat until it shimmers. Add the diced sweet potatoes.  Cook, tossing often. When almost soft and browned sprinkle with the smoked paprika and desired salt. Cook for another minute and reserve warm.

5.     To assemble divide the quinoa in four bowl. In a semi-circle top with pomegranates, sweet potatoes, avocados tossed with the mint, kale or greens and pickled onions. Serve with the pot of gold Tangerine Tahini Sauce.

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