After a huge breakfast of black beans, harissa rice, avocado and fried egg (recipe definitely coming soon), a fun and simple rainbow power bowl with loads of fresh raw carrots, radishes, purple cabbage, and avocado was definitely on today’s lunch menu! All of that brightly-colored healthy goodness, plus quinoa, chia seeds and turmeric-yogurt dressing for bonus healthy points! This is practically a healthy salad recipe! I also snuck a handful of buckwheat in there, which is loaded with awesomeness. Buckwheat is totally gluten-free, for those who are unaware. Pretty much all of my recipes will be, unless I post something I make for an event that is so cool I simply have to share it in its original state. Don’t worry, any post like that will be clearly labelled with a “CONTAINS GLUTEN” notification.
Before I get to the rainbow power bowl recipe, though, it has come to my attention (and I’ve decided this needs addressing) that there are a ton of people out there who view a gluten-free diet as some kind of heinous and cruel program of restriction, which is simply not the case! I get asked all the time, “what do gluten-free people eat?” It’s a hard adjustment to make, so I totally understand when people who are first diagnosed with medical issues that leave doctors telling them to stop with the gluten get upset, but in reality, the world is filled with gluten-free foods! Most of which are even better than the gluten-filled foods that have become such a staple of the Western diet. You don’t actually need to eat wheat three or four times a day. It’s kind of silly to think you would!You don't actually need to eat wheat three or four times a day. It's kind of silly to think you… Click To Tweet
We have, as a society, gotten pretty brainwashed by the idea that the only “right” way to eat is to fill ourselves full of wheat at every meal. It makes a lot of sense when you look at the power of the wheat industry in the United States, but it seems like we should now be at a point where maybe a little of that stranglehold can be relaxed! By all means, eat gluten if you want to, but if your health would be improved by giving it up, then relax! If you need to give it up for health reasons, then rest assured that without constant gluten, you’re on your way to a better life!
...without constant gluten, you're on your way to a better life! Click To Tweet
So what do gluten-free people eat? Simple! Almost everything! The majority of all of the foods that you should be eating in any given day contain no gluten. Vegetables, fruits, greens, nuts, meat, poultry, fish, soy (careful with this one, though. Most bottled condiments (I’m looking at you, soy sauce) that contain soy also contain wheat), dairy, all of the sugars, all of the fats, and even most of the grains are safe to eat! Plus, since we’ve gotten so completely wrapped up in the gluten-free fad, nearly every boxed, canned, freeze-dried, and frozen convenience food has at least one or two prepackaged gluten-free counterparts.
However, you don’t need to eat a diet of only prepackaged gluten-free foods to be safe! You have most of the edible things on the planet to choose among! (You also don’t need to panic when someone who avoids gluten comes to your house for a meal.) You can make phenomenal food without it! Really, what I want this blog to be is a place where you can come for great recipes that taste amazing, look cool and will impress your family and friends (or yourself!) with your interesting info and deceptively simple techniques. These recipes just happen to also be gluten-free! A lot of my desire to do this comes from almost ten years of having people kind of freak out when I was coming over for a meal because they simply have no idea what to feed me. As though making a meal without gluten is somehow terrifying and unknown. Like they’ll have to go out and buy a science kit and thirty bizarre and hard-to-find ingredients just to make a simple lunch! (The fact that I also cook professionally just makes matters worse.) Usually, these wonderfully well-meaning people don’t ask “what do gluten-free people eat?” I find out far too late that there have been mad internet searches and frantic grocery-buying, so that’s why I’m putting this info right here, on the internet, where people might run across it in a panic, take a deep breath, and maybe, just maybe, relax a little.
Have any of you run into the same issue?
The majority of all of the foods that you should be eating in any given day contain no gluten. Click To Tweet
Okay, granted. I do like to use a lot of somewhat bizarre and maybe kind of hard-to-find ingredients. However, when I do use an unfamiliar spice, oil, or vinegar, rest assured that if you can’t find it at your local store or market, you can definitely find it on Amazon. (I’m an affiliate! I give you links! Lots of links! I’ll give you more if you need them!) If you buy a bottle or jar, even if you cook like I do every meal of every day, that container will last for weeks if not months! I’ll work on getting a list together of the random things that I keep around, just in case you want to have this stuff on hand, too. The complexity, umami, and simple wow-factor that you can get out of sneaking a little seaweed, rice vinegar, hot sauce, or capers into a dish just can’t be beat! Secret weapons, all of them. Also, most of these recipes will still be great without the specialty stuff; you could easily leave things out or substitute other ingredients. Let me know if you have questions! I would love to walk you through anything on this site!
Secret weapons, all of them... Click To Tweet
Okay! Those are the thoughts today. In the very near future, I’ll probably devote more time to talking about what I’ve dealt with over the last almost-decade of not eating gluten. This is actually even more difficult when your job is to cook! There’s not an old-school Chef out there who wants to promote some unknown weirdo who doesn’t eat one of the most relied-upon (re: idiot-proof) ingredients in the kitchen. If I mention it at all, it’s never fewer than three months into the job! Fortunately, I don’t have celiac, so if tasting something with flour in it was necessary, I could go ahead and do that. For me, I had major health problems when I was eating gluten constantly (and I was. I ate gluten CONSTANTLY! One tiny step juuuuust shy of simply mainlining the stuff), and when I decided to try giving it up, first my health and then my entire life improved. Completely.
Yep, this is turning into a post that is waaaaaaay too long. To be continued!
Here: a puppy!
Okay, today’s recipe! A quinoa rainbow power bowl with carrots, radishes, avocado, and cabbage with chia seeds and turmeric-yogurt dressing! This is actually a really simple recipe. For the carrots, cabbage, and radishes, I used a mandolin, which is a tool that lets you slice things really thinly in very little time. If you don’t have one, just use a knife to slice everything as thin as you can, and then stack it up (or not) and then julienne, or slice it super thin! Not so comfy with the knife? Slice the cabbage thinly, but use a vegetable peeler on the carrots and radishes! You’ll have paper-thin slices!
I never peel regular radishes, but watermelon radishes have kind of a tough, woody exterior, so I peel that off. Oh! Watermelon radishes look like fat, pale, often slightly greenish radishes, usually with a long, slender, pale pink…root. (See above.) If you don’t have them at your market, just use regular radishes. These are cool for the color, not because they have a wildly different flavor.
(FYI: I grow the basil and mint that I used for these pictures, so yours will probably look a little different. The mint is pretty standard, but that’s Purple Magic basil, which I found last summer at Annie’s Annuals, the coolest greenhouse in Oakland/Richmond, and maybe all of the North Bay! It’s such a awesomely unique place. They specialize in rare and unusual plants, and it’s such a treat to get out there! I have my awesome basil, plus some incredible lemongrass and some spicy oregano that’s really actually spicy! You can order online, so check it out if you have a minute!
For the grains for this particular rainbow power bowl, I did a quinoa-buckwheat combo, which I cooked together in one pot. Feel free to use one or the other, or substitute brown rice! I have a recipe for brown rice here.
Rainbow Power Bowl with Quinoa, Turmeric-Yogurt Dressing, and Chia Seeds
- 3/4 cup quinoa
- 1/4 cup buckwheat (raw groats or toasted (Kasha) are both great)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup plain yogurt (I prefer full fat, but use what makes you happy)
- 3 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1-2 dashes Tapatio, optional
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 Tbs lime juice
- 1/2 cup purple cabbage, shredded (green also works!)
- 1 ea watermelon radish, peeled and julienned
- 1 ea radish, peeled and julienned
- 1/2 ea carrot, peeled and julienned
- 1/4 avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tsp chia seeds
- a few basil and mint leaves, to garnish
- Heat the oil in a small saucepan on medium heat.
- Add the quinoa and buckwheat and stir to toast (unless your buckwheat is already toasted).
- When the grains start to smell nutty, add the water and salt. Stir.
- Bring the water up to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Stir frequently until the grains are tender and the water is absorbed, 15-20 min. Taste, and adjust seasoning.
- Mix all of the ingredients for the dressing together, taste, and adjust seasoning.
- Toss the grains with a little of the dressing and plate. Top with the vegetables, drizzle with more dressing, and sprinkle with chia seeds and herbs. Enjoy!
Looking for more super healthy dinner recipes? You might like the Raw Rainbow Vegetarian Nori Rolls, the Tropical Coconut Forbidden Rice Bowl, the Spicy Citrus Chicken Breast, and the Total Miracle Sky-High Protein, Low Carb Gluten-Free Pizza!
*Disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links!