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Vegan Veggie Grain Bowl

This recipe, cooked and adapted by Layla Bonilla, was a 1st place winner at the 2022 NC State Fair Home Chef Challenge! The challenge was:

“Let’s kick cholesterol and heart disease to the curb while we boost our brain power! You’ll start your recipe with a base layer of healthy whole grains like brown rice or quinoa and then from there, it’s time to start topping on the superfoods to build a delicious protein-packed meal!”

Mushroom recipe adapted from: https://dailydish.co.uk/how-to-prepare-and-cook-shiitake-mushrooms/

Prep Time: 35 mins | Cook Time: 40 mins | Servings: 4 bowls of approx. 2 cups each

 [MUSHROOMS]

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound shiitake mushroom caps (stems removed)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ cup tamari *or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water

[VEGGIES]

  • 2 cup sweet potato
  • 1 ⅓ zucchini
  • ½ cup onion
  • serrano or ahi pepper, sliced
  • olive oil, as needed
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

[RICE]

  • 1.5 cups brown rice
  • ½ tsp fennel seed
  • 2 bay leaf

[FRESH INGREDIENTS]

  • 1 cup sorrell
  • ¾ cup basil
  • ¾ cup nasturtium leaf or arugula
  • garlic chive
  1. Cook rice according to package directions, with added fennel seed and bay leaf.
  2. Cube sweet potato into medium sized bites. Preheat the oven to 450º. On a large baking sheet, toss sweet potatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, tossing halfway through, 25 to 30 minutes. Leave in a warm oven until ready to serve.
  3. Slice zucchini into ½ inch slices, quarter or half into bite size pieces. Toss with enough olive oil, salt and pepper to coat. Pack zucchini into a grill basket and grill on medium high, five minutes on each side. Add zucchini to the roasting pan with sweet potatoes until ready to serve.
  4. Saute onion and serrano or ahi pepper in a well oiled iron skillet for 5 minutes. Add onions to the roasting pan with sweet potatoes until ready to serve.
  5. Prepare the mushrooms: Rinse the mushrooms and wipe them dry. Cut the caps into thick slices. Heat vegetable oil in your iron skillet.. Saute the mushrooms for 5-7 minutes or until they’ve released their juices and are beginning to turn golden. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside.
  6. Heat the sesame oil in the same saute pan. Add the garlic and saute for a further minute. Add the brown sugar and saute until it begins to caramelize. Add the tamari and cornstarch slurry. Reduce the heat and allow the sauce to simmer until it thickens (about 2-3 minutes)
  7. Return the mushrooms to the pan and allow them to heat through. Leave in the skillet until ready to assemble the rice bowl.
  8. Roughly chop greens and finely dice garlic chives for garnish. Serve by adding rice into a wide, shallow bowl, mix greens into rice and top with veggie mix and shiitake mushroom. Garnish with garlic chive and sesame seeds.