Back when I was growing up, we very rarely went out to dinner. It was a treat that was reserved for special occasions. My mom cooked dinner almost every night and we always sat down together at the table for dinner. I didn’t really realize there was another way until high school when my then boyfriend’s family had dinner out almost every night. Every time I went over, they had take-out from a different place. I had more Chinese food over at their house in the year I was in that relationship then I ever had with my family…or probably since then. I thought it was awesome!
Now that I live on my own and have support myself (what a pain that is!), I still rarely eat out. I try and cook most of my meals at home, which helps me eat healthier and budget better.
With that said, though, I seriously LOVE eating out! Especially when I get to try a new restaurant. A few weeks ago, two of my friends, on two separate occasions, told me that I need to try this restaurant called Life Alive. It’s super hippie-granola and has tons of vegan choices. I was game! The first time I went, I was so overwhelmed. There are never a lot of vegan options to choose from so having a whole menus worth, well, I didn’t know where to start. So I got a salad and a smoothie. BOR-ING!
I redeemed myself the second time around by ordering their Emperor bowl. It was so good! I’m not even sure if I came up for air during the process of shoveling it in my face. Actually, I’m pretty sure I came up at least once to tell the person I was with, “I could totally make this for Wicked Vegan!” And so I have. It’s not exact but I think it hits the spot!
My goal for this recipe was to let the veggies shine. I cooked them for a bit, but mostly until just hot, never until super soft, and kept the dressing light enough where I felt the veggies were still the focal point
Sweet Corn and Kale Rice Bowl with Miso Dressing
inspired by Life Alive’s Emperor Bowl
makes 4 servings
- 2 tablespoons miso
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard (whatever kind you have around, I used Dijon)
- 2 tablespoons honey or agave
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar (recipe calls for brown but I had regular and it worked fine)
- 1/3 cup mild flavored extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon pure toasted sesame oil (optional)
Make the dressing by whisking the miso, mustard, and honey/agave together. Now whisk in the rice vinegar and keep whisking until it’s smooth. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, and then the sesame oil. Two pinches of salt. Taste and make any adjustments if needed. Make dressing ahead of time and set aside. I prefer to let this sit overnight because it thickens up and gives the dish a really creamy texture. Feel free to use it right away, though. It will still taste great.
- 1 cup of brown basmati rice, uncooked
- olive oil or cooking spray to coat the pan (I used coconut oil cooking spray to reduce oil, sesame oil would be delicious though!)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 bunch of Kale (I used curly)
- 2 Carrots, shredded
- 2 Ears of Corn, cooked in your preferred method (I boiled mine)
- 1 TBSP of soy sauce
- 1 block of pressed tofu
- 2 cups of sun dried tomatoes (NOT packed in oil)
- sesame seeds
Place the sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Let sit for 15-30 minutes or until soft. Once soft, slice into thin strips or dice, depending on preference. Set aside.
Prepare your basmati rice according to the package and set aside. I cook mine differently every time but usually I put 1 cup rice and 2 cups of water in a pot, bring to a boil uncovered, then reduce heat to simmer, cover with a lid, and let it simmer for 30-45 minutes. I find it depends on the brand, though.
Coat the pan in oil and place over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook until it’s fragrant. Add the kale and toss until hot and a little bit wilted but not soggy. I would say about 5-8 minutes depending on your preference. Set aside.
Coat the pan again with a little more cooking spray, if needed. Add shredded carrots and corn with a splash of soy sauce. Again, cook until hot. Set aside.
Crumble the tofu in the same pan you used for the corn and carrots and cook until golden brown, stirring only occasionally. Set aside.
To assemble your rice bowl, you should have 1 cup of kale, 1/2 c. of rice, 1/2 cup of the corn/carrot mixture, 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, 1/4 of the tofu, salad dressing to taste and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
To reheat or store leftovers, I really wanted to keep the measurements of this dish intact because it follows the Rabbit Food for my Bunny Teeth food pyramid. So I stored everything in separate containers. Then, to reheat, I would portion everything out, dump it in a pan on the stove, and reheat everything together. If the portions don’t bother you, store everything in one large container and just reheat however much you want on the stove top.
This is one of those meals that takes some steps but it’s SO yummy when it comes together. I love it because it sounds and feels fancy but, especially during this season when corn is 50 cents per ear (if not less), it ends up being a relatively inexpensive dish that tastes so fresh! I was able to buy all my veggies at the farmers market and already had rice in bulk. My biggest purchase was the miso paste, which you can find in the cold section of your grocery store near the tofu or in an asian grocery store.
Shoveling this unceremoniously into your mouth is pretty much the only way to eat it, just so you know!