A many blessings rice bowl you can make as a family

17/08/2017 Blessing Bowl

One of the best ways to bond as a family is by cooking together.

Many children love to help out in the kitchen where they can and one fun way you could try to involve them is by making blessing bowls together.

Blessing bowls are versatile and there are so many different combinations you can make which is great if you have fussy little ones.

They’re traditionally made up of a base of grains or rice, protein such as chicken or tofu, vegetables, seeds and a dressing.

Alethea Jerebine, Advocacy and Health Promotion Specialist at the YMCA, has shared one of her favourite recipes.

Why don’t you give it a go?

Alethea said: ‘My many blessings rice bowl is a simple Japanese inspired meal that’s easy to prepare and assemble with your kids.

“And with a range of fresh healthy toppings, kids love the freedom to choose their own unique meal combination.

“Versatile enough to appeal to all palates, children and adults alike, this will serve four.

“(Don’t be put off by the lengthy instructions – there’s a few different toppings to assemble, but everything is pretty straightforward.)”

INGREDIENTS

Base

  • 2 cups brown rice (short grain or sushi) or alternatively a low GI white rice like basmati

Toppings

Protein – include one or two of the following:

  • Tuna – large 425g can (in spring water)
  • Japanese style omelette – 4 eggs
  • Grilled tofu – one block of firm tofu

Vegetables – include as many of these as desired (or create your own!)

  • Lightly steamed greens – spinach, chard, kale, enough to fill your steamer
  • Salad / rocket leaves – half a cup per person
  • Cucumber – 1 med sized Lebanese cucumber or equivalent
  • Avocado – 1 -2 whole avocadoes
  • Gherkins or other pickled veg – half a cup, sliced thinly.
  • Spring onions – 4 sliced thinly
  • Sesame seeds – 2 tablespoons
  • Nori paper – half a sheet, torn into small pieces
  • Any other raw vegetables your family enjoys e.g. diced tomato, sliced capsicum, sprouts

Dressing and seasoning

  • Sushi rice dressing (available from Coles and Woolworths in the Asian foods isle)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chill flakes
  • Wasabi
  • Reduced salt soy sauce or tamari (watered down for kids)

METHOD

  1. Rice
  • Rinse the rice in water: fill pot with water, massage grains with your hands, drain and repeat.
  • Cover rice with 3 cm of cold water and cook rice via absorption method (adding extra water if necessary). Remove from heat and leave a tea towel over top of pot until you’re ready to serve.

While rice is cooking, prepare the toppings.  All the toppings are prepared and served on the table individually in small bowls, allowing your family to assemble their own unique meal combination at the table.

2.Tuna

  1. Drain the can and transfer tuna into a bowl (large enough to allow mixing).
  2. Stir though 1 -2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (start with a small amount and add as you go to the desired consistency).

3. Omelette

  • Whisk eggs with 4 splashes of fish sauce, 1 tsp mirin, 1 tsp soy sauce, 4 tablespoons of water.
  • Heat a splash of olive oil in a frying pan and pour in egg mixture.
  • Cook omelette over a medium heat, turning as required
  • When almost done, remove from heat and allow to cool
  • Slice into thin long strips and transfer into a serving bowl

4.Grilled tofu

  • Slice tofu into 1 cm thick pieces and transfer a baking dish. (large enough to lay all pieces flatly)
  • Pour over marinade – reduced salt soy sauce (or tamari) and crushed garlic, leave for a minimum of 30mins.
  • Drizzle with oil, turn pieces and bake at 180 degrees for 20mins or until crisp looking and golden.

5.Greens

  • Remove the stalks and tough pieces from the greens and slice.
  • Lightly steam until wilted but not drained of colour (top tip – prepare beforehand and steam 5 minutes before serving meal)
  • Salad leaves – wash if necessary and place in a bowl
  • Cucumber – slice long ways down the middle and then into thin half-moons and transfer into a bowl
  • Avocado – slice into long thin pieces and transfer into a bowl
  • Gherkins – slice thinly and transfer into bowl
  • Spring onions – remove roots and damaged leaves, wash and slice thinly, white and green parts
  • Sesame seeds – dry roast in a small pan for 2 – 5 minutes (check every 30 seconds, once they begin to change colour and become aromatic, they’re ready) transfer into a small bowl
  • Nori paper – tear into tiny pieces directly into small bowl (kids love doing this)

Serve all dishes on table along with dressing and seasoning and enjoy!

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