Grain bowls have become very popular recently. One-dish meals of light proteins and fresh vegetables arranged over a cooked grain, they are versatile and healthy. They can be made gluten free if you like. Also, they're very easily assembled, especially when every component except the grains themselves can be cooked on the Cinder Grill!
Grain Bowls: The Grains
There's a wide variety of grains to build your grain bowls upon. Rice is certainly the best known and most varied, but grain bowls are a good opportunity to try more unusual species. For example, try quinoa, farro, bulgur, or barley. Whichever grain you choose, you have three main methods to cook them:
- The Pasta Method, where the grains are boiled in a large quantity of water until done. This produces very separate grains that are evenly cooked, but can risk waterlogging.
- The Pilaf Method, where the grains are sauteed in a little fat before adding a proportional amount of liquid. This toasts them and brings out their flavors, but does risk burning. It can also lengthen the time they take to soften.
- And finally, the Absorption Method, which is simplest: cook the grains covered in a proportional amount of liquid. This produces grains which cling to each other, which can be ideal or disliked, depending on your taste. Be sure to set a timer to avoid burning the bottom of the pot!
Now that you have your grains, you can cover them with healthy toppings.
Fresh Vegetables: The Raw
Most grain bowls taste best with a mixture of fresh and cooked vegetables. For the fresh component try tender herbs, shredded leafy greens, or thinly sliced scallions. Other options include grated, shredded, or finely sliced crucifers, such as kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli.. Also, with the Cinder Grill's temperature control, juicy vegetables can be warmed without being cooked. One example recipe is the one for our Romaine Summer Salad. Try that for cold-weather bowls to raise their warming quotient. Whichever you choose, don't use too many. Two or three kinds should be enough to enhance the grain bowl. More ingredients are on their way!
Fresh Vegetables: The Cooked
The Cinder Grill cooks vegetables beautifully. They turn out bright, tender-crisp, and fully flavored. Try the Grilled Asparagus , the Broccolini or the Roasted Summer Squash. Tasty both hot and cold, they add color, flavor, and healthy nutrition to your grain bowls. Before adding them to the bowls, cut them into easy to eat lengths of one to two inches. You can also toss them in a nice sauce -- more on that below.
Grain Bowls: Healthy Proteins
Because the Cinder Grill is so good at preparing proteins, we have many suggestions for you. Here are just a few of the recipes which would work well in grain bowls, either hot or cold:
- Halibut and/or Wild Shrimp, with or without the curry broth
- Our simple, delicious, versatile Chicken Breast
- Soy Salmon and Mung Beans, either or both of which would work well in grain bowls
- Seared Tuna for a luxurious touch
- Juicy Pork Tenderloin, sliced and fanned out
- Sesame Crusted Tofu, for a meat-free option
Make it Saucy
Add a sauce to tie all the ingredients together with rich flavor. As we discussed in our blog post on Sauces , a sauce can be as simple as whisking soy sauce with grated ginger and sesame oil. Vinaigrettes also work well with these vegetable-loaded grain bowls. However, using juices and drippings from Cinder Grill's Drip Tray can produce rich and complex flavors. It's all up to you, the effects you want to achieve and the flavors you favor.
Putting Grain Bowls Together
With all the ingredients prepped and ready, it's time to assemble the grain bowls! First, choose well sized bowls that are easy to handle. Then fill them with a cup to a cup and a half of grain each, or maybe two cups for a very abundant bowl. Now toss one or more of the vegetables with some of the sauce if you like. Arrange each item in its own pile, with the protein taking pride of place in the center. Finally, drizzle on more sauce, and serve the rest at the table. Finish with a garnish of herbs. These grain bowls can be eaten with a fork or a chopstick as you prefer. Enjoy this adaptable and delicious one-dish meal from the Cinder Grill!