This bowl is inspired by one of my favorite restaurants here in Los Angeles called Backyard Bowls. They create these amazingly healthy acai breakfast bowls as well as porridge and grain bowls. My go to bowl is the California Macro Bowl, which consists of brown rice, adzuki beans (I’ll touch on these in a minute), kabocha squash, watermelon radish (they’re so pretty), and a host of other yummy veggies.
For my take on their California Macro Bowl, I prepared adzuki beans and steamed brown rice, then added watermelon radish, shredded carrots, micro kale, mashed sweet potato, and a little something extra … amaranth crunch. Amaranth is an ancient grain that is packed with iron and pops like popcorn when placed in a very hot dry pan. I have never prepared amaranth this way, so this was a momentous occasion. Watching this grain pop into a tiny popcorn kernel, gave me all the feels.
Now, back to adzuki beans. I try to eat a wide variety of legumes to get myself out of plant based rut. Out of habit, I have my go to legumes and then I remember, other varieties exist. This realization will inevitably inspire new recipe ideas. Adzuki beans are small, red beans that originated from China. These beans are usually found in a lot of Asian desserts mashed and cooked with sugar. Think red bean paste. However, they are frequently used in the macrobiotic diet.
This recipe is pretty simple to bring together. Once you prepare the adzuki beans and brown rice, you add all of your vegetables. Other options for your macro bowl are lentils, chickpeas, white beans, quinoa, farro, barley, millet and loads of veggies. However, vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplant, asparagus (if you’re following a macrobiotic diet) are to be avoided. Also, the emphasis is on fermented vegetables. I use this brand and add to my macro bowl sometimes.
Macro Bowl w/ Adzuki Beans, Brown Rice, Veggies and Amaranth Crunch//serves 2
1-15oz can adzuki beans, drained and rinsed (or legume of choice)
1 tablespoon tamari sauce
2 cups cooked brown rice (or grain of choice)
1 large sweet potato
1 medium sized watermelon radish, sliced into rounds
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
1 cup shredded pickled beets, divided between bowls (recipe found here)
1 cup micro greens, divided between bowls
2 tablespoons amaranth
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake whole sweet potato for 20 to 25 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. In a small saucepan, add adzuki beans and bring to a boil. Add the tamari sauce to the beans. For the sweet potato, removed skins from sweet potato and place in a bowl. Mash sweet potato with a fork or potato masher. If you would like a smoother texture, add sweet potato to a food processor with a little plant based milk.
For the amaranth crunch, place small saucepan on medium high. Place 2 tablespoons of amaranth in the saucepan. The amaranth should immediately start popping. If the amaranth begins to burn, your stove is not high enough. Adjust heat until the amaranth begins to pop into specks of white kernels. Once done, begin assembly of your bowl. Divide brown rice between two bowls, add cooked beans, mashed sweet potato, carrots, pickled beets, watermelon radish, micro greens and top with the amaranth crunch.