grain bowl recipe: sweet potato and onion and more

Been a while since I’ve posted a recipe, so here’s one of my favorites.  It’s warm, colorful, tasty, and thoroughly satisfying.



Your favorite bowl :-)
Cooked healthy grain (I used half TruRoots Sprouted Rice & Quinoa Blend and half farro)
1 Sweet potato
2 or 3 Okinawan sweet potatoes (it’s purple, adds a cool color, and has a great flavor)
1 red onion
Pickled beets
Garbanzo beans (I use canned for expediency)
1 haas avocado
1 lemon
1 bunch of cilantro
Olive oil
Salt / pepper (if you want)

Note: this is enough to make 2 or 3 grain bowls.  I usually have leftovers and mix and match them to invent new creations.



  1. Cook the grain (I just use a rice cooker).
  2. Cube the sweet potato (regular and Okinawan), slice the onion, and add a little olive oil and salt / pepper to taste.  Then bake on 350 for about 30 minutes or until the potato is fork tender and the onions have browned.
    Potatoes and Onions Post-cook
  3. Drain and rinse garbanzo beans.
  4. Cube the avocado.
  5. Cut the lemon in half.
  6. Chop the cilantro.


  1. Put grain in first.
    Grain in Bowl

  2. Top with the potatoes and onions.
    Add Potatoes and Onions

  3. Add the garbanzo beans and some pickled beets.
    Add Beans and Beets

  4. Finish with avocado, cilantro, and some lemon juice (for brightness and to prevent the avocado from oxidizing).
    Finish With Avocado, Cilantro, and Lemon Juice

  5. Enjoy!!


grain bowl in a new bowl

I got a new bowl! So I decided to test it out by making a grain bowl. Grain bowls are nice because the grain is warm.  If you also leave the other ingredients out for a bit and let them come to room temperature, you’ll get a warm, satisfying meal that hasn’t had a bunch of the nutrients zapped out by cooking.  Here’s what it’s in it…

Your favorite bowl :-)
12oz cooked of healthy grain, e.g. TruRoots Sprouted Rice & Quinoa Blend
8oz spinach
4 roma tomatoes
2 persian cucumbers
1 haas avocado
2 full sheets nori
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup soy milk
1/4 cup walnuts
A pinch of salt and pepper


  1. Cook the grain (I just use a rice cooker)
  2. Rough chop tomatoes, cucumbers, and 1/2 of the avocado (save other half for dressing)
  3. Slice nori into short, thin strips
  4. Dressing: put other half of avocado, apple cider vinegar, soy milk, and pinch of salt and pepper into a food processor or similar contraption and blend/chop until smooth
  5. Chop/crush walnuts (not too small, though)


  1. Put grain in first
  2. Then the spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocado chunks
  3. Sprinkle on the nori
  4. Add the dressing
  5. Top with walnuts

Oh, and this bowl is pretty big, too :-)

With a Coke  for size reference — of course I didn’t drink it!  :-)


a flog is born

Since going on this ultra-healthy eating kick, people ask me, “so if you’re pretty much not eating meat, or fish, or dairy…what DO you eat?”

Short answer: I eat to maximize nutrients per calorie, which means a LOT of vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

Long answer…


  • Comically large salads
  • Vegetable soups/stews/chilis (I usually make one on the weekend big enough to last several days)
  • Grain bowls with LOTS of vegetables
  • Fruits, nuts, and seeds, mainly as snacks/desserts
  • Fish, on occasion
  • Meat of any kind, only when I’m out
  • Dairy, pretty much never
  • Processed foods – extremely low amounts

In general, I’ll eat vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds of all kinds. Here are some foods making more frequent appearances.

  • Vegetables: cruciferous (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage), green leafy (spinach, chard), yellow/orange (carrot, squash, sweet potato)
  • Fruits: lots of berries (especially blue and straw), citrus fruits, apples, bananas, tomatoes, avocados
  • Beans/legumes: black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, soy beans, lentils
  • Nuts/seeds: almonds, walnuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds
  • Grains: quinoa, buckwheat, barley, farro, wheat berry, brown rice, steel cut oats

But, where do you get your protein? Turns out, vegetables, beans, and even some whole grains are pretty high in protein too…

Comically Large Salads
As an example, today I had a ginormous salad with spinach, cucumber, tomato, and avocado. Typically, I’d throw some red onion in there, but I was out. But, I did have extra avocado, so I made a dressing: avocado, lime juice, garlic, and cilantro. Here are a couple pics of the salad pre- and post- dressing. The bowl is LARGE – that’s a pint glass next to it for scale. If that doesn’t convince you of its enormity, here are the amounts of the contents: half a pound of spinach, 1 whole English cucumber (they are quite large), 1 lb. grape tomatoes, and 2 medium avocados (1 cubed in the salad, and 1 for the dressing). Elaine would appreciate the big salad.



For 10 days, I kept a food log. I wrote down EVERYTHING I consumed, except water (good, bad, and ugly). It is not doctored in any way, and it is complete. If you notice a meal missing, it’s because I chose to skip it because I wasn’t hungry. Now for some caveats… This 10-day stretch includes a trip to visit friends and family in California, which necessarily means going out and eating stuff that’s not so nutritious (e.g. Del Taco). I didn’t eat any grain bowls, and I ate a lot less fruit than usual. You’ll see even during the week after returning home from the trip, I’ll have the occasional peanut butter cup or handful of pretzels. And there’s a fair amount of alcohol in there, which goes completely in the wrong direction when it comes to maximizing nutrition per calorie. But by and large, I do my best to increase vegetables, fruits, etc. and reduce processed foods, meat, and dairy.

Date Time Meal Food
11-Sep 7:45 AM breakfast 16oz steel cut oats and raisins
11-Sep 11:00 AM snack 4 clementine oranges
11-Sep 12:00 PM lunch 2lbs of salad/veggie items: broccoli, cauliflower, roasted mushrooms, sesame green beans, roasted tofu marinated in sweet chili/soy sauce, cabbage stir fry w/ celery, onion carrot, wheat farro salad w/ corn, tomato, peppers, onions, cucumbers, cilantro, lime juice, salt, greek salad w/ kalamata olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro, bean salad w/ red beans, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, cilantro, cucumbers, lime juice
11-Sep 3:00 PM snack handful of pretzels
11-Sep 5:30 PM snack handful of almonds
11-Sep 8:30 PM dinner santa fe chickin (no meat) and tortilla soup at veggie grill
11-Sep 9:30 PM drinks 2 bourbons
12-Sep 9:00 AM breakfast banana
12-Sep 11:00 AM snack 3.5 oz trail mix: peanuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, MnM-like candies
12-Sep 1:30 PM lunch 2lbs of salad: mixed greens, green beans, lentils, beets, bean salad, spinach, farro salad, cauliflower, broccoli, marinated mushrooms, roasted eggplant
12-Sep 4:30 PM snack handful of pretzels
12-Sep 6:00 PM snack handful of pretzels
12-Sep 7:00 PM snack handful of pretzels
12-Sep 10:00 PM dinner pint of almond milk and a large bowl of veggie chili: garbanzos, black beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, corn, kale, garlic, onion, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, yellow carrots
13-Sep 11:00 AM breakfast vegan box lunch: indian garbanzo bean and grain salad, baggie of baby carrots, an orange, vegan brownie, peanut butter/chocolate lara bar
13-Sep 1:00 PM lunch vegan box lunch: indian garbanzo bean and grain salad, baggie of baby carrots, an orange, vegan brownie, cherry pie lara bar
13-Sep 7:00 PM dinner large bowl of veggie chili: garbanzos, black beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, corn, kale, garlic, onion, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, yellow carrots
14-Sep 6:30 AM breakfast fruit cup at airport: strawberries, blueberries, grapes, cantaloupe, pineapple
14-Sep 8:00 AM snack couple of tea biscuits and a small glass of bloody mary mix
14-Sep 1:45 PM snack 2 tiny baggies of peanuts
14-Sep 2:15 PM lunch 2 tilapia filets, with pasta, cucumbers, tomatoes, and a beer
14-Sep 9:00 PM dinner korean food family style: kalbi beef spare ribs, kimchi fried rice, spicy rice cakes, soju, mango flavored soju, and a beer
15-Sep 1:00 AM drinks 1 beer
15-Sep 3:00 AM snack del taco: 2 chicken soft tacos, 2 classic beef tacos
15-Sep 10:00 AM breakfast fruit cup: strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew
15-Sep 12:30 PM lunch spinach salad at corner bakery
15-Sep 2:00 PM snack tiny carrot cake sample at veggie grill
15-Sep 3:30 PM dinner veggie borscht a little black bread, and some cold smoked steelhead salmon
15-Sep 5:00 PM drinks 2 cognacs
15-Sep 8:00 PM snack banana
15-Sep 10:00 PM drinks half bottle of cabernet, glass of dessert wine, and a beer
15-Sep 10:00 PM snack 3 pieces of cold smoked steelhead salmon
16-Sep 3:00 PM lunch veggie chili and a beer
16-Sep 7:00 PM dinner 2 pieces of bread and butter, 2 oysters, 1 fried green tomato slice with mozzarella, chilean sea bass, broccolini, brussels sprouts, sugar snap peas with mushrooms, corn, and 2 glasses if white wine
16-Sep 8:00 PM dessert a little bit of pineapple upside down cake and blackberry cobbler and a chamomile tea
16-Sep 10:30 PM snack small bowl of veggie chili and a banana
17-Sep 6:30 PM breakfast fruit cup at starbucks: cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, grapes, strawberries
17-Sep 8:00 AM breakfast scrambled eggs, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and provolone cheese on a toasted flatbread on plane
17-Aug 12:30 PM lunch 2.5lb salad: spinach, bean salad, broccoli, beets, brussels sprouts, indian tofu curry, indian lentils, indian chana masala
17-Aug 11:00 PM snack 3 pieces of cold smoked mackerel
18-Sep 10:00 AM breakfast 3.5 oz trail mix: peanuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, MnM-like candies
18-Sep 3:00 PM snack 1 reese’s peanut butter cup
18-Sep 6:00 PM snack 1 beer, 1 beef skewer, 1 small piece of prosciutto flatbread, 1 small piece of veggie flatbread
18-Sep 7:00 PM drink 1 bourbon
18-Sep 9:15 PM snack 1 mandarin orange
19-Sep 8:30 AM breakfast 1 banana
19-Sep 11:30 AM lunch 2 lbs. salad
19-Sep 1:30 PM snack veggie burger patty
19-Sep 3:00 PM snack 1 beef rib, 1 pork rib, 1 chicken thigh, tiny piece of cornbread, half a beer
19-Sep 7:00 PM snack some pistachios and a banana
19-Sep 10:00 PM dinner large bowl of veggie soup and a mandarin orange
19-Sep 11:00 PM snack large bowl of strawberries
20-Sep 8:00 AM breakfast 1 banana and a handful of pistachios
20-Sep 10:30 AM snack 3.5 oz trail mix: peanuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, MnM-like candies
20-Sep 12:00 PM lunch 2 lbs. of salad
20-Sep 4:00 PM snack a few handfuls of pretzels
20-Sep 6:00 PM snack a few handfuls of pretzels

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