MO’ BETTER LOVE BOWL

My experience of eating a vegetarian entree generally goes through three stages:

1.) The presentation stage where I see the dish I’ve just ordered and think There’s no way this is going to fill me up.

2.) The realization stage where three or four forkfuls into the meal I realize that this dish is way more filling than I originally thought.

3.) The boredom stage where I struggle to reconcile the fact that I’m still hungry with the fact that the food is so boring I could not possibly muscle my way through to keep eating.

And so I either end the meal hungry or trying to choke down something that stopped being appetizing several bites ago.

Because this is usually my experience with vegetarian food, the Love Bowl at Red Bank’s Good Karma Cafe was a bit of a revelation for me. The combination of rice, beans, greens and tempeh with flavors of coconut milk was new to me. It was filling and almost kept my taste buds in the game right through to the bottom of the bowl.

That being said, I knew after my first bite that it could be massively improved with some thin slices of marinated beef. The combination of sautéed greens, thin slices of pan seared beef and sriracha is something I stumbled on this past summer and whenever I have fresh greens from the garden, the dish is in heavy rotation.

And so I set about trying to improve upon the Love Bowl and this week we had it for dinner and it was spectacular. Credit is due to Good Karma for being the inspiration here. This is how I constructed the Mo’ Better Love Bowl from bottom to top.

  • Coconut jasmine rice
  • Cuban-style black beans with red onions, garlic and worchestershire sauce
  • Swiss chard sautéed in bacon and garlic
  • Thin slices of sirloin marinated in soy sauce
  • Drizzled with sriracha and topped with some crushed peanuts i toasted up in a pan.

Most of the above is probably self-explanatory. If it’s not, drop me a message for detailed recipes. NB a few tips about the coconut milk:

  • Substitute some of the water you use to make the rice with about ¾ of a can of coconut milk and add an extra pinch of salt to the rice. This gives the rice a really satisfying sweetness and creaminess.
  • Take the remaining ¼ can of coconut milk and stir it into the sautéed greens just before you take them off the heat.
  • Put about 1/3 cup of finished rice at the bottom of a deep bowl, add 1/3 cup of the black beans. Cover with a thin layer of sautéed greens, drizzle some of the green coconut milk over this.
  • Pan sear your thin slices of beef and put them over the greens.
  • Drizzle with sriracha and garnish with roasted, crushed peanuts.