Open Sesame! Tahini Buddha Bowl

Open Sesame! Tahini Buddha Bowl

Folks, this dressing is a keeper! We’re always looking for a go-to sauce or dressing that we can easily grab from the fridge and isn’t filled with processed vegetable oils and added sugar. Anything that will make a plain old bowl of steamed veggies more exciting surely deserves a shoutout.

Detoxing from all the post-holiday-bingeing-and-drinking by just eating veggies (raw and/or lightly steamed) and drinking veggie juice is a great way to detox in a safe way. You can still be functional and go to work or even a yoga class while giving your digestive system a rest and bulking up on valuable vitamins and minerals. Waking up after a “veggie day” can really boost your mood and even make your jeans feel like they fit again. Try a smoothie in the am, raw veggies for snacks, a big salad or this Tahini Buddha Bowl for lunch, and your favorite hearty veggie soup for dinner. Be light on the exercise if at all, drink tons of water, and go to bed early. It’s magic.

On to the recipe…

Tahini is a kitchen staple you MUST get on board with, as it will liven up simple dishes and give it a creamy depth of flavor that’s hard to find elsewhere. We keep a jar in the fridge at all times and have used it in our 10 Day Health Challenge Meal Plans almost every season. It’s in our homemade falafel, Paleo Pancakes, and Beauty and The Beet Hummus, but there are tons of other applications.

Tahini is a made by grinding sesame seeds and making a creamy paste. Just like almond butter, you can find it roasted or raw, usually right next to all the other nut butters in the grocery store. Raw is usually better when it comes to nuts and seeds because the delicate unsaturated oils can be easily damaged during processing. Even though it’s spendy, we love Artisana raw tahini, but there are plenty of other more economical brands. On the flip side, roasted tahini has a slightly richer taste. The most important thing when choosing tahini is to make sure you read the ingredients label and check for added oils, sugar, or preservatives.

Ingredients for the Creamy Tahini Dressing
1/2 cup tahini (raw if possible)
1/4 – 1/2 cup warm water
1 Tbs. tamari
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. garlic paste or minced garlic
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 Tbs. sesame seeds

Directions:
Starting with 1/4 cup of water, combine the tahini and water together in a small bowl or mason jar. Work together using a fork, as it may take a few minutes to break down the tahini and smooth it out. Whisk in the rest of the ingredients. Add more water for a thinner, more dressing-like consistency. Yields about 1 1/2 cups. Dressing will last about a week if sealed in the fridge.

Ingredients for the Buddha Bowl
Serves 2
1 medium sweet potato (3/4 lb.), cubed
2 large carrots, cut into rounds
1 bell pepper, cut into strips
4 cups spinach
2-3 Tbs. sliced green onions
2-3 Tbs. minced cilantro
2 Tbs. pine nuts
1/2 ripe avocado, sliced or cubed
2 Tbs. pine nuts or slivered almonds

Directions:
1) Prepare a large steaming basket with water.

2) Once the water is boiling, add the sweet potatoes to the steaming basket and set a timer for 6 minutes. Once the potatoes have steamed for 2 minutes, add the carrots. At the next 2 minute mark (when there are 2 minutes left on the timer), add the bell pepper. In other words, the sweet potatoes need to steam for 6 minutes, the carrots need to steam for 4 minutes, and the bell pepper needs to steam for 2 minutes.

3) Remove from heat and drain the water. Add the spinach to the pan, cover, and let steam for 1 minute.

4) Transfer the steamed veggies into two bowls and top with a large dollop of Creamy Tahini Dressing, some green onions, chopped cilantro, avocado, and pine nuts. Season with more tamari or sea salt if desired.

**Serve with cubed chicken breast (as pictured above) or over brown rice for a more hearty meal.

Tasty Thai soup — with a kick!
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