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The Hippie Bowl – Kale, Avocado & Tahini Rice Bowl Recipe


I was commenting a few days ago on the difference in how you feel just after eating some thing good vs something good [for you]. Post-cheese plate, I feel like “mmmmmmm… that was good, I feel satisfied and full and now I want some more wine and a nap” vs post-‘hippie bowl’, I feel like “mmmmmmm… that was good, I’m so good, I make good choices and I’m healthy. I should go running in a bit and then in the morning I’ll make green drink.” OK, maybe slightly exaggerated, sometimes I have a drink after eating healthy. Balance!

My point though, is that I spend too much money at Portland’s many amazing veg-friendly restaurants, like Prasad, and the newly-opened Canteen, on their “hippie bowls” — rice, beans, greens, seeds and Japanese ingredients I don’t know the names of, and magical dressings. So this week, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own! Here’s what I came up with.

I must preface this recipe with saying that you can make this recipe the easy, quick way or the slightly healthier –do it [all] yourself — long way, your pick.

Hippie Bowl Recipe

Serves 2 (or just you and lunch tomorrow, yay!)

  • Small bunch of kale
  • 1 cup rice (white or brown) — that’ll be 2 cups when it’s cooked
  • 1 can of pinto beans (drained/rinsed) — if you want to cook your own, knock yourself out.
  • 1 avocado
  • 2-3 tablespoons of tahini sauce (Trader Joes has a pre-made sauce, or you can make it with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt etc)
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce or liquid aminos (I just used low sodium soy sauce)
  1. Cook 1 cup of rice (with 2 cups of water). I have a rice cooker. It’s awesome. If you don’t, make rice.
  2. Warm the beans.
  3. Wash the kale and break the leaves off the stems, tearing into smaller pieces. Put the kale in pan with a bit of water (1/4 cup?), on low-medium heat with lid on to steam the kale. Remove from heat and drain water out when the kale starts to soften and looks slightly brighter green. (You don’t want it completely wilted, just steamed)
  4. Layer the rice and then beans into bowls, pile with kale and slice a half an avocado on each bowl.
  5. To make the dressing, just whisk together the tahini sauce and soy sauce (you can of course make your own, but getting the tahini sauce at Trader Joes is easier. Yay!).
  6. Pour dressing over the top of you bowl and devour.
This recipe is similar to the Dragon Bowl at Prasad, but with more basic ingredients. I also love that it’s filling and you’re not starving like 2 hours later (it’s been known to happen when I’m eating vegan).

Do you have a favorite hippie bowl recipe? Do share!

I’ll Stir-Fry You In My Wok

Week 2 of Cook at Home month has me revisiting some old recipes, including Tofu Stirfry Wraps. I originally adapted this recipe to be veg-friendly about five years ago, and as much for my Beastie Boys title tribute, I have yet to buy a wok. My food pictures, however, have improved in the last five years thanks to my kitchen iPhone photography.

This recipe is based on an Everyday Food recipe for Chicken Stir-fry wraps, but I use tofu instead. I really like the freshness of this recipe, with the bell pepper, onion and ginger combo giving it a lot of flavor.

Tofu Stir Fry Wraps

Serves 2


  • 1 package firm or extra firm tofu, cube
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • 6 to 8 Butter lettuce leaves, (about 1 head, also called Boston or Bibb lettuce)


  1. Prep Work: This recipe doesn’t take long to cook, so you need to have things ready to go. Slice the onion and bell pepper, have the garlic ready to “press”, grate the ginger, mix the cornstarch/water in a bowl, and wash the lettuce.
  2. Cube the tofu, season with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat. Add the tofu; cook, stirring/flipping every few minutes, until almost golden brown, 4 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate, set aside. (If the tofu is still too soft, you can also put it on a cookie sheet and bake/broil it for a bit)
  3. Add remaining tablespoon olive oil to pan, along with the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until onion is tender and golden, about 2-3 minutes (reduce heat if browning too quickly).
  4. Reduce heat to medium; add garlic and ginger; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Stir in soy sauce, rice vinegar and cornstarch mixture; remove from heat.
  5. Add tofu; toss to coat. Serve in lettuce cups.

Do you like tofu?
Based on this recipe from Everyday Food: Great Food Fast
Originally published October 2007

It’s Vegan Week!

harira-lentil-soupI’ve been considering going vegan for a while (and #67 on my 101 Things in 1001 Days list is:  Go vegan for 1 month).  So I decided to go vegan for a week instead.  Being vegan isn’t that much of a change for me since I’m already a vegetarian, but it’s slightly more inconvenient.  The main reason for trying vegan for a week is to detox and be healthier.  My focus is more on whole foods and eating a lot of vegetables versus just eating non-dairy items.  Just like with vegetarianism, not eating meat doesn’t mean you’re eating healthier. I know plenty of fat vegetarians.

I started the week out with a meal plan and using Gyminee to track my calories and nutritional intake, so I make sure to eat enough.

Day 1
Breakfast: Oatmeal, raisins, grapefruit, coffee with soy milk
Lunch: Dave’s Killer bread peanut butter and banana sandwich, carrots, Kettle chips
Dinner: Vegan chili with tortilla chips
Verdict: I missed having yogurt for breakfast, but overall today was pretty typical.

Day 2
Breakfast:  Bob’s Red Mill Old Country Style Muesli, applesauce, almonds, coffee with soy milk
Lunch:  Bay Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant: Mango Curry
Dinner: Asian Lettuce Wraps (butter lettuce, mango, scallions, bean thread noodles) with Chai Pow Yu instead of beef
Verdict: Today was the perfect vegan day! I didn’t feel like I had to worry about getting enough calories

Day 3
Breakfast:  Bob’s Red Mill Old Country Style Muesli, soy milk, Dave’s Killer bread, peanut butter, honey, almonds, coffee with soy milk
Lunch:  leftover lettuce wrap ingredients mixed into a salad
Dinner: Ya Hala Lebanese Restaurant‘s Mezza Plate: hummus, baba ghanoush, tabouli, pita bread, stuffed grape leaves, fried cauliflower, falafels
Verdict: I think I actually ate too many calories today!

Day 4
Breakfast:  Banana muffins (with applesauce substituted for eggs), honey, pear, apple, coffee with soy milk
Lunch:  Chips and guacamole
Dinner: Sweet & Sour Stirfry (pineapple, bell peppers, broccoli) with Chai Pow Yu instead of pork, rice, vegan cupcake
Verdict: I ate a lot of food today, but I’m starting to feel like I’m foraging for food.  I guess I really just felt like snacking or a dessert, so I bought a vegan cupcake at New Seasons deli.

Day 5
Breakfast:  Mother’s Day breakfast at Bar Carlo: Vegan Skillet of potatoes, avocado mushrooms etc and coffee with soy milk
Snack: frozen yogurt (we’ll discuss this later)
Dinner: Brazilian Black Beans, rice, beets, chips, guacamole
Verdict: I accidentally ate a frozen yogurt at IKEA today. It wasn’t even a temptation thing, I just completely forgot that I was going vegan this week. And I’d been there for hours, and I was tired and hungry… oops!

Day 6:
Breakfast: Sweetened Wheatfuls, soy milk, banana, coffee with soy milk
Lunch: black beans, rice
Dinner: pita pockets, hummus, baba ghanoush, tomato, cucumber, apple juice
Verdict: I felt like I was foraging again today.  I’m a little tired of eating a massive plate of rice, beans or vegetables and then being hungry again a few hours later.

Day 7:
Breakfast: Dave’s Killer Bread, peanut butter, banana, applesauce, coffee with soy milk
Lunch:  black beans, rice, pita bread, hummus, baba ghanoush, apple juice
Snack: Starbucks Soy Chai Latte
Dinner: Lentil Soup
Verdict: I was a little annoyed to find out that Starbucks charges you 40 cents extra to have soy instead of milk in a chai.  Lame!

Overall, vegan week has been fairly easy, except for my amnesia day when I bought a frozen yogurt for $1 at IKEA.  Personally, I’ll stay a vegetarian (or pescatarian) because it’s much easier for me to stay healthy.  Being vegan takes a little more work in planning meals and going out, but the main thing is the calorie counting. I hate feeling like I’m not getting enough to eat, and dairy is a much simpler protein source. Plus, I love cheese!

Farfalle (Bow Tie) Pasta and Peas

Hooray for bow tie pasta! I decided to combine several recipes that had ingredients that interested me.

Farfalle (Bow Tie) Pasta and Peas
Serves: 2
4 oz (2 servings) Farfalle pasta
1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 -2 tablespoons soy milk
1/2 package (5 oz) of frozen peas (thawed)
1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, plus more as a topping (optional)

1. Cook pasta according to pasta instructions (usually 8-10 minutes).
2. While the pasta is cooking, warm olive oil in a skillet, adding the chopped shallots. After 4 minutes add the soy milk and peas. Simmer 3 minutes on medium heat. Add lemon juice.
3. Combine pasta and sauce, add Parmesan cheese (optional). Salt if needed.

Vegan Use vegan pasta noodles, skip the Parmesan cheese.

Ingredient List: farfalle pasta, olive oil, shallots, soymilk, frozen peas, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese (optional), salt.

Cook book: Adapted from ideas in Everyday Food: Great Food Fast

Spicy Black-Bean Cakes

Prep Time: 20 min. Well, it took me an hour! It was worth it though. Wow, these are really good. They make great leftovers too. The sweet potato gives it a really interesting taste, and I love the lime sour cream dip. I’d never thought to put jalapeno chiles and lime juice in sour cream.


Healthy These patties are pretty healthy because they’re broiled in the oven, instead of fried.

Vegan Leave out the egg. Substitute dairy sour cream for tofu sour cream.

Ingredient List: black beans, olive oil, scallions (green onions), garlic cloves, jalapeno chiles, cumin, salt, sweet potato, egg, breadcrumbs, sour cream, lime juice.

Cook book: Everyday Food: Great Food Fast

Olivia Raymer
Things I ♥: travel, food (I'm a pescatarian), the Pacific Northwest, bikes (I ride an orange mixte), beer (IPAs), summer, coffee, lists, and kitties. Travel enthusiast, former product manager, dabbler, and currently helping small businesses with digital strategy at Early Bird Strategy.

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