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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

Squash, Kale, and Chèvre Tacos Recipe

You know when you try something tasty at a new restaurant and say “I’m totally going to try and make these sometime” and then you go home and sometime never arrives? Yes, that’s what I often usually do. So last week, I tried the Squash, Kale, Goat Cheese Tacos at Nearly Normals in Corvallis, and said that exact thing. And thanks to my self-imposed January is Cook at Home, No Restaurants month (except for 1x per week), I decided to actually give these tacos a go.

Surprisingly easy to replicate, and so delicious.

Squash Kale Chevre Tacos Recipe

Serves 2

  • 6 corn tortillas
  • kale
  • butternut squash (acorn works too)
  • Chèvre or feta cheese (2 oz)
  • Pico de gallo
  • olive oil
  • salt/pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Peel squash and cut into 1″ cubes.
  3. Toss squash with oil & salt on a cookie sheet, spreading out in a single layer. Cook for about 30 min.
  4. Lightly fry/heat the corn tortillas in a skillet. Set aside.
  5. When the squash is almost done, heat olive oil on med in skillet and add several kale leaves. (cover with a lid for a few minutes) Cooking until soft.
  6. Top tortillas with a layer of squash, kale, chèvre, and pico de gallo
  7. Enjoy!

Shortcut: I was told Trader Joes has cubed squash in the freezer section.

These tacos are best with a side of black beans and rice (which I had at the restaurant, but didn’t plan ahead enough when I tried this recipe for myself). Verdict: I think these are my new favorite tacos!

Do you have any favorite restaurant recipes?

Cherry Tomato & Feta Orzo with Dill: Cooking for One


Yay for orzo! Since I’ve had a seemingly endless supply of cherry tomatoes from my garden, this has been my go-to recipe for a quick (15 minutes!) lunch. I love how fresh this recipe is — and the feta makes it a good mix of tangy and sweet. It’s also really scalable (and for whatever reason, seems to be pasta-hater approved!). Although, seriously? Who hates pasta?!? :(

Orzo feta tomato

Cherry Tomato & Feta Orzo with Dill – {for 1!}


  • 1 TB olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 TB fresh dill (or 1 tsp of dried dill)
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest (orange or lime zest works too!)
  • 1 cup of golden and/or regular cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup orzo
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese (2-3 ounces)


  1. Start boiling water for pasta.
  2. Mix together oil, salt, pepper, and chopped dill (dried dill works fine too) in a medium bowl.
  3. Cut tomatoes in half and add to the oil mixture.
  4. Cook orzo in pasta water as directed, usually about 8 minutes.
  5. Drain orzo and mix with the tomato and dill.
  6. Crumble feta cheese into the orzo and tomato and mix
  7. Eat!

Cherry Tomato & Feta Orzo with Dill

You can also add random ingredients to this one fairly easily, such as: 1/4 English cucumber, chopped; 1/8 red onion, chopped; substituting 1/2 TB oil for balsamic vinegar etc.

3 Ways To Eat Less Meat: Blog Action Day


Alternate title: Mooooooo! Another year, another Blog Action Day

“Now in its third year, Blog Action Day is an annual event that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day. Our aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion.”

Camel Burgers in MoroccoI wouldn’t consider myself an expert on environmental change, but one thing I’m fairly expert-ish at is being a vegetarian. After reading both Food Matters (Bittman) and In Defense of Food (Pollan) this summer, I was reminded again how utterly insane meat consumption — and in turn its affect on the environment — has gotten. Americans eat about 200 pounds of meat, poultry and fish per capita per year (and this excludes dairy)!  So who’s eating my 190 pounds? (As a recent pescatarian, I probably eat about 10 pounds of fish a year.) And we eat twice the global average. Obviously, some of that statistic is slightly skewed from other Western nations, as developing nations can’t afford to eat as much meat, but their consumption has doubled in the last 20 years.

So I guess we could probably all agree that it would be smart to eat less meat. As Americans, we’re getting double our daily protein requirements.

3 Ways To Eat Less Meat:

  1. Eat more beans. Black beans are a staple in many Latin American countries, and are an excellent source of protein to boot.
  2. Don’t go cold turkey. Ahhahaha… sorry about that. Anyway, I’m all for balance. Swearing off meat entirely isn’t for everyone, and if you don’t replace it with something you’ll probably just give up. So try being a “Monday, Wednesday, Friday” vegetarian by only eating meat a few times a week.
  3. Think Asian. Asian countries have some amazing ways of creating brilliant meatless food, originally out of necessity, but now a huge part of their cultures… think bean curd (China), tofu (Japanese for bean curd), chai pow yu (Vietnam glutony stuff).

See how I cleverly got on my vegetarian soap box for Blog Action Day, and didn’t have to actually make any personal changes? :) I need a challenge… anyone?

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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