Guys, the struggle is real. I don’t know what it is about winter, but something about it just makes me want to curl up in a ball go to sleep.
So while I’m usually super excited to jump into the kitchen to whip up a delicious meal after a long day at work, lately I’ve been a huuuuge fan of quick and easy meals.
We’ve made a kick-butt stir-fry a couple of times (recipe coming soon), and I’m not proud to admit that I had popcorn and a cookie for dinner on Monday.
That cookie dinner was totally worth it though; I shared some behind-the-scenes photos on Snapchat (@fooduzzi), but you guys are gonna freak once you see the recipe. ?
However, no matter how much one may want cookies for dinner every night, one mustn’t delight themselves in cookie-filled entrees all the time. Or ever. But I have to believe that once in a blue moon is fine. Especially when you’re filling the rest of your weeknights with quick, easy, and nourishing meals like this, this, and this here bowl of deliciousness.
I know. It’s just grains, beans, and kale. But there’s something about the flavors that make it special. Like, I-just-had-it-for-dinner-yet-I’m-totally-craving-another-giant-bowl-of-the-stuff special. And there’s nothing like a little citrus-lovin’ that’ll help you clear up those wintery blues. And since my infamous popcorn/cookie dinner, I’ve had this Bean, Kale, and Grain Bowl every day. Because it really is just that good. And it makes you feel so dang good!
The cool thing about this recipe is that you can mix and match ingredients to come up with you ultimate Bean, Kale, and Grain Bowl! Not a fan of lentils? Use some black beans, pinto beans, or chickpeas instead! Rice not your thing? Quinoa or buckwheat would be just dandy. I stuck with lentils and brown rice because I already had them cooked, making this a 10-minute meal. Which is always a welcomed thing in the Fooduzzi household!
As for the dressing. Oh guys…this dressing. For one, it’s
almost drinkable. It’s citrusy, tangy, a little sweet, and totally addictive. Not only that, but it only requires 4 ingredients! Like all vinaigrette dressings, we need an acid and a fat. For our acid, we’ll juice some mandarin oranges using my How to Make Homemade Juice without a Juicer method, and for our fat, we’ll use some extra-virgin olive oil. To sweeten it up just a tad, we’ll add some maple syrup to the mix. And because apparently this is “Let’s throw hummus into everything we possibly can” month, I threw a teeeeny tiny bit into this dressing to make it a little creamy.
For real guys. Making one of the best dressings ever really is that simple.
And I’m not sure how many of you have had raw kale salads before, but if the kale isn’t treated correctly, it’s kind of a mouthful.
Pun totally intended.
Kale is suuuper fibrous, so to help it break down a bit, we’re going to massage it with our homemade dressing. The act of rubbing the dressing on the leaves makes the kale much softer and easier to munch. And really freakin’ delicious. If you’ve never tried a “massaged kale” salad before, it’s one of the tastiest ways to have this nutritious green veggie. Give it try; you’re gonna LOVE it.
You really can’t argue with a 10-minute meal that’s super nourishing (there’s fruits, veggies, healthy fats, carbs, and protein in this simple dinner bowl!!) and ridiculously delicious! And, seriously, if this Bean, Kale, and Grain Bowl is good enough to take me away from my cookie dinner, you know it’s a total winner. ?Print
Bean, Kale, and Grain Bowl with Mandarin Dressing
- Yield: 1-2 bowls
- 3–5 mandarin oranges, peeled and separated into segments
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. hummus
- salt + pepper
- 3–4 large handfuls kale, stemmed
- 1/4 cup lentils, rinsed, picked, and cooked according to package instructions
- 1/4 cup brown rice, rinsed and cooked according to package instructions
- 1 handful almonds, chopped
- Add 2 oranges to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour over a fine-mesh strainer to collect only the juice. 2 orange should produce about 1/4 cup of juice. If not, blend another one until you’ve collected 1/4 cup.
- Add juice to a container with a lid. Add olive oil, maple syrup, hummus, and salt and pepper to taste. Screw on the lid, and shake until smooth.
- Add kale to a large bowl and pour on some (not all) of your dressing. You just want enough to coat the leaves at this point. Massage the dressing into the kale for about 30 seconds, and then allow the kale to sit for 5-10 minutes to soften. If you have the time, the kale gets better as it sits.
- When ready to serve, top kale with lentils and brown rice. Add chopped almonds and additional mandarin orange segments on top. Top with additional dressing if desired.