One month cooking from Bowls of Goodness

I've managed to join in with Jenny Marie's cookbook challenge for the last two months (January was 1,000 Vegan Recipes, and February was cooking from Crazy, Sexy Kitchen) but I thought maybe I'd have to tap out for March.

I'd started the month with exams, and a placement in a new hospital that wasn't really making me happy. Buried under books, I wasn't getting to spend much time in the kitchen, apart from making endless cups of tea in between marathon revision sessions. Happily, both the exam and the placement are now behind me, and I'm throwing myself into the cookbook challenge like someone that hasn't cooked for a month.

For March, my book of the month was Bowls of Goodness, which I cooked from quite a bit when I got it, loved it, and didn't really revisit afterwards. The cookbook challenge seemed like a great time to get reacquainted.

I'm not sure this is the prettiest thing I've ever cooked, though it definitely did look better before I poured all that dressing over everything, and made it look like Big Bird yacked over it. It's meant to be Back to the Roots - sweet potato wedges with roasted red onions, sauteed spinach and broccoli mash. The lurid yellow dressing is miso and carrot, and it's delicious. (The rice is my addition, because I love vegetables, but need calories too!)

I've had a can of jackfruit in my kitchen cupboard for more months than I care to think about: let's just say I was considering adding its name to the lease. The reason for this long-staying tin was that I bought a can thinking I'd make some supercool jackfruit pulled pork or something, but then I remembered I really don't like jackfruit. I've never had a jackfruit meal that I've enjoyed. Ever. The texture weirds me out more than I care to think about. *shudders*

Feeling a bit foolhardy, I dug it out to cook some BBQ jackfruit and slaw. I'd love to tell you that I loved the jackfruit, but I didn't. It's still freaky stuff. But I liked the BBQ sauce, and I really enjoyed the coleslaw. I could write poems about how much I like coleslaw, and this was a particularly fine example. Just don't put any jackfruit near it.

The masala millet bowl is one of the simpler dishes in Bowls of Goodness. It follows the normal protein, grain, veggies, dressing schema, but it involves making far fewer elements. You roast the veggies with a metric truckload of cardamom and other spices, mix with rice and chick peas, top with avo and mixed nuts, and pour over the yoghurt dressing. No, your eyes don't deceive you, I just took a picture without the dressing because I didn't want to make a perfectly nice dish look like someone had thrown up on it. You can't say I don't learn from my mistakes!

I'll level with you, I only made the kale caesar because of the name. That, and I really like caesar salads. The ingredients aren't massively exciting (can you imagine being the guy who invented caesar salad and trying to convince everyone that a salad of lettuce leaves and bread was going to be a real crowd pleaser?) but the caesar dressing pretty much fixes everything. Bowls of Goodness' caesar, as the pun heavy name implies, has kale as well as romaine lettuce, and it also veers away from the trad salad wtih some avo in there as well. dressing is based on cashews and nooch, among other things, and was pretty darn delicious. Good thing too - after all, who'd want to eat a bowl of lettuce and bread otherwise?

I made a Bowls of Goodness take on the spag bol too - the lentil ragu with zoodles. In the BoG version, there's no pasta, just the zoodles (zucchini noodles to those that don't use vegetable based portmanteaux). Only, I don't have a spiraliser, and I do like carbohydrates, so I subbed out the courgettes for some wheat spaghetti.

Spag bol isn't my favourite meal of all time, but I could get used to a bit more lentil ragu in my life. As long as there's some carbs to keep it company, of course. Lentils get lonely, I hear.

If I had only complaint about Bowls of Goodness recipes, it's that they often involve a lot of elements and they can be a bit of effort to put together (that said, they're more than worth it generally). As you'd expect, the Baja Mexican has a few different bits, but you can knock it up without watching your life tick down in front of you too much.

The salsa is sharp and zingy, thanks to the generous lime juice, and the yoghurt is a similarly welcome citrus tang to cut through the stodgy heft of the lentils and beans. I was a bit sceptical that the spicing would have enough punch (I'm always heavy handed with spice - show me a dish with paprika in, and I'll show you a dish that needs double the paprika) but I was very pleasantly surprised. Adding the avocado into the beans was a smart addition, giving some fat and slip to a pan that might otherwise be a bit dry.

And that was the end of my month with Bowls of Goodness. This is my second prolonged stint cooking from the book, and I enjoyed it just as much as the first -- more maybe, given I thought I'd cooked all the easy and tasty things first time around, and was happy to be proved wrong.

It's been another storming month of Cookbook Challenge. Roll on April - I can't wait to do some more cooking!

You Might Also Like


  1. Your photos are lovely. Makes me want to buy the book - although fussy is not for me - but I do appreciate how good it feels to do fussy food after a busy period - glad to got to eat some good food!

  2. It looks like you made up for lost time after the exam revision and placement stress! The bowls all look beautiful albeit fussy and I don't tend to get on much these days either.

  3. Some tasty looking bowls you got there, after the first photo, your plating and photo styling skills really started to shine. :-) I always have to eat rice or some sort of carbs with my veggies, nice to know I'm not the only one.

  4. This is an amazing effort and let me tell you we T-A-N-K-E-D this month. Tanked beyond tanked. I need to write up the blog post but......yeeeeeeeah.....I seriously need to sort myself out for April!

    Well done on getting through your exam and placement! :)

  5. Wow! You did so well, and these all look so good!

  6. I've been cooking from this book last week, I got it from the library. I agree about needing prep time. I've liked everything I've made from it except beetroot falafel but it actually made me finally admit that I don't like falafel. My choices so far have been the leek and potato and yogishi soups, budha bowl and the harissa roasted cauliflower bowl (this was my fave). I also made the loyal lentil chilli which was nothing like chilli but tasty and filling. I think I might need to renew it and try some more things before it goes back!


Popular Posts

Blog Archive