Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Food Bowls

I am not immune to the social media obsession with food bowls. Trends aside, they are a pretty spectacular way to eat - all that flavour, colour and texture, its hard not to love. Here are a few salad bowls I had the great fun of putting together for Myer Emporium. Enjoy them!

Slow roasted beef cheek winter bliss bowl with greens and cauliflower rice

There's nothing better than a hearty, good-for-you salad bowl, brimming with colourful roasted veggies, cauliflower rice and slow cooked beef cheek. Winter never looked so good.

1½ tbsp. olive oil
6 beef cheeks (about 280g each)
1.5 litres (6 cups) veal stock
200ml red wine
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 small white onions, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 fresh bay leaves, crushed
1 generous sprig of thyme 
½ head of cauliflower
1 roasted sweet potato, chopped
½ small red onion, thinly sliced on a mandolin
1 avocado, hulled and halved
Micro salad greens
Juice of ½ lemon
Sunflower seeds
Preheat oven to 180C. Heat 2 tsp oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, season beef to taste and cook in batches, turning once, until browned (1-2 minutes each side). Transfer beef to a casserole, add stock, wine, carrot, onion, garlic, bay leaves and thyme, cover with a lid and braise in oven until very tender (3 -4 hours). Remove beef, set aside and keep warm. Strain liquid (discard solids) into a saucepan, reduce over high heat to a thick sauce consistency and keep warm.
For the cauliflower rice remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower, cut it into quarters and remove most of the thick core, then cut each quarter into two or three chunks. You don’t want to overload the blender, or it will struggle to blitz the cauliflower, instead work with about half the cauliflower at a time. Blend for 30 seconds or so, until the cauliflower resembles fine rice, or couscous.  Toss the rice in a drizzle of olive oil on a tray, then spread it out to a thin, even layer. Roast at 200C for 12 minutes, mixing it in the tray halfway through cooking. 

To make the salad toss the roasted sweet potato with the sliced red onion and put into a large serving bowl. Top with a sprinkling of sunflower seeds. Add the warm beef cheek, cauliflower rice, avocado and micro salad greens. Squeeze over the lemon juice to dress the salad greens and prevent the avocado from going brown. Season generously and serve.


"If you're short on time, you can whip these up in a flash by purchasing some of the ingredients. If you're going to pre-purchase falafels, be sure to opt for good quality deli versions."
Serves 4
1 ½ cups tinned chickpeas
½ cup cooked quinoa
½ cup almonds
½ cup frozen peas
1 green onion, very finely chopped
5 cloves garlic
1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
1 cup coriander leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp baking powder
2 tbsp buckwheat flour
Grapeseed or vegetable oil for frying

1 beetroot, peeled, finely sliced and cut into batons
Seeds of 1 pomegranate
¼ red cabbage, very finely sliced
2 tablespoons of a good quality salad seed mix (sunflower seeds, pepitas)
1 bunch broccolini, rinsed and diced
¼ bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
¼ bunch coriander leaves, chopped
2 avocados, halved
½ cup sauerkraut (I used a combination cabbage and beetroot version)
4 tbsp turmeric cashew cheese
½ small pumpkin, thickly sliced and slow roasted
Japanese red sorrel and nasturtium leaves to scatter (or use any fresh in season herbs, leaves)

For falafels, rinse and drain the canned chickpeas. Add to a food processor along with other falafel ingredients except baking powder and buckwheat flour. Process to a semi-coarse paste. Turn out into a bowl and season generously. Add baking powder and buckwheat flour and stir to combine. Roll the falafel mixture into 20 golf ball sized rounds. 
Pour oil into a heavy based saucepan to about 5 cm deep and then place over high heat. When oil reaches smoking point, reduce heat to medium and add 1-2 falafels. They should instantly rise to the surface. Cook, turning gently until evenly browned. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Repeat this process with remaining falafels. If frying 2-3 at once, make sure you adjust the heat as the more falafels you have in the pan, the colder the oil gets. 
As falafel are cooling, combine the beetroot, pomegranate and red cabbage in a small bowl with the salad seeds and toss to combine.
In another bowl, combine broccolini and herbs and toss to combine.
To assemble: place a handful of each salad in a bowl along with a tablespoon of cashew cheese, a slice of roasted pumpkin and half an avocado. Top with falafels and sauerkraut and serve immediately.

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