Sometimes a bowl of carefully prepared ingredients in separate sections presents a nice change to a regular mixed salad. There can be something more sophisticated to tasting each ingredient on it’s own and then choosing, with each new mouthful, what to pair it with.
In my case, it makes much more of a meal, than just eating the same thing with each forkful over the duration of a meal. This is plain and simply boring for me and I would then demand at least a few salads to have complementary and contrasting tastes. But, this can easily and much more quickly be achieved with much less work, when one does not feel inclined to do that much work to eat, by my deconstructed salad; no more trendily usually called “buddha bowls” or something of the like.
I wouldn’t call this salad genius as I have been known to apply to many of my creations, but it does the job in time-pushed circumstances when in need of a sustaining meal and something thats interesting too. You can use the same principle of a grain and a bean and a veg with different dressings as you see fit, or adjusting to what’s in the fridge. It all works, there are no rules as such, just create and have fun. I use as guidelines, rough styles of cuisine; like an asian one with azuki, short grain brown rice, avocado and liberal miso and rice vinegar. Or, an Indian one with a basmati, spicy dressed chickpeas, mango chutney, yoghurt and tomato raita.
- 1/2 cup dried black beans (1 1/2 cups cooked)
- 2/3 cup red rice
- 1 cup silken tofu
- 1 cup sweetcorn
- 1 small sweet potato
- 1 avocado
- 1 tomato
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 small bunch cilantro
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs agave syrup
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
- juice of 1 lime
- salt and pepper
- If you have time, soak black beans overnight, rinse, drain and cook for 30 minutes in ample water. If not, you can cook this bean from scratch in 45 mins, or use tinned beans.
- Again, if there is time, soak you rice for at least 2 hrs, before draining and cooking for 30 minutes with 2 cups of water and a little salt. Simmer over low heat for 30-40 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Soaking rice prior to cooking renders it a more digestible.
- At the same time you're doing the rice and beans, cut the sweet potato into chunks and boil for 20 minutes. Drain, season, and set aside.
- Then set a frying pan on the stove over low heat and toast the pumpkin seeds for 10 minutes.
- To make the tofu-cream dressing blend the silken tofu with juice of half a lime, 2 tbs of the olive oil and salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Now whisk the dressing for the rice; the remaining olive oil, lime juice, agave, chilli flakes if using and salt and pepper.
- To assemble, mix the dressing in with the cooked rice. Roughy chop your coriander and mix half with the rice. Season the black beans with salt and pepper. Cut the tomato and avocado into cubes, season well.
- Arrange all in sections in your bowl, garnish with tofu-cream, pumpkin seeds and the rest of the coriander.