The microwave is calling. It’s 6:00, maybe 7:00 p.m., work finally finished, and the exhaustion is just setting in. There aren’t many who would be motivated to whip up a culinary masterpiece after a long day at the grind, let alone curate a gorgeous plate. Alas, cooking during the week, and on the weekends, too, doesn’t have to be so perplexing, especially when it comes to healthy, fresh, vegetarian fare. This is the theory set forth by cook, food writer, and stylist Anna Jones in her new cookbook, out August 30, A Modern Way to Cook: 150+ Vegetarian Recipes for Quick, Flavor-Packed Meals. It’s a simple title for a plethora of straightforward recipes, with chapters that are categorized by time: under 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, and so on. The easy-to-master, health-inspired dishes that Jones presents are more than just green salads—they’re beautiful, well-composed dishes that include options like lemongrass, peanut, and herb noodle salad and smoky root vegetable tacos with green chile salsa.
According to Jones, cooking a nurturing meal shouldn’t be rocket science and it shouldn’t feel like an arduous task at the end of a long day. With A Modern Way to Cook, any 9-to-5-er can get out the pots and pans and make something delicious, way before the microwave ever dings.
Here, a lovely veggie bowl recipe from Jones’s brilliant new book.
Seeded Halloumi and Harissa Rainbow Bowl
This is a bowl filled with a few favorite things, as well as a killer harissa dressing, burnished seed-encrusted halloumi, my new favorite grain (freekeh), and, of course, some avocado. I vary the veggies I use here according to the season. I have given you my summer version in the recipe, but below are some ideas for the rest of the year:
Spring: asparagus, peas, spring greens
Summer: tomatoes, yellow beets, kale
Autumn: red beets, grated carrot, kale
Winter: have a bowl of soup
Freekeh is a type of wheat; the word means “rubbed” in Arabic. The story goes that in 2300 BCE, a shed containing the harvest’s young green wheat burned down. The locals thought the crop was ruined, but they discovered that rubbing the burnt husk off the wheat left it edible and, in fact, toasty and delicious. If you can’t get freekeh, any quick-cooking grain, like millet or quinoa, will work, too.
1 cup/150 g freekeh
10 oz/300 g (or a very big handful) cherry tomatoes
4 beets (I use yellow ones)
7 oz./200 g kale (I use purple)
1 ripe avocado
7 oz./200 g halloumi cheese
2 T mixed seeds (I use poppy and sesame)
Juice of 1 lemon
Freshly ground pepper
Small bunch of mint
Small bunch of dill
For the dressing:
Bunch of green onions
1 tsp. runny honey
1 T harissa
2 T extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Measure out the freekeh in a mug or measuring cup, making a note of the level it comes up to, then put it into a bowl and cover with cold water. Rub the grains in your hands, then drain and wash once more in the same way. Put the freekeh into a pan. Fill the mug or jug to the same level with water and add to the pan, then repeat so you have double the volume of water as of freekeh. Add a pinch of salt and a dollop of coconut oil, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes, until soft but still with a little bite.
Meanwhile, make the dressing: Finely slice the green onions and fry them in a little coconut oil until just starting to brown, then scoop them into a jug and add the honey, harissa, olive oil, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Cut the tomatoes in half. Peel the beets, and use a mandoline or your excellent knife skills to slice them very finely. Remove the stalks and shred the leaves of the kale, put into a bowl with the juice of the lime and a pinch of salt, and scrunch with your hands for a minute.
Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit; then, with the skin still on, use a small knife to make incisions lengthwise along the avocado to form slices.
Put a frying pan over high heat and slice the halloumi thinly. Have your seeds standing by. Put the halloumi into the hot, dry pan and cook until brown on one side, which will take about a minute, then flip over and brown the other side. Scatter over the seeds and turn the halloumi in the pan until it is coated with them. Take off the heat.
Once the freekeh is cooked, drain it and dress it with the lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Chop the mint and dill and mix into the freekeh.
Serve in shallow bowls, topped with all the rainbow vegetables, the seeded halloumi, and generous spoonfuls of the harissa dressing.
The post A Quick, Tasty Veggie Bowl That’s Incredibly Easy to Make appeared first on Vogue.