25 November 2008

Dragon Bowl Dinner

My friend Paula introduced me to the most heavenly restaurant in New York: Angelica Kitchen. In their own words, Angelica Kitchen offers "organic plant-based cuisine." The menu feeds largely off of seasonal and local ingredients, everything is organic and vegan. Though vegan, the restaurant does not lean too heavily on typical "meat replacements" and instead lets natural vegetable products shine. I do not intend to blog about this at the moment, but protein and iron do not need to lack in a vegetarian diet, nor must they come from king crops like soy. A diet that consists largely of whole grains, legumes, vegetables (dark leafy greens, etc.) provides all the nutrients one needs, and if you are not a vegan and are throwing in some eggs and yogurt...well, you are eating pretty fine and leading a rather healthy lifestyle.
I think of Angelica Kitchen (and when you read this, Paula, I'm hoping to be able to go with you soon!) this evening as I cook my dinner. My diet is at the whim of the CSA share. I draw inspiration from the content of my share, which varies each week. I love to cook and I love trying out new recipes or experimenting on my own. That being said, vegetables are so delicious as they are and I often keep things simple and delicious. What was that fundamental guideline of Alice Waters'? "Cook simply?" One of my favorite meals is a pretty basic one. It consists simply of an assortment of roasted/sauteed/steamed vegetables, often beans or a poached egg and maybe some brown rice. Angelica Kitchen has an item on their menu called "Dragon Bowl" which combines rice, beans, sea vegetables and a steamed assortment of the day's vegetables. Added to this is a dressing of choice. No tofu on my plate, but I'm sure you can see why my round up of veg combined with rice and beans reminds me of this gem of a dish. It's so beautifully straightforward, healthy and delicious.
Tonight's Dragon Bowl à la Melanie contains a pitiful amount of brown rice (I had not realized I was almost out! I'll have to buy more at the co-op.); red beans I bought at the Farmer's Market that I cooked in water with a couple of fresh, local, organic garlic cloves, sea salt and a bay leaf;
roasted delicata squash, which I halved, scooped out the seeds, thinly sliced (skins and all) and tossed in a little olive oil, sea salt, freshly ground pepper and rosemary;
and steamed brussel sprouts, which I then sauteed in a bit of olive oil and glazed with a fresh lemon juice/dijon mustard mix.
Inexpensive, nutritious, filling, easy, local, organic. What could be better?
To read more about possible variations of the wonderful, budget-friendly rice and bean combo check out this piece from Culinate!


  1. I'm so excited for your homemade dragon bowl! yum.

    Come to New York soon and we will go to AK!