Sara’s Amazing Tahini Dressing & Hippie Bowl

Sara’s Amazing Tahini Dressing & Hippie Bowl

Sara's amazing tahini dressing + a healthy bowl // www.thefirstmess.com

sunflower sprouts in dirt

We sit down to bowls of food most often in our house. On the porch with beers, in front of the TV in sweats, at the dining table, or leaning up on the kitchen counter while also hunched over an iPad or some other non-ideal dining companion. We have these wide, shallow bowls that I purchased a few years ago that are just spot on. They seem to help every ingredient nestle into the other with perfect ease–every tangle of salad, every grain of rice, every slump-y spoonful of ice cream, the forkfuls of pasta, the clumpy granola, the slippery noodles in broth. One of them is chipped, both are cracked. I’m reluctant to replace them.

That vessel, its potential for nourishment, and the million ways it can bring us all together is the subject of a particularly wonderful new cookbook from the Sprouted Kitchen crew. Sara’s food feels at once special, approachable, and wholesome in a way that won’t have you running to a little hippie health shop for non-dairy probiotic to start a 3 day fermentation spectacular. It’s honest food transmitted by way of her thoughtful reflections and Hugh’s eye-widening photographs. Saying I loved the heck out of their first book would be a huge understatement.

There’s never an instance of a recipe in Sara’s repertoire that can be explained with: “Because kale!” You know what I mean? It’s not healthy food for the sake of health alone. You’re still eating for pleasure first. The recipes have their wholesome virtues along with their comfort, style, and brilliant flavour/textural combinations.

This tahini dressing of hers with citrus and miso really is amazing. It leans towards slightly sweet with just the right amount of brightness and umami from the miso. It tastes delicious on everything and I know this because I’ve actually been eating it on everything. I also loved that it was mostly just a measure + whisk number. No mincing or fine grating or additional mess-making. For today’s post, I poured it on top of a very relaxed interpretation of her Hippie Bowl, which spoke to me for obvious reasons. There’s sprouts, avocado, whole grains, delicate little carrot ribbons and plant protein by way of chickpeas. Sara’s version in the book calls for some roast-y marinated tofu, which sounds pretty great.

amazing tahini dressing + a healthy bowl // www.thefirstmess.com

amazing tahini dressing + a healthy bowl // www.thefirstmess.com

amazing tahini dressing + a healthy bowl // www.thefirstmess.com

amazing tahini dressing + a healthy bowl // www.thefirstmess.com

amazing tahini dressing + a healthy bowl // www.thefirstmess.com

amazing tahini dressing + a healthy bowl // www.thefirstmess.com

Sara’s amazing tahini dressing + a healthy bowl recipe
from The Sprouted Kitchen: Bowl + Spoon
print recipe here!
serves: 2
notes: I’ve printed Sara’s instructions here pretty much as is where applicable, with my own adjustments in parentheses. I use Soom brand tahini almost exclusively now and I can’t tell you what a difference this has made for my dressings, sauces, and other savoury applications.

tahini dressing ingredients (makes extra):
1/2 cup tahini
2 tbsp mellow miso
2 tbsp honey (I used brown rice syrup to keep it vegan)
1 tbsp sesame oil (I was out and used olive oil)
2 tsp sriracha or hot sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
juice of 1 large orange, about 1/3 cup (I only had blood oranges around)
salt + pepper
lemon juice, to taste
water, as needed

spiced sunflower seeds ingredients (also makes extra):
3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 tbsp maple sugar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt, to taste

healthy bowl ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 small bunch of kale, stemmed + chopped
lemon juice, to taste
2 cups cooked brown rice
1-1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
2-3 carrots, peeled into ribbons
2 big handfuls sunflower sprouts (or other sprouts/shoots you like)
1 ripe avocado, peeled + quartered

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the tahini, miso, honey, oil, and hot sauce to combine. Then, whisk in the vinegar, orange juice, salt, and pepper. Taste the dressing and adjust seasoning if necessary. Thin the dressing with water or lemon juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed. Dressing will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks.

For the sunflower seeds, heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sunflower seeds to the pan and toast them, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add the maple sugar, cayenne pepper, and salt. Stir the seeds to combine and keep stirring them until spices/sugar lightly coat/stick to each kernel, about 8-10 minutes. Cool and set aside.

Lightly wipe out the sauté pan that you used for the seeds and return it to the heat with the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the garlic to the pan and stir until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the chopped kale and stir immediately. Season kale with salt and pepper. Keep stirring the kale until it’s all evenly wilted. Add a big squeeze of lemon juice and stir to distribute. Remove pan from the heat.

In two big, shallow bowls, evenly divide the cooked brown rice, chickpeas, carrot ribbons, sunflower sprouts, avocado, and cooked kale. Top bowls with tahini dressing and spiced sunflower seeds.

Show Hide 52 comments

  • Anna

    this looks insane!! yumm thanks for sharing 🙂

    https://aspoonfulofnature.wordpress.com/Reply

  • Kathryn

    We have two very similar bowls (my OH refers to them as our ‘doggy bowls’ which doesn’t sound great…) and, like you guys, the vast majority of our meals are consumed from them to the stage where I quite often chop up whatever we’re eating for dinner into small enough pieces that I can legitimately serve it in a bowl rather than use a plate. For obvious reasons, therefore, Sara’s book appeals to me a lot. I keep going back to it and looking at the recipes + Hugh’s photos again and again, just to soak in all of the goodness and inspiration. I’m making this asap.Reply

    • Laura

      I do the small chopping thing too, which is hilarious. It’s bowl life living! And yes, the photos are bonkers. Inspiration for days. xoReply

  • valentina | sweet kabocha

    This book seems really good for a – almost – vegan too. It seems I have to buy it 😛
    Btw, I’ll try raw tahini soon, I hope 🙂Reply

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Such a delicious bowl! I love the sound of that dressing especially. NEED this book!!Reply

  • Shilpa

    This looks amazing indeed! Can’t wait to try that dressing. What brand of raw tahini do you use?Reply

    • Laura

      I use one by Artisana! I have a link to it in the notes section of the recipe if you want to check it out. Their coconut butter is really delicious too.
      -LReply

  • lynsey | lynseylovesfood.com

    I am a nut for miso tahini dressing. I love the orange addition… I have always been a lemon/apple cider vinegar kind of girl, but i can see how this would add that sweetness you mentioned. I love that photo of the sprouts too!! xoReply

    • Laura

      Apple cider vinegar used to be my go to for tahini dressing too, but now I think I’m converted. That sweetness just works so well. Thanks Lynsey!
      xo LReply

  • Christine // my natural kitchen

    This sounds like our typical dinner scenes too 🙂 I’m looking forward to getting Sara’s new book, it sounds wonderful. Miso isn’t at the top of my list (probably because I’m not really sure what to do with it) but this dressing sounds like a nice way of adding it in. I love that all these ingredients are on-hand staples!Reply

    • Laura

      Oh miso is the best (especially the mellow/light varieties). It adds such a depth of flavour to vegetarian/vegan recipes, and I love using it for a little miso soup for breakfast some mornings. Even if you don’t use it crazy often, a container of it will last a reeeeaaaalllly long time in the fridge. Hope you might be inspired to try it out 🙂
      -LReply

  • Sonia

    Just wanted to tell you how much I love your blog. The photos, the writing, the recipes… It is all so well done and I love when I get an email that you have something new posted.Reply

  • Chloe

    AH I love when the planets align. Imma bowl gal too and I made this on Monday, including the roasted tofu (which you have to try because it was deeelish), buy dayum that dressing !! It is out-of-this-world good.
    Such lovely words for Sara, she totally deserves them 🙂 and I love that you’re as enthusiastic as I felt about making the bowl!
    – Chloe (from Australia)Reply

  • Jessica DeMarra

    I just recently purchased this book as a treat to myself for finishing my exam. Instead of partying with my classmates, I found myself sitting at home flipping through the colourful pages and bookmarking recipes to try. I know how to live it up.Reply

    • Laura

      I would totally want an invitation to that kind of party though 😉 And congrats on powering through the exam!
      -LReply

  • Emily

    Your interpretation looks delightful! And you’ve inspired me to finally try Sara’s magical tahini dressing that I keep reading all about. Beautiful work.Reply

  • Emma Galloway

    I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Sarah’s new book! I’ve been a bowl food queen forever, adore Sarah’s combos and could oogle at Hugh’s photos forever!Reply

    • Laura

      Bowl food queens, yes! You will loooove it, Emma. xoReply

  • Eliza

    I make spiced nut blends all the time, but never spiced sunflower seeds. I can’t wait to give this a go – looks delicious!Reply

    • Laura

      These ones are addictive. I had half of them ate before they went on the bowl! 😉
      -LReply

  • Grace

    eeee! Laura, every time you mention your cookbook I get all excited! And how amazing is this little community network of food bloggers, so much love, support, friendship – so awesome that you and Sara bond over so much AND this amazing tahini dressing! So good!Reply

  • Karen

    I often sit down with a bowl, for lunch especially when I gather odds and ends from the fridge.
    I made Sara’s tahini dressing yesterday and enjoying it right now over some golden quinoa, chickpea and spinach salad – hard to put it down to type 🙂
    Your book will be just as inspiring! All the best…Reply

  • Marie

    Wow, can’t go wrong with does healthy ingredients. Do you grow your own sprouts? I would love to know more.Reply

    • Laura

      Hey Marie, I buy the sprouts in growing trays at a local grocery store. There’s a great blog post at Casa Yellow that talks about growing your own pea shoots/sprouts. Here’s the link: http://casayellow.com/2012/03/25/garlicky-pea-shoot-scrambled-eggs/Reply

  • Sophie

    Can’t wait to try this! (p.s. your blog rocks my socks, and that interview is pretty great too – hear hear, for a healthy whole food philosophy!) I have to ask – I saw a ziplocked bag of chickepeas in your photo, does that mean you cook up a whole batch and then freeze them? Perhaps I am late to the game, but I’ve never thought of doing that. And then I find I am, almost daily, soaking and cooking beans – and as fun as that sounds, I would most certainly welcome a new tip or trick.Reply

    • Laura

      Hi Sophie! Thanks for your lovely comment. And yes! I cook big batches of beans, save the broth, and then just put portions of the drained beans in ziploc bags and freeze them. They thaw real quick, and if you can’t wait, tumbling them into a sauté pan from the freezer bag gets them warmed through pretty quick. It’s a huge time saver! 🙂
      -LReply

      • Sophie

        Thank you so much for this great trick Laura! Can’t believe I never thought of that – I feel like you have just made my time in the kitchen so. much. easier. Thanks again!

      • Laura

        SO happy to help! 🙂

  • Shelly @ Vegetarian ‘Ventures

    That is so great that you were able to chat with Sarah for support on figuring out your cookbook (which is going to be amazing, btw. Why can’t it be ready already???)! PS and this recipe looks amazing, of course!Reply

  • Chelsea @ Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen

    I love tahini sauce, but I’ve never tried using orange juice in mine – I always do lemon juice. Looking forward to trying this one out and buying Sara’s cookbook of course. I just made her honey mustard broccoli salad from her first cookbook last night and loved it!Reply

    • Laura

      That broccoli salad is so killer. I love the orange in this tahini dressing so much that I’m not sure I’ll ever make it another way!
      -LReply

  • Abby

    What a delicious looking bowl, Laura! Stunning photos, as always. I adore this. <3Reply

    • Laura

      Thanks so much Abby! xoReply

  • Kimberly/TheLittlePlantation

    I can’t wait to get this book! I went to the bookstore yesterday but they didn’t have it yet 🙁 (I’m in London).

    This bowl of goodness looks so inviting and your picture are amazing. Thanks for sharing anf I’m looking forward to the completion of YOUR book 😉Reply

    • Laura

      Haha I’m looking forward to the book’s completion too 😉 Hoping you can get your hands on the new SK one soon!
      -LReply

  • kristie {birch and wild}

    This is what I like to eat like everyday. That dressing sounds amazing. I have made a citrus tahini dressing many times, but I never thought of putting miso in it. I look forward to owning both “bowl and spoon,” and you book too.Reply

  • Charlotte

    I’m happy to find another bowl fan! Food is just more appealing in a bowl… a comforting mess, as you’ve described. I try to serve as much as I can in bowls.Reply

  • Linzy

    Although this bowl sounds fantastic (in fact, I might make it tonight for dinner) what I really want is the coconut sorbet with the strawberry rhubarb sauce. Why don’t I have that right now?Reply

  • Sara forte

    Laura! Coming from you, a gal whose recipes I am constantly inspired and impressed by, this means so much. So grateful for your kind words and that you like the dressing. It’s running in our veins – We put it on everything.
    To say I can’t wait for your would be a major understatement. Major excitement. Thinking of you and hope the process is going well. Thank you again sweet lady!!!Reply

  • Kate

    How have I not gotten my hands on a copy of Sara’s book yet?! I love the concept and those sweet and spicy sunflower seeds, oh man. That’s one beautiful bowl, Laura!Reply

  • Keara McGraw

    Bowls of goodness, what can’t they do?! Gorgeous photos. I love the way you (and Sara) honor the integrity of taste that is not solely bent on health fads. <3Reply

  • francesca

    tahini really is the best dressing base <3Reply

  • Sarah from Soymilk + Honey

    This looks amazing! I’m super excited about this book. And your photos are lovely!Reply

  • Jocelyn

    Just discovered you…. everything you’re doing is AMAZING! Good for you 🙂 🙂 Photography is awesome, recipes are DIVINE, and you have a great soul. You’re in Niagara region? I’m in Toronto! Saw your little post at Libretto here in TO – yum yum yum, couldn’t agree more! 🙂Reply

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food

    It’s one of my new favorites (and there have been so many wonderful cookbooks released this year). Everything in it is inspiring. Can’t wait to make this bowl, tahini dressing and all!Reply

  • Lily | Kale & Caramel

    Can we get t-shirts or trucker hats that say Bowl Life, please? Or maybe sweatshirts—hoodies, even! I’d wear mine constantly. This looks gorgeous, Laura, and as someone who feels about your food and blog just as you describe feeling about Sara’s, this post was mega inspiring. YAY for tahini dressing and food as beauty and medicine.Reply

  • Heather

    I do love The Sprouted Kitchen. I’ll have to look for that cookbook. This recipe looks amazing!!!Reply

  • Harrie

    I love the look of this recipe! Shows that eating healthy isn’t boring! fromfussytofoodie.comReply

  • Kristin Sjaarda

    Love Love Love this tahini sauce. I’m using it on a dressing for everything. I made some quinoa and lentils on the weekend for the week and I am many more steps towards eating vegetarian! (now–to get my family on board!) Thank you! Can’t wait to try some of your other recipes.Reply

  • Michelle Torbeck

    LOVED THIS RECIPE. Best healthy bowl we have ever made. I did add leftover roasted curry cauliflower, which actually added a lot! Will absolutely be making againReply

  • Susan Sobon

    Can you sub any other juice? Love your recipesReply

    • Laura

      Hi Susan! lemon or lime juice would also be appropriate here. I’d start with 2 tablespoons and adjust to taste.
      -LReply

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