Vegetable Crunch…Meal in a Bowl

Apr 21, 2011

I am huge fan of the meal-in-a-bowl.  This is not just the lazy parent’s guide to fewer dishes, but because I find it comforting and happy-maing in its simplicity.  In winter, a bowl of whole wheat pasta tossed with wilted greens and Bucheron cheese or warmed cannellini beans is my kind of dinner.  In summer, chopped salad (recipe to come) on the porch as the kids alternate between eating and playing baseball.  Fall is butternut squash with orachiette and roasted broccoli as I wrote about in TOO MANY COOKS.

Right now, it’s all about the bridge vegetables – those ones from winter that are still in abundance and the spring ones just coming in.  I adore Vegetable Crunch because like many of my recipes it easily adapts to what you have on hand.  Use up what you have in the fridge or freezer.  Last night I made this with shrimp for everyone else, vegetarian for me.  I’ve served it with pan-seared salmon or dotted with local goat cheese.    If you can, try and find the fantastic sunflower seeds from kaia foods

They have all sorts of nifty flavors such as sprouted teriyaki, sweet curry, and garlic sea salt.  They are nothing short of awesome.  The kids like to play a game, counting all the vegetables (we’ve gone up to 14), and arguing over a) what counts as a vegetable and b) why why why did Mummy put in peas when she knows I/we hate them so much?

Vegetable Crunch

Prep your veggies and place them all in a big pot. Combine the sauce items, stirring well. Heat them if you can be bothered. If not, just dump them onto the vegetables and it will be okay. Once vegetables are covered with sauce, toss them a bit with tongs. Then cover and put heat on high. Go do something else for ten or twelve minutes. Lift the lid, toss the veggies. You want them wilted and coated in the sauce, but not soft. Maybe they're done now, maybe you need 5 more minutes. When they are ready, lift them with tongs so the extra sauce (which is more watery now from the steaming) into bowls. Top with the crunch (and add in anything else). Eat on lap.

For the Vegetables:

½ head purple cabbage, sliced into ribbons

½ head green cabbage, sliced into ribbons

handful baby carrots

1 bunch scallions, trimmed of green and sliced

1 ½ cups frozen sweet corn

1 cup frozen peas

1 or 2 peppers – your choice of color, cut into bite-sized pieces

handful chopped red onion

1 zucchini, trimmed, cut down the middle and then into half-rounds

some or all of the following: baby bok choy, baby spinach, arugula, kale, chard, asparagus, snow peas, green beans – cut, sliced, or torn as needs

For the sauce:

Splash sesame oil (olive is ok, too)

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp honey or maple syrup or brown rice syrup

½ cup soy sauce

few dashes ground ginger (or few slices of fresh if you have it)

1 clove garlic, crushed

For the crunch:

Any combination of sunflower seeds, almonds, pepitas, roasted chick peas [link]

For extra:

Cooked salmon

Sushi grade tuna or other

Seared tempeh or tofu


  1. sarah, simply cooked
    April 25, 2011

    What a perfect idea. This is a great ways to cook–fast, easy, and fresh. Nice one!