Turmeric Rice Bowls

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Turmeric Rice BowlsWith its bright yellow rice, fuchsia carrot ribbons, and gleaming glazed tempeh, we’ve served this bowl to impress eaters of all kinds, not just hipster vegetarian types. Tempeh is one of the only “meat substitutes” that we eat regularly—the pressed soybeans give it a firm texture and a nutty taste that is entirely different from its cousin tofu. Here it’s sliced and marinated in a soy-maple glaze, nestled with quick-sautéed broccoli and kale, and drizzled with a tangy lemon tahini dressing. The components are all simple, but for a weeknight meal you may want to prepare a few of them in advance. Tempeh, turmeric, and tahini are available at most supermarkets and absolutely worth the hunt.

  • Yield: 6 to 8 Servings


FOR THE RICE 1½ cups long grain brown
  • 1½ cups long grain brown rice
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • 2 large bunches broccoli
  • 1 large bunch Tuscan or Lacinato kale (about 12 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
How to Make It
  1. Make the rice: Boil the rice using the method here, adding the turmeric in with the rice. After steaming, add the kosher salt. Note that as it boils, extra turmeric will build up around the pot rim; it easily washes off after cooking.
  2. Make the tahini drizzle: In a small bowl, combine the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic powder, kosher salt, and 2 tablespoons water. Stir vigorously to combine; add another tablespoon or so of water if necessary to obtain a creamy sauce that is able to drizzle. The sauce is very forgiving; if it becomes too loose, mix in a bit more tahini.(If making in advance, store the sauce refrigerated and bring to room temperature prior to serving.)
  3. Sauté the vegetables: Peel the garlic and leave it whole. Chop the broccoli into florets. Destem the kale by holding the leaf at the lowest part of the stem and pulling back to tear the leaf away from the stem, then chop the leaves into roughly bite-sized pieces. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil with the whole garlic cloves until the garlic starts to sizzle. Add the broccoli and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the kale and ¼ cup water and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring, until the leaves are bright green and wilted. Add the soy sauce and sprinkle with the kosher salt, then sauté another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the skillet to a bowl and cover to keep warm until serving. Wipe out the skillet and discard the garlic cloves.
  4. Cook the tempeh: Peel and finely mince the garlic. Place the garlic in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil, soy sauce, white wine vinegar, and maple syrup. Slice the tempeh into ¼-inch-thick rectangular strips. In the same skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the tempeh slices (large rectangular side down) in a single layer and cook on one side until browned, about 3 to 5 minutes, then flip and cook another 3 to 5 minutes until browned on the other side. Reduce the heat to medium low and pour in the soy-maple mixture. Cook another 5 to 6 minutes until the tempeh is evenly browned and the liquid is mostly reduced, shaking the pan occasionally and flipping the tempeh one more time before the liquid is completely reduced. When browned, remove the tempeh from the heat into a bowl.
  5. Prepare the garnishes: Using a vegetable peeler, peel the carrots into long ribbons. Thinly slice the green onions on the bias.
  6. To serve, place the rice in bowls, then top with the broccoli, kale, tempeh, carrot ribbons, and green onions. Drizzle with lemon tahini dressing and serve.

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