Mung Bean & Quinoa Bowls

When I hear the words “healing foods,” this recipe for mung bean & quinoa bowls with spicy ginger turmeric broth is pretty much exactly what springs to mind. It’s a simple, warming, nourishing meal that demands little effort, but offers up plant protein, the anti-inflammatory powers of turmeric, and a bevy of freshly steamed spring vegetables. It’s neither flashy nor fancy, but it’s food for body and soul.

I—and probably you, too—have been cooking with ancient grains for such a long time that I don’t even really think of them as being especially exotic. “Ancient grains” is the label usually given to grains that have remained unchanged for the last several hundred years (as opposed to modern wheat, for example, which is constantly being bred and changed). Ancient grains include quinoa, amaranth, millet, sorghum, and teff, as well as certain wheat varieties, such as spelt, emmer, kamut, and Einkorn.

This bowl meal is a perfect example of how quickly ancient grains and protein-rich legumes can come together for a wholesome meal. In essence, making the recipe is as easy as making the fragrant, golden turmeric broth. You can adjust the ginger in the broth to suit your taste, but I used quite a bit of it, and I loved the spicy results (you can increase or decrease the garlic, too, to suit your tastes).

I can’t wait to experiment with using the broth as a base for soups and pilafs, and I plan to make it my first line of comfort the next time I feel a cold coming on.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1½-2 tablespoons grated ginger (adjust to taste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup truRoots organic, sprouted quinoa (or regular quinoa)
  • 1 cup truRoots organic, sprouted mung beans (or regular mung beans)
  • 4-6 cups chopped vegetables of choice (broccoli, snap peas, carrots, cabbage, asparagus, bell pepper, shiitake mushrooms, etc.—whatever you have and love)
  • 1 heaping cup sprouts (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized pot over medium low heat. Add the ginger and garlic.
  2. Cook, stirring constantly, for two minutes, or until the garlic and ginger are very fragrant.
  3. Add a few tablespoons of water and then stir in the turmeric and coriander. Whisk everything together in the pot as the spices heat up (almost as if you were making a roux).
  4. Then add the water, salt, pepper, quinoa, and mung beans. Bring the mixture to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.
  5. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes if using sprouted quinoa and mung beans, or 20 minutes if you’re using regular quinoa and mung beans.
  6. Uncover and simmer for 5 more minutes. The mixture should be thick, but there should be turmeric broth visible (in other words, you don’t want the grains and beans to absorb all of the liquid).
  7. While the broth cooks, bring a medium sized saucepan of water to boil, or set up a pot of boiling water with a steamer attachment. Blanch the vegetables for 1-2 minutes, or until crisp tender, or steam them until crisp tender.
  8. When the mung beans and quinoa are ready, divide them into bowls for serving. Add about a heaping cup of veggies to each bowl, and then add a small handful of sprouts, if desired. Serve.

Notes

Leftover mung bean and quinoa mixture will keep for up to four days in an airtight container in the fridge.

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