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Erin’s bali garden stew w/ toasty cashews + shallots

Bali garden stew w/ toasty cashews + shallots // @thefirstmessgarden beans // @thefirstmessthe vegetables // @thefirstmessYummy Supper by Erin Scott // @thefirstmessBali garden stew w/ toasty cashews + shallots // @thefirstmess
I never thought I would have a vegetable garden in my backyard this year. It seemed like this silly thing that I would finally, finally get to when the deck and kitchen were both finished, the shed was built and the porch was stained. My dad grows enough vegetables to feed 75 or more people, so I figured I could just glom onto that and be satisfied. And hilariously (!!), right at this second I have a thriving vegetable garden, no shed or deck to really speak of, a kitchen that STILL isn’t totally finished, and we have the most unintentionally distressed-looking porch floor (oh, and my dad still brings me stuff from his garden anyway). Priorities are a funny thing that creep in when you’re not looking.

So now, even when there’s “nothing to eat” we have a hundred square feet of total edibles just getting bigger and riper by the day. It’s true that at any given moment there’s some urgent thing that needs to be fixed, tidied, cleaned, shopped for, photographed, edited etc., but we almost always make time to eat well–even if the loosest translation of that means tossing a couple kale leaves into a daily smoothie because uuuuum, vitamins? Yeah, let’s go with that. If you have some good and honest food at hand, even just a little bit, you can inspire yourself to make the time.

I think Erin from Yummy Supper understands these ideas of nourishment all too well. Just a quickie flip through her beautiful new cookbook will give you inspiration for a week’s worth of meals that glow with abundance, yes, but also with the more immediate appeal of accessibility. It’s a gluten free book, but not in a way that you would notice right away. I tend to gravitate towards the variety and colours of natural foods, and Erin’s book really celebrates this. Instead of focusing on what’s off limits, there’s page after page of gorgeous naturally gluten free foods combined with a knack for seasonal consideration. There’s pears poached in Lillet, popped amaranth with cumin and coriander, a crispy kale salad with curried chickpeas, millet crepes, parsnip chips, and black rice pudding with coconut–among so many other thoughtful dishes. Whatever your dietary inclinations, you’ll find something in this book that speaks to you.

And this stew! It’s a good one–nice and spicy with tons of vegetable goodness. I was scanning through the ingredients thinking that I had most of what was called for (fresh beans, corn, tomatoes, shallots, garlic, chilies), knowing that I would substitute a couple things based on what I had in the garden. Swiss chard instead of napa cabbage and bok choy, eggplant for the mushrooms, maybe some extra carrots and some sliced up chard stems too. I was a only a little bit worried that I would change the intended flavours slightly. But Erin condones the switch ups! It’s an all season-approachable dish that mostly relies on the flavour base of fragrant coconut oil, chilies, onions, garlic and tamari. The sharp edge of heat and little bit of bite from the vegetables makes this stew glow with vitality. It’s hard to stop eating it–just feel good food through and through. Some coconut oil-browned cashews and shallots get sprinkled on top and that textural/flavour contrast is so bang on. It’s all just right for the slowly cooling nights ’round here.

And a little add-on bonus! Lindsey, Claire, and I are working with the fine folks at Pure Green Magazine for a hashtag challenge called #PGMinseason. They have all the details on their site here, but on the PGM blog we’re sharing some recipes and our more personal ideological/health-related aspects of choosing local food. You guys know I’m all-in for anything that celebrates the seasonal eats, so it’s exciting to be a part of something that aims to bring even more inspiration and conversation around that movement. Earlier this week they posted my recipe for harissa grilled eggplant with burst tomatoes, quinoa and herb salad, which you can check out here!

Bali garden stew w/ toasty cashews + shallots // @thefirstmessready to go // @thefirstmessBali garden stew w/ toasty cashews + shallots // @thefirstmessBali garden stew w/ toasty cashews + shallots // @thefirstmess
vegan bali garden stew recipe
from Erin Scott’s Yummy Supper
serves: 4-6
notes: Erin’s recipe calls for chicken as well. I just went with the goodness of the veggies, but you could easily add diced tofu or chickpeas if you’d like a little extra protein in this stew. She notes a little tip in the book that I completely agree with: have all of your ingredients chopped and ready to go once you have the stove turned on. The whole thing goes pretty quick. Also, serve this with some cooked rice if you’re feelin’ it.

1/4 cup + 2 tsp coconut oil
1-2 cayenne chilies (or something similar), seeded + minced
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 tsp tamari soy sauce
4 cups water
3 medium carrots, peeled + thinly sliced
2 medium (or 4 small!) tomatoes, diced
1 small eggplant, chopped
kernels from 2 cobs of corn (1 1/3 cups)
1 1/3 cups sliced green beans
1 cup raw cashews
4 shallots, thinly sliced
4 cups chopped swiss chard (including stems)
salt + pepper

Heat a 1/4 cup of the coconut oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the chili, onion and garlic. Cook until very fragrant and onion has softened slightly, about 2 minutes.

Add the tamari and water to the pot. Bring to a boil and then add the carrots. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and eggplant and cook for a minute. Add the corn and green beans and cook for another couple minutes. At this point you can turn the heat off until you’re ready to serve it because you’ll just need to bring the pot to a boil for the greens.

In a small sauté pan, heat a teaspoon of coconut oil over medium low heat. Add the raw cashews to the pan and toast them in the oil until they brown a bit on all sides, about 4-5 minutes. Empty the cashews onto a small plate and give them a little sprinkle of salt if you like.

Return the small sauté pan to the heat and add the remaining teaspoon of coconut oil. Add the thinly sliced shallots to the pan and stir them around here and there until they turn deep brown and a bit crisp in some areas, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

Bring the pot of stew to a boil again and add the chopped swiss chard. Cook until the greens wilt a little bot, about 1 minute. Serve the stew hot with the toasty cashews and shallots on top.

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Kate @ ¡Hola! Jalapeño28/08/2014 - 7:03 am

These pictures are an inspiration and I too have a garden when I should probably spend my time doing something else but the satisfaction of eating from your backyard way out weighs rational thinking!

Margaret Sullivan28/08/2014 - 8:13 am

Sounds great. This would work well with olive oil also. The problem with coconut oil is that unless it is extremely fresh it frequently has a rancid after taste. We loved for years where it was the basic cooking oil, often rancid, often overpowering, and when I was there my cholesterol rose markedly only to come down when I returned to this country and other cooking oils.

Katie @ Whole Nourishment28/08/2014 - 8:41 am

Love everything about this stew, and it reminds me of the wonderful curries and rice dishes I had in Bali, especially since it’s topped with topped with toasted cashews. This looks like the perfect summertime soup.

erin {yummy supper}28/08/2014 - 8:55 am

Oh my what a gorgeous post, Laura! Your veggie patch is so darned abundant and I’m honored to see your bounty working so beautifully in the Bali Garden Stew. It’s just right that you made all of those substitutions and played with what you had on hand. I bet the eggplant was super tasty!
SO so touched,
xoxox
E

Ashlae28/08/2014 - 9:09 am

These photos! Erin’s book! Your garden! I am loving it, lady. This is just the nudge I need to finally contact our HOA about putting a community garden in the rarely (and by rarely I mean NEVER) used side yard.

molly yeh28/08/2014 - 9:54 am

will you please come over and teach me how to be a good garden grower person and not be freaked out about all the little green friends on my kale so i can just casually toss some in my smoothies in the morning?! who knew gardening would be so…scary? hehe. this stew looks delicious… anything with shallots has my heart!

Caitlin28/08/2014 - 11:15 am

such a gorgeous stew. and bravo to you for somehow creating a luscious vegetable garden in the midst of all the craziness.

Ashley28/08/2014 - 11:33 am

Girl, your words. They get me every time. You have such a calming, storytelling thing going on with the way you write and I always feel a little more zen after reading your posts. I love how you point out that Erin’s book is GF but that you wouldn’t notice right away. I know I would love this book for that reason! And this stew…gorgeous. BTW – we get to hang out in ONE month! Wishing we could get dirty in the garden/kitchen together but I guess I can settle for just hanging. ;)

Ashley28/08/2014 - 11:36 am

p.s. I totally [TOTALLY] feel you on the 1/2 done house projects.

Grace28/08/2014 - 11:41 am

What a beautiful celebration of summer, so much color and goodness all in one bowl! I want to sit out on the porch with this wholesome soup and that gorgeous book and a cool, soon-to-be-fall breeze. YES!

Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth28/08/2014 - 11:46 am

I’m so jealous of anyone with a garden or something nearly resembling one. I’m limited to whatever I can cram on my kitchen window sill! What a beautiful selection from Erin’s book to make using all those beautiful veggies!

[…] Bali Garden Stew with Toasty Cashews and Shallots […]

Saskija28/08/2014 - 1:45 pm

Your pictures are lovely. The lighting is so pretty. I’ve already bought Vibrant Food because you had recommended it. Now I may just have to get Yummy Supper!

Sophie28/08/2014 - 4:49 pm

Just gorgeous, Laura! Erin is killing it with this book. I cannot wait to make my own pot of this. Wonderful!

lynsey28/08/2014 - 5:35 pm

Well I don’t have a garden, but rather a little pot of chillies on my balcony that i feel will have a home in this stew. Congrats on Pure Green…. Ontario grows the best stuff and I can’t wait for some more inspiration on how to use it! xo

Sarah28/08/2014 - 5:43 pm

I am really loving Yummy Supper’s new cookbook too! I had my eye on my recipe – glad to hear it’s a good one!

Nik@ABrownTable28/08/2014 - 6:03 pm

That photograph of the corn is simply gorgeous and the soup is so vibrant and colorful! I ordered Erin’s book and can’t wait to receive it, she always has a lot of interesting recipes.

Kaley29/08/2014 - 12:52 am

This is fantastic! I am so glad I made it for dinner tonight. So flavorful and delicious, and so easy. I will definitely be making this again!

Millie l Add A Little29/08/2014 - 3:49 am

Yum! This looks gorgeous and so beautiful and fresh!

Kathryn29/08/2014 - 4:53 am

Love what you say about Erin’s book; I’m with you all the way. Nourishment is absolutely the best word for it. It’s not just about what you’re physically eating but what you’re taking from the ground and how your feeding your soul. Love it.

genevieve @ gratitude & greens29/08/2014 - 9:15 am

This stew is exactly what I need right now. Such a vibrant dish full of so much goodness!

Elisa29/08/2014 - 9:38 am

Beautiful and colorful soup! LOVE!

xo
Elisa

Teffy Perk29/08/2014 - 12:31 pm

This looks so so good!!
I dream of having a veggie garden filled with goodies!
This stew is so dreamy, especially with those cashews on top. So yum!

Teffy X

Emily29/08/2014 - 12:45 pm

Made this last night and loved it! I always trust your taste.

Michelle29/08/2014 - 11:00 pm

Great recipe, it was delicious and packed with flavour and colour. Thanks for the inspiration to get busy in the kitchen

Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine30/08/2014 - 1:32 am

That looks so good! The cashews sounds like a great addition.

Week 35… | Cookingdom30/08/2014 - 6:35 am

[…] Veel groenten stoofpotje…ter compensatie :P […]

sara30/08/2014 - 11:54 am

Gorgeous! This looks so tasty. :)

Kathryne30/08/2014 - 6:46 pm

I just love it when my favorite bloggers are talking about my other favorite bloggers. You two are so great! This soup sounds incredible. I’ll have to flip through Erin’s book again to find the original. I’ll save your version for when we get some relief from the heat!

[…] basil garden stew with cashews and shallots. love […]

[…] Oh boy, this sounds like a good late summer, early fall kind of stew/soup! […]

[…] Garden Stew with toasted cashews sounds like the perfect end of summer comfort food. […]

Anna01/09/2014 - 7:14 am

IM IN LOVE with your pictures and recipes! The whole atmosphere of your blog makes me inspired over and over again!

Lynn @ The Actor’s Diet01/09/2014 - 7:13 pm

I just LOVE cashews in my stew!

Shira01/09/2014 - 8:54 pm

Absolutely beautiful pics Laura – especially the mood captured in your garden shots. Honestly they are too beautiful for words. Hope you’ve had a wonderful summer!

Holly @ The Very Hungry Blonde01/09/2014 - 11:18 pm

Gorgeous pictures, and the recipe looks absolutely scrumptious!

ATasteOfMadness02/09/2014 - 7:49 pm

Whoa. This looks amazing!

[…] eggs on a bed of cherry tomatoes // sunshine soup // bali garden stew // grilled wild salmon, fennel and corn // millet crepes // honeydew granita // peach lassi […]

Los Angeles Caregivers14/09/2014 - 10:55 pm

These look like some great healthy meals, as a vegan there are some here that I would really enjoy eating. The vegan bawli stew looks amazing

Mandy D20/09/2014 - 3:31 am

Oh my goodness. Today is the day that I stumbled across your blog. It’s late at night and I can’t stop looking through your recipes and pictures! Your photography is amazing and I love your stories. I hope to be as good as a blogger as you are (one day!)

Your blog is inspiring and I want to create every dish right now! I guess I’ll have to wait until morning.

Thanks for working so hard to keep your blog beautiful!

Mandy Dugas from MandysHealthyLife.com

The Omnivore27/09/2014 - 10:38 am

Those pictures are incredible! I love this time of year when you still have all the fabulous summer produce but there’s enough of a chill that you want to cook them.

STEWpendous Garden Stew16/10/2014 - 4:30 pm

[…] on which side you fall), let’s ease our way into the cooler months of the kitchen with this Garden Stew recipe from The First […]

super powered tomato + basil collard wraps

super-vegan protein power tomato basil collard wraps // @thefirstmesscollards // @thefirstmesstomatoes // @thefirstmessbasil in the garden // @thefirstmesssuper-vegan protein power tomato basil collard wraps // @thefirstmess
I will say this with comfort and clarity because I know I’m not alone: it’s surprisingly easy to get overwhelmed by life on a regular basis–the wonderful parts, but also (womp womp) the more stress-inducing bits. We’re away for a bit on the east coast of Canada this week with my man’s family and all I could think about leading up to our departure was A) How much stuff I have to take care of before I get in the car with my duffel bag, snacks and camera, B) How much stuff I could be accomplishing if we weren’t going, and C)How realistic/possible it would be to get some work done while we’re ON vacation. I swear I can’t be the only person who thinks this way. In the same moment, there is a pull of necessity from the natural world calling for release, but also the thoughts of deadlines, career, and the “How will we ever get ahead of it all?” questions that shore up in the weaker moments.

Some of my plans got all messed up last week, my schedule was thrown off, there was a very scary thunderstorm, I didn’t see Mark for a few days because of the “passing ships in the night” quality of our conflicting work schedules sometimes, my dining table was a mess of recipes to be shot, food props, fibreglass door brochures, and just stuff, I think I ate too much sugar and drank mostly coffee, there’s still messes around every corner of our yard as we try to get it ALL together this summer, it’s August already?!, then THIS etc. In the middle of one of my now-daily marathon list-making sessions, I texted this to Mark: “I feel like I’m paddling really fucking hard and not getting anywhere.”

My tendency, when there’s probably too much going on and I’m asking the big life questions, is to go inward a bit and figure out why it’s all happening. I get stuck in my own head is another way to put it. It takes a while for inspiration, in the form of human interaction, something I’ve read/seen, or a moment of intentional quietude, to pull me up back into life and living. A worrier and an over-thinker to the end–just how I operate. But I had a very chill contractor/landscaping/handyperson-type dude here the one morning, just as the sky was darkening something fierce for another round of rain. He was giving me an estimate on a new deck + shelter structure kinda deal and we were talking about what a mess the yard had been before we lived here. The drops were puttering around and he calmly said something about being able to see past the the frustrating/messy/uncontrollable aspects of less desirable situations because he had the work/life experience to know that it all works out in the end. Pretty much exactly what I needed to hear, even if he was just talking about some outdoor livin’.

As we continue to get our bearings on this life and some of the seemingly fresh things it’s been throwing at/graciously handing to us, I think we get a bit more confident leaning into the “Everything’s going to be alright” mentality. And not in a a way that leaves it all to the fates. We’re learning and grasping and nodding our heads YES because we have a clearer sightline on human capability. I still make decisions on a whim and overcommit myself 98 percent of the time, but I feel stronger in putting my head down and getting to the work in a more intelligent way than ever before. If this is maturity/getting old/full-tilt-boogie-level adulthood, sign me up.

In addition to seeing ahead + realizing some human potential, I’ve been coming up with cooler recipe ideas and just making better things in general. It’s cool when inspiration from certain sometimes stress-y life moments stream colour and inpspiration into your everyday needs. Of course I didn’t invent collard wraps, but dang if I didn’t just try them for the first time recently and absolutely love them. My first exposure to the collard-as-wrap was in Sara’s book actually, and I was immediately pulled in by her emphasis on avoiding the “hippie mush” problem when fixing them up. Actually, just the expression “hippie mush” was enough to catch my interest (#HIPPIEMUSH). Anyway, this version has some highly varied textures and lots of summer tasties from the tomatoes and basil. Marinated and charred tempeh, chickpea mash, a little sundried tomato flecked quinoa, extra tomato, maybe a balsamic drizzle. Lots of plant-powered protein in a little leafy package. A good travellin’ snack if I do say so myself.

So I’m off to re-charge the batteries on that eastern shore. Catch ya next week or perhaps on Instagram in the meantime? :) Big love, all.

tempeh marination // @thefirstmessgrilled // @thefirstmesssuper-vegan protein power tomato basil collard wraps // @thefirstmesssuper-vegan protein power tomato basil collard wraps // @thefirstmesssuper-vegan protein power tomato basil collard wraps // @thefirstmess
super powered tomato + basil collard wraps
serves: 4
notes: Like any decent burrito or wrap-type thing, overstuffing these will lead to failure/messes everywhere. If you’re transporting them, I would recommend securing with toothpicks before you go anywhere, just so there aren’t any surprises at your destination.

1 block of tempeh, cut into half inch strips
1 chili, sliced
4-5 sprigs of basil, divided
splash of red wine vinegar
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
olive oil
salt + pepper
1/2 cup quinoa
handful of sundried tomatoes (not the oil-packed ones), small dice
2 cups cooked chickpeas
2-3 tbsp tomato sauce
8 large collard leaves
2 ripe tomatoes, sliced (or 1/2 pint of grape tomatoes halved)
balsamic glaze/reduction (optional!)

In a shallow dish, place the tempeh pieces, sliced chili, 2-3 tablespoons of chopped basil, the red wine vinegar, sliced shallot and a good glug of olive oil. Season the mix with salt and pepper and toss to coat the tempeh. Cover and set aside for 20 minutes.

Combine the quinoa with 1 cup of water and a fat pinch of salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the quinoa to a boil and simmer until all water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Scrape quinoa into a medium mixing bowl and allow to cool.

Once cool, to the quinoa add a glug of olive oil, 2-3 tbsp chopped basil, the diced sundried tomatoes, and some salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

In a shallow dish, mash the chickpeas with the tomato sauce, salt, pepper and a splash of olive oil. You want a mixture that kind of holds together but also a few whole chickpeas too. Set aside.

Heat a grill to high and place the marinated tempeh slices on the grates. Grill both sides until char marks appear, about 4 minutes per side.

To make the collard wraps, start by laying one collard leaf down on a cutting board so that it’s on a horizontal orientation. Lay another collard leaf on top, overlapping the stem ends considerably. You should have an almost solid rectangular-ish sheet of collard green now. It almost looks like a very chunky figure 8. Spoon some of the chickpea mash into the middle, pressing it down. Lay two tempeh slices on top of the chickpea mash. Then place some sliced tomato on top of the tempeh. Place a few slices of tomato and whole leaves of basil on top. Finish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze if you like. Pull up the long side of the collard wrap and fold it over the filling. Bring in the short sides as if you were making a burrito. Then roll the whole thing until you’ve sealed the wrap.

Repeat this process with remaining ingredients. Secure wraps with toothpicks if necessary. Slice wraps in half to serve.

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Carly06/08/2014 - 4:18 am

I totally feel you on this “everything will be alright” mentality. I’m going through my own can of worms at the moment and just like you I overthink everything and tend to spend too much time dwelling on what my heart/brain have to say (a lot) instead of just throwing all that crap out the window and going with my gut. These super powered wraps seem like the perfect place to start!

Katie @ Whole Nourishment06/08/2014 - 5:43 am

Yes, trusting that things will work out in the end is key, isn’t it?! I love how we can find inspiration in unusual ways, that’s a sign we are in fact able to get out of our heads every once in while. ;-) Love these collard wraps especially because of the tempeh, quinoa, and sun-dried tomatoes! Lovely summer dish.

Julia06/08/2014 - 5:58 am

EVERYTHING about this post resonates (like a gong) with me. thanks for the candid sharing, and thanks for a killer wrap recipe. i too was introduced to collard wraps via sara. enjoy the east coast:)

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar06/08/2014 - 8:09 am

This is such a bright and gorgeous wrap. Lovely!

Mariela06/08/2014 - 8:51 am

Boy do I admirer those who don’t over think, over analyse, over stress. One day I will too let go and trust the process.

Lovely post, lovely recipe!

Tieghan06/08/2014 - 9:03 am

I am a huge overthinker, worrier and everything in between. I can relate to this post in so many ways, thank you for sharing!

Now these wraps. Just gorgeous!! Love all the colors, textures and flavors!

Grace06/08/2014 - 9:57 am

I guess it’s instinct to always want to improve, build something better, think to the future. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the ‘what’s next’ but it takes some serious skills to reflect, be present and just breath. Enjoy your vacation! These wraps are all that is good for the body and soul. Beautiful!

Lynsey06/08/2014 - 10:13 am

Laura, as always your words and sentiments on life are so beautifully written – even when they are talking about times of stress and feelings of being completely and utterly overwhelmed. If these (OMG) beautiful wraps are what comes out of your mind when under the gun, I can’t wait to see the creativity that flourishes after a little rest and recharge by the sea! Enjoy your vacay! xo

Abby06/08/2014 - 10:14 am

your photographs are perfection, as usual, Laura! such a lovely post :)

Ashley06/08/2014 - 10:16 am

Did you just climb in my head and write the exact thoughts in my brain? I’m pretty sure you did. I think I could have finished your sentences in this post. My goodness. Really can’t wait to see you in September! We’re also leaving for vacation soon and I am s.t.r.e.s.s.i.n.g. :) Hope you have a very relaxing time without the computer! <3 <3

[…] How did I never think of this? Why wrap sandwiches in lettuce when I could be using one of my favorite leafy greens in the world? […]

elle06/08/2014 - 12:12 pm

looks so beautiful and yummy, but might fall apart. think i might shred the greens too and wrap everything in a rice paper wrapper. Adds 20 calories and 4 carbs if anyone is wondering.

Ileana06/08/2014 - 12:14 pm

Spectacular – as usual! Such beautiful food. Enjoy your vacation!

Eileen06/08/2014 - 12:45 pm

These wraps sound like the perfect thing to make for a summer potluck! I would be so happy to see a big tray of these in the middle of the tableful of typical chips and crudites and hot dog buns. Yay!

erin {yummysupper}06/08/2014 - 12:59 pm

Laura, every time I look at that wallpaper of collards I swoon. What a brilliant photo!!! And your wraps looks awesome.
I hope your trip gives you some of the rest and recuperation you’re craving. Travel can work wonders on the racing brain… I know that feeling well.
xoxox from Berkeley,
E

Kelly @ Nosh and Nourish06/08/2014 - 1:30 pm

Absolutely stunning! I am sooooo making these for lunch tomorrow :)

sara forte06/08/2014 - 2:45 pm

you are too good. These are gorgeous and long live the #hippiemush :)
If it’s of any help, I’m convinced that a home in flux is crazy making. We moved into a home that needs a lot of TLC as well, and I’m realizing all these projects will take a lot of time and money…two things that are inconsistent around here. A home is a place where you should go to rest but it is instead a place that I am “managing” and constantly thinking about what project takes precedence. It’s a job, really, not a refuge. For now anyway.
I’m glad you’re getting out of town. I hope you can stop thinking about it and enjoy your time. Your garden looks beautiful, btw.

Jo @The Nectar Cafe06/08/2014 - 4:49 pm

I am with you on those feelings of wondering how we will ever get on top of it all. I feel like that alot until I take the time to remind myself that Rome wasn’t built in a day and that ‘me’ time is just as important as work/home-making/family commitments.
I’m loving the look of these wraps and anything wrapped up in a big leaf is awesome in my opinion, so I’ll defiantly be trying these out! Beautiful pics as always Laura x

Renee (will frolic for food)06/08/2014 - 5:36 pm

Being overwhelmed, oh yes I know the feeling well. Sometimes stepping out from underneath of the clouding thoughts gives you some freedom and perspective. meditating helps me! and yoga and exercising. and taking walks. it all helps. life can be so full of stress and projects and people who want things from you. // and this post is fiercely gorgeous. i want to be eating this right now. your savory recipes ROCK. wondering if i can convince my friend who i’m staying with to make this tonight, haha! i’ll be making this in the future, either way! <3

jocenel06/08/2014 - 6:47 pm

The food looks so delicious, I made my own for lunch today. I change one thing though; the tomatoes in your picture are hybrids. I used plum tomatoes.

I wanted to make this king of green wraps for far too long. Great recipe, so easy :) And pictures are fabulous.

Laura Wright06/08/2014 - 7:16 pm

Hi Jocenel, glad you enjoyed it. Those hybrid tomatoes in the picture were also grown by my father and were incredibly delicious, which is certainly enough for me.
-L

kristie / birchandwild.com07/08/2014 - 12:28 am

These are the first collard wraps I have seen that I have wanted to make immediately after seeing the photos. They look creative, fresh and really tasty.

Sini | my blue&white kitchen07/08/2014 - 6:40 am

This post is a gem. I can relate to all those feelings of being overwhelmed by life. Sometimes it’s just SO MUCH that it’s hard to think and see clearly. Sometimes we just feel we are SO BUSY that we don’t even have a spare week to spend relaxing. Oh yes, life.
On another note, these wraps!! They speak to my heart. If one could adopt wraps, I would definitely adopt these ones. Oh and how gorgeous is that collard picture? You’re awesome, Laura.

Valerie07/08/2014 - 11:01 am

I’m unbearably neurotic; if there’s nothing to overthink/worry about, my mind goes into a tailspin and starts obsessing about small things like streaky glasses and the paper towel roll that should have been placed in recycling. Usually my cat’s blasé countenance helps put things *slightly* into perspective.

Gorgeous hippie wraps! Love the happy colours.

la domestique07/08/2014 - 11:12 am

I love greens and these wraps look so colorful and nourishing. Enjoy your holiday!

Lindsey08/08/2014 - 9:40 am

i can’t tell you how much this past week mirrored yours – unexpected car crap, my husband leaving for a work trip unexpectedly, recipes gone terribly wrong! but when measured on a spectrum of relative importance these things aren’t so weighty i suppose. not easy sometimes to get out of our own way, but yes, a break from it all to escape and breathe is totally necessary! xo

Jenalle08/08/2014 - 11:02 am

These look amazing.
Also styled perfectly, as usual.
Props. :)

Teffy Perk08/08/2014 - 3:20 pm

Oh wow. That looks so so sooooo good!
Exactly my kind of wrap – full of goodies and flavours that just sing!

{Teffy’s Perks} X

sunday food mood board vol1.09/08/2014 - 7:13 pm

[…] […]

[…] I’ve been obsessed with collard wraps […]

[…] Super powered tomato + basil collard wraps (The First Mess) […]

Leah11/08/2014 - 1:29 pm

I totally feel you on all fronts – I was just out of town for 2 weeks and I feel so behind. It was really hard to actually enjoy my vacation because I kept thinking – should I be taking more pictures, can I try to get a blog post done, etc. etc. and I realize that isn’t fair to my husband and our family. I’m learning too – I guess sometimes you have to just let go and try to trust that it will all work out and get done at some point. Gorgeous recipe and photos as always !!

Samantha11/08/2014 - 3:40 pm

Oh wow, what an absolutely genius idea! I’m going to start doing this for lunch! Thank you for the great post :)

shanna mallon12/08/2014 - 9:48 pm

fringe benefit of being one of the in-your-head types: you see things so well and say them so good. reading this post, I just kept thinking what a pleasure it was to get to read it. also. these photos. I can’t. the only word is perfection. kind of an overblown concept and an elusive one but as far as food pics, yours are my fav.

Diana13/08/2014 - 11:49 pm

I made these wraps, with some slight variations. But I kept the tempeh marinade exactly as is, and am enjoying the grilled tempeh very very very much. Thanks for this recipe, and others, I really enjoy your cooking ideas.

jessise1314/08/2014 - 4:04 am

I made these wraps, with some slight variations. But I kept the tempeh marinade exactly as is, and am enjoying the grilled tempeh very very very much. Thanks for this recipe, and others, I really enjoy your cooking ideas.ブランド靴

Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)14/08/2014 - 2:25 pm

Oh my gosh–your photographs always blow me away. So inspiring and creative! These collard wraps sound amazing Laura!

hannah14/08/2014 - 5:37 pm

This is so important isn’t it, it’s not really optimism more a sense of calm and peace, a sort of trust that we can hand over our struggles and stress to “life” and allow it to take its own path without endlessly worrying and striving for control. You write so beautifully and this post has really got me thinking. And fantasising about these wraps. What sort of tomato sauce do you mean? In the UK “tomato sauce” means Heinz ketchup but I’m not sure that’s what you used here!

Audrina15/08/2014 - 9:03 am

I know EXACTLY what you mean by thinking those before going on vacation! But nonetheless, everyone needs a break once in a while :) The wrap looks delicious!

http://www.mindfullyaudrina.blogspot.com

Kate @ ¡Hola! Jalapeño17/08/2014 - 11:11 am

These look so good and such a unique and delicious combination of flavors. I hope you enjoy a little respite and don’t worry too much about all the stuff you are not getting done. Deep breaths my friend.

[…] mouths literally started watering looking at this yummy recipe! A perfect end of summer meal! Super Powered Tomato + Basil Collard Wraps via The First […]

Maria Rieger19/08/2014 - 3:37 pm

I can understand all those feelings and internal conflicts. I have just moved back to Europe after five wonderful years in Mexico. This is our life. We arrive somewhere, fall in love with a place, find real friends and even people I would call family and then it is time to leave again. You keep in touch but you know it will never be the same. It is a fascinating but difficult life. Now I am about to make a new home, things will arrive soon and there is so much to do. I feel many times there aren’t enough hours in a day. Tomorrow they will start breaking the kitchen and by friday there should be a new one in place. I miss cooking and writing but sometimes I just realize I need to stop, not worry so much, take time to myself and to my daughter and husband. In the end all will fall into place once again. I will definitely try the Collard wraps when I have a kitchen again. Thank you.

[…] you’re into clean eating or not, Tomato and Basil Collard Wraps by The First Mess put a little ingenuity behind rolling a good wrap. Collard greens are so sturdy […]

Tessa24/08/2014 - 7:49 am

Oh my, the colours happening in that wrap are divine! Definitely need to try them out soon :)

agoodstuff.blogspot.in26/08/2014 - 1:39 pm

You make wonderful dishes, specially salads. The best part of your salads is that they have amazing nature’s colors and are so bright n tempting that no one can resist.

[…] cashew parfait because I’m currently flirting with pseudo-veganism and oh my god. these super-powered tomato basil collard wraps which I’ve already made and fallen madly in love with. these pillowy pistachio pop tarts. […]

Sam @ PancakeWarriors31/08/2014 - 1:01 pm

This post is everything I love about blogging. I love the honesty and the photography is amazing. Thank you for your honesty in this post – the craziness of life and how things often get overwhelming but then you stop and reflect on it all and realize that in your chaos you have become better… and for that you can be greatful. Love hippymush! You have a new follower!

meg31/08/2014 - 2:57 pm

So pretty! Love it

cynthia01/09/2014 - 5:17 pm

I love these words so, so, so very much. I hear ya, lady — here’s to recharging and these incredible, incredible wraps!

[…] if you’re a health food beginner like many of us on staff, this recipe for Vegan Tomato + Basil and Collard Wraps makes for a great start to better eating. For those who normally stray away from healthier meal […]

Pre05/10/2014 - 8:31 am

I’m allergic to soy. How well do you think seitan would sub for the tempeh in this dish? Or do you recommend something else?

Laura Wright05/10/2014 - 8:52 am

Hi Pre,
I think the texture of seitan would be excellent in this. And the procedure would be the same: marinate + grill. Although, I might grill seitan a couple extra minutes.
-L

[…] These Tomato and Basil Collard Wraps look too healthy for even […]

simple grilled sweet potato + black bean burrito bowls (with spicy cumin garlic drizzle)

simple sweet potato + black bean burrito bowls with cumin garlic drizzle // @thefirstmesssimple sweet potato + black bean burrito bowls with cumin garlic drizzle // @thefirstmessfor cumin + garlic drizzle // @thefirstmesspreppin
Today’s post is another episode of “things we actually eat all the time.” I was stumped last week on what to share here and was about thisclose to throwing my hands up again when I remembered that whole overarching ethos thing about cooking seasonally with accessible ingredients/methods so that we can all be a bit healthier and happier. That’s the thing that I love and this bowl is something that we eat weekly, in one form or another. When a dish repeats and cravings/excitement are detectable, it’s time to share, no matter how simple it is. I even started a new category here for this sorta dish called “everyday eats.” I’m excited to share more of those meals that are thrown together with pantry stock and seasonal bits, but still have an overall vibe of wellness and vibrance too. Hope you can feel me on this.

We’ve been spending most of the hours outdoors, sometimes for fun and most often times working on something or other. There have been going away parties, roller coasters, funnel cakes (oy), birthdays, hangry pizza lunches after visits to the “natural regeneration” portion of the dump, big and half-dead cedar hedges ripped out with my badass mum, deck planning, smoke alarms in the middle of the night (to choruses of “FUCK, COME OOOON”), talks on creating, long walks after dinner, chats about a lot of upcoming projects (one of which will have me getting my bake on in a serious way–yesssss), tons of iced coffee, thunderstorms, and a decent handful of major career-shifting questions. Just lots of sweat, laughs and growth I guess. And we still haven’t been to the drive-in, a baseball game, Algonquin or the beach yet. Maaaan, summer though.

So when the season is full and the meals are needed in a more relaxed sort of way (but still have to be mega-nourishing), this burrito bowl works out pretty nicely. If you’re even a little bit like me, this is all pantry stuff for you: sweet potatoes, canned black beans, herbs, brown rice, spices, chilies, citrus… It’s just a little blend, boil and grill away from yummy supper on the porch/balcony/kitchen counter with a cold beer (or iced tea!) in your favourite cut-offs. Hope you’re all eating well, loving each other, and adventuring often out there. Big hugs and some fist bumps for everyday good eatin’. xoxo

sweet potatoes // @thefirstmessgo-to black beans // @thefirstmessgrilled // @thefirstmesssimple sweet potato + black bean burrito bowls with cumin garlic drizzle // @thefirstmess
simple grilled sweet potato + black bean burrito bowls with spicy cumin garlic drizzle
serves: 4
additional gear: 4-5 pre soaked wooden skewers
notes: The cumin garlic drizzle serves as a protective coating for the sweet potatoes and peppers as they grill, but also as a light sauce too, so just make sure you reserve enough for serving at the end. You could make these up with any and all types of of salsa, various cheeses, extra lime wedges, sour cream (dairy or non-dairy based), some fresh corn etc etc. Burritos are personal preference driven (duh that’s why they’re so awesome), so this bowl is no different.

spicy cumin garlic drizzle:
1 small jalapeño, seeded
1 clove of garlic, peeled
2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
juice of 2 limes + a little bit of zest
1 tbsp agave nectar/other liquid sweetener
salt + pepper
1/4 cup neutral tasting oil (I used avocado)
big splash of water

bowls:
1 medium-large sweet potato, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 cups cooked black beans
1/4 cup small diced red onion
big handful fresh cilantro leaves, divided
2 red bell peppers, stems/seeds removed
cooked brown rice
1 ripe avocado

In an upright blender, combine all of the ingredients for the spicy cumin garlic drizzle. Blend on high until you have a smooth, liquid-y mixture. Check for seasoning, adjust, and set aside.

Put your pot of rice on if you haven’t got any on hand. Place the cut sweet potatoes in another medium saucepan and cover them with water. Bring the sweet potatoes to a boil over medium heat and simmer until a knife just goes through when you try to prick one, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, toss the black beans with a hearty pour of the spicy cumin garlic drizzle, the diced red onions and almost all of the cilantro. Season them with salt and pepper, toss once more, and set aside.

Preheat your grill to high. Skewer the sweet potatoes onto the bamboo sticks, making sure you don’t weigh them down too heavily. Place skewers on a dinner plate along with the pieces of red bell pepper. Pour some of the spicy cumin garlic drizzle on top and lightly toss everything to coat. Grill sweet potatoes and red peppers until char marks appear and vegetables have softened slightly, about 10-12 minutes total. Remove from the grill and cut peppers into bite-sized pieces if you like.

Portion the rice into 4 bowls. Divide the black beans among the bowls. Top rice and beans with grilled sweet potatoes, red peppers and extra cilantro leaves. Pit and peel the avocado, and then dice into chunks on top of the bowls. Finish all of the bowls with extra spicy cumin garlic drizzle and some more salt and pepper. Serve warm.

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Valentina - sweet kabocha23/07/2014 - 5:18 am

I could kill for this plate. Totally.

This is my kind of eating, not to structured and with all the best things! I love sweet potato. That cumin drizzle sounds perfect for my meal tonight!

Katie @ Whole Nourishment23/07/2014 - 7:11 am

This is absolutely my kind of rice bowl! Love the flavor combo and especially the cumin garlic drizzle. Glad you decided to share your everyday meals with us!

Ileana23/07/2014 - 7:35 am

You manage to make everything look so vibrant! I wish I had this for lunch today. :) The cumin-garlic drizzle sounds soooo good!

Denise | TLT23/07/2014 - 7:59 am

Simply gorgeous and totally calling me. I’d live out the cilantro (can’t help it) and add some cheese (again: can’t help it) though. Bookmarking this and will probably make it this week. Thanks for the lovely inspiration!

Shanae23/07/2014 - 8:03 am

This looks so amazing! I cannot wait to make this for dinner tonight :D

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar23/07/2014 - 8:16 am

These bowls look great! Such a yummy combo of flavours!

Kathryn23/07/2014 - 8:23 am

I think I probably like real deal everyday eating posts more than fancy recipe posts (not that I don’t love every single one of your posts obviously). But there’s something extra special about getting a peek into the way that other people eat on a day to day basis that’s always inspiring + fascinating.

Amanda23/07/2014 - 8:31 am

Love a good bowl! Fist-bump indeed.

Sini | my blue&white kitchen23/07/2014 - 8:54 am

Absolutely loving your new everyday eats concept! More of that, please! Fancy, complicated dinners sure are wonderful and can make your jaw drop but everyday food is the one that keeps us nourished; keeps us going, and inspired. These burrito bowls look absolutely perfect. Can’t wait to make some soon.

P.S. Those quinoa tacos still linger on my mind…just SO GOOD!

Brian @ A Thought For Food23/07/2014 - 9:00 am

Yup… I’m all about this bowl. I often do sweet potato and black bean tacos, so I just know I’d be a fan of this.

Ashley23/07/2014 - 9:20 am

Love your idea for “everyday eats!” It’s those simple meals that get us through the busy so we can enjoy the outdoors and all the little projects we have going on. But it’s in those full times when we really need these home-cooked, nutrient dense meals! Well done, friend. Also…the photos…again + again…you amaze me! xo

molly yeh23/07/2014 - 9:38 am

gahhh sooo pretty and colorful!!!!! love.

Heather23/07/2014 - 9:55 am

fist bumps for the new nourishing everyday eats category! more time to enjoy the outdoors :) thanks for this one, Laura!

Erin23/07/2014 - 11:01 am

SO. MANY. of your recipes have become ‘everyday eats’ at my house. Can I hear it for the Busy Lady Bowl?! I have a feeling this one will follow suit. Thank you!

Kathy23/07/2014 - 1:06 pm

Hi! Love your recipes! Is there any way to print them out? I’ve tried cut and paste to word and it gets all messed up! Please let me know if there’s a button I’m missing.. Thanks!!!

Laura Wright23/07/2014 - 1:19 pm

Hi Kathy, Thanks for this! There isn’t a button for printing as of right now. I am working on this though. My apologies in the meantime!
-L

Liz @ Floating Kitchen23/07/2014 - 1:29 pm

These are so beautiful! Love the colors and the flavors!

Francesca23/07/2014 - 6:47 pm

I am running with that drizzle. Would honey be a reasonable substitute or is it too sweet? A great easy meal for those hot and busy days. How does the sweet potato go when cooked this way? Does it soften up enough?

shanna mallon23/07/2014 - 11:10 pm

um, yeah, I definitely feel you on this one. I love everything about this post.

jessica (BAKECETERA)24/07/2014 - 8:49 am

i could certainly eat this every day! i’m a huge fan of sweet potatoes, but i’ve never grilled them! i can’t wait to try this out. ps: i didn’t know you were canadian, excitement!!

Laura Wright24/07/2014 - 2:10 pm

Hi Francesca, honey would substitute just fine for this. And I’ll add that in the recipe, the sweet potato is boiled for a short period of time before it hits the grill, so perfectly soft but still a bit crisp by the time it’s ready to eat :)
-L

Jacqui24/07/2014 - 10:29 pm

Love it, this is exactly my kind of everyday meal and I love that you’re keepin’ it real and enjoying your summer as you should be. Goes by to fast, especially up in the north! And it sounds like lots of exciting new things are happening, much deserved!

Kate @ ¡Hola! Jalapeño25/07/2014 - 7:23 am

The flavor combination here is so fantastic! This is absolutely something we could eat on a weekly basis. Yum!

Tea25/07/2014 - 10:07 am

Everyday Eats are where it is at in the summer time. Next time I whip up a similar bowl your dressing is going in it.

[…] that’s on the table in 10 minutes but feels like it took way more effort than it did. These sweet potato and black bean burrito bowls might take a little longer but still fit that kind of easy but tasty vibe that I like to end the […]

[…] Fire up the grill to make sweet potato burrito bowls. (The First Mess.) […]

Thalia @ butter and brioche26/07/2014 - 2:58 am

love these burrito bowls.. definitely will be recreating this meal for my vegetarian household. looks seriously delicious!

Emily @ Life on Food26/07/2014 - 11:51 am

Sweet potatoes are my fav. This looks so delicious. How can I make it appear in front of me now?

Nik@ABrownTable27/07/2014 - 12:20 am

I really love no fuss meals at home. I love sweet potatoes and I know I will have to make this at home soon!

Petra27/07/2014 - 6:11 pm

Beautiful compositions! I wish I could arrange food and take pictures of it like you, because I believe that “all you eat needs to look fabulous, or else it’s not going to taste as good” (well, the source of the quote is here). I especially like the combination of grey and orange, it creates a really nice contrast evoking the tastes of autumn.

Millie l Add A Little27/07/2014 - 8:01 pm

This looks like absolute perfection!! I’ve got to make this STAT!

http://youtube.com/addalittlefood

[…] grilled sweet potato burrito bowls. […]

Sophie28/07/2014 - 2:15 pm

Just perfect! So pretty, too with your eye for colors and textures. We get excited about burrito bowls here too at least a couple times a month, and I can’t wait to try this drizzle all over our next bowls! Summer forces me to be a little more spontaneous and pantry dinners are perfect for just that :)

Paige28/07/2014 - 5:35 pm

What a great lunch! Easy to pack, so tasty, and sustained me well. I took one less step (out of laziness) by blending the cilantro in. It also made a great sauce for a falafel (which means my laziness paid off.) Thank you so much for wonderful recipes.

Lynn @ The Actor’s Diet28/07/2014 - 8:36 pm

Almost had this for dinner tonight – but I forgot the sweet potatoes! (<—important)

Lisa29/07/2014 - 9:27 am

Made this for dinner and it was absolutely amazing! A wonderful combination of flavours. Thanks for sharing this great meal.

Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine30/07/2014 - 5:50 am

All of my favorite things all nestled in a bowl together! Your photography is stunning!

Pragati30/07/2014 - 8:23 am

YUM! This sounds so delicious!

Pragati

JC30/07/2014 - 11:17 am

Haphazard bowls of goodness are always the best. Kind of like how the messier a sandwich is the better it usually is.

spotlight | This is for Real30/07/2014 - 1:19 pm

[…] love a good burrito bowl. they are one of my go-to fast, easy […]

Amy30/07/2014 - 8:39 pm

Made this tonight for dinner, with a couple minor tweaks (no grill, so I roasted the veggies.) It was SO delicious- that cumin drizzle is a keeper! My husband had seconds, we’re having it tomorrow night too, and I’m about to email it to friends.

[…] sweet potatoes and red peppers, which are drenched in a cumin and garlic drizzle inspired by the first mess. The roasted veggies go on top of fresh greens, along with avocado, an easy mango salsa, and black […]

Hilary01/08/2014 - 12:25 am

I read this post – then your interview with Tara

1) You are so cool

2) Your simple recipes are often my favourite – what you eat every day might seem boring and not worth posting – but they are not. I am probably more likely to make something that is a staple in your life! B/c I’m always looking for something to add into regular rotation

3) if you ever do something outside of this blog – business wise. Please let us know because I probably live close enough that I would come out and support you!

Thanks!

Kathryne01/08/2014 - 10:10 am

This is my kind of meal right here. Bring on the everyday recipe inspiration! P.s. Love that all-caps f-bomb. If only my readers knew that I drop it on the daily.

Linda @ Veganosity01/08/2014 - 1:02 pm

I just discovered your blog, love it! Your photos are beautiful.

Isn’t it great how the simplest foods make the best meals? This is similar to what I feed my family on a daily basis. Color, color, and more color. The more vibrant the meal the better it tastes.

Hilary02/08/2014 - 3:26 pm

So I just made a variation of this for lunch. Holy jebus. I did more of a sauté – onion, sweet potato, beans, rice, beet greens, tomato, + the drizzle. Dynamite! Thanks for the inspiration.

Valerie05/08/2014 - 2:34 pm

My hangry pizza “lunches” usually take place on errant early mornings; after stepping (barefoot!) through cat vomit. *Cue* the salty sailor talk + cheese-bedazzled pizza pies.

This dish is gorgeous in its simplicity! I rarely have sweet potatoes on hand but this is lush enough to make a random grocery store run.

30 day vegetarian challenge |05/08/2014 - 8:45 pm

[…] found on The First Mess […]

[…] sweet potato burrito bowls: don’t mind if I do, and I do, and I […]

Carrie Pacini18/08/2014 - 10:38 am

This looks tasty and so healthy! Love all the colors.

Jessica DeMarra23/08/2014 - 10:09 am

Your photography is so beautiful you make the humblest of ingredients, in this case beans and rice, look breathtaking and mouth watering! I am so inspired by you and your site to up my game while I stuff my face. Thank you!

September | New England Nosh26/08/2014 - 5:59 am

[…] 1: Vegan Lasagna (recipe soon). {Make 2 and freeze one for later in the month} Tuesday, Sep 2nd: Burrito Bowls with Sweet Potatoes Wednesday, Sep 3rd: Soba Noodle Salad Thursday, Sep 4th: Zucchini Noodles with Pesto Friday, Sep […]

Annie28/08/2014 - 10:21 pm

Made this for dinner tonight. Followed everything to a T except used quinoa instead of rice and doubled everything–had a feeling it’d be that good. :) It WAS! Oh man, I loved this dish and will definitely be making it again! I’m a sucker for the dressing and will quadruple that next time, though!

Ella29/08/2014 - 11:10 pm

Made this exactly as Annie above did- doubled with quinoa. My mom wanted me to inform you that it’s one of the better dinners she has ever had. Absolutely delicious, Laura! Thanks so much for the recipe.
http://www.youtube.com/sparklesandsuch26

[…] + The First Mess’ Grilled Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burrito Bowls with Spicy Cumin Garlic Drizzle […]

Rebecca07/10/2014 - 4:56 pm

What IS THIS sorcery?
Made this for dinner last night, and hubby and I have *some* leftovers for lunch today. Made quinoa instead of rice, thought I was being brilliant – turns out everybody’s doing it…
Wish I tripled the whole recipe. Will do, next time. Freaking amazing.