green goodness bowl with crispy polenta cakes, aka springtime

VEGETARIAN | GLUTEN-FREE | CAN BE DAIRY-FREE*

Ever since my mom bought me these shallow, wide bowls from Pier 1, I’ve been obsessed with creating beautiful “bowl meals”. You take a handful of ingredients, treat them simply and with respect, and arrange them into a colorful bowl of health. This is a great way to turn a motley crew of random vegetables into a cohesive, lovely meal (especially with a beautifully cooked egg on top).

For this lovely little bowl, the chosen ingredients were: asparagus, polenta, clover sprouts, spring mix, avocado, and eggs. Here’s how I treated each of them:

  • Asparagus: Roasted with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper in a 375 degree oven for 18 minutes.
  • Polenta: Cut into rounds, crisped in butter and olive oil on a cast iron skillet, topped with parmesan and popped under broiler for 2-3 minutes for more texture.
  • Clover sprouts: Served raw.
  • Avocado: Sliced, served raw.
  • Spring mix: Tossed with lemon vinaigrette.
  • Eggs: Cooked in a sous vide — could also be soft-boiled, poached, or fried.

I let my sous chef do the sous vide eggs (since it’s practically in the title) while I performed the rest of the operations.

The key to keeping these bowls simple is to choose 1-3 ingredients to cook, and then keep everything else raw. Usually, I’ll roast one thing and cook another thing on the stovetop to keep chaos to a minimum.

These kinds of meals can be half-prepped ahead of time – for this particular bowl, I could roast a big batch of asparagus and make some polenta cakes on a Sunday afternoon, and then reheat them in the toaster oven as I make the eggs for a quick, healthy dinner during the week.

Since I realize only mega-dweebs have sous vide machines, this recipe is written for soft-boiled eggs. You could also fry your eggs, if that’s your thing. The possibilities are endless! Enjoy. 

Recipe yields: 2 beautiful bowls of goodness.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 9 oz. organic polenta (Trader Joe’s sells an 18 oz tube)
  • 2 tbsp. grass-fed butter* (omit for dairy-free, replace with equivalent amount of EVOO)
  • 1/4 cup. parmesan* (omit for dairy-free, skip broiling step)
  • 2 small bunches of sprouts
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 2 large handfuls of spring mix
  • 4 eggs
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup+ EVOO
  • salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 375.
  2. Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Trim off the last inch of the asparagus, then lay them on the sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and roll your asparagus around in it to coat them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. When the oven is preheated, place the asparagus in the oven and set a timer for 18 minutes.
  3. Make your dressing: mix lemon juice, minced garlic, 1/4 cup EVOO, salt and pepper (to taste) in a small bowl. Put this in the fridge to chill.
  4. Heat a cast iron or regular skillet. Slice your polenta into 1/2 in. rounds. Melt butter on the skillet over medium-high heat, then place the rounds down. Allow them to sizzle for 2-3 minutes, until the side that is down gets crispy. When they are crispy, flip them over and sprinkle salt all over.
  5. Start your eggs: Place them in a small pot and cover them with cold water, to where they’re covered by about an inch of water. Bring this pot to a rolling boil, then cover and remove from heat. Use this graphic to determine how long to wait before pulling them.
  6. Toss your spring mix with the dressing. Place in two bowls. Arrange the sprouts, avocado slices, and roasted asparagus around the outside of the bowl.
  7. Finish your polenta: Place a small amount of parmesan on the top of each of the polenta cakes. Set your oven to a low broil (475 degrees or so) and place them in there. Keep an eye on them — when the parmesan is golden and melted, pull them out and sprinkle with with black pepper. (Don’t burn them like I did!)
  8. Arrange polenta cakes around the outside of the bowl, then crack the eggs in the middle.

INDULGE

You know what’s incredible with asparagus and eggs? Hollandaise. Just saying.

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